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HomeMay 2015 Issue 104

THE LUCKY COUNTRY

Tim Benson

‘Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.’

This is the full sentence written by Donald Horne in his commentary of Australians in the 1960s titled, ‘The Lucky Country’.

Australia has certainly come a long way since the 1960s, where we were riding on the sheep’s back, Australia’s cultural cringe and the White Australia Policy.

Horne was suggesting that Australians suffered from a lack of innovation and enterprise and that we were, in effect, lazy.

Things have changed somewhat since the 1960s but we are still heavily reliant on ‘digging stuff up and shipping it off’, as well as land and property related industries.

We think that we are a very sophisticated, modern and tech savvy society, and in many ways we are. However, we are developing much more slowly (and in isolation) from many countries in the world that are racing ahead with the new industries of the 21st Century.

Of course, the wonderful thing about modern technology is that it allows much less developed countries to jump major steps in development and have the most advanced technology in the world right now. In fact it could be less advantageous, technologically, to be an advanced country today because we have so much invested in our current
technologies.

Australia needs to look ahead to a time in the not-too-distant future when a desktop computer is just a thing that ‘mum and dad had’, no one watches free to air television, taxis are a thing of the past and Wi-Fi is fast and free. Ideally, a time when all consumption is taxed, and income and company taxes have all but disappeared because of global trade and freedom of movement.

Hong Kong

I was very fortunate to recently be hosted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government as part of their sponsored journalist programme for the Hong Kong International IT Fest 2015.

Hong Kong is an example of a country that is racing ahead in the 21st Century, embracing China and developing industries of the future (feature pages 14 – 19).

Tim Benson, Publisher
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