Utilities of Australia
Natural gas and coal are the primary sources of energy in Australia. The setting of energy policy is complex, as there is relevant legislation set at all levels of government. In 2012, the New South Wales state government voted in the Electricity Generator Assets Act 2012, as a precursor to selling state-owned electricitygeneration assets. New South Wales has also indicated its intention to sell its state-owned electricity distribution assets.
Years of drought have meant that water is a sensitive issue in Australia, the world’s driest inhabited continent. Although successive governments have pondered whether water provision could be more cost effective if contracted out to the private sector, no large-scale privatisation has ever taken place – and there is generally strong public opposition whenever the subject is raised.
There is some limited private sector involvement with small projects, but water is generally managed by state-owned organisations. The management of Adelaide’s pipe and sewage network is contracted out, with a consortium called Allwater currently running the operation.
Following the Davidson Enquiry in 1982, Telecom Australia lost its monopoly, bringing competition to the market. There are 457 main telephone lines, 1,063 mobile phone subscriptions and 823 internet users per 1,000 people (2012)