The extreme reliance of Australia's trade balance, economic growth and Commonwealth budget position on three major exports has led economist, and one-time advisor to former prime minister Kevin Rudd, Andrew Charlton to question, "is Australia still a developed economy?"
Some low income countries like Nepal, Kenya, and Tanzania have greater export diversity than Australia.
Dr Andrew Charlton, economist, AlphaBeta
"Before the boom, Australia's export concentration was broadly in line with other similar high income countries. But by 2010 our export concentration had soared," Dr Charlton, who now runs economics consultancy firm AlphaBeta, wrote in a note on the data.
"Today our exports are more concentrated than the average of even the middle income countries, and even some low income countries like Nepal, Kenya, and Tanzania have greater export diversity than Australia."
While concluding that Australia obviously remains amongst the advanced economies, Dr Charlton warned that the nation's concentration in exports, combined with a domestic reliance on increasing debt to fund a real estate boom, has left Australia's economy dangerously exposed to commodity price fluctuations.
"For a decade, Australian governments have been operating on the assumption that, once the mining boom passed, low interest rates and a falling dollar would be enough to bring the non-resource sectors dancing out of their graves," he argued.
"Unfortunately, no such resurrection is occurring."