News

This boom 'must and will be different'

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says her government is focused on turning the mining boom into an "opportunity boom".

Ms Gillard told a forum of business leaders in Perth on Thursday that after four mining booms that ended with little lasting positive effects for Australia's economy, this time "it must and will be different".

She used the speech to emphasise the need for returning the budget to surplus, arguing it will give the Reserve Bank "room to move on monetary policy".

"All four of our previous big mining booms ended poorly - some in recession, others with little lasting benefit to show," Ms Gillard said.

"This time it must, and will, be different. That's why we've made the tough decision to price carbon so that clean energy moves from the periphery to the core of Australia's economic structure.

"This is not only about what happens in 2012. It's about where we want to be in 2062.

"When the way we generate power, manufacture things, use energy, run our transport systems have all been transformed.

"It's the same reasoning that has led us to ensure the benefits of resources growth spread to the whole economy."

Ms Gillard flagged the May 8 budget would include "targeted, thoughtful savings" to achieve the surplus, but said that would not come at the expense of frontline services.

And she hit out critics who claim the timing is wrong for a budget surplus.

"Indeed it's ironic that for months and years we've faced accusations that Labor will never deliver a surplus," she said.

"Now that we're on the very threshold of doing it, there are voices saying that we needn't bother.

"First they said we couldn't. Now they say we shouldn't. I say we will."

But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott remained unconvinced.

"The Prime Minister has admitted that her economic policy for the last four years has been a failure," Mr Abbott told reporters on Queensland's Gold Coast on Thursday.

"If it's so important to deliver a surplus to get interest rates down, what does that say about the impact of the four biggest deficits in Australian history? That has been putting upward pressure on your mortgage rate for four years."

"If the government is serious about taking pressure off interest rates, it would get its own spending under control, it would get its own borrowing under control.

Topics:  forum, julia gillard, mining boom



Family and friends unite to help after son's death

The Maskell family with son and bother Jack (centre) who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday.

Jack Maskell died in a traffic crash late last week

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

QT’s name and shame: This week’s drink and drug drivers

Senior Constable Simon Cook with the RBT bus at Tweed Police Station Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News

This week's convicted drink and drug drivers

Local Partners

Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd tie the knot

Josh Bolin marries in front of close friends and family

Marilyn Manson wants a 'nice' girl

Marilyn Manson wants a girl who understands both of his identities

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Rockhampton dancer en pointe for European stages

CENTRE STAGE: Anastasia Lewis has moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study classical ballet.

Rocky dancer believes competitions are the perfect preparation

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'