Ross Gittins, one of Australia’s top economic commentators outlines the reforms that shaped Australia’s economic landscape. While the nation has its share of ups and downs, Australia remains as one of the most prosperous. In this article he reveals the top 10 economic reforms that transformed the country.

  1. The Australian dollar has been reliant on the global market since 1983, fluctuating from $0.48 to $1.10. This reliance surprisingly helped stabilize the economy, keeping inflation at bay.
  2. The entry of foreign banks and allowing banks and lenders to have their own interest rates increased competition, lowering lending standards that caused a recession in the early 1990s.
  3. Income tax rates dropped from 60% to 49% in 1985 for capital gains and fringe benefits.
  4. Import duties and quotas were stripped off of manufactured goods in 1988.
  5. Government businesses were privatized. The Commonwealth Bank and Quantas are a few that were involved in these changes.
  6. Collective bargaining was introduced at the enterprise level in 1993, leading to individual contracts and reduced worker protection.
  7. The Trade Practices Act of 1995 was established to encourage privatization and deregulation. The restrictions were further tightened on anti-competitive behavior.
  8. The Reserve Bank was given the green light to make decisions independently in 1996, keeping inflation within 2% – 3% and had full control over interest rates.
  9. Goods and Service Tax was implemented in 2000.
  10. Mining and Carbon Taxation to discourage carbon monoxide emissions.

These reforms – good and bad, have shaped Australia to what it is today.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.