Perth commentator Tim Treadgold is one of the state's highest-profile business journalists. He brings decades of experience to Business News, offering readers sharp and insightful analysis of current events and breaking news.
It is one of the most overused quotes of all time, but if you look at the old and the new of Western Australia’s mining industry it is impossible to avoid thinking about the first words in Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
If news from the science and banking communities proves to be as promising as it sounds, a new business opportunity is brewing that promises to be as disruptive and profitable as the early years of mobile phones – while also derailing a century-old government service.
’Tis the season to be gloomy, that much we know from following financial markets; but an early nominee for the Dr Gloomy prize of the season goes to former ANZ Bank chief economist, Saul Eslake, who said earlier this week that the China-driven mining boom was “the last in human history”.
It’s not often that a breath of fresh air wafts out of Europe, but last night was a time for a few revolutionary comments about business, specifically that ride-sharing service Uber is ‘not a problem, just a new business model’.
As much as Australia might benefit from a cut in official interest rates, it would definitely benefit from encouraging a new industry, such as the nuclear-fuel processing facility being championed by the South Australian government, and supported by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
A dispute over the future of the failed Ellendale mine might not be the worst event in the downturn hurting the state’s once-brilliant diamond industry, because the much bigger Argyle mine is also facing a fresh threat to its future.
Gas, tuna, and crayfish might not seem to have a clear connection, but there is a link – and it’s one Jeff Kennett thinks might become a worry for local supermarkets and promoters of Australian food exports to Asia.
Tipping the top or bottom of a market is never smart, especially at a time of volatile trading; but a series of recent events point to confidence growing in the start of a recovery in the Western Australian economy.
It is hard to find a winner in the coal-mining industry these days but some investors were quick to spot a Perth-based winner yesterday in the form of Wesfarmers, which saw the value of its coal assets boosted by a deal in the Hunter Valley of NSW.
If Andrew Mackenzie and Sam Walsh are right, then Western Australia’s commodity dependent economy could be at the start of a recovery; and not before time, given the weakening state of the property market as measured by mortgage defaults.
If Woodside Petroleum’s one-for-four share swap bid for rival LNG producer Oil Search was plan A, then plan B, when it comes, had better be a beauty, because so far no-one apart from Woodside management can say anything positive about the proposed takeover.
Tipping a commodity price recovery that will boost Western Australia’s economy is a game for the brave or the foolish; and while Colin Barnett came close to being one or the other yesterday, he was actually just being premature.
The second-hand car business was revolutionised 20 years ago with the arrival of the internet, but there is a second revolution under way that promises to be even more disruptive and could have a significant effect on some of Western Australia’s best-known car yards.