Michael Easson


Future Directions – The Petshop Galah and the Wise Owl

Published in Business Council Bulletin, January/February 1994
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Excerpt: The term represents a multitude of things: a slogan, a panacea, a smokescreen, a call to action, a fog, a rubric. In Paul Keating’s famous phrase of a few years ago: “I guarantee if you walk into any pet shop in Australia the resident galah will be talking about microeconomic policy”.

The issue which this term refers to appear never-ending. That is part of the problem in discussing policy directions or the “effects” of microeconomics reform. The “micro” requires examination. General talk comes cheap and in generally un-focused.
Hence this paper will highlight recent experiences in a few specific industries. In doing do the discussion will only skip the surface. There’s a lot to talk about that covers the field. Peter Forsythe’s recent book microeconomic Reform Australia includes chapters on the labour market; competition policy; manufacturing; land, air and rail transport; taxation policy; tourism; telecommunications; the mining and minerals processing sectors; agriculture and so forth. Nothing appears left out.