We need to di­ver­sify

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Mark Lewis, MLC for Min­ing and Pas­toral Re­gion

Happy new year to all read­ers.

Your editor has asked me to pen my thoughts for the year ahead.

Firstly, we have to ac­knowl­edge we live in the great­est part of the State in the great­est coun­try in the world and we con­tinue to con­trib­ute to that re­al­ity — so much so that soon we will be con­tribut­ing to more than 50 per cent of this na­tion’s ex­port earn­ings.

How­ever, we know things change and we must make sure we tran­si­tion to a pro­duc­tion (as com­pared to a con­struc­tion) era.

Es­sen­tially, that means if we are to grow, we need to di­ver­sify.

That doesn’t mean get­ting out of re­sources, but it does mean in­no­vat­ing up the sup­ply chain, us­ing our in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, skills, and ser­vices we’ve de­vel­oped over the last decade.

It also means broad­en­ing our eco­nomic base into other in­dus­tries like tourism, agri­cul­ture, health and education.

In th­ese in­dus­tries, it’s all still about Asia, China, In­dia and Ja­pan.

The new World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion and Bi-Lat­eral Trade Agree­ments couldn’t have ar­rived at a bet­ter time to help us ex­pand into th­ese mar­kets.

Both Fed­eral and State Gov­ern­ments are on board with cre­at­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a vi­sion for North­ern Aus­tralia.

The ducks are lin­ing up and the stars are shin­ing on us, so there’s only one thing that can stop us.

My new year res­o­lu­tion is to make sure it’s not stop­ping us.

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