Ed­i­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK - Greg Mclean Man­ag­ing ed­i­tor

THE Australia In­sti­tute re­port into the win­ners and losers of Australia’s min­ing boom pretty much hits the nail on the head.

While the Aus­tralian econ­omy as a whole has ben­e­fited from the min­ing boom of the past five years - driven largely by the in­sa­tiable de­mand for our re­sources from China - the af­fect this has had on other sec­tors of the econ­omy has been crip­pling.

Tourism, agri­cul­ture and re­tail have in par­tic­u­lar been sav­aged by the high Aus­tralian dol­lar and the drain­ing of a re­li­able work­force drawn to the riches of the min­ing sec­tor.

While the ma­jor win­ners in the min­ing boom are the mostly for­eigh-owned re­sources com­pa­nies and to a lesser ex­tent the sup­port­ive in­dus­tries which ser­vice the min­ing in­dus­try, the vast ma­jor­ity of tourism, agri­cul­ture and re­tail busi­nesses bleed­ing from Australia’s two-speed econ­omy are small busi­nesses.

Australia’s politi­cians need to stop pan­der­ing to the re­sources in­dus­try and give more cre­dence to the is­sues fac­ing our other sec­tors.

Me, you and ev­ery­one else in this coun­try have an en­ti­tle­ment to the re­sources un­der our feet and they are fi­nite, they are pre­cious and if we un­der­value them for the sake of ap­peas­ing big busi­ness, they’ll be gone be­fore we know it.

While gov­ern­ments are happy to make huge con­ces­sions to the big play­ers in min­ing to “pro­tect jobs” and “stim­u­late in­vest­ment”, they la­bel the same sup­port to small busi­nesses as un­sus­tain­able hand­outs.

At the same time as our farm­ers are lam­basted for pol­lut­ing the reef with pes­ti­cides and pe­nalised for it, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is pre­pared to al­low for min­ers to pol­lute the reef with dredge spoil as long as they pay for it.

Is it just me, or are our politi­cians miss­ing the point?

Is it just me, or have we cre­ated a two-speed econ­omy where my fam­ily’s cost of liv­ing has risen sig­nif­i­cantly in the past few years while my pay packet hasn’t?

In­stead of just blindly ad­her­ing to the threats of the multi­na­tion­als, our lead­ers need to start lis­ten­ing to the con­cerns of their con­stituents and stand up for them.

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