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A joint research unit of the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University of South Australia Flinders University The University of Adelaide - A joint research unit of the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University of South Australia

Further Enquiries:

3rd Floor, Nexus 10 (10 Pulteney Street)
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide SA 5000

PO Box 3192
Rundle Mall SA 5000
Australia


Telephone: (+618) 8313 5555
Facsimile: (+618) 8313 4916
Email

The South Australian
Centre for Economics Studies

The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies is a self-funding, joint research unit of the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University of South Australia.

The Centre provides applied research, analysis and commentary on contemporary economic, social and public policy issues.  The Centre's contract research and consulting services and expertise includes (click for further information):


The Centre is fluent in the conduct of benefit cost analysis (BCA), cost effectiveness analysis, financial evaluation and highly experienced in the relevant aspects of welfare economics assessment techniques (e.g. willingness to pay, stakeholder impacts, discounting). Our analyses often include consideration of environmental and social impacts.

Completed projects:

  • Benefit Cost Analysis of Legislation to Mandate the Supply of Opal Fuel in Regions of Australia (DHA)
  • Various benefit cost analyses of water infrastructure projects for SA Water Corporation including the proposed Wellington Weir, Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) upgrade, Aldinga WWTP upgrade, Virginia Pipeline Scheme extension, and Country Water Quality Improvement Program Stage 3
  • Economic Analysis of Flood Mitigation Strategies for Brown Hill and Keswick Creeks
  • Economic Analysis of Remediation Options for the Brukunga Mine Site (PIRSA)
  • BCA of Salisbury Cooperative Composting Facility
  • Economic Evaluation of the State Library Redevelopment.


The Centre regularly uses input output tables and input output multipliers to estimate the gross economic impacts associated with specific policy decisions, organisations, events and projects.

Completed projects:

  • Economic Impact of BHP Billiton Operations in South Australia
  • Gross Economic Impact of the Proposed Expansion of Olympic Dam on the South Australian Economy
  • Gross Economic Impact of the Proposed Angas Zinc Mine on the Strathalbyn Economy
  • Economic Impact of the Classic Adelaide Rally on the South Australian Economy
  • Benefits Associated with the Migration Museum Redevelopment
  • Economic Contribution of Santos to the Queensland and South Australian economies
  • A Review of the Economic Consequences of EDS Operations for the South Australian Economy
  • Economic Impact of Ports Corp’s Cargo Ports in South Australia
  • Economic Impact of North Terrace Precinct Redevelopment.


The Centre has undertaken a range of program and public policy evaluations for various Federal, interstate and South Australian government departments and agencies. Major topic areas that have been a focus of evaluation include agriculture, labour market programs, education and training, health, and innovation, science and technology.

Completed projects:

  • Longitudinal Study of the Australian Government’s Farm Help Program (DAFF)
  • Evaluation of the AAA Farm Help – Supporting Families Through Change Program (DAFF)
  • Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Dairy Structural Adjustment Program/Supplementary Dairy Assistance and Dairy Exit Program (DAFF)
  • Evaluation of the Victorian Drought Relief Package (DTF, Victoria)
  • Evaluation of the Trials of Innovative Government Electronic Regional Services program (TIGERS) (NOIE)
  • Review of Lifetime Health Cover (DHA)
  • Review of the Outputs and Outcomes of the Science, Technology and Innovation Initiative (DIIRD, Victoria)
  • Strategic Review of South Australia Works: Adult Community Education (ACE) Program
  • Strategic Review of the SA Works Program: Evaluation of Career Development Centres (DFEEST)
  • Evaluation and Discussion of the Return to Work (RTW) Pilot Program (WorkCover SA)
  • Developing an Evaluation Strategy for Australians Working Together Macro Evaluation Projects (Department of Family, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs).

 

Our staff have extensive experience in using qualitative and quantitative techniques to analyse complex social issues and formulate evidence based policy recommendations. This extends to consulting with vulnerable and disadvantaged client groups. Major social policy issues considered include active labour market policies, disability supports, indigenous issues, housing, policing, addiction, and the role and impact of gambling.

