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How Australia’s ‘resource curse’ may be addressed in the Federal Budget

Australian government Budgets do not normally provide a framework for the big foreign policy debates of the moment.

But the May 11 Budget is likely to only underline the growing dichotomy between the declining diplomatic relationship with China and the reality that overall export revenue has not suffered so much yet.

It will all be about iron ore. The commodity is now trading at about $180 a tonne, which is about three times what the government estimated in its financial update late last year and the highest level in a decade. And it is mostly all about China’s faster recovery from the pandemic.

So, a government that has been prepared to risk other export products such as wine over diplomatic policy differences with China, is still counting on that same country to underpin its Budget and economic recovery.

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