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Time to end Australia's dependence upon Chinese, Japanese and US corporations

My heart bleeds for those mine workers who are now worried about how to pay for their investment properties! They have been sucked into the greed of property ownership. Their greed has led to crippling rents in Perth for those who have not been so lucky as to be part of the temporary big boom. The fly-in fly-out policy of the corporations has removed BHP et al from any responsibility for their workers.

Years ago BHP upgraded their steel mill in Kwinana then closed it down. There will soon be a shortage of steel worldwide. Now is the time for the Federal Government to invest in opening up Kwinana steel and investing in Australia’s steel industry again since most of the minerals are in WA. This will make it possible for big infrastructure projects to take place.

Spain has already begun a revolution in travel habits. Spanish high speed rail has grown by 28%. The high speed train journey from Madrid to Barcelona now takes 2hours 35 minutes. This controls carbon emissions since the VFT uses 19% less energy than other trains is more efficient than air travel that often force long delays at airports. Spain has increased infrastructure projects to combat the recession and plans to invest $145bn in high speed rail networks until 2020.

Australia could learn from this Spanish initiative by investing in such projects that would save Australian outback towns from extinction. Open up tourism and give more jobs outside the metropolitan regions.

Government public spending should have long term plans that will give workers jobs and hope for the future without our Government being forced to be beholden to corporations in China, Japan and the USA. The community doesn't want charity it wants work and security for the future. We are fed up of greedy boom bust economy policies.


Sentiments and analysis of how the fly-in policy and the blow-up of the economy disempowered industrial and social protection is good. Your recommendations for more big infrastructure and nationalising mining would meet with support from me if it were not for overpopulation, pollution and petroleum depletion. Interesting article, however. Thanks.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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WA has been acting like a third world nation, pushing population growth well above levels found in most developed nations and encouraging multinational companies to extract nonrenewable resources as fast as possible. All thought of secondary processing has disappeared. This State is likely to end up like some African nations, with all its easy to extract mineral and energy resources depleted and an overload of population to support.

With climate change looming, the situation will only get worse -- and this all in the State which has boasted about its Sustainability Strategy.

Certainly trains are less energy consumptive than planes and modern VFT may have 19% energy saving compared with conventional rail. But it doesn't take long for 19% saving to be eaten up by population growth in a country that is now adding a million people every 3 years. And don't forget the distances involved here. Try superimposing a map of Europe over WA and you will see what I mean.

Mary, we need to stop talking to each other and start talking to the decision makers.

My motto for 2009 dripping water on stone opens deaf ears. How about helping and sending your blogs to government and media. (Congrats on you recent West Australian letter).

Best wishes,

Paddy Weaver.