Australia reaps benefits of Asian mining bonanza - but not everyone's a winner

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Dec 20 2012, 12:39:37

Commodities boom comes with pitfalls as property bubble leaves many behind and those outside mining face soaring prices

Australia hardly qualifies as the developing world, but there is no doubt that it is booming, with few ill effects from the financial crisis and growth set to top 3% this year.

But the boom comes with pitfalls. The surge in the mining industry in recent years has led to a giddy property bubble which, although good for landlords and homeowners, is not so easy for anyone unconnected with the mineral wealth.

In the tropical Queensland city of Gladstone, seven hours' drive north of Brisbane, a retired painter, Allan Giles, is completing the sale of another of his investment properties. He is on the right side of the equation. His modest three-bedroom brick-veneer house with a huge garden and picket fence is three blocks from the sea. Eight years ago he paid A$145,000 (£94,000) for the house. It has just sold for A$375,000.

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