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The Hunter Valley Access Undertaking: elements of a negotiated settlement


  • Bordignon, S.
  • Littlechild, S.


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 settlement process.

Suggested Citation

  • Bordignon, S. & Littlechild, S., 2012. "The Hunter Valley Access Undertaking: elements of a negotiated settlement," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1218, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Doucet, Joseph & Littlechild, Stephen, 2006. "Negotiated settlements: The development of legal and economic thinking," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 266-277, December.
    2. Doucet, Joseph & Littlechild, Stephen, 2009. "Negotiated settlements and the National Energy Board in Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4633-4644, November.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Gianni De Fraja & Emanuela Michetti & Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2011. "Toc 'n' Roll: Bargaining, Service Quality and Specificity in the UK Railway Network," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 45(3), pages 383-414, September.
    6. Joseph Doucet & Stephen Littlechild, 2006. "Negotiated Settlements: The development of economic and legal thinking," Working Papers EPRG 0604, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    7. Littlechild, Stephen, 2012. "The process of negotiating settlements at FERC," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 174-191.
    8. Zhongmin Wang, 2004. "Settling Utility Rate Cases: An Alternative Ratemaking Procedure," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 141-163, September.
    9. Everett, Sophia, 2006. "Deregulation and reform of rail in Australia: Some emerging constraints," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 74-84, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jaitra:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:211-223 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Talebian, Masoud & Savelsbergh, Martin & Moffiet, Chad, 2016. "A new rail access charging policy: Hunter Valley coal chain case study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 101-108.
    3. Littlechild, Stephen, 2012. "The process of negotiating settlements at FERC," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 174-191.
    4. Chakravorty, Shourjo, 2015. "A study of the negotiated-settlement practice in regulation: Some evidence from Florida," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 12-18.

    More about this item


    regulation; negotiated settlement;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • L97 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Utilities: General


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