Kevin Rudd and his Federal Government ministers have lately taken to uttering the catch-cry that they "want Australia to be a place that makes things". However, this will not happen in a world of slave-labour economies, until the abandonment of protectionism, supported by both the major Australian political parties, is reversed.
Surprisingly this harmful policy began in the years of the otherwise largely economically nationalistic Whitlam Labor Government.
Martin Feil writes in his opinion piece in the Age newspaper of where this has led Australia three and a half decades later:
No doubt not far behind would be other unproductive categories such as finance and land speculation. Property development, including construction, whilst superficially appearing to be a productive economic activity, merely facilitates adding more to our population for which sustainably productive employment has yet to be created. The same applies to the construction of roads, and other infrastructure to service the areas in which the new arrivals will live.
Whilst Premier Kevin Rudd and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh apparently believe that these activities can indefinitely continue to be a major component of Australia's economy, common sense tells us that they cannot.
Martin Feil continues:
See also: "Whatever happened to Australian manufacturing?" by Martin Feil in the Age of 20 May 10.