Reports

Many of our reports are public documents. The library of reports on this site demonstrate our breadth of Synergies’ experience across various industries and issues.

Synergies

Report

Transpower – Independent Verifier RCP3

Our final verification report formed part of Transpower’s RCP3 Proposal submitted to the Commerce Commission in December 2018. Our independent verifier role was undertaken in accordance with a signed tripartite deed between Synergies, Transpower and the Commerce Commission

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The Rate of Return to Apply to ARTC’s Interstate Network

Synergies prepared a WACC report in support of ARTC’s 2018 Interstate Access Undertaking (IAU). Synergies had prepared the previous IAU WACC report in 2008 and has also assisted ARTC with its undertakings for the Hunter Valley coal network. For the 2018 submission, we updated our previous analysis with subsequent developments in regulatory precedent and academic evidence, along with changes in prevailing market conditions, which had moved markedly since 2008. ARTC has since withdrawn its undertaking ...

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Please hold: costing telco customer wait times

Synergies was engaged by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) for advice on estimating the value of consumers’ time wasted (“time forgone”) trying to resolve customer service issues and the cost to consumers of intermittent or delayed supply (“reliability”). The aim of the advice was to provide an evidence base and a source of practical guidance on matters including how to apply non-market valuation techniques in the telecommunications context and the strengths and limitations ...

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The robotics and automation advantage for Queensland

Synergies prepared a report for the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on the implications of robotics and automation for Queensland. The report highlighted industries and occupations that had much to gain from the successful adoption of robotics and automation through their comparative advantage

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Community values for green public open space in Perth, Western Australia – a choice modelling analysis

With a drying climate, Perth is facing difficult decisions about how to manage green public open space (POS) in the metropolitan area. At present, local councils irrigate POS with groundwater. But this resource is becoming depleted owing to reduced recharge, prompting the State government to consider reducing licensed allocations. In this study we use a choice modelling survey of 525 Perth households to assess whether community is prepared to pay for more expensive sources of ...

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CGC – Urban Transport Consultancy Stage 2

Synergies, in collaboration with Jacobs, was engaged by the Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) to review and improve the model currently used to determine State urban transport and infrastructure expenditure requirements. The model we proposed will help form the basis for the future allocation of transport-related GST funds.

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Independent Verification Report – Transpower’s RCP3 Expenditure Proposal (2020-25)

Synergies and GHD Advisory (GHDA) have been engaged to provide an independent verification opinion on Transpower’s RCP3 Base Capex and opex forecasts relating to the 2020-25 period for Transpower and the Commerce Commission (the Commission).

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2018 WACC methodology review for WA railway networks

Synergies prepared a submission on behalf of Arc Infrastructure for the Economic Regulation Authority’s (ERA) 2018 WACC methodology review for regulated railways in Western Australia.

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Synergies Consulting Report with updated Wage price index (WPI) forecasts for Western Power’s AA4 regulatory period

This chapter presents our updated WPI forecasts for Western Power’s AA4 regulatory period. It also explains the economic drivers underpinning our updated WPI forecasts and the reasons for some small differences between our original and updated forecasts.

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Economic assessment of exclusive licensing of towage services at Port of Gladstone

Gilbert & Tobin engaged Synergies to provide advice in relation to a challenge by its client Svitzer to the Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC’s) intention to maintain exclusive licensing of harbour towage service. Synergies’ advice was an economic assessment of the underlying assumptions and arguments used to support this exclusive towage licencing arrangement, including information disclosed in King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM’s) submissions and Price Waterhouse Coopers’ (PwC’s) supporting submission.

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Determining a WACC estimate for Port of Melbourne

The purpose of this report is to provide an estimate of the return on capital for the Port of Melbourne (PoM) for its second regulatory year under the regulatory framework established by the Port Management Act (Vic) 1995 and Pricing Order. To determine an estimate of the return on capital that is consistent with the Pricing Order, the key requirement is that the Port Licence Holder (PoM) must use one or a combination of well-accepted ...

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Water demand assessment for the NuWater Project feasibility study

This report presents the results of the economic and financial and commercial analyses of the shortlisted options for the NuWater project, which involves the supply of recycled wastewater from Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) located in South East Queensland (SEQ) for beneficial reuse in the Lockyer Valley and on the Darling Downs. The economic and financial and commercial assessment of the shortlisted options was
undertaken following the completion of a demand assessment for the project. ...

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Economic and financial assessment of the NuWater project

Synergies was engaged by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation to undertake a water demand assessment, a financial and commercial analysis, and an economic analysis of a proposal to supply recycled wastewater from treatment plants in South East Queensland to agricultural producers in the Lockyer Valley and on the Darling Downs. This involved extensive consultation with agricultural producers to firstly establish a demand profile for the water to be supplied by the project and secondly to quantify ...

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Assessing the feasibility of the NuWater project

Synergies was engaged by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) to undertake a water demand assessment and to assess the economic and financial and commercial feasibility of the NuWater project – a proposal to supply recycled wastewater from treatment plants in South East Queensland to agricultural producers in the Lockyer Valley and on the Darling Downs.

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Risk Comparison Between Aurizon Network and Energy and Water Networks

Synergies examined the risk profile of Aurizon Network in order to assess comparability with regulated energy and water networks. The report concluded that, while regulation can modify the impact of commercial and market risks on a business, it cannot fundamentally alter the nature of the market risks borne by a business.

