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Competition policy, State Agreements Acts and the public interest

Margetts, Dee (2001) Competition policy, State Agreements Acts and the public interest. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This thesis will examine the relationship between National Competition Policy in Australia, the State Agreement Acts that are the centerpieces of resources development policy in Western Australia, and the public interest.

The specific issues covered in this thesis are that:
•National Competition Policy has had problems in its scope and implementation, and that these may be demonstrated by an assessment of Western Australia’s State Agreements in relation to National Competition Policy;
•On the basis of three case studies examined in this thesis, the State Agreement Acts in Western Australia would fail to meet the public interest tests set by National Competition Policy;
•The review of the State Agreement Acts required under National Competition Policy was inadequate.

Chapter 1 provides the rational and scope of the study. Chapter 2 sets out Competition Policy, its historical and theoretical basis, the link between trade policies and Competition Policy, some international perspectives of Competition Policy and the specific way National Competition Policy (NCP) evolved in Australia. Chapter 3 examines the structure and features of NCP. Chapter 4 outlines State Agreement Acts, what they are, their history and their significance in considering NCP. The common features of State Agreement Acts and major revenue and accountability issues associated with State Agreement Acts will be identified. Chapter 5 assesses the relationship between NCP and State Agreement Acts. In particular, it sets out at the NCP legislative review process and the anti-competitive issues and potential problems of competitive neutrality within State Agreement Acts. It also considers the concept of the public interest in relation to State Agreement Acts. Chapter 6 considers the case for reform of State Agreement Acts within the wider context of industry assistance at Commonwealth and State levels. Chapters 7,8 and 9 present three case studies of specific Development Agreements: the Wood Chipping Industry Agreement; the Iron and Steel (Mid West) Agreement; and the Silicon (Kemerton) Agreement, in terms of their relationship to the principles and policies of NCP. Finally, Chapter 10 presents the summary and conclusions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation: Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Harman, Frank and Makinda, Samuel
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/51210
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