Debbie Ravalli


Debbie has significant regulatory experience having worked on a range of issues involving public infrastructure, specialising in ports, transport and intermodal supply chains across Australia.
Debbie joined Synergies in early 2017 and brings almost 2 decades of government policy experience specialising in commonwealth-state financial relations and national competition regulation. As a former senior analyst in competition policy reform at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Debbie has considerable experience in administering and advising on the design of price monitoring regimes involving Australian ports.

Contact details

Phone: +61 7 3227 9545


Debbie Ravalli's Recent Projects

Case study

Improving competitiveness of coastal shipping

In recent years, Synergies has been working with Ports Australia to identify potential opportunites for coastal shipping to play a greater role in the domestic freight task. This follows numerous parliamentary inquiries into challenges associated with developing a stronger coastal shipping industry in Australia. Together with Ports Australia, we completed several case studies which identified particularly commodity supply chains where coastal shipping had been successful, together with areas of opportunity. Synergies has welcomed this opportunity ...


Building more efficient rail freight supply chains

Australia depends on freight supply chains operating efficiently and effectively as possible to meet demand for many of our household goods as well as imports and exports of key commodities. This requires freight to be moved using the ‘best’ mode of transport for the task. The focus on supply chain efficiency is a national policy priority. The national response to the challenge posed by COVID-19 has only increased the importance of Australia’s freight supply chains ...

Case study

Assessing the economic benefits of road upgrades for freight supply chains

North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) wanted to demonstrate the economic benefits to the state of Queensland and regional industry in North Queensland of coordinating upgrades to the road and port network to achieve supply chain efficiencies.

NQBP required a comprehensive, evidence based assessment of the productivity benefits that are likely to be achieved from road upgrades and other measures designed to improve heavy vehicle access to the Port of Mackay. Synergies assisted NQBP and ...


Spotlight on airport performance

In February, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its annual monitoring report of airport performance. The report makes for interesting reading, particularly as it follows last year’s review of economic regulation at Australia’s major airports by the Productivity Commission.


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 reforms over the last decade have lifted freight productivity, more work needs to be done. A new agenda for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is recommended, one which targets accelerating existing reforms in infrastructure planning, trials of road user charging and removing regulatory barriers to early adoption of new technologies.

Case study

Arbitrating for more efficient shipping channel services at Newcastle Port

In 2018, the Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) arbitrated a dispute between Glencore Coal Pty Ltd and Port of Newcastle (PNO) over the charges set by PNO for Glencore’s use of the channel assets at the Port of Newcastle.

Case study

Pricing strategies at Australia seaports

Synergies is a leading advisor in the port sector, working collaboratively with many ports both big and small, city based and regional, bulk and non-bulk, private and government owned, across Australia to refine their pricing strategy to meet their broader objectives. This pricing intelligence is a vital input to ensure that a port is well positioned to meet the challenges of future demand as well as build on the opportunities to secure long term sustainable ...


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 to port terminals. In this latest report, the ACCC continues to have the stevedores’ infrastructure levy charges on its radar.

Case study

Port supply chain costs at the Port of Melbourne

Synergies has extensive experience in examining the costs and incentive structures within various freight supply chains in Australia. We have a depth of knowledge of the economic and commercial structure of supply chains and the way that economic regulation can, and in practice does, impact these supply chains. Most recently we were engaged by Patrick Terminals to prepare an economic analysis of the container supply chain at the Port of Melbourne, to assist Patrick ...

Case study

Promoting efficient pricing for shipping channel services at Newcastle Port

Synergies, acting on behalf of Glencore prepared a series of submissions in 2018 and 2019 setting out the economic rationale for continued declaration of Newcastle Port’s shipping channel. Glencore, is a major user of shipping channel services at Newcastle as a major coal producer and exporter in the Hunter Valley. As such Glencore depends on access to the shipping channel based on reasonable terms and conditions.

Case study

Assessing intermodal competition in non-bulk freight transport

Euan Morton of Synergies was engaged as an independent economic expert by Clayton Utz (representing Pacific National (PN)), in court proceedings initiated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) who alleged that PN’s proposed acquisition of Aurizon’s intermodal business would substantially lessen competition in the transportation of non-bulk freight.
Synergies examined the relevant market(s) for intercity non-bulk freight services and the effectiveness of road and rail competition and, in particular, the influence of ...

Case study

Regulatory assistance in rail access

In 2018, Synergies was a key economic advisor to Australia’s leading rail infrastructure company (Aurizon Network) for the preparation of its regulatory submission responding to the Queensland Competition Authority’s ‘UT5’ draft decision. The QCA’s draft decision signalled that the regulator was unlikely to approve Aurizon Network’s proposed prices for access to the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN), on the basis that costs, and thus prices should be lower. Aurizon Network did not support the QCA’s ...


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 abate any time soon. But can it be resolved? Australia’s two largest stevedores, DP World and Patrick have either introduced or announced further increases in ‘infrastructure charges’ at their container terminals this year, with DP World announcing further increases to its charges at its Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane terminals, from 1 January 2018.



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 port terminals. Such charges have become a regular feature in the Australian stevedoring landscape, much to the ire of land-side operators and other stakeholders.

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