Australia too reliant on resources: Tanner  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

I occasionally moan about Australia suffering from the "Dutch disease" as our economy becomes increasingly dependent on exports of coal and LNG from natural gas and coal seam gas. The ABC reports finance minister Lindsay Tanner is starting to worry about it too - Australia too reliant on resources: Tanner.

The Federal Finance Minister says Australia has become too reliant on resources and needs to expand its export base.

Lindsay Tanner says there has been a "worrying period" over the last decade where resources have increased their domination of Australia's exports.

Lindsay Tanner says the 1990s saw great diversification, with strong exports across a range of sectors, and he says there needs to be a return to that kind of diversification.

"We had a huge growth in tourism, in education, in specialised manufacturing, in wine, in pharmaceuticals that helped us to diminish our enormous reliance on minerals," he told ABC radio 774 in Melbourne.

"That's kind of almost gone into reverse in recent times. So it's not so much that there's one country that we're dependent on, it's that we have, I think to some extent, too many eggs in that basket." ...

The Grattan Institute's program director for productivity growth Saul Eslake says, while the mining boom certainly has contributed to wealth creation and an increase in tax revenues, it also has some negative side-effects.

He says the recent boom in mining activity may actually be damaging some of the sectors of the economy that Lindsay Tanner wants to revive.

"The mining industry can't possibly guarantee prosperity for the vast majority of Australians, given that it accounts for less than 3 per cent of total employment," Mr Eslake told ABC News Online.

"One of the corollaries of the present mining boom is a very high value of the Australian dollar that is hurting the competitiveness of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and education, most of which employ considerably more Australians than the mining industry does."

He says the currency impacts will be exacerbated by wage pressures as Australia's economy nears full-employment again.

"Growth in demand from the mining sector could well put upward pressure on wages in other sectors of the economy contributing, in the context of a strong exchange rate, to a further squeeze on the profitability of employers in other parts of the economy and thus diminishing the viability of those industries."

Mr Eslake says, while the damage to those other industries could be long-lasting, the current mining boom has a finite lifespan.

The danger is that, when the mining boom does come to an end, there will be few other internationally competitive export industries left standing to provide employment alternatives.

"The mining boom, though it may well go on for more than a decade, isn't going to go on indefinitely any more than previous mining booms have, and future generations of Australians are going to look for other sectors of the economy for their employment prospects long after this present mining boom has come to an end," he noted.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (607) global warming (393) solar power (376) peak oil (343) renewable energy (253) electric vehicles (221) wind power (184) ocean energy (163) csp (156) geothermal energy (144) solar thermal power (143) smart grids (139) tidal power (137) coal seam gas (130) oil (129) solar pv (127) nuclear power (126) energy storage (125) lng (116) china (113) geothermal power (112) iraq (112) green buildings (109) natural gas (108) agriculture (88) oil price (79) biofuel (78) smart meters (72) wave power (71) uk (68) electricity grid (67) energy efficiency (63) coal (61) google (57) bicycle (51) internet (51) shale gas (49) surveillance (49) food prices (48) big brother (47) thin film solar (42) canada (40) biomimicry (39) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) tesla (37) shale oil (36) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) concentrating solar power (32) queensland (32) saudi arabia (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) arctic ice (29) population (29) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) economics (22) limits to growth (22) carbon tax (20) coal to liquids (20) distributed manufacturing (20) indonesia (20) iraq oil law (20) lithium (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) buckminster fuller (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) exxon (18) santos (18) ausra (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) collapse (16) electric bikes (16) iceland (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) psychology (15) brazil (14) fertiliser (14) lithium ion batteries (14) al gore (13) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) bucky fuller (13) carbon emissions (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) matthew simmons (13) public transport (13) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) tinfoil (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) antarctica (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) big oil (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) methane hydrates (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) bolivia (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) scenario planning (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)