icon-rail South Australian rail access regime review 2020

  • Project Released: 5 Feb 2020
  • Project Closes: Aug 2020
  • Contact: Vashti Maher


Access to South Australian intrastate rail infrastructure services is available to accredited rail operators under the terms of the Railways (Operations and Access) Act 1997. The Act assigns regulatory functions to the Commission and requires the Commission to periodically review the regime and provide to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure a report on whether or not the regime should continue for the next prescribed period (five years). Having regard to the Commission’s report, the Minister is responsible for making the decision on whether or not the regime will continue.


Current status is Final

  • Initiate
  • Submissions
  • Draft
  • Submissions
  • Final


The Commission has conducted a review of the third party access regime that applies to declared rail infrastructure services in South Australia, in accordance with section 7A of the Railways (Operations and Access) Act 1997. The Commission’s final report on the review was provided to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (Minister). The decision to continue or cease the application of the regime rests with the Minister.

The Commission has determined that the South Australian intrastate rail access regime should continue to apply. It recommends that the regime operate for a further five-year period.

Based on consultation with stakeholders, the Commission highlighted in the review some potential improvements to the regime. Those changes include to:

  • broaden the concept of access seeker from train operator to also include an end-user
  • allow an arbitrator to make an interim order on access prices or other terms and conditions
  • introduce a consultative review mechanism by which an access seeker, or other interested party, could seek to have rail infrastructure services included in or excluded from the access regime. 

The Commission sees those changes noted above as worthy of further consideration by the South Australian Government. Any such assessment should consider both the costs and benefits of those changes.