Breaking Australia's back

Since the days of the gold rushes and the wool booms, Australia has always relied on its great primary industries — mining, farming, forestry, and fishing and their supporting transport, energy, and processing industries.

First was the export of hides and tallow, wool and timber.  Then came the great discoveries of gold, coal, copper, and silver-lead-zinc, followed by exports of wheat, butter, meat, and cotton.  These industries paid the wages of the workers of Australia.  Today, the government royalties and taxes on our massive exports of coal, gas, iron ore, nickel, copper, silver-lead-zinc, aluminum, and uranium have become the mainstays of the tax-consuming and ever growing state and federal bureaucracies.

Every one of these backbone industries must have three things — secure access to resource-rich land; reliable low-cost energy for extraction, processing and transport; and reliable water supply.  These are the three things most threatened by today's Chicken Littles.

Every day, vested interests and green alarmists (often foreign-funded or tax-exempt) are using every worry they can discover or invent to break the backbone of Australia — global warming, species extinction, pollution, U.N. dictates, and land rights for everyone except those currently making productive use of the land.

They favor pest-ridden scrubs of woody weeds over productive grasslands and encourage farm invasions by animal activists.  They prevent construction of new water conservation dams and weirs, insist on letting more stored "environmental" water flow back to the sea, and then spend billions on desalination plants to get that water back from the sea.

They close the gate to explorers, use death-by-delay to stop projects they disapprove of, and throttle foresters and fishermen with ever increasing no-go zones, while sacred serpents or the "just three mines" policy smothers every uranium deposit discovered.  They redefine natural gases as "pollution" to be taxed, and now they are driving whole industries offshore by forcing reckless conversion to high-cost, unpredictable intermittent green energy.  While politicians babble about dream-time electric cars, our huge transport fleet relies on imports of gas and diesel refined overseas — we now have under 30 days of gas and diesel supplies here.

As jobs disappear, welfare booms and national bankruptcy beckons.

Australia is a poorly defended storehouse of underutilized resources beside the teeming millions of Asia.  Our unappreciated assets include:

  • aluminum, nickel and cobalt in laterites from Greenvale to Cape York, to Mitchell Plateau, to Kalgoorlie;
  • rutile, zircon, ilmenite, monazite, silica sand, and rare earths in coastal sands from Bathurst Island to Bunbury, in the Murray Basin and along the Sunshine Coast;
  • oil shales from Julia Creek to Gladstone to Mt. Coolon and in most other states (not one shale deposit in Australia has yet been tested by fracking);
  • untested offshore resources of oil, gas, and methane hydrates in sediments on our vast continental shelf;
  • massive coal deposits in the Galilee, Surat, Bowen, Laura, and Sydney Basins;
  • uranium deposits from Coronation Hill in N.T. to South Australia and in the Harvey Range in Queensland;
  • vast fresh-water resources that regularly flood from coastal hills into the seas from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Northern Rivers of NSW and down the Murray Darling Rivers;
  • huge resources of free-range protein in mobs of wild rabbits, pigs, kangaroos, and camels;
  • a wide continental shelf of marine life for harvesting or marine farm development.

Today, our Asian neighbors come as tourists and diligent observers to marvel at the backbone resources we have sterilized or neglected.

What will they come as tomorrow?