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Mining slump shows need for re-think on the economy: Greens

A forecast 10,000 WA mining jobs to be lost in the next 18 months calls for fresh thinking on the WA economy, the Australians Green say.

“Mines by their nature are finite. It is on this basis that WA has been experiencing a boom-bust economy for the past century,” Mining Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said.

“Now, with hardship again looming for thousands of WA workers, it is time to re-skill and re-orient the economy to develop the prosperous industries of the future.

“What is the WA Government doing to buffer mining-dependent communities against the downturn that is with us right now?

“Urgent action is needed to:
• Provide training and re-skilling, career guidance and advice for vulnerable workers.
• Direct money into sustainable infrastructure, such as public transport, renewable energy, local industry and community-based initiatives.
• Provide financial support for communities in transition from mining-dependency.
• Conduct analyses to identify vulnerable communities and plan for transition.
• Support strategic industries, including alternative energy, community services, public transport, manufacturing and localised economies.

“Just last week, WA Mines Minister Norman Moore announced the State Government would spend $80 million to address the mining downturn – but by spending it on mine exploration!” Senator Ludlam said.

“Surely that’s just a recipe for more boom and bust uncertainty for WA into the future.

“Besides this – and increased support for the unemployed and low-income earners  secured by the Greens in the Federal Government’s recent economic stimulus package – what is being done to shock-proof WA from future downturns?

“Sadly, it seems the path the WA Government has chosen is to simply plough into this downturn with no alternative strategies in place.”  

For more information or media enquiries please call Eloise Dortch on 0415 507 763

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