Expert calls for more balance

DO NOT put all your eggs into the one basket - that is the message from the director at the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, Professor John Cole, in relation to the hype surrounding the mining boom.

Despite the constant bombardment of how fantastic the resources sector is, Professor Cole said that communities need to be extremely cautious.

While there are some short-term benefits afforded by the resources sector, Professor Cole said the resources sector also has a lot of negatives associated with it which are rarely reported.

"There is no doubt that the hoopla and beat up surrounding the resources sector has been feverous," Prof. Cole said.

"It is great to make hay while the sun shines but we need to be cautious of the downsides," he added.

Prof. Cole believes that too many people, including governments, are putting too much emphasis on the sector to the determent of others.

"I definitely believe that we are putting too much emphasis on the sector at the expense of others.

"Putting all your eggs in the one basket is allowing yourself to become extremely vulnerable," he said.

Historically Australia has always had a two-speed economy and Prof. Cole said governments have a very short memory when it come to simple economics.

"We need balanced economic development but currently it is very skewed towards the resources sector.

"There is the dangerous mentality of riding on the back of the coal and gas sectors. Look at what has happened in the past when communities have done this," Prof. Cole said.

Furthermore, Prof. Cole said the protection and concessions the resource sector receives is a proven recipe for disaster.

"It is the boom/bust cycle that hurts people and communities and we have had plenty of them in the past but people seem to forget that. In time the resources will run out and what will we have then?

"Look at the manufacturing industry, it was protected for a very long time and then the world opened up and look at the state of it now.

"It is very dangerous and irresponsible of government's to protect, and favour, one industry over the other," Professor Cole said.


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