Completed projects dealing with social policy issues include:

  • Review of Initiatives into Workforce Re-Engagement of Long Term Disengaged Workers (WorkCover SA)
  • An Evaluation of the Workforce Participation Partnerships Program (Department for Victorian Communities)
  • Transition to Employment: An Evaluation (DHS, Victoria)
  • Costing Model for Disability Employment Services (DEEWR)
  • Funding the Future: An Evaluation of Current and Prospective School Education Resourcing and Needs (DECS, South Australia)
  • Potential Economic Impact of Liberalisation of Shop Trading Hours (SafeWork SA)
  • Local Government’s Current and Potential Role in Water Management and Conservation (Local Government Association of SA)
  • Consideration of budgetary, employment and welfare effects arising in connection with smoking bans in hospitality venues (Cancer Council)
  • Harms From and Costs of Alcohol Use in the Northern Territory (DHF, Northern Territory)
  • Social and Economic Costs of Alcohol Use in Western Australia, 2004/05 (Department of Health, WA)
  • Preparation and Analysis of Surveys on Family Friendly Work Practices Offered to Employees Outside of the Formal Workplace Relations System (DEWR)
  • Independent Audit of Government Contributions to Housing Assistance (FaCHSIA)
  • Review of Police Numbers in Non-Metropolitan Adelaide (Provincial Cities Association of SA).

Gambling projects include:

  • Social and Economic Impact Study into Gambling in Tasmania (DTF, Tasmania)
  • South Australian Gambling Industry: Profile of the Gambling Industry and Economic Impact of Gambling (IGA, South Australia)
  • The Impact of Gaming Machines on Small Regional Economies (Provincial Cities Association)
  • Study of the Impact of Caps on Electronic Gaming Machines (Victorian Gambling Research Panel)
  • Evaluation of Self-Exclusion Programs and Harm Minimisation Measures (VGRP)
  • Problem Gambling and Harm: Towards a National Definition (National Gambling Research Program Working Party)
  • Community Impacts of Electronic Gaming Machine Gambling (Department of Justice, Victoria)
  • Measurement of Prevalence of Youth Problem Gambling in Australia: Report on Review of Literature (FaCHSIA)

 

The Centre is skilled at conducting assessments to identify future labour, education and training requirements for regions and/or industries, evaluating the performance of employment programs including active labour market and workforce participation strategies, and developing tools to monitor and assess labour market outcomes.

Completed projects:

  • Strategic Review of South Australia Works: Adult Community Education (ACE) Program (DFEEST, South Australia)
  • Strategic Review of the SA Works Program (DFEEST, South Australia)
  • Costing Model for Disability Employment Services (DEEWR)
  • Evaluation of the Community Jobs Program (DVC, Victoria)
  • Review of the Literature on Active Labour Market Policies (DVC, Victoria)
  • Skills and HR Audit for the Heavy Industry Sector of the Upper-Spencer Gulf Region (Global Maintenance USG Inc.)
  • Estimated Demand for Labour in the Mining Sector 2006-2015
  • Employment and Skills Mapping for the Barossa and Light Region
  • an Assessment of the Supply and Demand for Labour Within the Northern Territory Economy including development of a Forecast Estimation Model of VET demand (DEET, Northern Territory)
  • Unmet Demand for Information Technology and Telecommunications Courses (DETYA)
  • Defence Industry Workforce Update 2007 (Defence Teaming Centre, Defence SA).


Staff are experienced at conducting investigations and analysis of particular industry sectors to assess economic contribution, employment and skills needs, growth constraints and other industry specific factors.

Completed projects:

  • Various surveys of the South Australian Information and Communications Technology Sector and Electronics Industry to assess economic impacts, exports and labour force requirements, including a Review of Electronics Industry Association Education Initiative (ei)2 and An Analysis of the Supply and Demand for ICT Skills in the South Australian Economy (DFEEST, South Australia)
  • assessment of Water Industry Exports (Water Industry Alliance)
  • South Australian Gambling Industry: Profile of the Gambling Industry and Economic Impact of Gambling (IGA, South Australia)
  • Scope for Government Intervention in the South Australian Minerals Sector (PIRSA).


The Centre has a long history of conducting research and providing policy advice in respect of regional economic development. The Centre regularly conducts assignments for regional bodies and entities including local government, regional associations, development boards and businesses.

Completed projects:

  • Review of State and Territory; Commonwealth; and Local Government Policy, and Attraction and Retention Activities, for Skilled Migrants in Regional Australia (Commonwealth State Working Party on Skilled Migration)
  • Progressing Regional Development: Outlining the Role of Regional Development Boards (Regional Development SA)
  • Assessment of the Demand for Rural and Regional Statistics (ABS)
  • An Analytical Study of State/Territory Government Support for Regional Development in Australia (DIT, South Australia)
  • Provincial Cities Association: RDA and Uniform Regional Boundaries – New Structures for the Next Decade
  • Monitoring the Quality of Life: A Public Policy Tool for Small Regional Economies Facing Globalisation
  • Assessment of Local Government Revenue Constraints (LGA of SA)
  • An Assessment of Ceduna Keys and Ceduna Costal Centre Development Plan (District Council of Ceduna)
  • Building an Economic Community: A Turn Around Strategy for the Upper Spencer Gulf Region to 2010, and an Inquiry into Regional Employment and Unemployment (Provincial Cities Association of SA).


