If I “owned Australia” I’d focus on its strengths – its vast supply of energy raw materials and to build a highly competitive energy supply sources located in “special economic zones” in remote locations to attract the best brains, manufacturing ideas and businesses into Australia.
Some basics – we are a small emerging and uncompetitive economy with vast natural resources – and importantly energy raw materials (coal, uranium, gas, oil) and agricultural land.
We are surrounded by large, rapidly growing, competitive Asian economies and populations – who are “out smarting” us and using our natural wealth effectively to manufacture competitive goods, put us out of business, and probably eventually buy us and our natural wealth and space.
Australia is effectively destroying what little manufacturing base we have established – through rising costs of labour and energy, overzealous anti competitive regulation, amongst others.
Focussing on energy, we have been selling our coal resource to foreign mining companies (Thai, Chinese, Indian etc) and are then surprised when cheap domestic supply contracts are abandoned and our valuable energy is exported to neighbouring countries causing large increases to our power costs – again making us even more uncompetitive.
Why not focus on Australia’s strengths – that is a vast supply of energy raw materials (coal, uranium, gas) and use scarce public funds to build a highly competitive energy supply sources (call it very cheap power), possibly located in “special economic zones” to attract the best brains, manufacturing ideas and businesses into Australia. Lets compete effectively with our partners, use our strengths and attract our neighbour’s strengths to our country – instead of us making them stronger and wealthier through exporting our strengths to them.
Clearly a lot more debate and thought would need to go into this idea – but if followed it could turn the tide in terms of the inevitable – i.e. an Australia that is just consumed into the neighbouring economies and used for their own good. Lets stand up and make a difference – this is time for brave, visionary leadership – something that all Australians can aspire to.