According to the Australian Industry Group and the Commonwealth bank, the service sector has probably begun to contract.
According to Wikipedia, the services sector represents a whopping 68% of Australia's GDP.
So, if 68% of the economy is shrinking, then the other 32% needs to be working very hard to prevent an economic downturn. Fortunately, resources and the stockmarket are doing well, but they can't be expected to keep things ticking over while the service sector goes into decline.
How much do I blame Howard for this? The bubble-inducing and vote-catching policies that have warped the natural functions of the marketplace in the Housing industry are probably one thing I would point out. With the housing bubble slowly deflating, and with interest rates rising, people are less likely to buy their Lattes on credit card.