The Legacy of the Hungry Mile


NR Evans

There is no Australian industry which has been more exhaustively studied and scrutinised than Australia's waterfront industry. Its uniquely uncompetitive position, within an Australia which is generally declining in international competitiveness, is widely acknowledged. However, despite this wide understanding, the pace of reform in this industry is glacial, and the urgency of the need for dramatic improvement grows week by week.

The H R Nicholls Society decided to devote half of its program at its August 1989 conference to the Australian waterfront. The papers published in these proceedings, on this industry, will give the reader an up-to-date and concise picture of Australia's most scandalous industry. If Australia is to make any progress at all in reversing the steady trend of secular economic decline, then the reforms outlined in these papers will have to be quickly and fully implemented.

The other papers published here cover a wide canvas. Trade union and political developments in the United Kingdom; the standing and status of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission as it is now known; and an account of the Roger Douglas reforms in New Zealand.

This publication is the seventh volume of H R Nicholls Proceedings. The Society hopes that, like its predecessors, it will generate increasing pressures for contemporary reform as well as a reference work for future generations.