Listening to the mining industry complaining about the high exchange rate is like listening to a three-year-old complaining about the noise of their own tantrum. It simply adds insult to injury. The surge in world demand for our resources and the flood of foreign money into Australia to buy or build mining assets has been a major driver of the 43 per cent surge in the exchange rate from $US0.736 in 2004 to $US1.056 now. As the Australian dollar hit the $US0.80 mark the strain on other exporting sectors began to show, particularly in manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. ABS statistics show the steady decline in employment in manufacturing from 1,051,100 in 2004 to 962,100 today. For the first time in decades manufacturing employment is consistently below one million. But, we were told, don’t worry about it.
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser