Sunday, September 14, 2008

Abandoned Australian outback

I was saddened by a recent press article that evokes a forthcoming Australian report according to which the remote Australian wilderness must now be looked upon as a "failed state". What a terrible expression! There's a sentence about extracted wealth that is not reinvested in local communities. I see the words "poor governance". The article speaks of "the failure of all levels of government to deliver basic services and halt the flight of non-indigenous people to more settled areas". Everything in this short article was frighteningly negative, even to the extent of evoking "possible invasion" from foreign nations. I have the impression that the great Aussie myth of the Outback is crumbling into dust, but I'm amazed that things could really be as bad as that. On the other hand, I've been wondering for ages what went wrong with Australia, and why there are no New Pioneers on the horizon to fix things up. Why aren't our leaders worrying about the Outback, and doing something about this tragedy? To guide Australia, it wasn't enough to be a fan of Donald Bradman, Elizabeth II and George W Bush. And it's obviously not enough to be a polite ex-diplomat who speaks English and Mandarin with the same lack of eloquence. Meanwhile, as I said in my recent article entitled My hilarious motherland [display], a NSW state minister has been dancing in his underpants. And the Outback has been dying...

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