Mining great for dining

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 20th December 2017

The Western Australian mining boom added $4.8 billion to the state’s dining industry between 2004-2015 Edith Cowan University research has found.

The industry received a further AUD $900 million thanks to a growing coffee culture, the establishment of the small bar trend, busier lifestyles and “food fashion” (which includes the rise in popularity of cooking shows and food apps).

Between 2004 – 2015, the WA dining industry grew by 139 per cent and industry employment rose by 69 per cent.

Researcher, Professor of Finance, Robert Powell, said the mining boom is responsible for more than half of the growth in the WA dining sector, with the remainder attributable to growth which would have occurred regardless.

“WA’s dining boom was almost double that experienced in the rest of Australia and had twice the growth of the state’s grocery industry.” Professor Powell said.

In total, the dining sector added an extra AUD $8.9 billion to the WA economy during the mining boom.

The downside

Despite the serge in employment and wages between 2004 – 2015, in 2016 dining industry jobs fell by 5 per cent and full-time employment positions dropped by 25 per cent.

As spending on eating out is a discretionary household purchase, it is volatile and reacts to shocks, whether at the local or global level,” Professor Powell said.

“These correlations provide evidence of the strong link between mining and dining.

“Like many other sectors, the dining industry cannot continue to rely on mining to boost it, which suggests government and industry need to formulate policies to support non-mining industries.”


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