THE ECONOMIC SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA – Tasmania Branch is proud to present
The Three Economists: Felmingham, Wells & Dowling
Panel Discussion: The role of Subsidies in the Tasmanian Economy
Dr Bruce Felmingham, Dr Graeme Wells and Mr Richard Dowling are three leading economists in Tasmania’s public sphere. Bruce Felmingham is a Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania, principal economic consultant of IMC-Link and regular commentator for the Sunday Tasmanian newspaper. Graeme Wells is an Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania’s School of Economics and Finance and consults as Wells Economic Analysis. Both Dr Felmingham and Dr Wells have recently completed analyses looking at subsidies in specific components of the Tasmanian economy. Richard Dowling is the Senior Economist of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tasmania’s peak industry body.

For years subsidies were dismissed as unnecessary protectionism and barriers to the ‘Laissez Faire’ ideal of unfettered comparative advantage and free trade. However the global financial and now economic crisis has forced a rethink of the role of subsidies and other government intervention in supporting jobs and developing a new model for economic stability and growth. The Tasmanian and Federal governments both provide assistance to industries that may be considered a subsidy, is this for the greater good or a barrier to future innovation and renewal?

The panel discussion will explore the role of subsidies in the Tasmanian Economy and will be covered by the Chatham House Rule. Each of the discussants will be asked to make a brief presentation on the role of subsidies, which will be followed by questions from the floor and from discussant to discussant. Three issues that the discussants will be asked to address in their presentation are:

1) What makes a subsidy? – What is the role of compensation, guarantees, tax relief or infrastructure?
2) When are subsidies appropriate? Infant industries, industries in transition, unfair competition or the exigencies of the Global Financial Crisis
3) What should Tasmania’s policy on subsidies be and what are the implications for jobs and the Tasmanian economy?

Thursday 30 July 2009
5.00pm for a 5.15pm start
Leadlight Room, Hadley’s Hotel, 34 Murray Street, Hobart
Free. Refreshments will be available for purchase from the foyer bar at Hadley’s
Please RSVP to Anthony Rossiter ( or 6233 6030) by 12pm on Tuesday 28 July 2009 to ensure there is enough seating.