Abstracts of Research Papers published 2002-03:


Research papers index

The Politics of Constitutional Amendment [HTML][PDF 799KB]
Research Paper No. 11 2002–03
Scott Bennett, Politics and Public Administration Group
23 June 2003

The process by which the Australian Constitution is amended is complex and probably little understood by the general community. This paper is an attempt to explain the politics involved in efforts to amend the Constitution. It concludes that more efforts are likely to fail than to succeed. (38 pages)

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Turbulent Times: Australian Airline Industry Issues 2003 [HTML][PDF 926KB]
Research Paper No. 10 2002–03
John Kain and Richard Webb, Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group
16 June 2003

The Australian airline industry has experienced major changes to its policy and operating environment over the past decade, culminating in very turbulent economic conditions over the past two years. This paper analyses these upheavals and some of the threshold issues arising, particularly in relation to the sustainability of effective competition in the industry over the longer term. (42 pages)

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The Effects of the US Steel Tariffs on Australian Steel Exports to the US [HTML][PDF 561KB]
Research Paper No. 9 2002–03
Michael Priestley, Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group
2 June 2003

The decision of the Bush administration to impose tariff increases on steel imports threatened to cause further harm to the global steel industry, already suffering from oversupply and depressed prices. However, with the majority of Australian steel exports exempted from the tariff increases, the result for the Australian steel industry has been generally positive. (20 pages)

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Tax Expenditures: the $30 Billion Twilight Zone of Government Spending [HTML][PDF 860KB]
Research Paper No. 8 2002–03
Julie Smith, Economics, Commerce and Relations Group
26 May 2003

This paper examines the $30 billion in Commonwealth tax expenditures which provide tax benefits through deductions, rebates, reduced rates and deferred liabilities. While essentially the same as outlays, tax expenditures are not subject to the same scrutiny but provide the cosmetic effect of a slimmer public sector with lower outlays and taxation receipts. (46 pages)

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Intergenerational Equity: Issues of Principal in the Allocation of Social Resources Between this Generation and the Next [HTML][PDF 529KB]
Research Paper No. 7 2002–03
Assoc. Professor Janna Thompson, Consultant, Social Policy Group
13 May 2003

The Commonwealth Government's 2002-03 Intergenerational Report is about fiscal issues, but it is not value-free. The concepts of intergenerational equity and sustainability are philosophically and economically contested ones. This paper analyses and clarifies the basic philosophical suppositions and rationales implicit in the Report, in the context of some of the major competing views about what our obligations of justice are to future generations. (26 pages)

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Intergenerational Equity: Issues of Principal in the Allocation of Social Resources Between this Generation and the Next [HTML][PDF 518KB]
Research Paper No. 7 2002–03
Assoc. Professor Janna Thompson, Consultant, Social Policy Group
13 May 2003

The Commonwealth Government's 2002-03 Intergenerational Report is about fiscal issues, but it is not value-free. The concepts of intergenerational equity and sustainability are philosophically and economically contested ones. This paper analyses and clarifies the basic philosophical suppositions and rationales implicit in the Report, in the context of some of the major competing views about what our obligations of justice are to future generations. (26 pages)

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The Commonwealth Budget: Process and Presentation (April 2003) [HTML][PDF 656KB]
Research Paper No. 6 2002–03
Richard Webb, updated by David Richardson,
Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group
15 April 2003

The annual Budget, which is brought down in May, is perhaps the Government's most important political, economic and social document. The sheer size of the Budget—estimated outlays in the 2002–03 Budget were $167 billion dollars or the equivalent of 24 per cent of gross domestic product—attests to its influence over the size of as well as the allocation of resources within the economy. The Budget contains information on matters such as its economic consequences and the provision of goods and services. While the Budget process changes little, major changes have been made to the Budget's focus, content, format and reporting in recent years. (48 pages)

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British Tribunals of Inquiry: Legislative and Judicial Control of the Inquisitorial Process-Relevance to Australian Royal Commissions [HTML][PDF 849KB]
Research Paper No. 5 2002–03
Geoffrey Lindell, Consultant, Law and Bills Digest Group
15 April 2003

The paper from which this brief is drawn attempts to assess the relevance of the experience generated by British Tribunals of Inquiry for Australian federal Royal Commissions especially when analysed against the background of judicial developments in some other jurisdictions such as New Zealand and Ireland. The experience of those countries may also provide insights into the law which governs the operation of Australian federal royal commissions and changes that might be considered to that law in the future. (27 pages)

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Politician Overboard: Jumping the Party Ship [HTML][PDF 675KB]
Research Paper No. 4 2002–03
Sarah Miskin, Politics and Public Administration Group
24 March 2003

'Give back our seat' is a common cry in Australian when a Senator or Member chooses to quit the party on whose platform s/he was elected while retaining the seat in Parliament. This paper examines many of the issues surrounding party jumping in Australia and overseas, including the debate on who has the right to the seat: the politician or the party. (48 pages)

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Australia's Foreign Debt [HTML][PDF 2,378KB]
Research Paper No. 3 2002–03
Tony Kryger, Statistics Group
3 March 2003

In 1996 when the 'debt truck' was touring Australia, our net foreign debt level was $194 billion or 39 per cent of GDP. The 'debt truck' has since disappeared, but Australia's foreign debt has continued to climb and in 2002 was equal to $330 billion or 46 per cent of GDP. The paper provides information on Australia's gross and net foreign debt, interest liability on foreign debt, composition of foreign debt, and the relationship between foreign borrowings and other capital inflows. (38 pages)

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Electorate Rankings: Census 2001
[HTML][PDF 3,409KB]
Research Paper No. 2 2002–03
Andrew Kopras, Statistics Group
3 March 2003

This paper provides an analysis of socio-demographic data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing for Commonwealth Electoral Divisions.
(153 pages)

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Public Private Partnerships: An Introduction [HTML] [PDF 191KB]
Research Paper No. 1 2002–03
Richard Webb and Bernard Pulle,
Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group
24 September 2002

Governments throughout the world are increasingly resorting to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to provide services that the public sector has traditionally provided. This Research Paper explains what PPPs are, the forms they take, what they can offer to governments, and some of the issues surrounding their use. It also
reviews some infrastructure taxation matters that some claim impede the greater use of PPPs. (38 pages)

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