Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales (IPART) is an independent body that oversees regulation in water, gas, electricity and transport industries in NSW. IPART was established in 1992 by NSW State Government with the primary purpose of regulating the maximum prices for monopoly services by government utilities and other monopoly businesses such as public transport.
The Minister responsible for IPART is the Premier. Its first Minister was then Premier Nick Greiner. IPART's first Chairman (from 1992 to 2004) was Tom Parry. The current Chairman is Dr Peter Boxall. IPART’s organisational arm or Secretariat is managed by the Chief Executive Officer. IPART has approximately 140 staff members and an annual budget of $25 million.
IPART's role is set out in various pieces of state legislation including the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992, the Gas Supply Act 1996, the Electricity Supply Act 1995, the National Electricity (NSW) Law 1997 and the Transport Administration Act 1996.
IPART's core functions are conferred by legislation, Rules and access regimes established by legislation. These functions are to:
- Set maximum prices for monopoly services provided by government agencies in NSW (including water and public transport).
- Administer licensing or authorisation of water, electricity and gas businesses, and monitor compliance with licence conditions.
- Advise the NSW Government or its agencies on issues such as pricing, efficiency, industry structure and competition.
- Regulate maximum electricity and gas prices that regulated energy retailers can charge to residential and small business customers.
- Regulate private sector access to water and waste water to encourage competition and re-use.
- Maintain a local government cost index, determine the maximum percentage increase in local government general revenue (rate peg), determine special rate variations and review Council development contributions plans.
- Review the regulatory burden in priority industries to reduce red tape.
- Administer the Energy Savings Scheme and associated Register of energy savings certificates.
- Register agreements for access to public infrastructure assets and arbitrate disputes about agreements for access to public infrastructure.
- Investigate complaints about competitive neutrality referred to us by the Government.
In addition to these functions, IPART also undertakes reviews and investigations to advise the NSW government and its agencies on a range of economic and policy issues such as pricing, efficiency, industry structure and competition.
The Tribunal comprises three permanent members: a Part-Time Chairman and 2 Part-Time Tribunal Members. Tribunal members are appointed by the Premier. The Premier can also appoint any number of additional temporary members. As of April 2014, the permanent Tribunal members are:
- Dr Peter Boxall, AO (Chairman)
- Dr Paul Paterson
- Ms Catherine Jones
- Australian Gas Light Company
- Country Energy
- Energy Australia
- Integral Energy
- Public transport in metropolitan New South Wales
- Sydney Water