Competition

Competition has been the driver of economic growth over the centuries.  Reforms in Australia in the past 30 years have invigorated this.  However those reforms also have carried the seed of competition impediments.  The creation and staffing of agencies like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has meant well resourced organisations seeking to impose their own preferred approaches onto markets.  Sometimes this has resulted in cost-imposing actions, for example in petrol marketing, electricity supply and the use of infrastructure by owners. 

Housing

Housing policy in Australia and much of the rest of the world has become dominated by regulatory measures that constrict the supply of land for housing around major urban areas. The outcome has been a massive increase in prices.  Australia, in spite of having a very efficient house building industry and more land than any other nation, has become one of the most highly priced markets for housing.

Electricity and Gas

Although comprising under five per cent of the modern economy's GDP, energy has a far greater importance.  This has especially been the case for Australia where energy exports - coal and gas - account for over one fifth of the total.  

 

Australian industries and households, until the onset of climate change policies, enjoyed among the cheapest source of electricity and gas in the world.  On the back of this we saw the growth of energy intensive export oriented smelting and other industries. 

 

The imposition of regulatory costs designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide has dramatically reversed this former competitive advantage.

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