Australia’s Election Is a Fight for a Future After Mining – by Jason Scott (Bloomberg News – June 26, 2016)

Australia is heading to elections on July 2 to determine which party will steer the economy through a fading mining investment boom and a deterioration of public finances.

Seeking a second term for his Liberal-National coalition, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he’s best-placed to create new growth drivers through innovation and tap into growing Chinese demand for Australian services such as tourism and education

Turnbull, 61, also wants to draw a line under almost a decade of unprecedented political instability that’s seen Australia churn through six prime ministers since 2007. The former investment banker is being challenged by one-time trade union leader Bill Shorten, 49, who leads the main opposition Labor party.

The coalition and Labor have fought the eight-week campaign in the political center. Turnbull is pledging company tax cuts and tweaks to the nation’s retirement savings system. Shorten is promising more spending on education and health, an inquiry into the integrity of the banking system, and to remove tax perks for landlords that have seen home prices surge out of reach of many Australians.

Australia in numbers

50,000: The number of jobs National Australia Bank Ltd. forecasts the mining industry will lose as the resources boom continues to unwind. Most of those losses will come in Western Australia, whose unemployment rate is forecast to rise past the national average next year.

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