Insights

Since our establishment in 2004, Synergies has witnessed a great deal of change in policy and regulatory settings across numerous industry sectors. Our Insight articles are prepared by senior members of our team and provide commentary and perspectives on a range of issues.

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Driving reform in transport efficiency

The Productivity Commission released its draft report into transport regulatory reform last month. While the PC’s inquiry has found transport ...

03 December, 2019

ACCC shines spotlight on stevedoring charges

This week’s release of the ACCC’s annual container stevedoring monitoring report represents the latest regulatory snapshot on issues involving access ...

08 November, 2019

Mobility – what are the actual costs?

Increasing population and urban density are changing transport infrastructure requirements in many cities and regions in Australia. Efficient transport planning ...

18 September, 2018

Stevedore infrastructure charges – efficient or excessive?

It’s a topic that generates much debate in Australia’s ports and freight industries. And the debate is not likely to ...

04 December, 2017

Navigating a path through the national energy policy morass

The almost weekly major energy policy announcements by State and Commonwealth Governments in recent times brings to mind the old ...

29 June, 2017

A tale of two stevedores – infrastructure charges

In recent months, Australia’s two major stevedores have announced increased fees for truck and rail operators accessing major city container ...

19 June, 2017

How the tables have turned…

At the beginning of 2016, headline figures suggested our economy was growing at a steady pace. Yet the income and ...

09 December, 2016

The new Victorian Water Regulatory Framework (PREMO)

Victoria will be implementing a new water pricing framework for the next regulatory price review in 2018. The framework will ...

23 November, 2016

Have we finally turned the corner?

Official figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that we are finally beginning to recover from ...

06 September, 2016

COAG Energy Council discusses transformation of the energy sector

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council met on 19 August 2016 to discuss the transformation of the gas ...

24 August, 2016

The AER’s Draft Ring-fencing Guideline – is the balance right?

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released its Draft Ring-fencing Guideline (the Draft Guideline) and explanatory statement. The new guideline ...

22 August, 2016

Recent price reviews in the water sector

In June 2016 a number of regulatory pricing reviews in the water sector were finalised. This includes: Hunter Water, Sydney ...

01 August, 2016

Some simple ways to better understand economic modelling

In our last article on modelling we defended the art of economic modelling. We identified why purchasers, users and readers ...

11 July, 2016

QCA’s Final Decision on Queensland Rail’s Draft Access Undertaking

On 10 June 2016, the QCA released its final decision on Queensland Rail’s (QR’s) draft access undertaking proposal (DAU), submitted ...

22 June, 2016

Economic Modelling – how useful is it really?

There has been a lot of noise in the media of late about the lack of credibility of economic modelling. ...

15 June, 2016

Where now with benchmarking?

In its recent decision in the Australian Competition Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) has just delivered a serious blow to the Australian ...

10 June, 2016

Port of Newcastle: ACT upholds Glencore’s appeal on decision to not declare channel services

On 31 May 2016, the Australian Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) released its Decision to uphold Glencore’s appeal against the Commonwealth ...

03 June, 2016

Why it feels like a recession despite the growth

Figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that real net national disposable income (NNDI) fell by ...

02 June, 2016

ESC paper heralds a new regulatory pricing model for Victoria’s water sector

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) released a Position Paper that proposes a new model for regulating prices of water services ...

25 May, 2016

Applying Hilmer Principles in Changing Energy Markets

In 1993, the Hilmer Report presented a ground breaking review of national competition policy, establishing the framework for public utility ...

27 April, 2016

WA – An Economy in Transition

A cursory glance says Western Australia’s (WA’s) economy is doing okay. Real Gross State Product (GSP) is growing at a ...

13 April, 2016

IPART releases 2016 Draft Determination for Hunter Water

On 22 March 2016, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released its draft determination for Hunter Water’s water, wastewater ...

12 April, 2016

Australian Competition Tribunal energy merits review decisions

On 26 February 2016, the Australian Competition Tribunal released its decisions in relation to the merits review appeals made by ...

28 February, 2016

Using economics to avoid a punch-up

“Chairs were thrown, one councillor was punched and another councillor was thrown to the ground.” Could a short primer on ...

25 February, 2016

Corn ethanol – policy lessons from Iowa election

This week electors in the Iowa caucus voted in the primary election for United States (US) presidential candidates. As has ...

10 February, 2016

Driving the Queensland Economy

The Queensland economy expanded last year despite a large contraction in business investment, and substantial falls in global resource prices. ...

04 January, 2016

Road Pricing

The Australian road network is fundamental for society’s economic and social needs. The Harper Competition Policy stated that “Reform ...

18 December, 2015

Five points on tax reform

The tax reform discussion has already started to narrow in on specific changes, such as increasing the GST, closing superannuation ...

17 November, 2015

Artwork and antiques: “priceless’’ but not price-less

The past few years have seen many governments confront public debt crises. In light of this, creditors have started suggesting ...

21 October, 2015

Port of Darwin privatisation triggers new regulatory regime

On 15 October 2015, the Northern Territory (NT) Government announced the successful bidder for the Port of Darwin - Landbridge ...

20 October, 2015

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