Privatisation in Australia

by Alan Moran,
Director, Deregulation Unit, Institute of Public Affairs

Published in Privatisation International, July 2000


During the 1990s, Australia was a pace-setter in privatisation around the world. Most of the action centred on the Commonwealth (Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank, airports and Qantas) and Victoria. Victorian privatisations were dominated by sales of electricity and gas businesses and Victoria raised more revenue from privatisation than the other States combined.

In both the Commonwealth and Victoria, government debt has been markedly reduced. The article argues that this is only a secondary goal behind increased efficiency and that governments will rarely be efficient commercial managers.

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