Mining blamed for tourism decline

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The resources industry is hurting the tourism sector and not benefitting workers outside the mining industry, according to left-leaning think tank The Australia Institute.

Yesterday Australia Institute executive director Richard Denniss said while mining magnates were "great at talking up the benefits of their boom" they were not taking responsibility for the hurt mining "imposes" on rural communities.

"While we have all heard stories about truck driving jobs earning big dollars, the reality for the 99 per cent of Queenslanders who don’t work in the mining industry is high housing costs, higher mortgage interest rates and fewer jobs in tourism, manufacturing and agriculture," he said.

"Every new mine means a higher Australian dollar, and the higher the dollar, the fewer the tourists."

The AI said a new report by Queensland’s Office of Economic and Statistical Research on employment projections showed trade exposed industries like manufacturing and tourism continued to be hurt by mining.

The AI said mining’s strength was "good for those lucky few who work in it" but meant tougher times for most other workers.

The criticism runs contrary to comments made by the Reserve Bank last month, which said the mining industry benefitted the entire economy.

RBA deputy governor Phillip Lowe said while mining’s strength produced challenges for some industries, its had boosted the economy overall.

"In effect, there is a chain that links the investment boom in the Pilbara and in Queensland to the increase in spending at cafés and restaurants in Melbourne or Sydney," he said.

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