Dick Smith to talk environment, economy
Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith will be speaking in Queenstown this week.JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
Business entrepreneur and larger-than-life Australian Dick Smith is heading to Queenstown this week to talk about economic and environmental challenges facing the world.
Speaking to the Southland Times from Australia, the founder of the Dick Smith chain said the world's existing free market capitalist system was one that required growth in the use of resources and energy.
When people advocated economic growth they were really advocating ''perpetual'' growth, which in many contexts was unsustainable.
Growth was still achievable but needed to be efficient.
''I am a very proud capitalist.
''We need an economic system that doesn't require perpetual growth, if you're constantly using non-sustainable resources capitalism will just adapt to it.''
In world economic terms, there was a ''new colonialism'' and a return to reliance on the northern hemisphere, citing the domination of the Australian news media by Rupert Murdoch' New York-based News Corp.
''All of our big business is run from the northern hemisphere. Everyone is selling off Australia ... you have to move away from that measure of GDP.''
It was not possible for one country to achieve change in economic approach but people needed to talk about growth without depleting resources and plan for it over 20 or 30 years.
''Nothing in nature grows perpetually.
''I believe we can have a stable economic system but to change from the one we have now where it's easy to make money, to change it will be quite hard.''
Mr Smith will speak at the Tomorrow's Business seminar in Queenstown on Friday.
The noted aviator, the first along with a co-pilot to complete an east to west crossing by balloon from New Zealand to Australia in 2000, plans to spend a day hiking on the Routeburn track before heading to the Chatham Islands for more bush walking.
- © Fairfax NZ News