In January 1996 an amendment was made to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992 that resulted in the extension of the Tribunal’s responsibilities. One major new role for the Tribunal is the arbitration of disputes regarding access to utility infrastructure assets that are subject to state regulation. This currently includes electricity transmission, electricity distribution, natural gas distribution and rail infrastructure.

The arbitration of infrastructure access disputes under the national competition policy reforms is a recent development. The Tribunal is currently involved in its first arbitration. This arbitration is not only the first conducted by the Tribunal but also the first of this type in Australia.