I think Australia is a selfish country… Do you? 490



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Last week I read an article in one of my local newspapers about Australia’s recent action (or lack thereof) on world issues. It was interesting and it raised a series of points that I hadn’t thought of before.

At the G20, US President Barack Obama addressed young Australians on climate change and why it is something we all need to take very seriously. However, for years now, Australia’s stance – no matter what government has been in power – has been very “toe in the water” and we haven’t been prepared to dive right in.

If the government knew it was something the Australian people were prepared to fight for and was something that we (myself included) were happy to sacrifice other things for – they would do something about it. But, we stand here holding on to the financial support, the healthcare, the subsidies and the education so tightly and quite frankly we aren’t all prepared to make the modest changes necessary to let the government commit to this matter and spend the money they need to.

Then, we look at the Ebola crisis that is still ravaging African countries and is still causing deaths and scares in developed countries too. The Australian government gave small financial aid but did not offer up Australian people to assist in controlling the disease or treating sufferers. Why? Because we didn’t push for it. If healthcare workers and people with skills of assistance wanted to support the cause, we would have created a movement and the government would have happily responded.

But we didn’t want to go and help, because our time and finances are too valuable to us. In August, after a Starts at 60 team member received their tax return, we ran an article calling for you to tell us how you would like to see the Australian government spending our tax money. 22.1 per cent of you said you believe Foreign Affairs and Economic Aid should receive less funding and conversely, 0 per cent of you said you would like to see the same cause receive more funding. This is why we were hesitant in joining the fight against Ebola.

I have never thought of myself as a selfish person – in fact I have always considered myself generous. I am happy to take friends to lunch, give people a helping hand on the weekend and volunteer time to help at the local school. But when I think about the bigger picture and my “generosity”, I am only willing to give when I have the financial and social means to.

The reason that our government hesitates to do things that make a big scale difference isn’t actually because they are being disruptive. It is because each government wants to get in power – and the only way to do that is to please people like you or me.

If we found out that the social services budget was being cut and people were receiving 10% less government funding and support in favour of supporting climate change or foreign aid – we would be up in arms.

If we found out that Medicare was going to cut the available benefits for Australians and instead use that money to support climate change or the Ebola fight, we’d feel like we’ve been given the raw end of a deal.

When it comes down to it, I am a selfish Australian.

I am happy to admit that because quite frankly, it is the truth. And I think that if we think about it most of us are too.


Tell us today… Do you agree? Are you happy (or unhappy) to admit that you’re a selfish Australian too?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Well, I’m selfish. Charity begins at home. There is a very simple response to this problem of where and with whom we spend our tax dollars. If our economy and finances are sufficient to offer aid to others, we should do it. But if we do support…Ebola eradication, illegal migrants, US military adventures etc etc and it is to the detriment to the australian economy or the australian people…ME.. then forget it. Another way of putting it is.. if we can, by being selfish, raise the australian population out of poverty…that is good; but if by throwing money at other people’s problems we sink into poverty.. that is bad. My opinion. Like it or loath it..that’s life and I offer no apologies for my attitude. We cannot help others fight of the crocodiles if we are in the swamp with them..

    24 REPLY
    • I have to agree with you – seems like common sense which we all know isn’t common at all.

    • Agree with you all! I liked it when the world wasn’t ‘so small’ and Australia was Australia, the Greeks, Italians and poms brought a lot of good ideas etc with them, they were great for our country, also the media have a lot to answer to!!

    • Charity does not begin at home, Auzzies and us Poms have no issues when you compare! Pensions ffs nice to live beyond the age of fifty in North Korea as an example.When you kick the inevitable bucket and possibly pop out of the womb in down town Calcutta! let’s hear you bitching about your broken heated towel rails then

    • Josey, I am sure that if the Korean, Indian or any government looked after the welfare of it’s people instead of wasting billions and billions of dollars on arms, space race and feathering their own nests etc, their people would also live to a ripe old age. We give enough foreign aid as it is, and there is no transparency or accountability of what these so called 3rd world governments do with OUR money.
      First we should look after our own country and it’s citizens. We are the least selfish in the world.

