What is competitive neutrality?

Competitive neutrality is the principle that government should compete with private business on an equal footing

Who can lodge a complaint?

Any actual or potential competitor with a NSW Government business (or a person authorised to act on their behalf).

Where do I make my complaint?

You write to the NSW Government business.

What happens next?

The NSW Government business should respond within four weeks of receiving the complaint.

What happens if I am not satisfied with the NSW Government response?

You may write to the Premier and ask for the complaint to be referred to IPART.

What will the Premier do?

The Premier may refer the complaint to IPART if some conditions are met. These are:

  • the complaint relates to any or all of the public trading activities of the Government business
  • the competitor competes, or seeks to compete, in a particular market with the Government business and is hindered or is likely to be hindered from or in doing so by the matters complained of
  • the competitor is materially affected by the matters complained of or is likely to be so affected
  • the complaint has been made by the competitor or by a person or body authorised by the competitor to make the complaint on behalf of the competitor, and
  • the subject matter of the complaint has been raised with the Government business and the complainant has reasonable grounds for not being satisfied with the response to the complaint.

What will IPART do?

If the Premier refers the matter to IPART, then IPART has 10 weeks to investigate and report on the complaint. IPART must publish its report.

What happens next?

The Minister for the NSW Government business must respond to IPART’s report within eight weeks. The Minister’s report must be published.

What other information is there?

You can read the NSW Government’s policy statement on competitive neutrality on NSW Treasury’s website.