The year ahead

A BANK report sees green shoots in the mining sector. The Outcrop, by Robin Bromby.

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The big focus of economic attention this week has been the Federal government initiative to build a huge defence export industrial base.

All well and good, and let’s hope the $3.8 billion actually gets us bangs for our bucks. After all, the Feds trying to pick economic and business winners has, shall we say, a patchy history when it comes to successes.

You can see the point: we need to defend ourselves, and the more we make here the better (as we found out 1939-45), but the Australian military is not large enough to sustain an industrial base, and exporting is the only to keep the show on the road.

But, have you noticed, the resources sector never seems get the nod? After all, $3.8 billion big o...