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50 years after The Lucky Country, Australia’s sustainability challenge remains

Ian Lowe writes in The Conversation (23.3.16) about the challenges that Australia’s leaders still face to more sustainably manage the nation’s economy, environment and growth.

‘More than 50 years ago Donald Horne, then working in an advertising agency, described Australia as “a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck”. The phrase “the lucky country” quickly became part of the language, though its message was often misrepresented.

‘Horne’s 1964 book sounded three loud warnings about Australia’s future: the challenge of our geographical position, the need for “a revolution in economic priorities”, and the need for a discussion of what sort of country we want to become.

‘Those warnings are even more urgent today after 50 years of inaction by our second-rate leaders. I’ve revisited Donald Horne’s ideas and updated them for the 21st century. An additional complication is the accumulating evidence that we are not living sustainably.’

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