From the ABC:
Mr Frydenberg said he’d work hard with northern Australians, to get the best possible outcome for their communities and industry.
“The skill set I bring from my previous treasury portfolio, and before that, as the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister for deregulation, these will be very helpful skill sets for this role,” he said.
“I look forward even to working across the political divide with my opposite [Labor’s resources spokesman] Gary Gray, to provide the best possible outcomes for our north, and for our energy and resources sectors.”
Mr Frydenberg comes into the portfolio at a challenging time. Iron ore receipts have plummeted along with the Chinese share market, and coal prices have halved.
But the new minister is upbeat, saying he views sees the current situation “as a glass half full”.
“There’s enormous opportunity for our country with the continued industrialisation of China,” he said.
“Sure, we’ve come off the super cycle, that will be a challenge.
“But I think if we can boost productivity here in our domestic industry, capitalise on the free trade agreements and the reduced tariffs and the opening of new markets such as China, and if we can capitalise on the lower Australian dollar, then the future for that sector is pretty bright.”
Jeez mate, I hope you’ve got more than a glass half full of crap to bring to the portfolio. The industrialisaiton of China is over. What lies ahead is consumerisation. Chinese tariffs on resources aren’t falling (they will rise before long as China fights to retain local production) and the market is mature not new. The lower dollar versus the US is something, yes, but the Aussie is still way up against all of commodity competitors meaning we’re losing the market share battle.
The future for the sector and for Northern Australia is massive contraction as global demand keeps slowing and cost-out develops into a raging plague. Unless you’re prepared for that, minister, then you’re not prepared at all.