Utilities Reform in Twenty-First Century Australia: Providing the Essentials

ISBN : 9780198865063

Malcolm Abbott; Bruce Cohen
416 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
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Utilities Reform in 21st Century Australia: Providing the Essentials traces the development and consequences of the economic reform measures undertaken in the utilities sector in Australia (communications, energy, water/wastewater services, and transport) in the last years of the 20th century, and early decades of the 21st century. In doing so, it looks at the process of reform across industries, and across the state and federal jurisdictions, to identify what motivations the various governments had for pursing reform, how change varied across jurisdictions, and what issues arose in the process. Although by the mid-1990s all states and territories and the Australian Government were committed to reforming utilities as part of the National Competition Policy, not all pursued this reform with the same degree of speed and breadth of action. The broad trends of economic reform in Australia, and abroad, are also touched upon, to provide an outline of the wider context in which the reform of the utilities occurred. This book, therefore, explores the relationship between politics and society on the one hand and economic reform on the other; as well on as the efforts of governments in Australia to promote economic growth and the wealth of Australians in an increasingly complex and challenging global economic climate.


Part I: Background and themes
1 Australia's public utilities: an introduction to an era of reform
2 The historical development of Australia's public utilities
Part II: The historical development of Australia's public utilities
3 National Competition Policy: its genesis and design
4 Corporatization and privatization: the pros and cons
5 Dealing with natural monopolies: utility regulation in Australia
Part III: Utility industries
6 The vital connections: communications
7 Powering the economy: the energy sector
8 The hardest reform of all: water supply and wastewater services
9 Moving the nation forward: rail, seaports, and airports
Part IV: Outcomes and Conclusion
10 Regulation, corporatization, and privatization: assessing the economic impacts of reform
11 Conclusion: the way forward

About the author: 

Malcolm Abbott is an economist by profession who specialises in research in energy markets, water supply, transport, and network industries in general. In the past he has worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, KPMG and as a ministerial advisor. He is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Melbourne. ; Bruce Cohen is a private consultant and former barrister who has worked extensively in the energy and water sectors in Australia. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from The Australian National University and has been a member of the board of directors of a number of utility companies, a Commissioner of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission, and a former Chair of VicTrack and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

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