Competitive neutrality investigations

In progress

We receive, investigate and report on complaints about the alleged failures of government agencies to comply with the principle of competitive neutrality. The competitive neutrality function was transferred to us from the former Queensland Productivity Commission on 2 June 2021.

Details of current and past investigations are below.

TAFE Queensland (2023)

On 12 October 2023, we commenced an investigation of a competitive neutrality complaint from Strategix Training Group Pty Ltd (Strategix)—a private registered training organisation—in relation to TAFE Queensland (TAFE). TAFE is a government agency carrying out a business activity that is designated as a ‘significant business activity’ for the purposes of Part 4 of the Queensland Competition Authority Act 1997. The principle of competitive neutrality therefore applies to the business activity of TAFE. Strategix alleges that TAFE enjoys a competitive advantage over competitors in providing certain vocational education and training courses due to the operation of the Fee Free TAFE program.

Logan City Council (2022)

A Logan-based waste-removal business made a complaint about the Logan City Council in relation to the council’s green waste bin service. We found the council’s green waste bin service did not comply with the principle of competitive neutrality. The council was charging its own green waste bin service much less than the disposal fee it charged private commercial operators.

We made 8 recommendations on how the council could ensure its green waste bin service complied with the competitive neutrality principle. The council accepted 6 recommendations, conditionally accepted one recommendation, and did not accept one recommendation.

The Logan City Council’s consideration of our report and its resolution (of 20 July 2022) in response to our report are available on the council website. A copy of our final report can also be found on the council website.

Title Document
01 July 2022 Final report QCA competitive neutrality report on Logan City Council pdf, 1.09 Mb

CITEC Confirm (2017)

InfoTrack Pty Ltd made a complaint about certain services provided by CITEC Confirm. The Queensland Productivity Commission found that CITEC Confirm’s services did not breach the principle of competitive neutrality.

Title Document
01 February 2017 Final report QPC competitive neutrality report on CITEC Confirm pdf, 857.36 Kb

Sunshine Coast Regional Council waste and resources management (2012)

The Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of Queensland made a complaint in 2011 about the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s waste and resources management business. We found that the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s waste and resources management business had a competitive advantage over potential competitors as a result of its local government ownership and that this advantage should be removed.

Title Document
29 June 2012 Final report QCA-final-report-waste-Sunshine-Coast-competitive-neutrality-complaint-June-2012 pdf, 417.55 Kb