Perth has doubled its population to 2 million in the last 30 years, but it hasn’t changed much. The same old families still rule the roost and anyone from across the Nullarbor Plain is known as an ‘Eastern Stater’ or ‘someone from over there.’
The propagandists for the recently defunct Liberal government will say it was a matter of ‘time,’ as in Gough Whitlam’s ‘It’s Time’ campaign of 1972. This is not true. It was a matter of the monumental stupidity of the government.
I worked in mineral exploration during the last mining boom in WA in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Then it was mainly nickel the explorers sought. This time it was mainly, though not entirely, iron ore. This time, the resource was already there, thanks to the foresight of Sir Charles Court, former Liberal Premier of WA. They just had to dig up the rocks and put the iron ore on a ship to China. For years, the iron ore mines were marginal propositions supplying mainly the Japanese market. When the China boom began, the miners, mainly BHP and Rio, and later Fortescue, were ready.
Now, I wish to make this clear. The iron ore boom was the most stupendous boom in a century. WA had seen nothing like it since the gold rush at the turn of the 20th century. With the assurance of riches never seen before, Colin Barnett’s government began a massive spending spree: new hospitals (plural), a new football stadium, which neither the Dockers nor the Eagles has as yet called ‘home’ and Elizabeth Quay. Elizabeth Quay scaled new heights of idiocy. Contractors dug a huge hole in the Esplanade, on the Swan River, and eventually, after years of effort, filled it with water. The net result? More passengers take the ferry to South Perth. Not really worth
Dr Gary Johns
on No Contraception No Dole: Tackling intergenerational welfare
The Adam Smith Club will host a meeting on Tuesday the 12th of April, 2016 at Bohéme Restaurant Bar, 368 Bridge Road, Richmond. (invitation download below)
The Hon Dr Gary Johns served in the House of Representatives from 1987-1996, was Special Minister of State and Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations from 1993-1996 and was an Associate Commissioner of the Commonwealth Productivity Commission 2002-2004. He was for 10 years Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs and a senior consultant with ACIL Tasman economic consultants from 2006-2009. In 2009 he was appointed Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Australian Catholic University’s Public Policy Institute. In 2012 he was appointed visiting fellow at QUT Business School.
Gary Johns will argue the case for his book “No Contraception No Dole: Tackling intergenerational
welfare”. It has created considerable controversy amongst the chattering classes and will be an
opportunity for those who attend to discuss the pros and cons with the author.
The November Dinner will be David Archibald on “Australia’s Defence 2016 and Beyond”
The Adam Smith Club will host a meeting on Tuesday the 10th of November, 2015
at Bohéme Restaurant Bar, 368 Bridge Road, Richmond.
David Archibald is a Perth-based scientist working in the fields of oil exploration, medical research, climate science and energy. After graduating from Queensland University in geology in 1979, he worked in coal and oil shale exploration in Queensland and then in oil exploration with Esso in Sydney. A long period in stockbroking as an analyst was followed by work for a private investor. He subsequently floated the oil exploration company Oilex in 2003 and then joined a Canadian-listed oil exploration company in 2006. Also at that time, he was CEO of the mineral explorer Westgold Resources. David’s last book was Twilight of Abundance (2014). He will be talking about his new book on Australia’s defence.
The June 2015 Dinner will be Bernie Finn on “Back in the Black Next Year -Let’s Get Serious About Australia’s Future!”
MLC for Western Metro 2006-present, Member for the Seat of Tullamarine 1992-1999, Parliamentary Shadow Secretary for Autism Spectrum Disorder, electoral integrity, and Melbourne’s West, outspoken Parliamentarian on controversial issues such as global warming and abortion, former radio broadcaster, avid Richmond supporter and family man. With the recent release of the budget, Bernie Finn will address the Club on Australia’s finances and its future.