    • The majority on here are all bleating on about their pensions! for a site dedicated to 60 pluses how condemning a case is that for insular attitudes. Yes foreign aid isn’t very transparent though is that a good enough excuse to do nothing? We are citizens of the flammin world and need to stop harpin on about borders

    • Josey Wales…… Ever heard the old adage…. You cannot give from an empty cup? The empty cup is what is being created by the Australian government & NWO. We are NOT selfish at all.

    • When the lands outside your boarders burn do you really believe your gonna be unaffected? I am not trying to be controversial but I know sooooo many who seem to wanna have the biggest tombstone in the cemetery?????

    • an arguments stupid (Graham Zalewska-moon) by choosing only good ones, ignored the bad and the baddest and never think of the better and the best option for Australia

    • I don’t think our military would call their deployment adventures. My opinion!!! It’s not a crime to seek asylum. My opinion!!!!

  2. I’m not selfish either we paid big taxes so we could have a pension years ago give it back to us

  3. I feel the same, instead of sending money overseas ,it would be better to pay our service men and women what they deserve, and to bring pensions up to the bread line

  4. We need to take care of our own citizens first, then try to take care of everyone else. If you were doing your household budget, you would make sure every one in your family was clothed and fed before you donated your money to your local charity. And I feel Australia should do the same. While we have homeless on the streets and charities being overloaded with Australian’s unable to cope and feed their children, then Governments need to rethink. But I do believe climate change needs to be addressed

    3 REPLY
    • Well when our pm doesn’t give a toss about Aussies other than his rich friends I’d be amazed if he cared about any other country Libbi. Narcissistic tyrant.

      1 REPLY
      • It may not be nice but isn’t it oh so true?

  5. Certainly selfish and becoming more insular. I’ve noticed that over the past decade politics in Australia has been dominated by “me” issues: what am I going to get out of it or why should others get something that I don’t have enough of? This plays out in despicable policies towards asylum seekers, taxes and assistance to the needy. We can be and are better than this so we need tell our leaders this.

    8 REPLY
    • I agree with William Lewis. Almost all of us in Australia are better of than a large proportion of the rest of the world. One of the best advantages of the privileges of travel is actually learning this. We get to see how people live in Africa, many parts of Asia, Central America, many parts of Europe, and if we come back thankful for what we have here.
      I know many people struggle, but some of us need a reality check. Living so far from most of the world makes us very insular. The asylum seeker situation is a good example. Europe [especially Italy] copes with many more asylum seekers from Africa than Australia ever has, yet we continually bleat about it.
      I know we need to look after our own, but we need to recognise that we live in the world, not in our own little isolated snow globe where we are untouched by the rest of the world.

    • Well the current “politicians” certainly don’t resemble any Aussies I know..you know, the ones who dig deep when anyone is in trouble (Japan etc. etc. etc.) Aussies are just sick of being told everything we believe in is racist, bigotted or offensive to people we have welcomed to our country for a so-called “better” life. Please don’t judge Australian people by the moron running the place at the moment.

    • I came as a Pom in the 60’s, and made a good life here and now have a 1st generation Aussie family. Thank you. And believe me, the UK, and Western Europeans are quite jealous of our insularity. We look after our own, thus far, they are wishing they had. It is tragic for me to go back to the land of my birth and see what the hoards of vermin have done and are still doing. No, look into caring for your own before you think about others. Yes I am selfish I guess. Have been given the privelidge of becoming an Austrlian Citizen and also hang onto my Homeland a bit.

    • So Paula, it’s all about me! ‘Hoards of vermin’? How sad. Some Poms we should have sent back. Your comment is a great example of how selfish we are.

    • I think often people see others as selfish are mistaking this for sound financial management. Being a good steward and making the hard decision doesn’t equate to being selfish…

    • Christina McDonald, I have friends who visited their place of birth in the U.K. Among the lovely, hardworking people, they said, were 1,000’s of spongers and undesirables and druggies. They were SHOCKED and terribly saddened. Just saying ….

