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Government departments and government commercial enterprises, along with statutory authorities constitute a very significant sector in the Australian economy. Expenditure by all government agencies, i.e. departments, authorities, enterprises, constitute about 42% of Gross National Product in Australia. The public sector is also the single largest employer, accounting for the employment of 30% of all wage and salary earners in Australia (Curran Commission, 1988, p.1). In addition, 50% of Australia's capital stock is owned by government with 20% of all investment undertaken by government undertakings (Moore, D., 1988). The role of government in Australia is therefore considerable.

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