Howes’ destructive ‘dig it up’ philosophy
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At today’s National Press Club address, Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes confessed that he’s a “dig it up, cut it down type of guy” and is the coal and gas industry’s best friend.
His vocal support for fossil fuel projects, particularly coal seam gas in NSW, provides an otherwise friendless industry with vital support from within the labour movement. But Howes’ pro-mining stance hurts other sectors of the economy, including the manufacturing sector, where many workers are represented by the AWU.
It is becoming clear to Australians that the mining boom is having negative consequences on other sectors of the economy. The Australian dollar has been driven to record highs based on the commodities boom and rapidly expanding mining and gas sectors, but this has made Australian manufacturing and services less competitive with imports and less competitive in international markets.
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