THE MARKETS celebrated a record December trade surplus by lifting the Aussie dollar, but it just shows all governments are off track.
The export-led economic growth was led by iron ore, coal, grains and sugar exports — none of the areas backed by governments.
In fact, led by their hipster, inner city advisors, governments have been doing all they can by slowing development approvals for mining and agriculture — and adding as many taxes and charges as they can burden on these industries.
Some $32.6 billion of exports in December for a $3.5 billion surplus and not a hipster in sight.
The Queensland government thinks building a jail at more than a million dollars a cell is going to boost the economy, while it puts every obstacle in the way of mining and agriculture.
Even the much vaunted (and political donation heavy) property industry only added half a per cent to Australia’s growth in 2017.
Most politicians, their advisors and the public forget that when export commodity prices were down in 2015, December registered a $4.4 billion deficit.
How quickly they forget.
They don’t seem to understand that to support Australia’s growing population we need to expand the industries where Australia has a comparative advantage — mining and agriculture.
That means backing those who have stuck with their farms and commodities through thick and thin — not just the multinationals who opportunistically come in, invest little in upgrading but rather try to use political manoeuvring to be able to rip more money from Australian farmers into their tax free bolt-holes.
It is time to celebrate a good export mob by giving more support to those who can keep the real economy expanding.