Access and Regulated Industries
Access and economic regulation are critical issues for infrastructure investment in Australia. Successfully navigating the complex web of Commonwealth, state and territory regulation is critical to optimising the use of, and investment in, significant infrastructure.
MinterEllison has extensive experience in general access regulation under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and industry specific regimes including electricity and gas access, energy market regulation, transport infrastructure (including ports, rail and airports), water infrastructure, telecommunications and broadcasting. Our history of dealing with investors, operators, users and regulators gives us a unique ability to provide practical insights into the operation of Australia’s access and regulatory regimes.
Our lawyers combine a thorough understanding of the competition and economic policy issues underlying regulatory regimes with substantial industry experience, enabling them to offer strategic advice at all stages of the regulatory process – from managing the threat of regulation, influencing regulatory design, maximising revenue and challenging a regulator’s decision when required. We work alongside economists and industry experts and our multi-disciplinary team gives our clients the reassurance and continuity of advisers in the event of a dispute.
Many industry-specific regulatory regimes have their roots in access, price and market regulation and consumer protection. This is why MinterEllison teams its regulatory practice with competition and consumer law – the skills and the ways of thinking are complementary.
Although all industries are regulated to an extent, regulation of utilities such as electricity, gas, water, telecommunications and transport has a complex history. Advising a client in one of these sectors on an isolated aspect of the applicable regulations is difficult without having a comprehensive understanding of the whole regulatory system, its structure, the relevant instruments and agreements, the history of its development and what the future is likely to hold. We work hard to ensure our lawyers have that understanding so our advice is strategically and structurally informed and efficiently provided.
We undertake regulatory work for private sector clients, industry bodies, and state governments and Commonwealth government bodies.