The National Competition Council
The National Competition Council, established in 1995 by agreement of the Council of Australian Governments, is a research and advisory body for all Australian governments. Its functions and powers are set out in section 29B of the Trade Practices Act. As a statutory body, the National Competition Council is independent of the executive (political) arm of governments.
The National Competition Council comprises a President and up to four other councillors appointed by the Governor-General, with appointments — generally for three-year periods — supported by a majority of state and territory governments. Part IIA of the Trade Practices Act specifies the processes for appointing councillors, conducting National Competition Council meetings and disclosing interests by councillors. The National Competition Council is supported by a small secretariat located in Melbourne.
Since establishment, the National Competition Council’s main work has been to assess the performance of Australia’s governments (Australian and state/territory) in meeting the agreed reform commitments under the National Competition Policy and to recommend on the regulation of third party access to services provided by monopoly infrastructure under Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act (declaration and certification) and under the National gas law.
The National Competition Council assessed reform progress in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. After the conclusion of the National Competition Policy program in 2005-06, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to the National Reform Agenda. On 13 April 2007, the Council of Australian Governments confirmed that, under the National Reform Agenda, the National Competition Council would continue responsibility for third party access regulation. The COAG Reform Council supervises the implementation of the National Reform Agenda program.
Information on the National Competition Council's work on access regulation is available at www.ncc.gov.au.
The National Competition Council reports annually to the Australian Parliament. Annual reports are available for 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. For more recent annual reports please refer to the Council's website at www.ncc.gov.au.