Govt must push dollar down to help industry - Keppel MP
MEMBER for Keppel Bruce Young says Australia needs to be made more attractive to try to secure more exports. The former mine worker and diesel fitter shares his views on how to help Australia's struggling industries after an announcement last week that 700 jobs would be lost at Central Queensland mines:
As a former miner I've seen downturns in mining in the mid-80s and the mid-90s where we saw Dysart become a virtual ghost town and Blackwater houses removed. But the downturn from 2012 to present is definitely the biggest, with far reaching impacts.
We've seen record low commodity prices in coal and iron ore because of a worldwide oversupply.
Indonesia overtook Australia on coal exports last year, exporting 300 million tonnes, yet Australia achieved record tonnage exported to get volumes out to counter the low price we are getting.
Even though record tonnages were exported, mining companies are still struggling. It is time we make Australia more attractive to our global trading partners so our exporters, whether they be coal, iron ore, meat, wool or a manufacturing firm that deals with overseas clients, and there is also our tourism industries that would benefit.
It is time the Federal Government made moves towards quantitative easing of the dollar. The mechanisms they'll work out, but we need now to get the dollar down to 80 cents.
We're price takers in Australia as we trend away from manufacturing towards resources.
The youngest engineer in the room will tell you that manufacturing is not travelling well because of the labour rate; look at our automotive industry! Other countries made smart moves to keep the labour rate down and the cost of living down. In Australia we did quite the opposite; wages went up, and the cost of living went through the roof accordingly.
The Federal Government and Treasury need to seriously look now at how we can get the Australian dollar down. I urge my federal colleagues and senate colleges to look seriously at this option.