More driver-less trucks. Earlier this week it was robots playing soccer in the Netherlands. Today it is stories of more driver-less trucks to be used in the mining of iron ore, with BHP unveiling its automated centre in Perth from which the “driving” will now be done. No wonder the new Treasurer Chris Bowen at his first press appearance chose to draw attention to the transition from the investment phase of the mining boom to the production phase.

“The investment and construction phases were very labour intensive, soaking up workers throughout the economy. The production phase will be very different.

“Managing the transition and dealing with the decline in our terms of trade will require very careful management in the coming months and years.”

The quote of the day.

“[It’s] important that we don’t jump because of harsh words from dark corners.”

— New Labor minister Ed Husic reacts to criticism because he swore his oath of allegiance on the Koran.

Good news if right. A prediction on the future value of the Australian dollar in London’s Financial Times suggests it will struggle to trade back to its record highs against the US dollar.

Mansoor Mohi-uddin, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at UBS, writes that the Australian dollar’s weakness since May signals that investment associated with the global commodities cycle is maturing. Not such good news:

“And it shows China is slowing, as the country attempts to shift from investment and export-led growth to a consumption-driven economy.”

News from our northern neighbour. They clearly have more to worry about in Indonesia than people leaving their shores on boats bound for Australia. From this morning’s Jakarta Post:

News and views noted along the way.

  • Rod Stewart: I won’t cross the line for BBC documentary — “Rod Stewart agreed to allow BBC cameras into his home for a revealing documentary on his hard-rocking life – but refused to allow them to film his model railway. … ‘There are very few places in my life that I like to keep private: that’s one of them, and another is soccer on Sunday morning. Every three years Model Railroader puts me on their cover, which is better than Rolling Stone.‘ “
  • Obama and the crumbling of a liberal fantasy hero — “The most vociferous critics expected far more than a mere mortal could deliver.”
  • Japan two-party politics in doubt as drubbing of Democrats looms — “Four years after the Democratic Party of Japan swept to power in a historic election ending decades of one-party dominance, the DPJ looks set for defeat in next month’s upper house poll, raising doubts about its future and prospects for a two-party system that spurs policy debate and weakens vested interests.”
  • Tools to help you hide online raise the ire of advertisers
  • The top three leadership lessons from the battle of Gettysburg — “At the 150th anniversary of America’s bloodiest civil war battle, here’s what military and civilian leaders should remember —  1. The importance of time and timing; 2. Effective leaders must ‘park’ their personal ego and focus on what is best for their organization; 3. An effective leader must articulate and communicate a strategic vision to his/her organization.”