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better jobs to replace those dreary assembly line ones? « Previous | |Next »
February 11, 2014

The Abbott Government reckons that Australia can survive in a global market without an, or a very minimal, industrial base. It's an interesting policy suggestion. Apparently Australia will do okay riding on the back of the super-sized mining truck (ie., exporting gas, coal and iron ore). That implies the miners rule the roost.

RoweDfuture.jpg David Rowe

The Abbott Government and its allies are punting on China and India to counterbalance Australia's de-industrialization, even though the mining boom is ending. I guess that is what they mean when Minister's say that for every job lost in manufacturing other openings abound, that workers who'd lost their livelihoods ought to feel liberated "to pursue new opportunities" and that they have one million new jobs planned.

How's that going to happen with the mining boom winding down, the politics of austerity via the Commission of Audit and the destruction of the knowledge based digital economy? It sure ain't going to come from the renewable energy industry cos the Abbott Government is setting about to hollow that industry out.

The Abbott Government has no idea where the other openings abound with better jobs. They don't have an industry policy. Their position is that its not the government's role to intervene since the deregulated market will sort things out. Currently, the market is delivering Australia the “resource” curse experienced by other countries: intense exploitation of natural resources, adverse impacts on other sectors and a lack of investment in education.

Increased research and development dollars, re-skilling programs for workers, industry assistance, or greater educational investments – are not considered to be worthwhile investments.

Abbott has repeated on a number of occasions that he sees Australia’s rich domestic reserves of coal and gas as a source of cheap energy that could support manufacturing. Whose he trying to kid? Gas prices are starting to rise until they become the same as world prices as a result of the LNG export facilities. That just leaves coal.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:10 AM | | Comments (8)


The car manufacturing industry has gone in 4 months. No proper transition plan for about 30,000 workers has been proposed by the Abbott Government other than infrastructure

Will the aluminium industry be the next one to go to the wall?---- the Alcoa Point Henry smelter in Geelong.

It is heavily subsidised and has a workplace culture of poor productivity. The Govt subsidy for cheap electricity expires this year.

Or a decades-old coal power station in La Trobe Valley?

The role of the Govt is to get the economic fundamentals right. Private enterprise will then invest and create new jobs.

For Abbott getting the economic fundamentals right means getting rid of the carbon tax, the mining tax and green tape; plus reducing the power of unions.

I watched Question Time today--its obvious that the Abbott Government has no coherent response to the global economic crisis or to the impending end of the mining boom.

where will the jobs -- and the nation's future economic prosperity -- come from?

The Abbott government has nobbled two of the best future bets: the digital economy (by scaling back the National Broadband Network) and clean-tech (by preparing to kill the carbon price, abandoning the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and potentially putting the Renewable Energy Target on the chopping block).

So which industries is it going to be?

The workers losing their jobs are not entitled to special treatment. It is up to them to find new jobs. They are not entitled to be placed ahead of those already unemployed for training/retraining. They have been told that they will be losing their jobs in the future and for some that will be in a couple of years. They need to take responsibility for their own lives and circumstances.
The government owes them nothing more than others looking for work.

"where will the jobs -- and the nation's future economic prosperity -- come from? "

Recent history suggests that it is the service sector that will be the growth engine--eg., healthcare, finance, education and training, and the recreation and arts sector.

"Will the aluminium industry be the next one to go to the wall?"

Rio Tinto has revealed that its Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory will be closed by July next year.