by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
7 BY PETER HARTCHER accounted for a tad less than 8 percent of our total economy in 2006-07, and about one-third of exports. Australia did dri into a long, post-war economic malaise. But the country snapped out of it, thanks to the (1980s' Labor government) Hawke-Keating reforms and the follow- through from the Howard-Costello administration (the previous government). e status report for Project Australia is that, however you measure it, Australia is one of the richest countries in the world. According to the most comprehensive measure, the United Nations annual index of human development that ranks 182 countries, Australia is second only to Norway in enjoying the best living conditions available to the human species. is index includes life expectancy, education and purchasing power. If it incorporated climate, of course, Nor way would have to vacate the dais. And Australia is not just one of the very richest, but also one of the very fairest. e Paris-based club of 30 rich democracies, the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD), reports that in the past few years the level of income inequality in Australia fell below that of the OECD average for the rst time. In modern Australia, opportunity abounds: "Australia is one of the most socially mobile countries in the OECD. What your parents earned when you were a child has very li le e ect on your own earnings," the OECD reported last year. Is the place perfect? Of course not. But let's put our gripes in perspective. We share a country that's one of the safest and most stable on Earth. People from around the world have le behind ancient strife and anguish to create a country of unsurpassed harmony and hope, that o ers wide-open opportunity for the ambitious and a social safety net for those who fall by the wayside. If there is a sweet spot in human existence, Australia, you're in it. free Peter Hartcher is the political editor and international editor of e Sydney Morning Herald. He is a Gold Walkley award winner, a former foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington, and a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.