Australians are better off because of coal

Prof Quentin Grafton: "I don’t know whether it’s commonly held but I think there’s been a view that the mining sector has not contributed to the Australian economy. That is a totally incorrect view of the world. The mining sector, the resource and energy sector collectively, have made very substantial benefits for Australians, not just for the shareholders but for Australians. As I pointed our earlier, probably about half the income growth that Australians have enjoyed over the past decade is attributable to the millennium mining boom and so that’s a clear indication that we are better off because of it and that was across the board.  If you look at the numbers that I’ve looked at, if you look at it across states, some states did better than others. You would expect Western Australia to have done better than some other states because that’s where a good half of the investment has been taking place and it did but it was true across the board that every state and territory in Australia and indeed, we’re talking about the average, the real average weekly earnings are substantially higher.  So we’re better off.  There’s no question about it and so that’s a good thing.  It’s been good for the miners and it’s been good for the economy.  The challenge as we move forward however is to live in a world where prices are not increasing – indeed, they’re moderating.  How do we make sure that we as Australia can continue to benefit, yet still ensuring that the resource and energy sector delivers for themselves and for the economy and clearly that’s part of what the bureau tries to do – to look at the evidence, tell it the way it is, give the facts and let the world know about it."

Categories: Australia Energy Issues, Coal in Australia, Economy
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