Transport systems have undergone radical reform over the past decade.
In the air transport sector, routes have been liberalised and airports have become subject to more light-handed regulatory instruments. In the rail sector, there has been vertical separation between above and below rail operations, and claims for access to track owned by vertically-integrated firms such as miners in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Many Australian sea ports are experiencing significant growth in levels of container trade and, as areas of international trade have opened up (such as grain export markets), issues regarding bottlenecks and access to port terminal facilities have arisen. The road sector is the latest candidate for reform, with policy makers considering issues of road charging and its connections to investment.
For our clients, these fundamental reforms have challenged existing regulatory regimes and ways of doing business. They have also created opportunities to improve commercial or consumer outcomes. Understanding the economics behind reform allows our clients to make the most of these opportunities.
Our experience extends to advice to airports, airlines and other users of airports (including hire car operators and taxis), rail operators and rail users, port providers and users, state regulators, the competition authorities and government departments and agencies in Australia, New Zealand and increasingly in the Asia-Pacific region.
We can add value by advising on regulatory frameworks including costing and pricing methodologies, competition policy including rights for third-party access, and auctions of rights to operate particular routes or provide certain services where capacity is scarce.
We also have expertise in developing and evaluating broader transport-related public policies such as those relating to the environment or safety. We work with clients to develop robust investment proposals through the government business case process and provide high quality analysis including cost-benefit analysis and real options analysis.