"The future is in our hands, and it will be defined by the way we handle the current minerals boom. Get it wrong, and we falter. Get it right, and we set the nation up for decades to come."
Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard
Public perceptions of the size and significance of the mining industry to the Australian economy are radically different to the facts, a new survey by The Australia Institute reveals. When asked what percentage of workers they believe were employed in the mining industry, the average response was around 16 per cent, when according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the actual figure is 1.9 per cent. The survey also found Australians believe that mining accounts for more than one third (35%) of economic activity.
One of the most interesting features of the mining boom is the way that it is opening up old, and unresolved, political and policy debates in Australia. Do we trust that the benefits to the small group of people directly involved in the mining industry will "trickle down" to the rest of us? Should governments protect employment-intensive industries? Or should we trust that free trade and market forces will do a good job of allocating our resources for us? The current mining boom not only raises all of those questions but also puts pressure on our political leaders to actually answer them.
The Australia Institute is pleased to announce it will host Politics in the Pub in Perth on the evening of Thursday 15 September. If you are interested in finding out more about the issues that are shaping our nation, join us for an evening of engaging discussion and friendly debate. Can Western Australia afford the mining boom? With The Australia Institute's Executive Director Dr Richard Denniss and Greens MLC Robin Chapple. Chaired by Elizabeth Hulm. The Western Australia mining industry is getting bigger but is its growth really benefiting the rest of the State? Does a bigger mining industry deliver more pain or big gains to the broader economy?
THE mining boom in Queensland might be big but it certainly isn't broad. While the mining industry tries to suggest otherwise, the simple fact is millions of Queenslanders bear the pain of the mining boom without receiving any of the gain. Yes, the mining industry employs people and yes, they spend some of their money in local shops and yes, the mining companies even pay some tax, but that does not mean the average Queenslander is benefiting from the boom.
The recent debate about productivity trends in Australia has revolved around the reported decline in labour productivity growth. For example, the new Secretary of the Treasury, Dr Martin Parkinson recently stated: "Australia's productivity growth, measured in terms of both labour productivity and multifactor productivity, has slowed, and there is little reason to believe it will improve in the immediate term."
Similarly, the latest Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Board minutes stated"'Australia's productivity growth over the past five to ten years had been weak".
The Australia Institute is pleased to announce it will now host Politics in the Pub in Brisbane. If you are interested in finding out more about the issues that are shaping our nation, join us for an evening of engaging discussion and friendly debate. Can Queensland afford the mining boom? The impact of the mining industry on climate change, tourism and interest rates. The Queensland mining industry is getting bigger but is its growth really benefiting the rest of the State? Does a bigger mining industry deliver more pain or big gains to the broader economy?
The Australia Institute will host Politics in the Pub on Wednesday 20 July. The Institute's Executive Director Dr Richard Denniss will discuss the topic 'Does Australia ride on the miner's back?' The mining industry increasingly describes itself as the backbone of the Australian economy. But to what extent does the Australian economy rely on the mining industry? How many people really owe their jobs to mining? What impact does the mining boom have on other industries?