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Season’s greetings from the world’s most stable economy

Peter Sa - Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 is drawing to a close, and we wish you all the very best good fortune of the season. Thank you for being part of our journey in 2017. May this summertime solstice be a peaceful one for you and your loved ones.

During 2017, Australia took the record for the most prolonged period without a recession – 26 years. The signs are high that 2018 will continue this great run. This record run is a combination of good luck and proper management. So, we thought we would end the year by listing out lots of other lucky things about living in Australia. These ‘facts’ have all been sourced from the Internet, so you can be sure that they are reliable.

  • Australia has three times as many sheep as people;
  • There are also more kangaroos than people in Australia;
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, the world record jump by a kangaroo is held by an Australian. The record is 9 metres;
  • This record may or may not have been held by an enormous kangaroo ever seen. This kangaroo was also an Australian and measured 6 feet and 9 inches tall;
  • Notwithstanding this, the national animal of Australia should probably be the koala. Koalas sleep for 20 hours a day and eat for the other four;
  • Australia has more camels than Egypt. We export camels to Saudi Arabia;
  • The first Australian police force comprised 12 of the most well-behaved convicts. Many argue that little has changed;
  • At least 25% of all Australians were born somewhere else. Apparently, the proportion of Federal Parliamentarians born elsewhere is even higher;
  • Australians speak 200 different languages. Some of them properly;
  • Other than Antarctica, Australia is the world’s driest continent. Unsurprisingly, 90% of us live on the coasts;
  • Australia’s highest mountain is the world’s lowest highest mountain (per continent);
  • Australia is the only continent without an active volcano;
  • Australia has at least one farm that is bigger than Belgium. Belgium does not have any farms bigger than Australia;
  • The ‘Great’ Wall of China is not that great. Australia’s dingo fence is longer. Being made of stone, China’s wall also cost a lot more to make than ours, which used chicken wire;
  • Venice has fewer canals than the Gold Coast;
  • Melbourne used to be the richest city in the world. Unfortunately, that was in 1880;
  • Melbourne also hosts the annual Moomba festival. Moomba is a rude word in the local Aboriginal dialect;
  • The UK is almost 100 times more densely populated than Australia. It would appear that you need lots of open space to be good at cricket;
  • The ‘Nullarbor Links’ is the world’s longest golf course – 1350 kilometres;
  • Uluru is not even Australia’s biggest rock (Mt Augustus is);
  • If you went to a different beach every day in Australia, it would take 27 years before you went back to a beach you had already visited. That said, by then we reckon you would have forgotten what the first beach looked like, so be careful – you might end up going all the way around again;
  • Despite this, between 1840 and 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day. It probably explains the relatively low number of shark attacks during that period. This revoked law is now filed in the archives under ‘making the most of what you’ve got’;
  • Australia is the only country in the world to eat the animals on its coat of arms (kangaroo and emu);
  • Somehow, wombat poo comes out cube-shaped;
  • More snow falls on the Australian Alps than in Switzerland;
  • Jellyfish kill more people than both sharks and crocodiles combined;
  • Australia is home to 3 of the world’s top 10 most liveable cities. None of them is Canberra;
  • In 2005, Parliament House introduced an order that security guards could not call visitors “mate.” The order was ignored and retracted 24 hours later;
  • If they were joined up, the curves on the Sydney Opera House would form a perfect circle. The arches on the Sydney Harbour bridge would create a perfect coat hanger. If they were combined, the big pineapple, the big banana and the big prawn would make the perfect summer entree;
  • The Sydney Symphony Orchestra ‘played’ at the 2000 Sydney Olympics opening ceremony. The music was pre-recorded – by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, although we don’t think it had also been used at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics;
  • Australia invented the word ‘selfie,’ if not the concept;
  • The eucalyptus oil in gum trees is highly flammable. This is quite a design flaw;
  • Auslan, Australia’s sign language for hearing impaired people, is an entirely different language to the sign language used in the UK and the US, despite the fact that all of these countries are English-speaking;
  • In 1979, pieces of NASA’s Skylab fell to earth in Western Australia. The Shire of Esperance issued NASA with a $400 fine for littering. The fine remains unpaid. This might explain why Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull do not get along;
  • Perth is the world’s most remote city. It is also the sunniest and the windiest. Perth just has more weather than anyone else;
  • Australia is said to have the world’s most stable democratic government. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that, in 2010, a televised election debate between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott was rescheduled so as not to clash with MasterChef. Our politicians know their place.
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