There was a political party formed to do this once, IIRC in the 1980s. They called themselves the Engineering Australia Party, and their platform was to build a man-made mountain range across the middle of Australia, running north-south. This would act like the Rockies or Andes and cause rain to fall on the western slopes, greening the inland. They never addressed soil quality or the fact that much of the western slopes of the Rockies and Andes are if anything rain-shadows. Oh, and all heavy industry in Australia was going to be moved inside the mountain range to contain its pollution.
This was going to be paid for by doing a thorough geological survey of the entire Australian continent to locate all mineral resources, and so exploit them. Again, no mention of how flooding the world market with more resources that it wanted to buy would affect the price and so the economics of this whole deal.
I convinced everyone I knew to vote for them in that election, but I think my circle of friends contributed most of their vote-count.
The Australian desert is extremely poor in all senses. The only common “mineral” there is iron ore and that won’t enrich anything (aside from the oceans of course). Here’s what happened to Sydney when the desert dust came to town. We’ve had no active volcanoes for (IIRC) 150 million years, so the soil has been extremely depleted over that period.