The long-term reform of the water and wastewater industry: The case of Melbourne in Australia

Malcolm Abbott, Wei Chun Wang, Bruce Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1980s, one of the most important parts of Australian microeconomic reform has been the restructuring of the country's government owned utilities - including water supply and wastewater disposal. This process was encouraged by the perception that the state owned authorities performed poorly in the 1970s and 1980s. This paper analyses economic performance of the Melbourne water and wastewater industry from the early 1970s. Over the longer term, the industry has improved its economic performance in terms of productivity and returns to the shareholder, however, consumers have not substantially benefited from this process in terms of lower prices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalUtilities Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Melbourne
  • Public enterprise
  • Total factor productivity
  • Water and wastewater

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