Our role

The QCA’s role as independent economic regulator

We are Queensland’s economic regulator. We help prevent monopoly businesses from inappropriately using their market power—and we do that by setting or monitoring prices, or through other arrangements.

The businesses we regulate own or operate vital infrastructure in Queensland, such as railways and ports, or they deliver essential services, such as water and energy.  Because of regulation, prices are competitive, and those who need to use infrastructure can do so fairly.

We also promote the principle of competitive neutrality—so that public sector businesses compete with private sector businesses on an equal basis and do not have a competitive advantage just because they are government-owned.

It is not always possible or sensible to have market competition in the provision of essential services where large scale infrastructure and therefore significant capital investment is required.

This is because there may be only one possible supplier (for example there may be only one possible site for a dam) or it may not be economic to have more than one supplier (for example, the costs of constructing a new electricity distribution system would simply outweigh the benefits).

In these circumstances, there may be limited, if any, competitive forces available to constrain the behaviour of businesses, especially in the provision of essential services such as water, energy and transport.

Our role is to put in place arrangements to prevent the abuse of market power that may arise from the lack of competition.

More on competitive markets

An Act to establish the Queensland Competition Authority, give it powers and functions about pricing practices relating to monopoly business activities, competitive neutrality and access to services, and for other purposes. A copy of the Act can be download here.

QCA Act 1997

Annual reports are routinely tabled in Parliament in September each year.

Please visit our Governance page to view our annual reports. They are also available on the Queensland Parliament’s tabled papers website database.