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2006 OECD Economic Surveys: Australia 2006

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Australia 2006

This 2006 edition of OECD's periodic survey of the Australian economy finds that reforms have raised both economic performance and resilience, but that some challenges stil remain, including closing the productivity gap and raising labour utilisation.  Individual chapters look at fiscal relations across levels of government, further reforming infrastructure services, providing greater flexibility in workplace conditions, and improving incentives to work, especially for olders workers and women with families.

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The Need for Further Reforms to Infrastructure Services

Australia’s National Competition Policy (NCP) has set out competition principles which extended the reach of competition law to previously exempt activities and provided a coherent framework for reforms in essential infrastructure industries. Among the major achievements are the establishment of an overarching national access regime – together with sector-specific regimes – which introduced thirdparty access arrangements for infrastructure services such as gas pipelines and rail track networks. Independent authorities were established in all jurisdictions to monitor and set prices for monopoly services. However, there remains unfinished business and the NCP infrastructure reform agenda was not exhaustive, leaving room for additional measures to improve the efficiency in essential areas such as electricity, water, road and rail transport.

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