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Ideas for Australia: Let’s retire the idea that Australia ‘depends’ on digging up coal and other resources

TJ Ryan Foundation Board member, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (15.4.16) about data that ‘undermine’ the notion that the country’s economy is largely reliant on coal mining and other resource industries.

‘Here’s a question that, in one form or another, has been asked repeatedly over the years: how long can Australia carry on its reliance on coal, gas and resources, in the face of looming economic and environmental pressures?

‘This problem has become increasingly acute with the sharp decline in world prices for fossil fuels, particularly coal. Coal is, on some measures, one of Australia’s biggest industries. But many analysts warn that it is facing a permanent structural decline, with a zero-carbon world economy as the end point.

‘So, the question posed above, while it applies to almost any major mineral commodity, is of most relevance to the decline of coal, because it is already well under way.’

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