Economic Consulting

Dwyer Partners – economic expertise

Many lawyers are not comfortable with accounting or economics. 

We are. 

We are familar with business matters such as discounted cashflows and valuation of expected income streams or goodwill.  Our associated firm, Dwyer Partners, has provided economic consulting advice since 1989 and has had considerable experience in looking at economic or accounting models and spreadsheets. 

 Tax policy, infrastructure regulation and competition policy

Dr Terry Dwyer has advised and addressed several groups on microeconomic reforms including the Victorian Farmers’ Federation in relation to the water pricing reforms adopted by the Council of Australian Governments.

He is the co-author, with Deborah Royal Dwyer, of the 1991 Consultative Document on the Review of ACT Partnership Law commissioned by the ACT Attorney-General’s Department which advocated fully limited liability partnerships as subsequently adopted in the USA and UK. 

Dwyer Partners prepared the submission by the Business Council of Australia to the Inquiry by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee into the administration of the Australian Taxation Office.  Dr Dwyer was a co-author of a major study, commissioned by the Business Council on Refocussing Microeconomic Reform which dealt with the competition policy reforms and state owned enterprises.

Dwyer Partners has acted as consultants to the Federal Department of Employment, Education and Training, to the New South Wales Department of State Development and to the Victorian Treasury.

Dr Dwyer has been a Research Associate of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and, with Mr Bob Lim, has undertaken major research projects on “Infrastructure, Pricing, Provision and Process” and  “Cost allocation methodologies under National Competition Policy”.  These studies examine the concepts of cross-subsidies and general public benefit in relation to network infrastructure, among other issues.

From 1992 to 1996 Dr Dwyer was engaged as economic adviser to the independent Tasmanian Senator Brian Harradine.  In this capacity he oversaw drafting of legislative amendments and  gave advice on Australia’s Competition Policy Reform Bill 1994 and prepared questions to be asked of the Treasury in the Parliamentary Committee examining the Bill.  He also advised the Senator on the economic aspects of the privatization of public utilities, such as Australia’s government–owned telecommunications company, Telstra.

Dwyer Partners has consulted to the Business Council of Australia and its Tax Committee on tax policy, international competitiveness, comparative living standards and infrastructure financing.  Dwyer Partners also advised the ACT Government on legislation for the introduction of limited liability partnerships and has advised the New South Wales Government on the potential uses and tax treatment of such partnerships.

From 1997 to 2010  Dr Dwyer was a Visiting Fellow at the National Centre for Development Studies, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management (APSEM), and the Crawford School at the Australian National University.  In that capacity he co-authored or edited several books and articles and has been a team leader for a study of compensation law and procedure in Papua New Guinea undertaken for the Institute of National Affairs, Port Moresby, as part of an AusAid project.  He also participated in the annual economic update for the Vanuatu economy prepared by the Centre.   

As a Visiting Fellow at APSEM and the Crawford School, Dr Dwyer participated in teaching an infrastructure management course provided by APSEM for the South Australian Water Corporation.  Dr Dwyer also participated in  teaching a tailored course on public utilities for Thai officials as part of institutional strengthening and has been selected as a member of a KPMG/APSEM team for a tender to the Government of Paua New Guinea on regulatory frameworks for privatised industries.

Dwyer Partners has advised BHP on submissions to the Economic Planning Advisory Council review of private sector involvement in infrastructure (which included comparisons with Asian economies).

Dwyer Partners has given advice to energy users, including BHP Petroleum, on the appropriate pricing of access to the gas transmission network of the Australian Gaslight Company (AGL) in relation to the inquiry by the New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal into the access regime proposed by  AGL under the Gas Code adopted pursuant to the national competition policy reforms.

Dwyer Partners advised the Royal Australian Institute of Architects regarding the Productivity Commission inquiry into licensing of architects and the public interest, the first of a series of inquiries to be undertaken into whether  occupational licensing laws should be repealed or amended as part of the national competition policy reforms.  The questions of public interest or public benefit feature heavily in this process.

Dwyer Partners also undertook a major study with Mr Bob Lim of infrastructure pricing, provision and regulatory processes for the Rural Industries Research and Development Council and the National Farmers’ Federation.  The study examined the interaction of the competition policy reforms with the economic principles which should govern the provision of public infrastructure to rural and regional areas.

