The Economy

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Under the centralised system of wage determination, the wages and conditions of groups of workers were determined by industrial tribunals. In a decentralised wage determination system which has developed in the last decade, wage agreements are more likely to be the result of direct negotiations between employees and their employer.

Awards were usually complex documents which set out a wide range of conditions for all workers in a particular industry or occupational group.

Australian Workplace Agreements are direct agreements negotiated by individuals employees and their employer. Certified Agreements are collective agreeements that may be made directly between an employer and a group of employees, or between and employer and a union or unions representing employees.

External policy External balance under a fixed exchange rate means achieving equilibrium in the balance of payments. Under a free exchange rate, the balance of payments is always balanced. External balance now tends to be associated with a 'target' current account balance.

Internal balance usually refers to the achievement of a number of macroeconomic goals: sustainable economic growth, full employment and price stability.

Structural Change and Microeconomic Reform The term structural change refers to these changes which occur naturally over time. Some general indicators are: changing patterns of employment.

changes in the proportion of GDP contributed by various sectors of the economy.

changes in expenditure patterns.

changes in the number of business firms providing certain goods and services.

changes in the way resources are used.

Underlying influences Competitiveness promotes efficient resource allocation.

Openness to trade (import of ideas, finance and products; expanding market size for exports).

The policy environment - macroeconomic and microeconomic.

Institutional environment - the general rules and regulations facing individuals and firms.

Orientation of society towards growth.

Imediate influences the organisations of firms, (management and workplace practices).

Specialisation Economies of scale (increased...

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