The topic of my talk tonight is ‘Mining Booms and the Australian Economy’. I have chosen this topic because the Australian economy is currently experiencing a surge in mining activity, one of a sequence of mining booms since the European settlement ofAustralia. These have been a powerful force in shaping the Australian economy.
Tonight I want to review the effects of these booms. Of particular interest is the question of whether there are recurring themes from which we can draw lessons on how to manage the current episode.
My talk is based on research by a couple of my colleagues from the Bank which draws on the work of several economic historians. I won't take time to list these references now, but they are shown at the end of the version of my talk on the Bank's website.