      1 REPLY
  6. Pensioners worked hard all their lives, only to be told there will not be enough money to give them they half yearly raise they have always had. Instead they will always be behind the 8 ball with a lower amount. Payment to the state for concession cards have been cut so we are left in limbo, not knowing if the states will fund them for more than 12 months. Meanwhile this dysfunctional LNP Government has doubled the debt. Take care of Australian’s first !! And we need action on climate change, these flat earthers in the LNP will never do anything tangible

    14 REPLY
    • It wasn’t the LNP who doubled the debt, it as the Rudd/Gillard Labor Government – now the LNP has to make cuts that will cover that debt. Peter Costello got this country into a sound financial position so please be honest about this.

    • I agree Leanna, the problem these days is that most people sprout off at the mouth before they have the facts, they are the same people who don’t want to know the truth.

    • And we should believe the ABC in such matters? If any sane person thinks a government can double a debt in less than 12 months they should seek treatment. The Federal government is a Liberal National coalition and not the LNP. So get your facts right and your punctuation

    • obviously not you idiots but do a websearch on google ..you will be surprised what you find on many other credible news websites..I am not your servant if you choose to remain ignorant..that is your look out but the rest of Australia is informed and vote !!

    • LNP Marie MCmullet is Liberal National Party The link is from their website..are you people ignorant about everything? https://lnp.org.au/

      1 REPLY
      • The Party shall be a division of the Liberal Party of Australia and to remove any doubt it is the body referred to as Liberal Party of Australia (Queensland Division) in the Federal Constitution of the Liberal Party of Australia.
        The Party shall be affiliated with the National Party of Australia.
        I suggest that if you are going to quote from the site you also read their constitution.

    • Some people are so used to voting Liberal, they are willing to believe any lies dished out by Abbott and co.

    • Federally we have the Liberal Party and the National Party as a coalition. In Queensland it is one Party the Liberal National Party. Of course there would be a link , the federal parties are a coalition. Probably hard for some people to understand.

    • Marie McMullen your not only rude Libbi has proven you wrong.. crawl back under the rock you crawled out of.. Kevin Bennewith your a typical Liberal male .. swearing at women will get you no where..your blocked

  7. Australia is no selfish. The people are first to go to war in any country. Look at all refugees that now living free in this country.

    1 REPLY
  8. do we need the government to do everything for us ? If you are concerned about climate change do something yourself (good luck !) if you want to treat people with Ebola go over there and treat them, if you think the reef needs saving go and do something about it ….don’t moan about the government not doing this or that ..take life into your hands and make a difference yourself – stop sooking……

    25 REPLY
    • an over simplification.. Aussie’s can only do so much, especially when it concerns issues like Climate change and The Reef, big polluters need to be curtailed and that is where legislation comes into play. Dumping silt onto an already fragile Reef was never going to solve anything

    • “Climate change” aka “global warming” is not happening and hasn’t been for over 15 years guys ….and the reef is fine at present – there’s plenty of safeguards in place like regulations and natures own healing properties. It will stay that way as long as ships like the Sea Shepherd stop dumping oil in its waters….

      2 REPLY
      • You cannot argue with idiots Gerry .eh? I would love to round up all the climate alarmists , send them to China to clean up areas where they are mining rare earths to make components for use in wind turbines amongst other things. The processing of these rare earths is probably the most environmentally destructive process of any commodity. Couple that to the fact that the dispossessed farmers who originally farmed those areas now mined will never be able to use that land as crop land again. People whinge about coal, but at least the coal miners and bauxite miners in Queensland rehabilitate their mine areas. I am out at the mines most days and mining , cattle and wildlife co-exist side by side. The biggest danger to wildlife is traffic!
        I really wonder how unhinged these alarmists really are. The screaming to stop the climate changing with the media leading the charge on to the government (any government), is ridiculous in the extreme. Tax this, close that, ban those, to stop the climate changing…really?
        A volcano in Alaska has been spewing gasses (including the dreaded co2 all week ) and barely a sound bite from the MSM. I wonder whether these alarmists would blame the Alaskan government for allowing it to happen. Maybe they are planning a petition to the UN to fine countries whose volcano’s erupt? Maybe they have asked Russia to send there climate change research, guided missile destroyers researching in the Coral Sea last week to go and pressure the Alaskan government to do something…anything..?