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Western Power’s productivity performance

Synergies has been engaged to undertake productivity analysis of Western Power’s historical operating and capital expenditure using economic benchmarking techniques along the lines of those applied by the Australian Energy Regulator. The results of our analysis are used to form a view on the likely efficiency of Western Power’s expenditure forecasts incorporated in its Access Arrangement 4 (AA4) for the 2017-18 to 2021-22 regulatory period.

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Emu Swamp Dam Business Case Stage 1

The report prepared by Synergies and GHD delivers a strategic assessment of the current and future need for an additional water supply in the Stanthorpe Region or urban, irrigation and regional development purposes. Previous historical work has identified the Emu Swamp Dam as the preferred option. Despite formal environmental approvals, it has not attracted the funding required for it to proceed past the preliminary stages of assessment in the past decade, however, it is the ...

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ACRI Industry Stakeholder Survey 2016

Synergies was engaged by ACRI to design and implement a major survey of stakeholders operating in the rail industry. The aim of the survey was to identify stakeholder perspectives about the challenges and opportunities facing the Australian rail industry, together with collecting views about strategic priorities going forward. The survey provided fresh insights about issues and stakeholder concerns. ACRI has published our report on its website and intends to commission a follow up survey to ...

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ACCC Applying Hilmer Principles in a Changing Energy Market 2016

Nearly twenty-five years ago, Hilmer set out a transformative framework for delivering better products and services at lower prices from Australia’s public utilities. At that time, the electricity industry was largely publicly owned, self-regulated, bereft of competition and inefficient. The largest gains to customers were rightly thought to come from measures that would improve productive efficiency.

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Impact of new casinos on Queensland community clubs

Synergies was engaged by Clubs Queensland to examines the impacts on community clubs in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns where IRDs are currently proposed. By assessing the state of the gaming market in Queensland (that is, its future growth prospects) and the likelihood of local patrons switching their gaming from clubs to the new casinos, Synergies has determined the financial impact on community clubs. This study also assesses the impact of the new developments ...

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An Economic Approach to Heavy Vehicle Road Pricing Reform

Synergies was engaged by Aurizon to prepare a response on behalf of the Freight on Rail Group (Aurizon, ARCT and Asciano) to the application of an economic pricing framework to land freight transport infrastructure. The report examined alternative pricing approaches for road and rail freight services, having regard to several objectives and principles and reviewed the economic issues associated with the current PAYGO approach to heavy vehicle pricing. Our report emphasised the importance of a ...

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DPI Water Expenditure Review

Synergies, in partnership with Cardno, were engaged by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to conduct a review of the efficiency of DPI Water’s actual and forecast expenditure over the period 2011-12 to 2020-21. The review would will inform IPART’s 2016 Determination of water management prices for the forthcoming regulatory period.

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A review of the economic and social benefits of Indigenous land and sea management

Synergies was engaged by Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) to prepare a report on the social and economic contributions of Indigenous ranger programs in Australia. Pew is a not-for-profit environmental organisation that funds and publishes policy research into contemporary environmental and social issues. For almost a decade the Commonwealth Government has funded Indigenous ranger groups through a program called “Working on Country”. There are now about 700 rangers operating across the country. The rangers perform land ...

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Potential for Increase in Navigation Services Charges at Port of Newcastle

Synergies Economic Consulting was engaged by Glencore to construct some indicative Maximum Allowable Revenue (MAR) scenarios for the Port of Newcastle’s channel assets. The purpose of the analysis was to provide an indication of the likely annual revenue that a regulator would allow under a standard building blocks methodology. As the value of the channel assets is a key driver of the revenue allowance, Glencore has commissioned a high level Depreciated Optimised Replacement Cost ...

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The Rate of Return to Apply to ARTC’s Hunter Valley Coal Network

Synergies provided an opinion on the appropriate Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) to apply to its Hunter Valley Coal Network (the HVCN) for the purpose of its forthcoming access undertaking review

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An Alternative model for Victorian water businesses

In 2014, the Victorian government reviewed and revised the WIRO, removing the prescriptive approach to water pricing. This allows the ESC significant discretion to decide on the manner, approach and methodology (the pricing approach) used to deliver efficient pricing and service outcomes for Victorian water and sewerage customers. This paper presents an alternative, lighter handed approach to regulating Victoria’s 19 water
businesses.

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New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3

Synergies was engaged by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) to undertake a rapid Social Benefit-Cost Analysis (SBCA) of a proposal by New Hope Group to develop a new coal mine in the Darling Downs region of southeast Queensland. A ‘rapid’ SBCA aims to identify (and value in dollar terms where possible) just the major impacts as opposed to a more detailed, comprehensive assessment of all impacts.

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Building Blocks Model River Murray Operations

Synergies was engaged by the Murray-Darling Basin Officials Committee (BOC) to develop a building blocks model for River Murray Operations (RMO) based on an assessment of efficient costs, and consistent with the Water Charge (Infrastructure) Rules. Our review was well received by BOC and the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council. We made various recommendations relating to improvements to operations, use of future
benchmarking and improvements to data capture and reporting to aid transparency. These ...

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Cost-benefit analysis of the implementation of landfill disposal bans in Queensland

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) engaged Synergies Economic Consulting (Synergies) and MRA Consulting Group (MRA) to assess the feasibility of introducing landfill disposal bans in Queensland.

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Impact of green energy policies on electricity prices

Synergies/ROAM Consulting has assessed the costs of green energy policies from 2001-02 to 2013-14 on retail electricity costs, for both small (residential/small business) and large (consumption of greater than 5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per annum) customers across the mainland National Electricity Market (NEM). This includes thousands of businesses, some that qualify for government assistance under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and carbon price, and others that do not, such as non-trade exposed manufacturing, dairy farms, office ...

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