Pricing & Access
SA Rail: Access and Pricing
Railway ownership on South Australia’s metropolitan (TransAdelaide) and intra-state (mainly GWA) lines is vertically integrated. This means the owner of the railway is also a provider of above-rail services on those lines.
As a result, the State introduced the Railways (Operations and Access) Act 1997 (the ROA Act), to ensure other operators could offer rail services to customers and compete with the owner/operator by obtaining access to the rail network on commercial terms.
The ROA Act establishes the South Australian Rail Access Regime (the Access Regime), which was intended to be consistent with National Competition Principles and with Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
It aims to encourage negotiation for access on fair commercial terms. Specifically it provides for:
- a regulator to monitor and oversee access matters, establish pricing principles and information requirements, and refer access disputes to arbitration; and
- the use of arbitration to resolve access disputes, where required.
Tarcoola-Darwin Rail: Access and Pricing
Access to the Tarcoola-Darwin Railway is provided for under the AustralAsia Railway (‘Third Party Access’) Code (“the Code”).
The Code has been certified as an ‘effective’ State-based access regime in accordance with the principles set out in clauses 6(2)-6(4) of the Competition Principles Agreement.
The Code unbundles railway services (both freight and passengers) into:
- below-rail services (relating to the provision of track and associated infrastructure); and
- above-rail services (running rolling stock, or trains, on the below-rail infrastructure).
The Code regulates the provision of below-rail services only. It establishes a right for above-rail operators to negotiate access to the below-rail services of the Railway.
The Code sets out the rights and responsibilities of above-rail operators (access seekers) and the access provider (APT), and covers matters such as the negotiation process, dispute resolution, and the terms and conditions of access.
The Code establishes a right to negotiate access to the services provided by means of the Railway. It follows a negotiate/arbitrate model, where parties first attempt to agree on an access arrangement, with dispute resolution processes available if necessary.