The AER has a role enforcing and monitoring compliance with the non-scheme pipeline information disclosure and arbitration framework.
On 14 December 2016, the COAG Energy Council agreed to the recommendations outlined in Dr Michael Vertigan’s Examination of the current test for the regulation of gas pipelines. The Examination highlighted the unequal levels of bargaining power and access to information that shippers face when seeking access to pipeline services. The Examination recommended the establishment of a new commercial arbitration framework, pricing principles and information disclosure requirements, to apply to unregulated pipelines that provide access to third parties.
The framework became operational on 1 August 2017. It provides for a staged approach to assist shippers seeking to access pipeline services. The stages consist of information disclosure by non-scheme pipelines, access negotiations, and the arbitration of access disputes. The framework is intended to incentivise parties to negotiate rather than relying on arbitration.