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Commission of Audit: What's in it for business?

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 1/05/2014 Peter Martin
a © Nic MacBean/ABC News a

Australia Post, Snowy Hydro, the Moorebank Intermodal company and the Australian Rail Track Corporation are among the prizes for businesses in the government's National Commission of Audit report, along with the Commonwealth Car Service, NBN Co and the Royal Australian Mint.

The Australian Submarine Corporation and Defence Housing Australia would also be sold.

The privatisation list covers almost every government business enterprise and is sorted into three categories: immediate, 2014-2016 and beyond 2016.

Government agencies would be encouraged to sell whatever property they didn't need, keeping some of the proceeds.

The largest outsourcing project would be the government payment system that processes Centrelink and social security payments.

The department of immigration would also develop a business case for outsourcing the processing of visas.

Government agencies would also be encouraged to use commercial cloud computing services to house non-sensitive data and to tender out requirements wherever possible.

Direct government assistance to industry would almost vanish. The Commission recommends rationalising, phasing out or abolishing 22 industry assistance programs.

The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation would be abolished and funding for Export Market Development Grants would cease.

Funding for Tourism Australia would halve and funding for Austrade would be cut "significantly".

In releasing the report treasurer Joe Hockey insisted the Commissions' recommendations were no more than that, but said some would be taken up in the budget.

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