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Competitive neutrality

Ensuring that significant government businesses compete fairly in the market.

Background

The Victorian Government's Competitive Neutrality Policy is to ensure that significant government businesses compete fairly in the market.

The policy sets out the Victorian Government's approach to competitive neutrality. It requires Government entities (including Councils) to apply competitive neutrality principles where appropriate, to account for advantages arising solely from public ownership.

Better Regulation Victoria (BRV) supports the Commissioner to consider complaints made under the policy.

Guidance

In 2000, the Department of Treasury and Finance published a practical guide to applying the Competitive Neutrality Policy.

Additional guidance notes

BRV has developed the following additional guidance to supplement the Competitive Neutrality Policy and Guide to Implementation.

Applying the Policy

State Government agencies and local governments follow a four-step process to apply the Competitive Neutrality Policy.

  1. Government entities are responsible for considering the Competitive Neutrality Policy and guidance described above and determining which of their activities fall within scope of the Policy.

  2. For a significant business activity, government entities should assess the benefits and costs of introducing competitive neutrality policy measures.

  3. In some cases a significant business activity operates in part to achieve social, environmental and other policy objectives.

    Where the implementation of fully cost-reflective pricing or other competitive neutrality measures may compromise other public policy objectives, the government entity should conduct a public interest test to demonstrate the case for not implementing the measure.

  4. Government entities are required to implement competitive neutrality measures to significant business activities where it is in the public interest to do so.

Complaints

If you believe your business has suffered because of a Victorian Government agency or local government not following the Competitive Neutrality Policy, you can contact BRV to discuss this or make a complaint.

Reviewed 30 March 2021

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