Essays on To What Extent Has Business Dominated Industry Policy in Australia Case Study

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The paper "To What Extent Has Business Dominated Industry Policy in Australia" is an outstanding example of a business case study.   Since the 1970s, Australia has been undergoing a remarkable transformation in the relationship between business and government. This has been the case to ensure Australian competitiveness in the global economy. There has also been growing anticipation among interest groups of all kinds that they would be consulted at pertinent stages of public policy development. Business interests, particularly small business organizations, have been active participants in the increasing demand to be consulted by government, and as a result, there have emerged novel lobbying structures and strategies, driven by the attempt to manipulate the consultative arrangements to attain advantageous policy results.

Small business groups became more active in trying to influence government-sponsored consultative processes in the 1980s and 1990s. Through these consultations, all levels of government in Australia have recognized the need to improve service delivery, to treat citizens as customers, and to devolve decision-making and authority. Recent Australian experiments with co-regulation have relieved business of a number of its concerns related to bureaucratic compliance burdens, by putting pressure on relevant industries and groups to manage the process and handle the issue of quality as well as other issues.

In doing so, the government is allowing businesses to write their own regulation and control processes, but they must also be willing to take the responsibility of being effective and delivering to the public. This paper discusses the extent to which business has dominated industry policy in Australia. Trade and industry control and microeconomic reforms Trade and industry domination in Australia has gone through radical transformations since the 1970s.

A majority of these transformations are linked with the market-oriented strategies generally known as microeconomic reforms. Microeconomic reform I this context is used to referring to a wider neoliberal guidelines plan intended at minimizing both state involvement as well as state power, Quiggin, 2001c. Surprisingly, such pursue effectiveness was not a key strategic focus for a great deal of the twentieth century in Australia, Quiggin, 1996. Nevertheless, due to the evidence of widespread inefficiency and rising pressure on the economy, the microeconomic reform became a major factor of trade and industry policy in Australia since the 1970s.

The period of microeconomic restructuring in Australia could be split into three most important phases, which overlap to some extent; The first phase was called the deregulatory phase. The main concern was rationalizing public involvement in private segment markets, with the aim of making sure prices were okay. This phase started in 1973 with the Whitlam government’ s 25 per cent slash in all tariffs, as well as other associated slashes in agricultural support of which the most contentious was the elimination of a bounty on purchase of superphosphate.

This deregulatory segment attained its culmination in the mid-1980s with monetary deregulation (floating the dollar, elimination of exchange controls and many more). Privatization was the second phase. In this phase, the concentration moved to market-oriented transformations of the public segment, together with corporatization and privatization as well as competitive contracting. This phase began in the mid-1980s and was principally focused on restructuring the public sector and was based on policies adopted in the United Kingdom. The member of the Labor government justified the movement towards privatization so as to refurbish the welfare state by minimizing unnecessary obligations, Castles and Shirley, 1996.

The shift towards microeconomic reforms on market-oriented lines I the mid-1980s was vital. Incompetence in publicly-provided transportation services was perceived as a hindrance to the growth of competitive export industries. There were high hopes that if the efficiency was improved in the sectors of transport, electricity as well as telecommunication systems, then it would improve exports and turn around the speedy escalation in the current account insufficiency that followed the financial deregulation in the early 1980s. The third phase was called the competitive regulation phase.

In this phase, the notion of deregulation was substituted by regulation intended to bring about competitive market results. Several authoritarian measures were formed in areas like telecommunications and electricity, assuming that there would be a speedy shift to a completely aggressive market. A good example of the transitional policy was the National Competition Policy, Hilmer Report, 1993. As it was being formulated initially, the policy was an accord by the states to complete execution of the deregulatory and public sector reorganization program, in return for a limited re-establishment of Commonwealth financial support fundings, Quiggin, 1997b.

References

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Beer, A, Clower, T, Haughtow, G. and Maude, A 2005. ‘Neoliberalism and Institutions for Regional Development in Austrlia’, Geographical Research, vol. 43, no.1, pp. 49-58.

Beer, A., 2000. ‘Regional policy and development in Australia: Running out of solutions?’, in McManus, P and Pritchard, B (eds), Lands of Discontent: The Dynamics of Change in Rural and Regional Australia, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 167-194.

Castles, F. and Shirley, I. 1996, ‘Labour and social policy: gravediggers or refurbishers of the welfare state’, in Castles, F., Gerritsen, R. and Vowles, J. (eds.) The Great Experiment: Labour Parties and Public Policy Transformation in Australia and New Zealand, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

Department of Commerce and Trade, 1999, A Regional Development Policy for Western Australia: Draft for Public Comment, Perth: Department of Commerce and Trade.

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Hilmer, F., Rayner, M., and Taperell, G. 1993, National Competition Policy, Report by the Independent Committee of Inquiry, AGPS, Canberra.

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OECD Working Group on Innovation and Technology Policy, 1999, Promoting Innovation and Growth in Services, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, Committee for Scientific and Technology Policy, Paris.

Quiggin, J. 1996, Great Expectations: Microeconomic Reform and Australia, Allen & Unwin, St.Leonards, NSW.

Quiggin, J. 1997b, ‘Estimating the benefits of Hilmer and related reforms’, Australian Economic Review, 30: 256–72.

Quiggin, J. 2001c, ‘Market-oriented reform in the Australian electricity industry’, Economic and Labour Relations Review, forthcoming.

Roseau, J. 1994/95, Governance in the Twenty-first Century, in Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, Vol. 1, No 1, pp 13-43.

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