      • Gerry, in relation to global warming I am prepared to accept what the majority of climate scientists are saying. Perhaps you’d like to look at the Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au, which shows trends in Australian and global temperatures. While there are of course variations from year to year, the trends for maximum, minimum and mean temperatures have all been an increase. To find the records from the bom homepage scroll down until you find Climate and Past Weather, select that, from the left side open Climate Change then select Trend Maps. Under the Tracker tab you will find timeseries graphs for both Australia and Global. They show maximum, minimum and mean temperatures have been rising, in the case of Australia since 1910 and globally since 1850. Or simply type in the following link http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=global-timeseries. The NASA website also states “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.” But hey, what would they know?

    • Rubbish Gerry O’Connor.. go tell LNP supporters that because the rest of us don’t believe you

    • I must not only live in a different town to you but I think I live on a different planet……..please direct me to the sites where you got your info from and then I can be as confident as you about being an ostrich!

    • It’s not a matter of belief Libbi ….”climate change” is a matter of belief ……and Libby – you may live on a different planet, I doubt it tho because you’re English is quite good …..you may live in a different town …….but my confidence is matched by yours, at least

    • Martin – I suppose that’s all that needs to be said does it ? You claim science for your argument as simply as that and that will do ?

      climate change has been happening since the time climate began …what we now call “climate change” ie “global warming” is a concept developed by people using poorly designed climate models to make predictions that have been proven to be untrue and now reaching vainly for any sort of excuse to explain why it isn’t coming true – science looks at the theory then checks the data to see if the theory is correct … Not change the data to suit the theory ….

    • Gerry O’Connor what makes people of your ilk more knowledgable than 97% of the world’s scientists? Burying your head in the sand doesn’t actually make the world disappear, and the tide might actually flow over you whilst you are thus occupied.

    • Margaret, that is easily answered. He does not rely on government funding , and thus does not have to come up with something to justify his research grant.

      Plus, the scientists have been proven wrong in their predictions, those who think Global warming (man made) is not real have by evidence been proven right for 16 years and the people who rely on it being true are in conniptions trying to come up with any answer so they can get the next global warming government grant

    • Margaret, thanks for your concern – if “Prof” Flannery is safe then I will be – I’m about 30 kms from the shore whereas he lives right on the coast – you need to remind yourself that scientific truth is not determined by consensus ….and esp if the “consensus” has been shown to be based on poorly designed research

    • People who deny man made climate change just want an excuse to continue pillaging our world of its precious resources and overproducing for profit.

    • So agree with you Gerry O’Connor. Just wish I had the time to put into looking for the article I read ,or copied it for future references like most people do, that stated there were at least a further 600 scientists worldwide that refuted ” climate change ” as a fact , due to the so called “climate change models “. I wondered at that time why the scientific evidence disputing its existence is less believable than the scientific evidence promoting it. But regardless , I agree with your comments.

      1 REPLY
      • Goggle JoNova if you wish to explore the myths and outright lies of the alarmists.

    • Dana – you are making some assumptions about me that you have know way of knowing if they are true …..forget about calling me out as rampant uncaring capitalist entrepreneur. A lot of people presume/ believe that global warming is occurring, that CO2 is a critical factor in the warming and that global warming is bad for the planet. They could spend a little more time searching out what’s actually happening.

    • Gerry, you are spot on, but remember most of these people only watch the very carefully manipulated mainstream TV and read mainstream newspapers, and as this ‘climate change’ agenda has been forced fed to them repeatedly via the media for many years, they have swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. They are too lazy to do any research, actually it’s very sad when you see how easy it is to brainwash people. An example, one the biggest people manipulator and seducer once said –
      “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” – Hitler.
      “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” Dresden James.

    • And just as a footnote. Al Gore, the fearmongering, propagandist, UN front man of the ‘global warming’ now known as ‘climate change’ because there is no warming, has bought himself a multi million dollar residence right on the beachfront. So much for the rising sea levels. Wakey wakey sheeples!

