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Impediments to regional industry adjustment

Industry Commission inquiry report

Signed 17 / 12 / 1993

The report contains the findings of the Industry Commission public inquiry, in response to a request from the Commonwealth Government, to examine the ways in which Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local Governments can achieve their social, economic and housing objectives more efficiently and effectively and how those changes can be implemented, with particular reference to the acquisition, maintenance, construction and management practices adopted by providers (including providers of community managed housing), the administrative and other mechanisms used to allocate housing, rental policies funding, financing and ownership arrangements; and associated Commonwealth, State and Local programs and policies.

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  • Volume 1 contents
  • Volume 2 contents

Cover, Contents, Abbreviations, Glossary, Terms of Reference, Overview and Key Findings

1 The Inquiry
1.1 Background to the inquiry
1.2 Terms of reference
1.3 Some key concepts
1.4 The inquiry process
1.5 Structure of the report

2 Regional Economic Change in Australia
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Output and incomes around Australia
2.3 The labour force and employment
2.4 Population changes

3 The Process of Regional Industry Adjustment
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Pressures for regional adjustment
3.3 Adjustment mechanisms
3.4 Regional adjustment and development
3.5 Efficient adjustment

4 Reginal Mobility of Labour
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The mobility of the Australian population
4.3 Housing
4.4 Search and resettlement costs
4.5 Social security and mobility
4.6 Social infrastructure
4.7 Occupational licensing restrictions
4.8 Portability of entitlements
4.9 Summing up

5 Regional Workplace Flexibility and Labour Costs
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Australia’s industrial relations framework
5.3 Flexibility in work practices across regions
5.4 Wage flexibility and regional adjustment
5.5 Labour on-costs
5.6 Further reform

6 Labour Retraining
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Long-term unemployment
6.3 Role of retraining programs
6.4 Labour market programs
6.5 Effectiveness of labour market programs
6.6 Labour market programs and the needs of regions
6.7 Conclusion

7 Land Use and Development Approvals
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Land use regulations
7.3 Development approvals processes
7.4 Aboriginal land rights and the Mabo judgement
7.5 Summing up

8 Services and Regional Industry Adjustment
8.1 The influence of the services sector
8.2 Transport services
8.3 Telecommunications
8.4 Access to financial capital
8.5 Fringe benefits taxation and income tax zone rebates

9 Infrastructure Provision and Pricing
9.1 What is ‘infrastructure’ and who provides it?
9.2 The role of infrastructure in regional adjustment and development
9.3 Allocating investments in infrastructure
9.4 Dealing with excess capacity
9.5 Greater private sector participation

10 Regional Ramifications of Financial Relations between Governments
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Vertical fiscal imbalance
10.3 Specific purpose payments to State and local governments
10.4 Borrowing controls
10.5 Fiscal equalisation

11 Adjustment Assistance: The Regional Dimension
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Rationales for adjustment assistance
11.3 Current adjustment programs
11.4 Are existing programs sufficient for regional adjustment?

12 Regional Development Policies
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Commonwealth assistance for regional development
12.3 State and local approaches to regional development
12.4 Some issues in assessing regional development policies


Cover, Contents, Abbreviations

A Inquiry participants and regional visits

B Features of regions within the States
B.1 The roles of the urban centres
B.2 New South Wales
B.3 Victoria
B.4 Queensland
B.5 South Australia
B.6 Western Australia
B.7 Tasmania
B.8 Northern Territory

C Personal income and employment
C.1 Personal incomes
C.2 Changes in employment in different industries and States

D Adjustment experiences of selected regions
D.1 Albany
D.2 Albury-Wodonga
D.3 Bundaberg
D.4 Cairns
D.5 Elizabeth
D.6 Exmouth
D.7 Geelong
D.8 Gladstone
D.9 Hunter Valley
D.10 King Island
D.11 Latrobe Valley
D.12 Wangaratta

E Social security payments and award wage based incomes
E.1 Social security payments
E.2 Illustrative award wage income packages
E.3 Factors for consideration when making comparisons

F An examination of selected literature on workforce mobility and wage flexibility
F.1 Setting the scene
F.2 Theories of labour markets
F.3 Empirical tests of labour market flexibility
F.4 Empirical tests of the impact of minimum wages

G An empirical assessment of interstate mobility and wage flexibility
G.1 Mobility among Australian States
G.2 Experience in other countries
G.3 Do State wages respond to unemployment in Australia?

H Labour market programs used for regional adjustment
H.1 Introduction
H.2 Employment Access
H.3 OLMA labour adjustment assistance
H.4 Aboriginal employment support schemes
H.5 State government labour market programs

I Adjustment assistance programs

J Regional development programs
J.1 Introduction
J.2 Commonwealth regional development programs
J.3 State regional development programs


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