ACTING Premier Andrew Fraser (pictured) has warned the business community against describing Queensland as a ‘mining economy’.
Speaking at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Young Business Forum last night, Fraser claims that sticking with the concept risks ‘greatly underselling the state’.
“We shouldn’t say we are a mining economy, because it’s a concept reflected by history more so than the truth,” says Fraser.
“It’s like me saying my wife’s grandparents are all Irish and my kids are roughly 15 per cent Irish – and therefore all Irish (when) they are not.”
Queensland’s mining industry only accounts for 2 per cent of state-wide employment, says Fraser.
“We conceptualise our economic prosperity by photographs on newspapers and in our minds of the number of ships off the coast of Mackay,” he says.
“But no one thinks that because we don’t have a National Broadband Network people around Australia, who are working on value-added products shooting off to the US and Europe, (lose business because) the internet is dropping out. That is as economically significant as ships waiting offshore from coal terminals.”
Fraser claims the state’s ‘economic destiny’ will be fulfilled by reaching people with value-added products, applied research and up-skilling.
“To not do so, is to recognise that they are on a one-way ticket that has no end point,” he says.
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