No smart future for Western Australia
Most resource based economies endeavor to move up the value chain. Not so Western Australia (WA) which is happy to sit right at the bottom digging out iron ore – which must be one of, if not the, most easily extractable mineral – and pouring it onto boats bound for China. And probably the second biggest industry is not much smarter, being based on property development that sees WA’s capital, Perth, simply spread ever further North and South. Where is the desire to build a smarter future? Largely missing. It seems instead that in WA bigger is the synonym for better. WA seems to be happy with this. Why try if you can have it all anyway. WA has a Premier who is lucky enough to have a budget surplus of $5.6bn but has no vision as to what to do with it. At best are dreams of a cable car where there is no mountain, the promise of some or other sporting event, Disneyfied versions of culture or a new rail line to a distant suburb. All well and good until bigger is no longer the same as better at which point WA may regret not taking its opportunity to build a smarter future.