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Competitive Neutrality

About Competitive Neutrality

Competitive neutrality is about ensuring that significant government business activities compete fairly in the market.

Government owned businesses may not always compete on equal terms because of advantages that arise solely from their public ownership (for example, tax exemptions). Victoria’s Competitive Neutrality Policy (the CN Policy) sets out the Victorian Government's approach to competitive neutrality and requires government entities to apply measures to account for these advantages unless there are clear public interest reasons for not doing so.

Competitive neutrality ensures that businesses competing with government owned businesses do so on an equal footing.

The Commissioner - supported by the OCBR - is responsible for advising government entities about how to comply with the CN Policy as well as considering complaints made against government-owned business activities.

Information for government

Victorian Government Departments and local governments are required to consider and where relevant apply the CN Policy. The key requirements are to:

  • determine which activities are significant businesses and therefore subject to relevant CN measures
  • consider the costs and benefits of implementing CN measures or whether there is a public interest reason not to implement such measures
  • document the significant business, costing and other relevant analysis and conclusions
  • implement CN measures.

How does government apply CN?

Competitive neutrality concerns and complaints

Where a private business, or other affected party, considers a government entity has not correctly applied the CN Policy. They should:

  • in the first instance, discuss the concern with the relevant agency
  • contact OCBR to discuss whether the issue might be in scope of the CN Policy
  • consider making a formal complaint.

How can I make a complaint?

Questions about Competitive Neutrality Policy can be directed to OCBR by telephone (03) 9092 5800 or email cn@betterreg.vic.gov.au.