    • Bromween – see THE CAIRNS POST – FEBRUARY 25, 2014 google “Sea Shepherd dumping oil”

      1 REPLY
      • Gerry, I took the time to look at the article you mention. Had you been honest enough to not mis represent an accidental spill as deliberate dumping, I wouldn’t have had ro waste my time.

    • Yes, there are natural climate cycles, but we are, as mankind, also polluting the planet earth. It may not affect us now, but it certainly will down the track so we should do something about it now.

    • i agree Christa – we are polluting the planet …lets concentrate on what is causing harm and not what is inconsequential 🙂

    • Now Christa has hit the nail on the head. There is climate change, if man was not on earth, the climate would still change, it happened before humans and it will happen after us.

      Yes we should be doing something about pollution, lead, chemicals and the like.

      CO2 is not a pollutant, for this comment, it has been shown not to result in climate change as we have had a massive increase n co2 and the climate has not heated up for 16 years.

  9. I do not agree with you at all. What carbon foot print Australia leaves is minimal and while I would agree that we need to do our bit, Obama’s rant was pure political rhetoric, all he has done is make promises that he can’t or won’t keep. As for assistance with Ebola, Australians are assisting in ways they can safely do so. It’s not quite as simple as sending people in we need to be able to help our people come home safely. Overseas aid is a wonderful thing but what are the rich people in these countries doing to help them??.

  10. Polution does need to be addressed and Obama most certainly needs to do a great deal of work regarding this in his own country as does China. It is a rort & the UN knows it. If you don’t look after your own, then who does? We have a massive debt to repay. We are also geographically different regarding Ebola. Compared to the USA & China we are a small country & if & when they put their money where their mouths are then we might start to listen. I don’t feel at all like this post suggests.

    7 REPLY
    • in their short 14 months in office the Liberals have almost doubled the debt and what have we got to show for it? Our military have had pay cuts, the ABC and SBS have had budget cuts, the only climate change Policy we had is gone, they want to cut unemployment payments for under 30’s ( crime will escalate and we will all pay with higher insurance premiums ) and the Pensioners will lose their concession cards and have their wage rise cut if the LNP has their way, uni Students will pay higher fees and many will be paying the debt off for most of their live.. and so much more, including the payment for medicare

    • Of course those issues need to be addressed Myra, but the “pm” is not acting in according to the Aussies I know! He is projecting an image overseas that is nothing like the true Aussie spirit. Aussies are the first to put their hands in their pockets (remember Japan and all that money went to whale killing that was meant to help the victims?). And that “massive debt” is now double what it was when the liberals got in. Am so tired of hearing about that and how it is STILL all Labor’s fault!

    • before anyone goes into politics they should be living on the aged pension or the unemployment for 1 FULL YEAR and pay rent or house payments… pay all bills… then TRY to eat.. they don’t care about us aged pensioners or the unemployed (if they did then they wouldn’t cut the dole to ppl under 30) they only think of themselves and their rich mates,,

    • If reversed and Australia was in poverty would other countries rush to help us the way the world is going countries are not coping with the ever increase of refugee numbers and the big question is what will happen if western countries start going the same way as the countries refugees are coming from ,look after our own country u just have to look at the problems that Europe and America are having that alone should tell as something .

    • Military did NOT have cuts , they had a rise , albeit a small one , ABC did NOT have cuts , they still got funding, they will just have to use it better , Climate change is a farce , cuts to unemployed hasn’t happened , SOME concession cards , senior cards , may become state funded, may because it hasn’t happened , not sure what will happen with uni students because it hasn’t happened , and Medicare hasn’t changed yet either ….

  11. More like apathetic perhaps – lazy to some degree – but we look time and time again at the waste our Govt do on mundane things sometimes and think how best that money could be spent. So this maybe one reason why many think “why should I when my tax dollars are being frittered away..” If Govt thought like a normal household or small business such as mine then we could be better of.

  12. No need to read wtf we send billions of dollars in aid and to do that we cut back on supporting our own. Soon young people who by no fault if their own, don’t have a stable home won’t have any support because the national govt is closing youth housing. Crime is likely to soar as these youth don’t have food or clothing their parents are addicts of some sort kick them out of home around 12 yo to support themselves. Again I say wtf.

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