In addition to regional development, the Centre regularly conducts research and provides advice in respect of broader local, state and federal government policy and taxation issues.

Completed projects:

  • Interstate comparison of Government School Resourcing (DECS)
  • Financing the Federation (prepared with Julie Smith for Department of Treasury and Finance)
  • Review of State, Territory, Commonwealth and Local Government Policy, Attraction and Retention Activities, for Skilled Migrants in Regional Australia (Commonwealth State Working Party on Skilled Migration)
  • A critique of the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s new assessment for capital (DTF, South Australia)
  • Assessment of Local Government Revenue Constraints (LGA of SA)
  • An Analytical Study of State/Territory Government Support for Regional Development in Australia (DIT, South Australia).


The Centre is experienced at developing statistical models and assessment tools for various purposes including policy analysis, program administration and performance monitoring.

Completed projects:

  • Development of a Statistical Model for Adjusting the Performance of Job Network Members (DEEWR)
  • Independent Statistical Advice on the Development of a Funding Level Assessment Tool for Disability Employment Services (DEEWR)
  • An Outcome Monitoring Tool for the Science, Technology and Innovation Initiative (Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Victoria)
  • Input Cost Index for NGO Service Providers (SACOSS)
  • Personal Support Programme: Development of the Outcomes Indicator (DEEWR)
  • A Performance Indicator Framework for the South Australian Construction Industry (Construction Industry Training Board)
  • Independent Statistical Review of the Disability Employment Network (DEN) Star Ratings Model (DEEWR)
  • Market Analysis Model for Further Education Demand (Department of Business and Employment, Northern Territory)


Staff of the Centre are experienced at providing analysis and advice in respect of regulatory issues, including pricing, market access and performance of regulated entities.

Completed projects:

  • Estimating the Benefits of Electricity Reform (South Australian Independent Industry Regulator)
  • Report on CSG Standards and Compensation Payments (Australian Communications Authority)
  • Review of Proposed Relative Price Movement (RPM) Indexation Methodology for Adjusting Standard Contract Prices (Essential Services Commission of South Australia)
  • The Market Risk Premium for Australian Regulatory Decisions (Advocacy Panel)
  • Comments on the ESCOSA Discussion Paper ‘Electricity Distribution Price Review: Return on Assets’
  • Review of the Efficiency of SA Water’s Business Costs and Performance (DTF, South Australian)
  • Study into Utility Services in the Riverland (Riverland Development Corporation).


The Centre has conducted a number of studies into innovation, science and technology, including the development of a framework for understanding the role and process of innovation. In addition, one of our staff previously served as the UK representative to the OECD Innovation and Technology Working Group.

Completed projects:

  • Victorian Innovation Skills (DIIRD, Victoria)
  • Innovation Activity and Income Levels: A Summary of Indicators (BioInnovation SA)
  • Economic Analysis of BioInnovation SA’s Proposed Initiatives (BioInnovation SA)
  • Potential Benefits from State Government Funding of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics)
  • Review of the Outputs and Outcomes of the Science, Technology and Innovation Initiative (DIIRD, Victoria)
  • South Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Sector: Survey and Report.


Staff have expertise in analysing and modelling demographic issues, including population ageing, migration and socio-economic patterns.

Completed projects:

  • Review of Employment Support Provided to Skilled Migrants across State and Territory, Commonwealth and Local Governments (Commonwealth/State Working Party on Skilled Migration)
  • Review of State and Territory, Commonwealth and Local Government Policy, and Attraction and Retention Activities for Skilled Migrants in Regional Australia (Commonwealth/State Working Party on Skilled Migration)
  • Projecting the impact of population ageing on government housing budgets in South Australia (AHURI)
  • A model of interrelationships between different population groups in the Adelaide City Council area
  • The Outlook for Overseas Student Accommodation Demand in South Australia (Education Adelaide)
  • Country Analysis – Migration (DTED)


The Centre publishes an Economic Issues series as part of its Corporate Membership Program. The purpose of these papers is to provide research and commentary on topical, applied economic, social and public policy issues of relevance to South Australia and Australia.


Staff of the Centre are skilled in a range of analytical techniques which can be brought to bear on complex economic, social and public policy issues.  Staff have expertise in project management, stakeholder consultations, statistical data analysis including econometric data analysis, data modelling, analysis of large data sets, and qualitative data analysis techniques such as focus groups, interviews and surveying.