"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Australia, recent history

Upon reflection it seems that most of my Australian posts have had to do with the past, while this interests me and some of you too it gives no insight into the modern vibrant Australia that I live in today, I will make some effort to correct this situation.

Australia sits proudly among the worlds “developed” countries, which probably means only that we have similar debts, frustrations, crime rates and problems to other “developed” countries.

Our location in the Southern Hemisphere (Down Under) means that our seasons are the reverse of our Northern Hemisphere contemporaries, things happen a day earlier here as far as the clock goes but in fact, due to our relative remoteness and small population we play “catch up” most of the time when it comes to world trends.

Our very large island continent is divided into only 6 states, 1 of which is the tiny island of Tasmania, and 2 territories (please don’t ask why the 2 territories are not states…its completely beyond me) about half of our population live in the capital cities of these states the other half predominately live in other cities and towns which to a very large extent are clustered along our Eastern seaboard, the huge “Red Centre” that we love to fantasize about has only been seen by perhaps 10% of Australians.

Our city’s are modern with “adequate” services and facilities but we suffer; water shortages, power restrictions, road gridlocks, urban sprawl and sundry other modern problems, much like the rest of the world!!!

We have a vast supply of minerals; coal (fast becoming a dirty word), iron ore, bauxite (aluminium), copper, silver, gold, diamonds and even uranium, but having chosen?? To live in the “world society” governed by the “world market” we have an ever decreasing manufacturing industry choosing?? To import a huge percentage of our needs from “developing” countries.

Our climate is diverse as well, it ranges from temperate in the South with 4 distinct seasons to sub-tropical in the North with a Wet and a Dry season, this South to North covers some 2500 miles so there is a gradual change as you travel rather than a sudden change.

In the Southern highlands we have more snow annually than Switzerland but in almost all other regions there is no snowfall at all, the relative humidity of the North, often hovering around 75%, particularly near the coast line (where most of us live) takes visitors by surprise and takes a lot of getting used to.

Rainfall also varies from “a few metres” around the mountains of the North to 30 inches as an average in our best areas to 10 inches in our marginal country, the red centre gets only a small portion of that 10 inch annual rainfall.

Predominately we still live in houses that are located on their own block of ground but there has been a trend over the last 20/30 years toward more communal living, apartments and cluster style housing.

Our Government is based on the British Parliamentary system with an upper and lower house, similar I suppose to the government and senate of the USA, we have basically a two party system; Labor, traditionally blue collar workers, and Liberal, traditionally white collar workers, these lines often get muddied up a bit as times change and minor parties emerge, usually briefly, for their 5 minutes of fame.

Australia is peopled predominantly by Christian white anglo-saxon’s although we have had for many years a substantial immigration program which now means that people from almost every country on earth call Australia home, this has led to many changes in most aspects of life in Australia from religion, to foods and cultures.

To write a post such as this without mentioning Sport would be like going to a Barbie (barbecue) without the snags (sausages) and burgers, Australians are among the most sport oriented people on earth, whether its as participants or as spectators, whether they are male, female, adult or child when it comes to sport we are there!!!!!!

Should any aspect of this post strike your fancy I will be pleased to give you more information on it.


kenju said...

Peter, they should hire you to write travel brochures for AU!!

Gattina said...

Very interesting post ! I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot ! Thanks !

Puss-in-Boots said...

Well said, Peter. But you didn't mention the snakes, crocodiles, sharks, poisonous spiders...

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy reading your blog and I have come to love you and your family.

Cliff said...

The problem for you is that when I decide I've had enough of the drivel here in the states, I'm planning on moving to the land of oz.
Coal isn't a dirty word.
I loved your story about Ned by the way.
We've always had horses here on this farm.
That's also why I'm an angry old man and broke.

Dave said...

I guess I've always wondered if Australia is anything like we've seen in the "Crocodile Dundee" movies.
Are there still large groups of aborigines?
Are they treated well (unlike our American Indians were treated)?

What's the greatest misconception that visitors have of Oz? What's the biggest thing that surprises them?

karisma said...

Hmmm! I must be a ring in then! Im not too fussed on sport myself! Especially football and cricket....I loathe those ones! How Un-Australian of me!

As for coal being a dirty word, grrrr, Im so sick of those damn ships that are polluting our nice beaches, they sit all the way down the coast from Newcastle and yes rubbish and fuel gets into the shore. Its disgusting!

Pamela said...

whaddaya mean: strikes my fancyeverything you write striks my fancy

(by the way... what is my fancy?)

Suzz said...

Hi, Peter. I think you should be appointed Australia's ambassador to the blogging world. Your posts are always interesting. Hope all goes well for Rex.

Jamie Dawn said...

I enjoyed this post very much. I'm thinking that since Australia is so sports oriented, that Aussies for the most part are probably in good shape.
Should I visit Australian someday, I bet I won't be visiting the Red Center. I'm thinking I'd be a big sissy when it comes to that hard area.
In Arkansas, we have hot, high humid weather from about June through September, with July and August being the worst. I don't mind it though. I much prefer the spring weather that we are having right now. It is perfect! Not too hot or cold... it's just right. And with all the greenery and blooms and birds singing, I'd like it to remain this way longer. But alas... summer is coming, and we shall be sweating before long.
We've had TONS of rain in the past two weeks. I mean lots and lots. I'm considering growing gills.