A critique of Australia's National Competition Policy: assessing its outcomes in a range of major sectors

Diane Elizabeth Margetts

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the policy assertions of National Competition Policy (NCP) in relation to the actual outcomes in the following key sectors of the Australian economy: Dairy, retail and water. Reference is also made to the relationship between NCP and outsourcing. The research was driven by an awareness of a gap between policy claims and the actual transformations, which have never been assessed by government, despite the substantial nature of the changes ushered in by NCP. In this respect, the thesis reflects a characteristic of Australian political processes since the mid -1980s where neoliberal policy change is also not assessed in terms of outcomes. The thesis contends that in this regard the public interest reflecting the needs of society (families/communities) has not been properly applied. This analysis is theoretically informed by a political economy approach, which gives due weight to the relationship between the economic sphere and society. The Dairy Case Study examines the impacts of the forced removal of the Statutory Marketing Authorities due to NCP and the impacts of increased corporate market dominance of the major retailers over dairy producers (family farms), dairy manufacturers and consumers. The Retail Case Study analyses the role of the large retail companies in pressurizing the state to deregulate the retail market and considers the impacts of NCP on retail suppliers, manufacturers, corporate and independent retailers and consumers and critiques the lack of adequate assessment of the impacts of NCP.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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