Dr Dwyer also undertook a follow up study with Mr Lim of the cost methodologies employed by regulators in Australia to evaluate access regimes under national competition policy.

Dr Dwyer is a member of the Economic Society of Australia, the Harvard Club of Australia and a life member of the American Economic Association. He is also a Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia

Some of Dwyer Partners’ and Terry Dwyer’s specific assignments and publications include:

Financial Statistics Australian Bureau of Statistics 
  Framework for Financial Statistics (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, 1977) This study proposed an integrated system of statistical forms designed to link private accounts with national accounting standards in a consistent manner. 
Economic Policy Options

Economic Planning Advisory Council

  (with Jim Cox), Economic Planning Advisory Council Paper no 35 Income Support Policies, Taxation and Incentives (Canberra, October, 1988) This study explored means of improving the integration of social security and taxation so as to improve incentives for privatised provision of income support in retirement or for dependants. 
Business Law Reform  ACT Government (with Deborah Dwyer) Review of ACT Partnership Law Consultative Document (ACT Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra, 3 October 1991) This study laid out a framework for introduction of fully limited partnerships as part of a strategy to develop the Australian Capital Territory as an investment and financial centre. 
Labour Market Incentives Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Employment Opportunities Family Taxation, Participation Rates and Unemployment: A Report for the Taskforce on Employment Opportunities  (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, 31 October 1993) This project involved an analysis of how family taxation and female participation rates affect employment patterns and suggested reforms to facilitate efficient allocation of labour between market and non-market activity. 
 Microeconomic Reform  Business Council of Australia
  (with JT Larkin), Refocusing Microeconomic Reform Business Council of Australia, Melbourne 1995, ISBN 0 909865 57 4 This book was prepared as part of the BCA’s strategy for progressing reform of  state owned business enterprises in the energy, water, telecommunications and transport sectors to secure competitive cost reductions. 


Business Taxation Policy Business Council of Australia (with JT Larkin), The Taxation of Company and Business Income Australian Tax Research Foundation Study No 25, Sydney, 1995 This study  was designed to lay a framework for reform of company income taxation to be remove distortions which leave Australia uncompetitive as against business vehicles located overseas. 
Removal of Export Taxes Department of Industry, Science and Tourism (with J T Larkin) A Tax Rebate System for Australian Exports: Towards a Level Playing Field Consultants’ Report to the Mortimer Review of Business Programmes, Department of Industry, Science and Tourism, Canberra, June 1997 This study was commissioned by a Government taskforce charged with examining government industry assistance and impediments created by government policy to international trade.
Privatization Models Australian Stock Exchange Hybrid Securities and New Privatization Models ASX Perspective 2nd  Quarter, 1997 p 63 ISSN 1323-5877This article was commissioned by ASX Perspective and highlighted the role that hybrid debt-equity securities could play in protecting the public interest while promoting private sector efficiencies in formerly wholly-owned  state owned enterprises operating in natural monopoly environments. 
Resource Tax Policy National Centre for Development Studies Resource Tax Policy in Countries of the Asia Pacific Region Asia Pacific Press, National Centre for Development Studies, Australian National University 1999, (editor) ISBN 0 7315 3609 This book brought together studies on how governments could harness resource revenues for maximum competitiveness and public benefit.
Competition Policy and Essential Infrastructure  Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (with Bob Lim) Infrastructure Pricing Provision and Access: Implications for Rural Australia Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, RIRDC Publication No. 99/162, October 1999, Canberra, ISBN 0 642 58011 1 This book examined the tensions between competition policy, marginal cost pricing, universal service and cost-benefit analysis in provision and pricing of infrastructure on a ‘user pays’ basis where there are natural monopoly elements and economies of scale.
Institutional Reform for Investment Security  Institute of National Affairs, Papua New Guinea
  (with Dwyer, D,  Ellis, G, Ward, M and Fitzpatrick, D (2000) A Compensation Claims Procedure for Papua New Guinea, Institute of National Affairs.  This book examined the need for certainty in compensation procedures to expedite dispute resolution so that resource development is not impeded by unfounded compensation claims while ensuring legitimate compensation claims are expedited to avoid festering disputation.