Convoy of No Confidence misses the mark as mining boom hits hard


As the significantly smaller than expected Convoy of No Confidence reaches Canberra, those protesting about the impact of a modest carbon price should be contemplating whether Australia can afford the mining boom.

Mining boom hits BlueScope workers while Abbott manufactures concern

The official unemployment rate is just the tip of the iceberg BlueScope Steel has led the tantrum against the introduction of a carbon price and today it, or more precisely its employees, have fallen victim to an entirely different problem. The rising dollar has been placing obvious pressure on the competitiveness of the Australian steel industry but the company seems to prefer playing politics than proposing a sensible plan for the future.

Despite all of BlueScope’s thundering about the impact of a small carbon price they were largely silent about the real cause of their problems: the mining boom.

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Can farmers afford the mining boom?

miningThe past week has delivered some of the clearest evidence yet that both sides of politics are utterly in thrall to the mining sector. When asked about the escalating battle between farmers and coal seam gas miners by radio broadcaster Alan Jones, Tony Abbott made the apparently uncontroversial observation that ‘if you don’t want something to happen on your land, you ought to have a right to say “No”.’

This was widely interpreted as a gaffe on Abbott’s part, given how much he owes his leadership to the continuing support of the mining sector.

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Making the boom pay … if not now, when?


“The future is in our hands, and it will be defined by the way we handle the current minerals boom. Get it wrong, and we falter. Get it right and we set the nation up for decades to come.” Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard, The Australian, 4 February 2011.

So, with the news of job losses in the manufactoring sector and more pain likely to come from the high Australian dollar, are we getting it right or wrong?

Join The Australia Institute and Catalyst for a vital conversation about ways to ensure the benefits of the mining boom flow through to all Australians, not just a lucky few.


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The direct costs of waiting for direct action on climate change

CO2A rather small convoy of constitutional confusion today rolled into Canberra calling for a double-dissolution election. The impending carbon price, the ban on live exports and the imminent threat of one world government were all cited by participants as motivating their demands.

But no matter how sincere their confused calls for a double-dissolution election, they have as much chance of getting what they want as Tony Abbott has of rolling back the carbon price before 2015. None.

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globeHow increasing population is making the task of government harder – Kelvin Thomson MP

The Australia Institute and Sustainable Population Australia will host a talk by Kelvin Thomson MP on the evening of Thursday 25 August.

Kelvin will discuss the topic ‘The witches’ hats theory of government: How increasing population is making the task of government harder.’

Providing food, water, energy, housing, education, jobs, health, liveable cities and protecting the environment are all made harder by a growing population. Governments wonder why their citizens don’t like them, but the solution is right under their noses.

Thursday 25 August7.30 – 8.30pmMolonglo Room, Canberra Club45 West Row, Canberra CityFREE – No need to RSVP

Recent publications

TAIThe direct costs of waiting for direct action, M Grudnoff, 22 August

What you don’t know can hurt you: How market concentration threatens online diversity, J Fear and R Denniss, 16 August

The wage-penalty effect: The hidden cost of maternity leave, D Baker, 18 July

The real cost of direct action: An analysis of the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan, R Denniss and M Grudnoff, 12 July

Recent media

newspapersThe Australia Institute now has a YouTube channel. View our recent Politics in the Pub event with OzHarvest’s Founding Director Ronni Khan.

Dumping carbon tax ‘could take five years’, The Age, 11 August

Paying to top your search results, ABC Radio National Breakfast, 16 August

Paying for time out with the kids, BTalk, 4 August

Richard Denniss joins the panel of The Bolt Report, Channel 10, 31 July

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