The Industry Commission produced its draft report in late September 1993. It met with extreme hostility and vituperation among many unionists and members of the Labor Party. The report was construed as an attack on the working conditions of people living in locations already suffering from weak economic conditions and relatively high unemployment. There was also a feeling that the report’s recommendations placed too much of the burden of structural change on low income earners, who are generally the victims of circumstance, and insufficiently considered such matters as poor quality management and the rights of individuals to live in communities where they experienced strong social ties.
Yet, much of the logic of the draft report seems irrefutable when each of the eighteen main recommendations is considered either separately or as a package. There is a real risk that many sensible ideas could be thrown out as a consequence of the report being branded with the perjorative right-wing economic rationalist label.
This article offers brief comments on what I take to be the key recommendations.