Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Becoming Harder to Find Reason to Celebrate

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Becoming Harder to Find Reason to Celebrate

Article excerpt

THE harsh reality as we reflect on a day just past of national pride as well as ruction over the date, is that there is increasingly less to celebrate.

That's a consequence not only of our individual behaviours but also the many too apparent signs that equality, quality of life, compassion, environmental stewardship and inter-generational responsibility are ever-diminishing aspects of our national character.

Our cities have been allowed to grow, despite all the warnings over time, into gridlocked messes where real estate prices drive people further from their places of work.

And work we all do with most families requiring two incomes to make ends meet, forcing our kids from an early age into corporatised care.

Yes, there are those who are living the dream and none more so than the country's 33 billionaires whose wealth increased by $38 billion in the past year while wages generally remained stagnant as costs grew.

The wealthiest one per cent of us now own 22.9 per cent of the nation's wealth, representing more than that held by the bottom 70 per cent combined.

According to a new report by Oxfam Australia, we have become one of the least equal nations in the developed world, ranked 22 of the 35 OECD countries.

Unions will predictably call for wealth redistribution through wage rises, one that will become more strident as interest rates begin to rise.

The knife edge of many household budgets perhaps is an explanation for the continued lack of compassion for the poor bastards who sought it only to find themselves interminably detained in our offshore gulags.

But it affords no explanation for personal behaviour that sees the residents of two of our fastest growing states - NSW and Queensland - increasingly trashing the country whose stewardship we collectively share.

The Keep Australia Beautiful Litter Index released this week for the 12th time covers 983 sites over 1.5 million square metres of beaches, highways, parks and residential, industrial and retail precincts.

Litter on beaches was up 15.9 per cent on the previous year with cigarette butts predominant. And while the overall national litter item count in the survey was down 4. …

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