New frontiers – by Hogsback Column (Australian Mining Monthly – December 8, 2017)

AUSTRALIA was once famously called “the lucky country.” Hogsback reckons in 2017 that should be changed to “the myopic country”. Yes, we may have beaten the English cricket team in the second Test of the Ashes. Yes, we have claimed the Rugby League World Cup Championship on home soil thanks to another sterling effort by captain Cameron Smith and half back Cooper Cronk. And yes our economy is humming along at a fair clip as we head into another Christmas.

But what about the big picture of our future as a globally competitive exporter of minerals to the fast developing nations to our north? We don’t see entire news bulletins dedicated to this very important feature of our economy.

The Greens movement and other sundry protestors are getting a great lot of free publicity by telling everyone that Adani’s proposed $16.5 billion Carmichael coal and infrastructure project is going to kill the Great Barrier Reef.

They say we must stop this mine – and ultimately all coal mining – for the sake of our children and grandchildren. What they don’t say is the standard of living our children have enjoyed until now is due mostly to Australia’s success in providing energy and raw materials to the rapidly emerging economies in Asia.

It helped us sail through the global financial crisis while other countries sank into the great recession and also helped prop up our dollar, which meant inflation was kept down. This enabled a lot of struggling families to afford to stock up on flat screen TVs and other imported necessities.

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