News Wrap

IN this morning’s News Wrap: End of commodities era as BRICS’ consumers drive demand; Greens claims threaten Queensland economy, says Seeney; and reform nation or risk losing race, Rio Tinto boss warns leaders.

Lou Caruana

End of commodities era as BRICS’ consumers drive demand

The global chief markets economist for Goldman Sachs says Australia must prepare for a “tectonic shift” in global spending away from commodities and towards consumer durables as emerging markets including China mature, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Dominic Wilson, who once lived in Australia and co-wrote economic papers on the Asian financial crisis with respected economist Ross Garnaut, said the changing mix in consumption patterns in emerging economies over the next decade would be felt by commodity-exporting nations such as Australia.

In an interview in New York, Wilson said that the global economy was moving from an age of commodities to one of consumer durables.

“The periods of intense commodity demand tend to take place at income levels that are close to the levels China has been moving through,” Wilson said.

Greens claims threaten Queensland economy, says Seeney

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has lashed out at the “unfounded and ill-informed claims” of environmental groups over the management of the Great Barrier Reef, saying their campaign against port expansion could threaten the state’s economic future, according to the Australian Financial Review.

With federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt close to making a decision on approvals for GVK Hancock Coal’s Kevin’s Corner mine in the Galilee Basin, Seeney said radical green groups were attempting to close down the state’s coal and gas industry.

Environmental groups have alleged two directors on the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority – former Townsville mayor Tony Mooney and senior Queensland public servant Jon Grayson – have a conflict of interest because of links to the resources sector.

Reform nation or risk losing the race, Rio Tinto boss warns leaders

Rio Tinto Australia managing director David Peever says Australia is at a crossroads and called for major regulatory reform or risk being left behind other economies, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Speaking at the Mines and Money Conference in Melbourne on Wednesday night, Peever insisted Australia was not a “basket case” but needed to develop a clear plan to open and reform the economy.

His speech follows the Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity by the Business Council of Australia, of which Peever is a board member.

“Australia is at a crossroads. Imminent choices of direction are critical to our future,” he said.