The Reform of Victoria's Electricity Supply Industry and the Regional Economy of Gippsland: An Empirical Study
journal contributionposted on 05.06.2017, 06:44 by Kazakevitch, Gennadi, Stone, Sharn
The Gippsland region traditionally has been economically dependent on a few major industries such as electricity supply, forestry and pulp manufacturing. As a result, microeconomic reform of the Victorian electricity supply industry (ESI) has had an enormous impact on the local economy. The paper represents an attempt to quantitatively estimate the impact of industry restructuring of the ESI, on regional economic characteristics such as: employment; income generation; and the aggregate consumer purchasing power. Three kinds of primary information were explored. The former State Electricity Commission's (SEC) and its successors' financial statements and personnel data were used to identify: how the ESI injected money into the regional economy both prior to and during the reform: and how the reform affected employment in the region. An income and expenditure survey of the current employees was undertaken as well as of a sample of voluntary departure package recipients still residing in the region. The results of the survey were used to determine the changes the reform generated in expenditure patterns. Interviews were conducted with senior managers from both the newly established commercial ESI companies and businesses who assumed facilities outsourced by the SEC. The purpose of the interviews was to obtain expert estimates of the components of the industry's expenditure into the region not otherwise available. Together with the secondary input-output data, primary information obtained from the industry and its current and former employees was used to estimate regional multiplier effects of the ESI restructuring.