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Still Beating Around the Bush: The Continuing Impacts of the Mining Boom on Rural Exports

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Matt Grudnoff
  • Journal Name: Policy Brief
  • Journal Number: No. 47
  • Publisher: The Australia Institute
  • Published Location: Canberra ACT
  • ISBN: 1836-9014
  • Country: Australia

Since the beginning of the mining boom Australia’s rural sector has lost $61.5 billion in export income. This includes $18.9 billion in 2011-12 alone. These losses have occurred because the mining boom has forced the Australian dollar to historic highs.

The damage the mining boom is doing to other sectors has created what has been dubbed the ‘two speed economy’. The booming mining industry has pushed up the Australian exchange rate and in doing so has cut the export earnings of trade-exposed parts of the economy.

Within the rural sector the cotton growers have lost $1.3 billion in 2011-12 and $2.5 billion over the nine years of the mining boom. Wheat growers have been particularly hard hit losing $3 billion in 2011-12 and $8.3 billion over the boom.

Other important rural sectors have also been impacted. The beef and veal industry has been adversely impacted with exporting income being cut by $2.3 billion in 2011-12 and $8.5 billion over the boom. The sugar industry lost $815 million in 2011-12 and $2.7 billion over the boom.

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