National regulators, market institutions and other bodies

Council of Australian Governments

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia. COAG comprises the Prime Minister, state premiers, territory chief ministers and the president of the Australian Local Government Association.

The role of COAG is to initiate, develop and monitor the implementation of policy reforms that are of national significance and that require cooperative action by Australian governments.

Ministerial Council on Energy

The Ministerial Council on Energy was established by COAG in 2001 to deliver the economic and environmental benefits for Australia from implementation of the COAG national energy policy framework.

The council is the national policy and governance body for the Australian energy market, providing oversight and coordination of energy policy development. MCE is supported by a Standing Committee of Officials and a number of working groups comprising representatives of participating jurisdictions.

The council's objectives, as agreed by COAG, are to provide:

  • national oversight and coordination of policy development to address the opportunities and challenges facing Australia's energy sector into the future
  • national leadership so that consideration of broader convergence issues and environmental impacts are effectively integrated into energy sector decision making.

The agreements and legislation that underpin the governance and institutional arrangements for the National Energy Market are available on the Australian Government website.

Australian Energy Market Operator

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) was established in 2009 and is responsible for the day to day operation and administration of the wholesale National Electricity Market, the wholesale gas market in Victoria and gas short-term trading markets in South Australia and New South Wales and retail gas markets in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia.

AEMO also undertakes a range of other functions, including:

  • preparation of an annual statement of opportunities for the National Electricity Market and gas markets across Australia
  • preparation of the National Transmission Network Development Plan, with the first plan published in December 2010
  • operation of the gas market Bulletin Board.

Learn more on the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) website.

Australian Energy Regulator

The Australian Energy Regulator, which was established in 2005 and is part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is responsible for economic regulation of electricity and gas transmission and distribution and monitoring and enforcement of compliance at a national level with National Energy Market legislation (such as the National Electricity and Gas Laws).

More information is available on the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) website.

Australian Energy Market Commission

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), which was established in 2005, is the national rule-making and market development body for the national energy markets.

The AEMC conducts reviews of matters under the national energy legislation either following a direction from Ministerial Council on Energy or on its own initiative, including reviewing the effectiveness of competition in state and territory retail energy markets to provide advice regarding the possible removal of retail price regulation. The AEMC's rule-making role involves managing the rule change process, and consulting and deciding on rule changes proposed by others, including the Ministerial Council on Energy.

The AEMC also includes 2 panels:

  • the national Consumer Advocacy Panel
  • the Reliability Panel.

Learn more on the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) website.

Australian Competition Tribunal

The Australian Competition Tribunal is a review body established under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Commonwealth). A review by the tribunal is a re-hearing or a re-consideration of a matter (albeit on limited material for some reviews). The tribunal may perform all the functions and exercise all the powers of the original decision-maker for the purposes of review. It can affirm, set aside or vary the original decision.

The tribunal's key role in the energy sector is to undertake, on application, judicial reviews of decisions made by the Australian Energy Regulator and limited merits reviews of certain economic regulatory decisions of the regulator.

More information is available on the Australian Competition Tribunal website.


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