Skip to Content

Black Coal Industry

Inquiry report

This inquiry report was released on 11 February 1999.

Download this publication


Volume 1

Cover, Copyright, Letter, Table of Contents, Abbreviations, Terms of Reference, Key Messages from the Report, Overview

1   Introduction
1.1   The Australian black coal industry
1.2   Contemporary issues in the black coal industry
1.3   The inquiry's terms of reference and the Commission's approach
1.4   Conduct of the inquiry

2   The Changing Market for Black Coal
2.1   Introduction
2.2   Supply and demand outlook for the black coal industry
2.3   Factors increasing competition in the black coal market
2.4   The dynamic nature of the international black coal market
2.5   Price d iscrimination and collective price negotiation
2.6   Barriers to international trade in coal

3   Industry Performance
3.1   Introduction
3.2   Industry-wide performance
3.3   Productivity of Australian coal mines
3.4   The Commission's benchmarking study

4   Work Arrangements: The Context
4.1   Introduction
4.2   Labour market features
4.3   Industrial relations systems
4.4   Development of work arrangements in black coal mining

5   Work Arrangements in Australian Black Coal Mines
5.1   Introduction
5.2   Size and composition of the workforce
5.3   Hours of work and roster arrangements
5.4   Remuneration and on-costs
5.5   Functions, tasks and skills
5.6   General procedures
5.7   Conclusion

6   Work Arrangements: Enabling Change
6.1   Introduction
6.2   Managers and workplace change
6.3   Unions and workplace change
6.4   Employees and workplace change
6.5   Adjusting to change

7   Coal Rail Transport
7.1   Introduction
7.2   Efficiency and prices of coal rail freight services
7.3   Structure of rail authorities
7.4   Removing implicit royalties and monopoly rent
7.5   Introducing competition into rail freight
7.6   Price setting for rail access

8   The Coal Waterfront
8.1   Introduction
8.2   Australian coal ports
8.3   Coal waterfront cost comparisons
8.4   Pricing issues
8.5   Other issues

9   Government Regulation and Safety
9.1   Introduction
9.2   The Australian black coal industry's safety record
9.3   The regulation of safety in the coal industry
9.4   How coal mining OHS legislation compares with other OHS legislation
9.5   Problems with the current approach
9.6   Alternative regulatory approaches
9.7   The Joint Coal Board
9.8   Local governments

10   Royalty Arrangements
10.1   Current royalty arrangements in NSW and Queensland
10.2   Criteria for assessing royalty systems
10.3   Alternative royalty collection methods
10.4   Evaluation of alternative royalty systems
10.5   Royalties collected through rail freights
10.6   Participants' views on royalty arrangements

11   Modelling the Effects of Improved Performance
11.1   Introduction
11.2   Scenario 1 (the base case): steady productivity growth
11.3   Scenario 2: no further productivity growth
11.4   Scenario 3: accelerated productivity improvements
11.5   Scenario 4: accelerated productivity improvements leading to lower coal prices
11.6   Scenario 5: accelerated productivity improvements in coal coupled with best practice productivity in rail transport of coal and accelerated removal of excess rail charges
11.7   State and Territory results
11.8   Summary


Volume 2

Cover, Copyright, Table of Contents, Abbreviations, Terms of Reference

A   Conduct of the inquiry
A.1   Introduction
A.2   Submissions received
A.3   Visits
A.4   Public hearing participants

B   Coal and coal mining
B.1   Geology
B.2   Exploration
B.3   Coal mining
B.4   Physical and chemical characteristics of coal

C   The Australian black coal industry
C.1   History of black coal mining in Australia
C.2   The domestic industry
C.3   Labour force characteristics
C.4   Rail transport in New South Wales and Queensland

C1   Australian black coal resources and mines

D   The international coal market
D.1   The coal trade
D.2   Supply
D.3   Demand
D.4   Trade barriers
D.5   Sales mechanisms

E   History of industrial relations in the Australian black coal industry
E.1   Pre-Second World War
E.2   The Second World War
E.3   Post-Second World War

F   Black coal awards

G   Black coal agreements

H   Metalliferous awards and agreements

I   US black coal agreements
I.1   Legislated workplace standards

J   Statutory positions
J.1   Statutory positions in black coal mines
J.2   Statutory positions in other (non-coal) mines in New South Wales and Queensland
J.3   Union involvement in the legislation

K   The work models
K.1   Description of the models
K.2   Demarcation
K.3   Seniority

L   Economy-wide effects of productivity change
L.1   Modelling the black coal industry
L.2   Modelling framework
L.3   Scenario 1: base case scenario for the economy
L.4   Scenario 2: no productivity improvement
L.5   Scenario 3: accelerated productivity improvements
L.6   Scenario 4a: accelerated productivity growth leading to lower coal prices
L.7   Scenario 4b: accelerated productivity growth leading to significantly lower coal prices
L.8   Scenario 5a: accelerated productivity change in coal and best practice productivity in rail transport of coal
L.9   Scenario 5b: accelerated productivity change in coal and accelerated reductions in excess rail freight charges
L.10   State and Territory results
L.11   Summary

L1   Coal Export Projections

L2   Electricity and Steel Projections

L3   Royality Arrangements

L4   Modelling Changes in Productivity and Costs

L5   Export Demand Elasticities

L6   Monopoly Rents and Productivity in Rail Transport

L7   Regional Effects of Productivity Change

L8   Referees' Reports on Economic Modelling of Black Coal

M   Issues in modelling productivity change
M.1   Issues in assessing the impact of changes in productivity
M.2   Criteria to evaluate the impact of productivity changes
M.3   Changes in real consumption and ownership of the capital stock
M.4   Government responses to changes in revenue; real consumption and the government sector
M.5   The black coal industry and the terms of trade
M.6   Labour and capital markets
M.7   The nature of the productivity shock
M.8   Sectoral adjustment and adjustment costs


Benchmarking Consultancy