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Australia’s ‘five pillar economy’: Mining

Garnett, A.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-0819-7982 (2015) Australia’s ‘five pillar economy’: Mining. The Conversation, 1 May 2015 .

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In his 2013 election campaign, Tony Abbott promised his government would build a world-class “five pillar economy”, encompassing manufacturing, agriculture, services, education and mining. Two years later, as his government prepares its second federal budget, just how are these sectors faring?

The prices of exported goods over the past year have stabilised or fallen, particularly for iron ore, oil and coal. Australia’s mining sector is also moving from the construction phase (which creates considerable employment) to the operation phase (which requires up to 10 times fewer workers). So it’s a good time to have a look at the mining sector in a more historic context and examine the outlook for the future.

Australia’s mining sector has been hailed as a saviour to the economy, protecting it from the effects of the severe economic downturns experienced in the USA, Europe and other countries during and after the global financial crisis of 2007-08.

There is no doubt that the minerals and energy boom of the 2000s was responsible for much of the growth in commodity export earnings. It also protected economic growth rates and, to some extent, jobs during this time. The mining boom was in large part due to the significant increase in demand for raw materials and energy by China and India during their very rapid economic growth over the past decade.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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