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The Motivation and Effectiveness of Gas Industry Economic Regulation in New South Wales, 1912–39

Australian Economic History Review

Published online on


The oldest industry in Australia subjected to economic regulation is the gas supply industry in the state of New South Wales. In this paper the aims and motivation of the New South Wales Government in establishing the regulatory regime in 1912 and the subsequent effectiveness in achieving them are determined. Initially the regulatory regime was based on ad hoc arrangements, but eventually a more permanent structure was devised that effectively defused political controversy over gas market pricing and stabilised prices rather than substantially lowered them.