The fiscal, economic, and public health dangers of water privatisation

Internationally, privately-owned water systems have resulted in higher bills, largely because of rising interest costs, debt and dividend payouts. This report, commissioned by the Australian Services Union NSW & ACT, analyses the fiscal, economic and public health effects of privatising Sydney Water.
Policy report

Private gain, public pain

Through a broad overview of what works and what doesn’t and three detailed case studies dealing with aged care, COVID responses and the Victorian roads maintenance sector, this report shows that the Australian experience of privatisation, outsourcing and contracting of essential government services and Public...

Impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of government programs

This report recommends that the Australian government assess all current and future proposals for outsourcing government services against a ‘public interest test’, which includes flow-on economic and employment impacts.

Economic regulation of airports

This report examines whether current regulatory arrangements constrain the ability of airport operators to exercise their market power over passengers and airlines through unduly high charges, poor service quality, or both.
Policy report

Reform, retreat and relinquishment

This research paper explains the key structural reforms that made the 1990s the ‘Golden Era’ of transformation for NSW government businesses. It also explores possible reasons for those gains waning in the early 2000s.
Draft report

Economic regulation of airports: draft report

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth airports have market power in services provided to airlines. This draft report asserts that there is no reason for airport operators to become complacent — further scrutiny of some aspects of airports’ performance is warranted, and tailored reforms are needed...

Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Asset Recycling

Asset recycling involves the monetisation of existing public assets through sale or lease to the private sector, with all funds received being reinvested in new infrastructure. Asset recycling offers the opportunity to provide newly needed infrastructure without adding to public debt. This report outlines the...

Productivity Commission inquiry into the economic regulation of airports: ACCC submission in response to the issues paper

The ACCC has provided this submission to the Productivity Commission, in response to the issues paper on the inquiry into the economic regulation of airports.
Discussion paper

Economic regulation of airports: issues paper

This is the Productivity Commission’s fourth investigation of the economic regulation of airport services since 2000. It presents an opportunity for a fresh look at whether existing arrangements are fit for purpose. The commission has released this issues paper to assist individuals and organisations to...
Fact sheet

Infrastructure and transport PPPs and privatisation in Australia

As part of recent research activities, BITRE has had occasion to compile a list of transport- and infrastructure-related privatisation and public–private procurement projects over the last 30–40 years. BITRE has identified 197 economic infrastructure and transport privatisations and PPPs completed by Australian, state and territory...
Briefing paper

Privatisation in NSW - a timeline and key sources

This resource provides a timeline of privatisations that have occurred in NSW since 1989.

Improving public transport: customer focused franchising

This report looks at improving public transport customers’ experience by exposing the operations of government-owned bus and rail services to a competitive tender process, and selecting the best operator to provide services.
Working paper

Protecting the public interest in Melbourne's rail franchise

This paper aims to identify the issues at stake in rail contract negotiations and to suggest improvements to existing contracts to protect the public interest.

Evaluation of the Financial Consumer Rights Council - dignity and debt: financial difficulty and getting older initiative

The Financial Consumer Rights Council (FCRC): Dignity and Debt Financial Difficulty and Getting Older initiative was designed to address the effectiveness of one-on-one financial counselling sessions with Older Persons, including provision of consumer advocacy and information about financial hardship protections to those entering aged care...

Introducing competition and informed user choice into human services: identifying sectors for reform

The Commission has been asked to examine whether the efficiency and effectiveness of human services could be improved by introducing greater competition, contestability and informed user choice. The terms of reference request that the inquiry be undertaken in two parts: the first is to identify...
Audio interview

ACCC's Rod Sims changes his tune on privatisation

One of Australia's most prominent privatisation advocates has been the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims. In the Financial Review recently, he says he's 'almost at the point of opposing privatisation.' Sims told a conference in Melbourne, hosted in part by...
Conference paper

Melbourne's public transport: performance and prospects after 15 years of 'privatisation'

This paper seeks to assess the financial and operational performance of Victoria's private contracts for Melbourne trains and trams.

Alternative to private finance of the welfare state: a global analysis of Social Impact Bond, Pay-for-Success and Development Impact Bond projects

Social impact bond projects are the latest new ‘buy-now, pay later’, off-balance sheet schemes to increase private finance of public services and the welfare state, driven by austerity policies and neoliberal ideology. They are a complex venture capitalist model applied to the provision of social...
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Does privatisation increase electricity bills?

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley claims electricity privatisation pushes up power prices and households in privatised South Australia have the highest bills.

Privatisation of state and territory assets and new infrastructure

This inquiry examined incentives to privatise state or territory assets and recycle the proceeds into new infrastructure.

Nothing to gain, plenty to lose

Empirical research examining the proposed privatisation of the NSW electricity transmission and distribution businesses has found the asset recycling strategy is likely to negatively impact the state’s credit rating over the medium to long term. The analysis also examined the relative efficiency of public and...
Fact sheet

Fact Check: On the money: Mathias Cormann says Medibank Private sale will not raise premiums

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann claims privatising Medibank Private won't cause premiums to increase.
Conference paper

Public values in a 'privatised' public transport system

This paper addresses private sector involvement in the delivery of public transport. It is part of a larger project to investigate the question: What should government control in a “privatised” urban public transport system in order to safeguard the public interest?

Public policy and private agreements

A recent High Court judgment clarifies the implementation of privatisations and public-private partnerships, writes David Hume for APO.
Conference paper

Waning or just gone underground? Union power in public transport in Melbourne

This paper uses a case study of union power in public transport in Melbourne since the mid 1990s to show that union power remains a significant, though now largely hidden, obstacle to modernisation of the design and delivery of public transport in Australian cities.