Electricity generation by SOR regions

Australia generated around 247,109 GWh of electricity in the 2019 financial year, which included 196,723 GWh from fossil fuels and 50,386 GWh from renewable sources. In 2019 renewable energy made up 20.4 per cent of total generation, while in 2018 the proportion of renewable generation was 18.7 per cent.

The following chart presents Australian annual electricity generation (GWh) for each of the SOR regions for the 2019 financial year. It shows the supply of electricity by each major fuel type within the region rather than electricity consumption (or electricity demand). The supply of electricity captures metered generation from grid sources from the National Electricity Market and South-West Interconnected System. Supply to smaller networks, off-grid and behind the fence industrial loads have been estimated and included where possible.

For more details, please refer to the State of Regions 2019-2020 report.

Distribution of household income: A 2016 snapshot

It is estimated that in 2016, 5.7 per cent of the population lived in households with very low incomes after allowance for household size. We identify poor households as those with incomes below the 10th percentile. Judged by the proportion of households with incomes at this level, the poorest regions were either remote or urban. Two remote regions matched this profile: NT Lingiari and SA Far North and West. Other remote and resource-based regions reported proportions around the national average. Among metropolitan regions, Sydney Mid-West stood out as particularly disadvantaged. The only other metropolitan region remotely like it was Adelaide North. There were no equivalents in the other metropolitan areas. No ex-urban or lifestyle regions stood out. However, the proportion of poor households was above the national average in several rural regions. Insofar as high income supports a high standard of living, the most prosperous regions were the ACT, Darwin, the Sydney metropolitan core, the central regions of Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and the WA Pilbara Kimberley.

Note: Equivalised income applies to households living in private dwellings which reported their incomes. Between 2011 and 2016 the household consumption price index as recorded in the National Accounts rose by approximately 6 per cent, hence after adjustment for inflation overall median income rose by approximately 9 per cent or 1.6 per cent a year.

For more details, please refer to the State of Regions 2019-2020 report.

Exports to China by State (1996-2017)

Data originally published in State of Regions 2018.

A social geography of the Mornington Peninsula

This article was prepared for the George Hicks Foundation as part of a background paper for a meeting of philanthropists interested in work on the Mornington Peninsula. An evaluation of the costs and benefits of providing educational assistance to disadvantaged families living on the Peninsula is provided in a separate posting.

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Opportunities to create pathways to assist disadvantaged children in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

This article was prepared for the George Hicks Foundation as part of a background paper for a meeting of philanthropists interested in work on the Mornington Peninsula. A more detailed social geography of the Peninsula is provided in a separate posting.


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The importance of manufacturing and industry policy

During the decade to 1995 Australia reduced import tariffs on manufactured goods and, therefore, exposed many of its hitherto-protected manufacturing industries to overseas competition. At the same time, it implemented a series of targeted and highly cost-effective industry policies that assisted a wide range of Australian manufacturing businesses to become internationally cost-competitive, gaining export markets at the same time as they met import competition. With the obvious success of the previous government’s industry policies, the stated intentions of the Coalition government elected in 1996 were to leave the existing structure largely unaltered and continue with the general government–industry partnership model. However, the first national budget of the new government for 1996–1997 revealed a different intention. There was a significant change in philosophy away from targeting firms and industries and towards an neutral approach in line with the ideals of the Washington Consensus. The Commonwealth government moved from targeted to generalised industry assistance and, hence, moved from cost-effective to ineffective policies. During the mineral boom it was possible to pretend that this did not matter; Australian prosperity would be guaranteed by mineral exports. The time of reckoning now approaches. Mineral prices have slumped and manufacturing has been decimated. The Washington Consensus has already been discredited within the world economic development community; the time is long past that it should likewise have been discredited in Australia.


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Incubus of overseas debt

This paper considers the role of overseas debt in financial crises, including the Asian financial crisis, and the experience of other debt-afflicted countries since 1997. Recent trends in Australian overseas debt are compared with the equivalent trends in Asian countries in the years leading up to the Asian financial crisis, and the performance of economies recovering from debt-induced collapse is considered. Australia does not fare well in this comparison. Indonesia, for instance, with a fraction of the living standards of Australia, showed sustained discipline to hold growth in living standards in check for the benefit of debt reduction, whereas Australia chose to maximise growth in consumption expenditure, totally disregarding the growth in foreign debt that this produced. Australia currently has most of the symptoms of impending debt-induced collapse, and insists on pursuing policies that are likely to lead to collapse and maintains a mindset that will seriously hinder recovery from collapse.


