'Earth, Fire, Wind and Water'

The first report in the ANZ insight series, ‘Earth, Fire, Wind and Water: Economic Opportunities and the Australian Commodities Cycle' was released in September 2011.

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The objective of the report was to quantify the size of the economic ‘prize’ open to Australia as a result of the current resources cycle.

The report says that changes occurring in the global economy are not akin to a routine commodities ‘boom,’ rather it represents a profound shift of unprecedented proportion in Australia’s economic history and it has decades to run.

Key findings were shared first with staff at a Super Regional Speaker Series session in Melbourne, ahead of the report being released to the media.

‘Earth, Fire, Wind and Water’ was researched and prepared for ANZ by Port Jackson Partners.

Key findings

  • If Australia expands capacity quickly enough, commodity export revenues could reach $480 billion in real terms by 2030, even with significant price and margin reductions across key sectors.
  • Direct and support sector employment could double, with at least 750,000 jobs created.
  • To achieve this level of export growth, investment of around $1.8 trillion is required over the next 20 years.
  • The opportunities and benefits can accrue more broadly than is commonly understood as more than half of the market capitalisation of ASX-listed companies is made up of business connected to commodity production or export.
  • The risk of non-commodities sectors being ‘crowded out’ is present, but can be managed by increasing capacity in the economy through skills and production expansion.
  • The opportunity for Australia in doing this is enormous and the potential benefits widespread. This does however require an invigorated national discussion in Australia to position itself thoughtfully and energetically to capture as much of the opportunity as possible and mitigate the negative impacts.

Related information 

  • Download the ‘Earth, Fire, Wind and Water’ report
  • Watch the video of Angus Taylor and Warren Hogan discussing the report.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.