The report formally covers the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2007.
Under the Competition Principles Agreement (CPA), the Australian Government is required to publish an annual report outlining its progress towards:
- achieving the review and, where appropriate, reform of all existing legislation that restricts competition (as outlined in the Commonwealth Legislation Review Schedule); and
- implementing competitive neutrality principles (including allegations of non compliance).
However, recognising other Australian Government commitments under National Competition Policy (NCP), the report also outlines progress on structural reform of public monopolies; access arrangements for essential infrastructure facilities; legislative exceptions from the application of Part IV of the Trade Practices Act 1974; and final national competition policy payments made to States and Territories in 2005.
In past years, the report assisted the National Competition Council (NCC) to undertake its assessment of the Australian Government's performance against its commitments. The NCC's 2005 assessment was the final one prior to the Council of Australian Government's review of NCP and agreement on a new National Reform Agenda (NRA) embracing human capital, competition and regulatory reform streams.
The NRA includes a recommitment by all jurisdictions to the principles contained in the CPA, including completing outstanding priority legislation reviews and ongoing compliance with competitive neutrality.
The COAG Reform Council (CRC) has been established by COAG to monitor jurisdictions' progress under the NRA. It is expected that for future reports the specific reporting requirements will be set by the CRC.