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Review of EDD weather standards for Victorian gas forecasting


The Effective Degree Day (EDD) index was developed to capture the combined impact of temperature, wind and sunshine on Victorian gas demand. edd long term trend

Gas consumption due to short term weather variations is often removed prior to forecasting gas demand. This is partly achieved by developing weather standards that represent conditions under temperatures, for example, that are neither warmer nor cooler than expected. 

Weather standards for Victorian gas forecasting are typically developed using the Effective Degree Day index.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and previously VENCorp, have reviewed the EDD index and EDD standards every two to three years since 2000 with the latest completed in 2012.

The 2016 NIEIR Review of EDD Standards for Victorian Gas Forecasting report follows on from these reviews with a particular focus on the development of new weather standards for annual gas consumption and peak day to inform the Gas Access Arrangement Review (GAAR) over the 2018 to 2022 period.


This report covers:

  • background to weather normalisation and how the EDD index is formulated;
  • the development of new annual EDD standards under alternative methodologies;
  • the development of new 1-in-2 and 1-in-20 peak day EDD standards under alternative methodologies;
  • The impact of climate change on annual and peak day weather standards;
  • The correction applied to temperature to account for the change in location of the official Melbourne weather station from the CBD to Olympic Park in 2015 and;
  • monthly standards are also estimated for gas consumption and peak day.


Download the NIEIR Review of EDD weather standards for Victorian gas forecasting report:

Full Report    (26 pages | PDF | 1,328 kb)

Tables   (XLSX | 87 kb)

The Experience of Australia and Kazakhstan in the Mineral Price Boom of 2006-2014 by Dr Ian Manning

Both Australia and Kazakhstan are large in physical area but relatively small in population. Both have extensive mineral deposits complemented by relatively fragile manufacturing sectors. Thanks to high prices for energy minerals and iron ore, the terms of trade of both countries were highly favourable from 2006 to 2014. Australia is well endowed with coal, iron ore and natural gas, all of which fetched high prices during the boom years; Kazakhstan has a similar endowment with the addition of oil. In Australia, the central and state governments have surrendered control over national investment strategy to the private sector and are also, with the exception of the petroleum sector, have foregone the capacity to exact additional revenue from the mining sector during times of high mineral prices. From 2009 high profitability in the sector triggered considerable investment in capacity expansion. Australia’s exchange rate is market-determined and followed the terms of trade, in the short term facilitating mining investment but in the long-term exacting a high cost: its manufacturing and other non-mining trade-exposed industries suffered loss of competitiveness, with a resulting lack of investment and industry closures. The Australian banks also borrowed overseas, and now that the boom has ended the Australian banking system finds itself with high levels of short-term overseas borrowing and very low levels of foreign exchange reserves.  By contrast, Kazakhstan’s market-oriented reforms over the past three decades did not surrender broad state control of the pattern of investment. Its government responded to the high mineral prices by concentrating on the oil industry, using negotiated agreements to finance developmental investment and build up an Oil Fund. This allowed control of the exchange rate to give its manufacturing industries the opportunity to upgrade their competitiveness. Royalties on other minerals were maintained at rates which discouraged exploration. The author is much more familiar with the Australian history than with that in Kazakhstan (the two countries are seldom compared) and will seek views as to whether his interpretation of Kazakhstani history is correct. The initial conclusion is that Kazakhstan managed the mineral price boom much more effectively than Australia.

Australia Kazakhstan paper

Data for Local Economic Development Planning

Since 1998 the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research has prepared an annual State of the Regions report for the Australian Local Government Association. The report includes coverage of urban as well as country regions – for example, the Sydney metropolitan area is divided into nine regions and South East Queensland comprises six regions, one of which is Gold Coast.

Each report includes an array of data for each region. These data are also available by Local Government Areas. The data is intended for use in local economic development planning and project assessment, and is collated from a wide variety of sources. The paper describes the availability of primary data at regional level, including the Census and administrative data available by postcode (especially Social Security and tax statistics), housing sales and prices and local government valuation data. Survey data are also discussed, including methods by which surveys can provide local estimates for variables not explicitly observed at the local level.

The paper takes the City of Gold Coast as an example and compares the economy Gold Coast with that of Australia as a whole and also with other selected regions. The structure of the Gold Coast economy is similar to that of Australia as a whole in many respects, though its dependence on tourism as an economic base results in lower than average value added per person employed.

Gold Coast Conference Paper