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Performance of Government Trading Enterprises 1991-92 to 1996-97

Performance monitoring report

This report was released on 19 October 1998.

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  • Media release
  • Contents

The Productivity Commission today released a report on the Performance of Government Trading Enterprises 1991-92 to 1996-97. It provides a concluding overview to a series of reports prepared under the auspices of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) since 1991. The report documents the performance of 73 of Australia's major government trading enterprises in the electricity, gas, water, transport and communication industries.

The Chairman of the Productivity Commission, Gary Banks, said 'consumers, including business users, have been the big winners from GTE reforms through the 1990s.' The study reveals that consumers have benefited from substantial real reductions in prices for most GTE services, particularly electricity, port, telecommunications and air traffic services. The quality of services also appears to have been maintained or increased for most GTEs in the period under review.

Mr Banks said, 'by adopting a more commercial approach to their operation, most GTEs have also been able to provide a dividend return to their governments and the community from increased profits. However, dividend payments generally remained below levels found in other industries.'

Mr Banks said, "there are areas where further improvement is possible. In particular, rail GTEs have not performed as well as those in other sectors". He noted that the Government has asked the Commission to inquire into the progress of reform in Australia's rail network and to identify areas where further reforms could deliver worthwhile benefits.

With the support of governments, the Commission is continuing to monitor GTE performance, though on a more selective basis than the previous process which has now concluded.

Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Contents, Abbreviations, Overview

1 Introduction
1.1 This study
1.2 Overview of the reform environment
1.3 Future monitoring and research

2 Electricity
2.1 Industry structure
2.2 Key reforms
2.3 Consumer outcomes
2.4 Shareholder outcomes
2.5 Community outcomes
2.6 Employee outcomes

3 Gas
3.1 Industry structure
3.2 Key reforms
3.3 Consumer outcomes
3.4 Shareholder outcomes
3.5 Community outcomes
3.6 Employee outcomes

4 Water, sewerage, drainage and irrigation
4.1 Industry structure
4.2 Key reforms
4.3 Consumer outcomes
4.4 Shareholder outcomes
4.5 Community outcomes
4.6 Employee outcomes

5 Urban transport
5.1 Industry structure
5.2 Key reforms
5.3 Consumer outcomes
5.4 Shareholder outcomes
5.5 Community outcomes
5.6 Employee outcomes

6 Railways
6.1 Industry structure
6.2 Key reforms
6.3 Consumer outcomes
6.4 Shareholder outcomes
6.5 Community outcomes
6.6 Employee outcomes

7 Ports
7.1 Industry structure
7.2 Key reforms
7.3 Consumer outcomes
7.4 Shareholder outcomes
7.5 Community outcomes
7.6 Employee outcomes

8 Commonwealth GTEs
8.1 Background
8.2 Telstra Corporation
8.3 Australia Post
8.4 Federal Airports Corporation
8.5 Airservices Australia
8.6 Australian National Line

A Participating enterprises, 1996–97
B Definitions of financial performance indicators
C Units of quantity and deflators used


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