Paul Chong Thursday, 21 September 2017
I was reading an article of mine published (1990) in a little book entitled “How To Have Motivation Unlimited”. To my delight I found it to be profoundly prophetic in respect of Australia, long dubbed as The Lucky Country, falling from its sky high status.
Quoting from the article: “In a recent survey conducted by the travel & business newsletter International Living, Australia rates number one when considering climate & recreation, literary & personal freedom. It ranks fifth place to live after the US, Switzerland, Canada & Sweden in that order. For climate & recreation, Australia rates a perfect 10. In terms of political & civil freedom, Australia is one of the 18 countries to score perfect.
Economically however, out of the 167 nations surveyed, Australia is not so healthy & finishes down the list at number 32. This economic rating does not stand to reason.
Australia was the richest country in the world 1885 and 1900, but after more than 50 years it was overtaken & replaced by the US & Canada. Since then we have continued our economic downturn. It is likely that neighbouring Asian countries like Singapore will overtake us in the foreseeable future. As it is, we are third behind Brunei & Japan in terms of per capita wealth, and that is after being the rich man of Asia for so ver long. Such economic ills have prompted Paul Keating, the Federal Treasurer to come out with the term “Banana Republic”.
Today, we are truly the poor cousin of our neighbouring Asian countries. We who are richly endowed with great natural resources can be so impoverished is beyond belief. Australia is the world’s leading producer of rutile, zircon, bauxite, iron ore and ilmenite, the second largest producer of alumina, gold, lithium, manganese ore, lead and zinc, the third largest producer of uranium, and the fourth largest of silver, nickel and black coal. Australia has about 0.3 per cent of the world oil reserves. Most of Australia’s known remaining oil resources are condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) associated with giant offshore gas fields in the Browse, Carnarvon and Bonaparte basin.
The ceiling of national debt has been raised with each successive government, whether Labour or Liberal. So far, honest John Howard, a former Australian politician who was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. John Howard is the second longest serving prime minister of Australia after Robert Menzies & the only PM I know who left office with a national surplus.
Our national debt stands at AUD 6,443,127,254,721 (as on 20 September 2017 Australian Debt Clock). It is steadily & incessantly clicking away by the smallest of time, each successive government has been shooting up its debt ceiling. This sounds more like US.
Without an objective central planning, each government lacks cohesive & continuous policy to grow & progress with its economy. Besides in-fighting & back-stabbing over leadership lead not to any political fruitfulness.
As an avid observer & by no means a politician, I have not seen any infrastructure construction since The Snowy Mountains Scheme (1972) .The Hydro-Electric Scheme is by far the largest engineering project ever undertaken in Australia. We have seen how China miraculously grow in the last few decades through its prerequisite building of infrastructure. Having said that, it is also essential to review, renew & rebuild old ones. Otherwise, like US, the nation is falling to rot & inadequacy.
It is recommended that Australia take stock, chart its course & change its direction & linkage. The west & Great Britain are waning & falling behind the western sunset. Get on the speedy wagon of the high-speed rail of China & seize on the golden opportunities afforded by the Belt & Road Initiative.
To be great again with a forward & upward change of attitude
to ensure Australia’s altitude!