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Analysis and Comment (28)

WA’s mining boom has moved to the production phase, creating fresh challenges for the economy. WA’s mining boom has moved to the production phase, creating fresh challenges for the economy. AAP

Changing times: the economic policies WA needs now

One of biggest issues to be addressed in tomorrow’s WA Senate poll - and perhaps one of the most complex, too - is how best to maintain the state’s growth trajectory through the forthcoming period of transition…
High costs, confusing regulation and changing markets are troubling Australia’s natural gas industry. High costs, confusing regulation and changing markets are troubling Australia’s natural gas industry. Flickr/stevendepolo

More gas exploration isn’t the solution to our problems

Resource Minister Gary Gray has called for greater natural gas exploration and warned that Australia would become less competitive in Asia if industry fails to take heed. But is insufficient exploration…
The resources “curse” exists - and to avoid it, Australia must proactively strengthen its public institutions. The resources “curse” exists - and to avoid it, Australia must proactively strengthen its public institutions. AAP

The ‘curse’ of the resources boom: could our wealth be our ultimate weakness?

If Australia wants to avoid the “resources curse” it needs to proactively strengthen its institutions. Left unchecked, our increased reliance on the resource sector to drive the economy could lead to a…
Australia’s mining companies have intensified their exploration of resources in Indonesia, much to the detriment of local communities. Australia’s mining companies have intensified their exploration of resources in Indonesia, much to the detriment of local communities. Jeff Lewis

The Australian assault on Indonesia’s riches

Not satisfied with the abundance of our own natural resources, Australian mining companies have spread their interests across the region. Many of these ventures— Ok Tedi, Bougainville, Freeport-Grasberg…
Australia’s boom investment conditions will begin tailing off by 2014, according to a Deloitte Access Economics report - so what does this mean for current labour shortages? Australia’s boom investment conditions will begin tailing off by 2014, according to a Deloitte Access Economics report - so what does this mean for current labour shortages?

No boom without bust: a cautionary note about mining and employment

Much public discussion around the current mining boom focuses on the lack of qualified staff to fill an expanding employment market. But yesterday’s report by Deloitte Access Economics warning that the…
The Perth CBD showing the corner of William Street and Hay Street. The Perth CBD showing the corner of William Street and Hay Street. (AAP/Tony McDonough)

Australian census: booming Western Australia must embrace its new diversity

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers on…
The population has the best chance of stabilising if we improve the lives of the poor and reign in excessive consumption of the wealthier. The population has the best chance of stabilising if we improve the lives of the poor and reign in excessive consumption of the wealthier. Flickr/DaveWilsonPhotography

Challenge 3: Balancing population growth and resources

Welcome to the State of the Future series. This series addresses 15 global challenges posed by the Millennium Project, an international non-profit think-tank collecting responses for 40 nodes worldwide…
Chinese paramilitary police prepare for a storm in the South China Sea. Chinese paramilitary police prepare for a storm in the South China Sea. EPA/str

Toeing the U-shaped line in the South China Sea

The lines traversing the surface of the globe are legal fictions that determine the fates of nations. Nowhere is this truer than in the South China Sea. China’s infamous U-shaped line claims most of this…
Many Argentinians are in favour of President Kirchner’s expropriation of oil company YPF, but what impact will it have on the beleaguered nation’s economic growth? Many Argentinians are in favour of President Kirchner’s expropriation of oil company YPF, but what impact will it have on the beleaguered nation’s economic growth? AAP

Why Argentina’s oil grab is a massive economic gamble

In mid-April, in the largest nationalisation since Russia’s acquisition of Yukos in 2003, Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, seized a majority stake in the oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos…
Australia has the resources – but the environmental cost could be huge. Australia has the resources – but the environmental cost could be huge. AAP/Purple Communications

To boom or not to boom? Mineral resources in the Asian Century

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Here, Dr Gavin Mudd considers the…
Billionaire Clive Palmer: how much of his fabulous wealth is due to government policy? Billionaire Clive Palmer: how much of his fabulous wealth is due to government policy? AAP

How government policy provides rich pickings for Australia’s billionaires

Over the last year or so, the Occupy movement has garnered wide attention, with people of all backgrounds gathering to protest the deteriorating social conditions. However, these grievances have been running…
There has been a concerted push for foreign workers to fill the gaps in the resources industry. There has been a concerted push for foreign workers to fill the gaps in the resources industry. AAP

Are foreign workers really the answer to the resources skills shortage?

