WA faced a “screaming demand” to diversify its economy to ensure the State was “more than just mining”, Opposition leader Mark McGowan says.
Responding to the latest Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook that WA’s mining boom is about to peak, Mr McGowan said today that it was important WA had strong manufacturing, science and technology and tourism industries to withstand any reduction in the mining industry.
“While mining is incredibly important to the State, Western Australia needs to be more than just mining,” he said.
“There is a screaming demand for diversity in our State’s economy. We can’t just allow mining to be everything. We have to make sure other industries have a look in as well.”
Mr McGowan said while mining would “always be successful” in WA, he flagged urgent investment in tourism marketing as well as science and technology, which had suffered significant budget cuts.
With the housing sector identified in a separate Commsec report today as the one area lagging in economic growth in WA, Mr McGowan said an urgent resolution was needed to ongoing problems with the Building Act.
“The biggest hindrance to our State’s building industry is the Building Act, which has halved the rate of approvals in Western Australia’s housing – the second-biggest employer in the State,” he said.
Mr McGowan said despite WA’s economic growth, people had seen big increases in the cost of living and State debt with “very few projects that they can call their own”.
He said Perth Arena, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth Theatre and expansion of the rail network were projects started under the former Labor Government.
“I don’t actually see many things that this Government has done,” he said.
Meanwhile the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA said the Deloitte Access Economics report released today predicting an end to the “boom” did not paint an accurate picture of the industry’s future.CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the nature of the resources sector would change as the construction of projects were completed in the near term and moved into production but this was not a signal the sector would decline.
The new magazine for a new generation of West Australians.Click here to download »
All the latest market figures from Australia and the world.Click here »
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.