DCA Group: Market capitalisation of $1.65 billion and this is very much relying on government funding. A little bit comes from the UK (where the company is looking to get more UK government contracts), but the lion’s share is from nursing home payments and Medicare.

Qantas: Whether it’s the two airline policy, restrictions on the Pacific Route, amazingly powerful leases over formerly government-owned airports, the demise of Ansett or getting 90% of the federal government’s travel work, few companies are better than Qantas at working the relationship with Canberra.

Macquarie Infrastructure Group: The world’s biggest tollroad company only has contracts with governments, although most of them are fixed-term concessions with locked in pricing formulas. However, at least the risk is spread around the world, although the NSW government could cause plenty of havoc if it adopted a similar stance to its counterparts in Ontario, Canada, who are battling MIG through the courts over tolls on the world’s biggest tollway, Highway 407.

Ten Network: While all licensed television stations are reliant on the government, Ten is a special case because it pushes the envelope on foreign ownership and Australian content. Even the backlash from Canberra against Big Brother demonstrates how censorship laws could also hit a medium that’s struggling to retain younger viewers.

AWB Ltd: Being a legislated monopoly always helps and the National Party ensured this happened when the old Australian Wheat Board decided to float on the ASX under the “single desk” model. Allowing a competitor in would send the shares tumbling but there’s no sign of that happening any time soon.

CRIKEY: It would be a big undertaking, but this exercise could yet finish up with a full ranking of the top 100 companies from the perspective of government dependence. We’ll also start listing some of the Australian companies which are the least dependent on governments although these are not as prevalent as with other developed market economies. Keep the suggestions coming to [email protected].

Peter Fray

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