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Collapse Issue 487:<br />3 Feb 2020<br />_____________Issue 487:
3 Feb 2020
_____________
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Southern Spirit fined $1000 for Pink Day fundraiser
Community group calls for Umina Mall clean-up
Supermarket fixes leaking stormwater pipe
High winds cause widespread damage
Kingsview Hill residents petition for maintenance work
Association gives qualified support to mobile tower plan
Residents' group says new plans are 'even worse'
Bays Community Group prepares for fair
Energy company withdraws seismic testing application
Honour for service to animal conservation
Coastal Twist founder is Women of the Year finalist
Tesch urges seniors to take up travel card
Girls' lemonade stand raises $152 for Wires
Skate park work 'unlikely' before July
Fundraiser for firefighters' socks
Council invites businesses to disability access forum
Information about grants
Tree group learns about value of dead trees
Presentation about staying safe online
Paddle board beach party for vision-impaired youth
Toastmasters to hold speaking course
Lawyer returns from international cricket win
Work starts on five-storey apartment block
Real estate agents wins three franchise awards
Man charged over stabbing incident
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Social housing: What is the alternative?
Lucky streaks don't last forever
Doctor is harder to see than the Queen
Unnecessary watering is a waste
Doom and gloom prophecy or indisputable fact?
What about proportional representation in Council
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Aged care provider adopts new model
Luncheon to raise money for clown doctors
Hairdressers can help in cancer detection, says surgeon
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Environment group seeks volunteers for festival
The Final Test opens new season at Little Theatre
Opera conductor chosen for summer school
Family orchestra at Troubadour
Umina craft group supports wildlife carers
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Wide-ranging report in first newsletter of the year
Program to provide information about eating well
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Jemma finishes seventh in Ironwoman Series
Pink Stumps Day final tally was $5108
Umina has two candidates for Junior Lifesaver award
Jemma excels in interstate championships
Ollier appointed junior soccer technical director
Skate, scooter and BMX competition heat at Umina
Charity bowls returns to Woy Woy
Two speakers at Lions luncheon
Basketball at leisure centre

Lucky streaks don't last forever

In response to Patrick Croke's letter in edition 486, I'd like to say that, whenever I speak, I always first remind audience members how lucky they are to live in such a fine country, with so many assets and so many virtues, so my view of Australia is not predominantly pessimistic.

For a start, Australia ranks second in the world for median wealth per capita, so that any complaints about our economic performance have to be measured against that global performance.

Admittedly, under the present government, we have slipped to sixth place on the Global Human Development index and to 12th place on both the Global Personal Safety index and Global Anti-Corruption index, but these are still respectable numbers, and it has to be remembered that the margins between rankings are very small at the top of these tables, so slight indicators can move a country a place or two.

However, this does not mean that we can take a Panglossian view of our situation or of our future, because there are many areas in which we could and should be doing better.

It is a disgrace that the second-wealthiest country in the world has such a poor standard of aged care and handicapped care, and that our transportation infrastructure struggles to meet our expectations.

It is equally disgraceful that we are slipping down the international competitive ladder in education standards, when huge amounts of education funds are being squandered on fripperies for schools that are already the best-endowed in the country.

We, also, have an unemployment rate higher than that of other developed counties and an underemployment rate which is at crisis level and is not going to be solved by tax cuts to multinational companies and the top one per cent of incomes.

To paraphrase Donald Horne slightly, we live in a first-rate country run by second-rate people.

We live in a country that has no national population policy, no national climate policy, no national energy policy, no national environmental policy and barely the fig leaf of a national security policy, because our politicians are too pusillanimous to make us face up to reality.

In a rapidly shifting global context, we are in a policy drift, with no clear-cut priorities and no perceivable long-term goals for most of our actions.

"She'll be right, mate" might have served us well enough in the past, but lucky streaks don't last forever, so we shouldn't exaggerate our virtues or ignore our faults, if we want our grandchildren to enjoy the full benefits of the great opportunities Australia has to offer.

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