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Reform of utilities service provision in regional Queensland, Australia
chapterposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by D Jenkins, Anita MedhekarAnita Medhekar
Competition policy is one of the latest in a series of reform initiatives that has been taking place on the micro economic reform front in Australia since the 1970s. The aim of this paper is to investigate the National Competition Policy (NCP) reform initiative relating to water and sewerage services at the local government level in the Northeast State of Queensland. Three main findings emerge from the study. First, the trend to full-cost recovery means an increase in charges to consumers the level of which will vary from council to council. Since little or no competition exists for the supply of this service, the consumer's only choice is the volume of water to be consumed. Secondly, the optional commercialisation of a water business by local council has led to gains in efficiency and effectiveness. And thirdly, that downsizing a council workforce has produced gains in the level of output per person employed, but also a negative outlook on the part of the remaining water business employees.