Is Australia becoming the world’s quarry?

Australia’s heavy reliance on natural resources has brought riches to many, but risks worsening the country’s structural economic flaws.

SYDNEY, Australia — For years, Australia has been sitting pretty while the fiscal albatross of toxic debt and sagging demand dragged down its allies in the developed world.

While the global financial crisis had people from New York to Nuremburg tightening their belts, surging demand from China for iron ore and coal was fueling the flash cars that clog Sydney’s throughways at rush hour — and boosting the Australian dollar to unimagined heights.

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