The Government may require the Regulator to conduct a prescribed body inquiry under Part 4 of the Economic Regulator Act 2009.
A prescribed body is an agency, Government Business Enterprise, State-owned company, a subsidiary of a Government Business Enterprise or State-owned company, statutory authority or Local Government body.
Under a prescribed body inquiry, the Regulator is limited by legislation to examining matters relating to the prescribed body's pricing policies including policies about the level or structure of prices for goods and services.
Bass Island Line's pricing policies
In December 2022, the Treasurer directed the Regulator to conduct an inquiry into Bass Island Line's pricing policies and provided terms of reference.
The Regulator's inquiry is to assess whether:
1. the prices charged by Bass Island Line for the supply of freight services to customers on King Island on a regular weekly basis reflect:
(a) the efficient costs of providing those services (including charges TasPorts imposes on Bass Island Line);
(b) are consistent with recovering those costs on a full cost attribution basis in line with competitive neutrality principles;
2. where possible, the costs incurred and prices charged per unit are consistent with that observed in other comparable markets;
3. Bass Island Line's pricing behaviour is in line with relevant industry rules and practices;
4. Bass Island Line's pricing behaviour impacts on other competitors and upstream and downstream supply chain participants; and
5. any other matters that impact on prices that the Regulator considers relevant.
Where discrepancies or issues are identified with respect to terms 1 to 5 inclusive, the Regulator is to provide recommendations on how Bass Island Line's pricing policies could be improved.
The Regulator is to deliver a report on the findings of the prescribed body inquiry to the Treasurer by 31 August 2023.
Interested parties can contact the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator to provide input into the inquiry.
Aurora Energy’s pricing policies and competitive behaviour
In August 2019, the Treasurer issued a terms of reference and directed the Regulator to conduct an inquiry into Aurora Energy’s pricing policies and competitive behaviour.
The Regulator’s Report was provided to the Premier, Minister for Finance and Minister for Energy on 18 March 2020.
TasNetworks' Pricing of Infrastructure as a Service Activities
In December 2017 the Treasurer issued terms of reference and directed the Regulator to conduct an inquiry into the pricing of TasNetworks' wholesale IT Infrastructure as a Service Activities in relation to the Government's Networking Tasmania III panel.
The Regulator's Report was provided to the Treasurer on 30 April 2018.