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Tips and Traps. A director’s guide to the new water pricing framework in Victoria

In this paper, Dr Ben-David briefly reflects on the reasons why the Essential Services Commission considered it necessary to modernise the way it approves prices proposed by the State’s regulated water businesses. In developing a new framework, the Commission adopted four high level objectives concerning: Customers, Autonomy, Performance and Simplicity. Beyond these four objectives lie three central mechanisms that thread their way through the framework binding it into a comprehensive whole. These mechanisms are: Engagement, Incentives and Accountability. These mechanisms are not new to economic regulation but the framework imbues them with renewed vitality. Dr Ben-David outlines 12 key messages to the water businesses to assist in their application of the new framework.

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