Australia slides from world’s greatest country to pariah – in just ten years

THERE WAS NO question which the world’s most admired country in 2011. Australia’s achievements included: The world’s highest median wealth, according to Credit Suisse; The greatest economic freedom in the OECD, according to the Heritage Foundation; 20 years of continuous GDP growth, alone in the developed world; Triple A credit ratings with all three global agencies for the first time in history; A jobless rate down to 4.92% in June, among the lowest five in the OECD and a level not achieved since; The Australian dollar hit a 30-year high of 1.095 U.S. dollars; The world’s best Treasurer, according to other global finance ministers; Australia’s first carbon pricing scheme was enacted, thereby joining the world on climate action; Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speech to the U.S. Congress was interrupted six times for standing ovations, ten times for seated applause and received a record three-minute standing ovation at the end; and Australia was nominated at the 2011 G20 leaders’ summit to chair the G20. That’s the top ten. There were plenty more. ANU astrophysicist Brian Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics; Samantha Stosur won the U.S. Open; and Sally Pearson was named IAAF world athlete of the year. It was a great year for global recognition. It’s a pity that so few successes were reported in Australia. Fast forward one decade and Australia is now condemned globally for its abject failures on more than ten substantial issues.

Australia slides from world’s greatest country to pariah – in just ten years

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