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Resource boom leaves many families behind

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 8 Mar 2007

"WA's booming economy, driven by growth in the mining and energy industries, has not benefited most West Australian families," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

New figures released by the Greens today show low wage growth in most sectors of the WA economy, a decline in housing affordability and an escalation in rental prices, together with unemployment rates in Perth and many regional centres comparable to those experienced during the recession of the '90s.

"We have not seen this boom in mining translate into wages growth in other sectors such as retail and hospitality, our employment growth has fallen behind the national average, and most young families now cannot afford to enter the booming housing market," she said.

The report 'The Boom for Whom?' by Dr. Richard Denniss calls into question claims that average West Australians are reaping the benefits of the resources boom.

"Wages growth in most sectors of the WA economy simply isn't keeping up with the price of living," she said. "Median house prices in Perth have risen from under $100,000 in 1991 to well over $350,000 in under 15 years, and we're seeing an unemployment rate of over 8% in Perth and over 9% in Fremantle."

"It is no longer enough for State and Federal leaders to simply focus on broad economic indicators and hope the benefits will trickle down. We need a more structured and targeted approach to ensure that the benefits derived from exploiting our States resources are shared by all West Australians," concluded Senator Siewert.

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