GETTING ON TRACK: A Business Plan for Australia
Society for Australian Industry and Employment
Paperback RRP $19.95 plus p&h (Available from News Weekly Books)
A new book, Getting on Track: A Business Plan for Australia, calls on Australian governments to re-build industries and generate meaningful employment in Australia, in the face of declining rural and manufacturing industry and mounting welfare dependence and foreign debt.
Produced by the Society for Australian Industry and Employment (available from News Weekly Books – see page 21), the book was launched in Melbourne on July 28.
Getting on Track has chapters by Ken Aldred, former Liberal MP; Earnest Rodeck AM, a leading business figure; Pat Byrne, National Civic Council vice-president; and Martin Feil, economist and former director of the Industries Assistance Commission.
Launching the book, Martin Feil deplored the lack of full-time work for young people and pointed out that almost as much of Australia’s economy is in moving goods around the nation as in actual production. Manufacturing is down to 11 per cent of GDP while logistics is 9 per cent of GDP.
Also launching the book was Dr Peter Brain, executive director of the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research. He urged politicians to take heed of the book’s call to rebuild industry in Australia, and painted a bleak picture of the economic road ahead, unless action was soon taken.
He said average household debt was now 166 per cent of average household income, a level not seen since 1929. He predicted that when the baby-boomers retired, they would not use their super savings to keep themselves in retirement, but to pay off their debts and then go onto social security.
It would be Australia’s X and Y generations that would have to sustain these retirees, and the younger generation will soon find that much of their assets are now foreign owned.
Dr Brain said that only a fall in world interest rates had stopped Australia’s current account deficit from blowing out to a disastrous 8-10 per cent of GDP. The problem, he said, was the unbalanced nature of the economy, with foreign borrowings being used to finance consumption and imports rather than to finance new industries and jobs.