Australia has built its impressive position as a top economic performer on the back of our natural resources, primarily our agricultural and mineral exploits. This has helped us become a top performer in many of the important measures of human advancement, such as health, education, and happiness. Our value to the world via our exports is why we have been able to afford to build this prosperous nation. If not for anything else, the numbers show that we are known primarily for the exportation of energy (food, fossil and fission) and materials (agricultural and mineral).
This has not been without a cost to the environment but the evidence is clear that our way of life today - a wealthy, secular, plural democracy - owes its existence to this fact. However, we have not managed to build a successful value-added export economy during the boom and we risk losing what we have built if we do not accept these critical weaknesses and make plans to structurally change and transition to a 21st century economy.
The numbers are clear: a commodity based economy is not one that provides stable export income, a critical component of the prosperity of the nation.
This story is not all doom and gloom as long as we turn this knowledge of our likely future into actionable outcomes. Our current course see us with a nil to small amount of transformation and a mild amount of mitigation. This is a missed opportunity as we are in a position in resources and time that can create more prosperity and better human outcomes not just for our own citizens, but the citizens of the world.
This plan aims to do exactly this. It will not be easy, it will not be simple and this is exactly why we must to it.