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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 status (for example, tax exemptions). Victoria’s Competitive Neutrality Policy (the CN Policy) sets out the Victorian approach to competitive neutrality and requires government entities to apply measures to account for advantages unless there are clear public interest reasons for not doing so.

The correct application of competitive neutrality measures benefits for all Victorians by enhancing the confidence of business to invest, create employment opportunities, bring new products to the market and increase consumer choice.

VCEC is responsible for advising government entities about how to comply with the CN Policy as well as consider 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 VCEC 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 VCEC by telephone (03) 9092 5800 or email cn@vcec.vic.gov.au.