Within the much publicised debate of labour shortages in the resources sector, there is now a concerted push to open up employment to larger numbers of skilled foreign workers. Large employers such as…
Celebrating: after being seen as a basket case for so long, Brazil’s economy is now powering. Celebrating: after being seen as a basket case for so long, Brazil’s economy is now powering. AAP

Brazil and Australia: the rise of the southern hemisphere powers

Few countries have been left unscathed by the global financial crisis and it seems that they are all situated in the southern hemisphere. Brazil and Australia are some of them. Recently, their economies…
Former President Lula used Brazil’s commodities boom to secure the country’s future. Former President Lula used Brazil’s commodities boom to secure the country’s future. AAP

A lesson for Australia in Brazil’s resources-driven economic miracle

Brazil has just passed the United Kingdom to become the sixth-largest economy in the world. Only a decade ago such news would have been written off as just another version of the old joke, “Brazil is the…
Paul Cleary’s book, Too Much Luck, highlights the many negative consequences of the mining boom. Paul Cleary’s book, Too Much Luck, highlights the many negative consequences of the mining boom. AAP

We are letting our resources luck turn to dust

Paul Cleary’s book Too Much Luck: The Mining Boom and Australia’s Future, is a timely appraisal of the dramatic economic and social impacts, as well as the political ramifications of the current resource…
Paul Cleary’s book, Too Much Luck, paints a negative picture of Australia’s mining industry. Paul Cleary’s book, Too Much Luck, paints a negative picture of Australia’s mining industry. AAP

Has the mining boom given us ‘too much luck’? Hardly

If Paul Cleary is to be believed in his recently published book, Too Much Luck: The Mining Boom and Australia’s Future, the resources boom is the worst thing that ever happened to Australia. He maintains…
India is emerging as a world economy - so why can’t Australia make more its relationship? India is emerging as a world economy - so why can’t Australia make more its relationship? AAP

CHOGM: our complex relationship with India

CHOGM: As the leaders of Commonwealth nations prepare to meet in Perth this week, The Conversation is examining the role of the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) Meeting. In the first piece…
Activists protest against Glencore by placing bottles of polluted water at its Swiss offices. Activists protest against Glencore by placing bottles of polluted water at its Swiss offices. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: Glencore

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, The University of Western Australia’s…
Working to improve the performance of the resources sector is a challenging, yet important research focus. Working to improve the performance of the resources sector is a challenging, yet important research focus. AFP/Christian Sprogoe/Rio Tinto

Research funding does not have to equal industry bias

There is common assumption that those of us who undertake applied research with the commercial world must be biased. This month the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), which…
Despite strong export data, Australia’s trade relationship with China isn’t as developed as we think. Despite strong export data, Australia’s trade relationship with China isn’t as developed as we think. AAP

Why Australia’s trade relationship with China remains at ground level

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the seventh part of our series, James Laurenceson looks at the challenges in doing business with China. The headline numbers surrounding Australia’s exports to China make for impressive…
Peace and stability will be crucial for Libya’s post-revolution development. Peace and stability will be crucial for Libya’s post-revolution development. AAP

After Gaddafi, will Libya’s ‘resource curse’ become a blessing?

With the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s autocratic regime, the transitional government in Libya is prompting hopes for a new era of democracy in the country. While a swift transition to democracy is certainly…
Out of the box: an export tax could be combined with the Federal Government proposed resources tax. Out of the box: an export tax could be combined with the Federal Government proposed resources tax. AAP

A resources export tax could help save manufacturing

Australia’s lagging manufacturing sector faced thorough scrutiny last week, amid calls for more government support for local industries following BlueScope Steel’s $1 billion loss and its decision to sack…
What can you do with a hole in the ground? It’s about more than planting trees. What can you do with a hole in the ground? It’s about more than planting trees. OZinOH/flickr

Sending mines to rehab: good for health, good for the environment

In late 1986, residents of Diamond St, Kingston, an outer southern suburb of Brisbane, began to notice a black sludge-like substance seeping through the soil and into their gardens. Within six months…
OPEC president Mohammad Aliabadi believes speculation in futures is inflating oil prices. He is wrong. OPEC president Mohammad Aliabadi believes speculation in futures is inflating oil prices. He is wrong. AAP

Why it’s wrong to blame speculation for pushing up oil prices

OPEC Conference president Mohammad Aliabadi recently joined a chorus of international observers to blame speculation as the source of ongoing volatility in the global oil market. Speaking at an OPEC Conference…
Sunset on the Kimberley coastline. Is the future of tourism in WA at risk from mining? Sunset on the Kimberley coastline. Is the future of tourism in WA at risk from mining? AAP

Watching the sun set on tourism in the mining state

The West Australian government’s decision to reject a proposal to establish a coal mine near the Margaret River in the state’s south came after a drawn-out application and approval process that was anything…
Will Andrew Forrest succeed in his push to change the mining tax? Others have succeeded in the past. Will Andrew Forrest succeed in his push to change the mining tax? Others have succeeded in the past. AAP

Twiggy’s sticking to his MRRT story, so it’s time for a miner history lesson

Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s visit to Canberra earlier this week didn’t prove particularly effective in swaying the government on its freshly drafted mineral resources rent tax (MRRT) legislation. But the…
Fortescue chief and mining magnate Andrew Forrest changes focus. Fortescue chief and mining magnate Andrew Forrest changes focus. AAP

Fortescue chief Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest exits; court case looms

Andrew Forrest, one of Australia’s wealthiest mining magnates, has announced his resignation as chief executive of Fortescue Metals Group. In a statement released to the ASX, Fortescue Metals Group Chairman…
China can easily rouse its banks, but awakening its consumers will be tougher. China can easily rouse its banks, but awakening its consumers will be tougher. AAP

Questioning Rudd’s version of ‘China 2.0’

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s bold claim on Friday that his state was looking “over the horizon” past Canberra to forge stronger links with China capped off a few weeks of strong rhetoric from…

Research and News (1)