Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How many pillars should an economy have?

Tony Abbott made a speech to the National Press Club today and of note was that the northern food bowl got another mention.

"Finally, the coalition’s plan for a more prosperous future will try to ensure that our children and grandchildren look back appreciatively on the big decisions this generation has made.
We have a responsibility to ensure that our land is as productive as possible, that’s why we are looking at new dam sites especially in northern Australia which could become a food bowl to Asia."
Loose Change recently posted on the recent Federal and Qld Guvmint strategic plan for northern agriculture. We now have both sides fighting over our bowl but do we want Bob Katter as judge in this beauty contest?

The paliamentary report from a committee chaired by LNP Senator and farmer Bill Heffernan was not so complimentary on the potential of our food bowl: Report kils northern food bowl dream.

However also of interest is that Abbott refers to a five pillar economy:
"We have a responsibility to keep a diverse five pillar economy: with a capable manufacturing sector, a growing knowledge economy and a sophisticated services sector as well as strong resources and agricultural industries."
Some maybe unaware that there is an imminent state election and Campbell Newman is backing a four pillar economy in Qld: construction, resources, tourism and agriculture. I guess Australia is larger and a different shape so may need an extra pillar?

Actually, I sort of prefer the architecture of Tony's pillars and will come back to that with reference to a perceived gap in the Qld LNP post-school further education and trainng policy, or even IR? There is none that I could see or maybe I missed it? Which sort of conflicts with their employment and inflation objectives I think.

How many pillars should an economy have? Campbell says four. Tony five. Do I hear six, will anyone bid me six?

Disclaimer: KS is still suffering trauma following yesterday's parlyamentary inquiry hearings and apologises for any perceived flippancy in posts!

Udate: As suggested in commenst by drpage Bill Heffernan does see to have disputed the findings of his own committee:

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan has long argued for mosaic style farming in the north, as the weather and climate changes.
The Senator disputes the findings of a northern agricultural taskforce he sat on, which found the the water supply was not reliable, and dams couldn't be built because of environmental concerns.


  1. Just on the foodbowl issue, that report you linked to was an absolute whitewash. 40,000 hectares is a joke!

    By the way, Bill Heffernan was the original chair but was kicked off when Rudd was elected. He was not responsible for the final report. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/business-old/dams-not-an-option-in-labor-food-plan/story-e6frg95o-1225828061772

    I flew over Gogo station the other day in WA. It's three times the size of the ACT with 100,000 ha of blacksoil. Groundwater is available and more would be if they dammed the Margaret River, as recommended by a 1992 report.

  2. Thanks drpage will check that out! Again, reliable research is scarce!