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The Hunter Valley access undertaking: Elements of a negotiated settlement

  • Bordignon, Stephen
  • Littlechild, Stephen

Is Australian transport regulation ready for negotiated access undertakings? On 29 June 2011 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) accepted an access undertaking from Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in relation to the Hunter Valley rail network. The ACCC encouraged ARTC and its users (principally coal producers) to discuss and negotiate the detail of the undertaking. At the final stage the parties were able to resolve their differences and put an agreed undertaking to the ACCC. Compared to the undertaking that the ACCC would likely otherwise have accepted, this agreement was for a shorter term and embodied other provisions preferred by the users, in return for a higher rate of return requested by ARTC. The paper discusses the nature and lessons of this experience.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 179-187

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Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:24:y:2012:i:c:p:179-187
DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.08.001
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  1. Gianni De Fraja & Emanuela Michetti & Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2009. "Toc ā€™nā€™ Roll: Bargaining, Service Quality and Specificity in the UK Railway Network," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/7, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  2. Doucet, Joseph & Littlechild, Stephen, 2006. "Negotiated settlements: The development of legal and economic thinking," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 266-277, December.
  3. Littlechild, Stephen, 2012. "The process of negotiating settlements at FERC," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 174-191.
  4. Everett, Sophia, 2006. "Deregulation and reform of rail in Australia: Some emerging constraints," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 74-84, January.
  5. Doucet, Joseph & Littlechild, Stephen, 2009. "Negotiated settlements and the National Energy Board in Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4633-4644, November.
  6. Doucet, J. & Littlechild, S., 2006. "Negotiated Settlements: The development of economic and legal thinking," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0622, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Stephen Littlechild, 2009. "Stipulated settlements, the consumer advocate and utility regulation in Florida," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 96-109, February.
  8. Littlechild, Stephen, 2009. "The bird in hand: Stipulated settlements in the Florida electricity sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 276-287, September.
  9. Zhongmin Wang, 2004. "Settling Utility Rate Cases: An Alternative Ratemaking Procedure," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 141-163, 09.
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