The ESC is responsible for assessing and approving proposed access arrangements submitted to it by access providers. Pacific National is the operator and access provider to the South Dynon Terminal.
Through Declaration Orders, the Victorian Government determines which facilities and infrastructure are declared for access. Access arrangements aim to encourage competition and efficiency in the rail freight industry by allowing freight operators to access declared infrastructure provided by access providers to enable freight operators to compete in markets where competition is dependent on such access.
The legislation requires the ESC to complete its assessment (including issuing both a draft and final decision and consulting with interested parties) within 90 days of receiving an access application. The ESC received Pacific National's access application on 30 March 2012 and called for submissions for 21 days. The ESC released its draft decision on 31 May and called for further submissions by 14 June. Following receipt of submissions and Pacific National’s re-submitted access arrangement, the ESC released its final decision on 28 June.