Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Region. 'We have failed dismally'.

High-tech and manufacturing in Australia has been left behind, according to Phillip Toner, at the Centre for Industry and Innovation, at the University of Western Sydney.

“Unlike Norway and Brazil, we have failed dismally to exploit the opportunities of a temporary resource boom to create high-tech service and manufacturing industries,” Mr Toner said in a letter published in The Australian Financial Review (AFR).

“Eighty per cent of capital equipment used for the LNG boom will be imported.”

Mr Toner said the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics said the total sales of local high-tech services and manufacturing firms to mining was a “tiny” $9 million a year.

“Does the AFR, (in an editorial ‘Making the mining boom pay off’) seriously endorse an economic structure akin to a third-world to a ‘resource enclave’, reliant on unprocessed mineral and agricultural exports and tourism?”, he said.

“Such enclave economics are marked by large income disparities across regions, regional separatism and boom-bust economic growth.

“Can we maintain first-world living standards while embarking on a strategy of technological backwardness?”


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