Australia: The “Luck” Runs Out

The World bank maintains that Australia is the richest country in the world, when unexploited natural resources are taken into account. Yet today Australia is broke. What’s happened to the land down under?
From the December 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Sydney, Australia

Flying in over the terra cotta roofs of Sydney, the crystal waters of her world-renowned harbor shimmering in the warmth of the southern sun, memories flooded back of more than half a lifetime spent within the golden shores of the great South Land. This is Australia, with a land mass as extensive as the USA but with only one-fifteenth its population. A land of strange marsupials, massive ore reservoirs; it once boasted cattle ranches bigger than Texas. Called “the lucky country” due to its unique blend of primary resources, balmy coastal climates and easy, open-air lifestyle, its population has lived for over 200 years in relative peace and harmony compared to the rest of this unstable globe.

Yet this Australia, which I now visit as an ex-patriot, is a country that seems to exhibit a permanently furrowed brow. Her stale, struggling economy now leaves her currency at the mercy of the yen and the dollar. Her multicultural population—the legacy of decades of migration to her shores from all points of the compass—lives increasingly on the knife edge of a collective anxiety, cajoled into searching for a “new identity.”

What’s happened to Australia?

Northern Threat

This is vintage Australia. It is 3 p.m. on a brilliant, spring afternoon, and we are 4,000 feet up, atop Porcupine Hill on the Great Dividing Range, looking back east to the “big smoke”—Sydney. Across the undulating range, perched on the edge of the great escarpment at Medlow Bath, is the Victorian-age Hydro Majestic Hotel, built to accommodate the sons and daughters of Sydney’s settlers who came to take the benefit of fresh, eucalyptus-laden mountain air and the sparkling spring waters, rich in mineral benefit to tired city minds and bodies.

Earlier, the sun shone brightly as the winds stretched ribbons of white cloud across the boundless southern sky. Further down the range, at Springwood, bush fires rage, and now, at Jenolan, strong winds drive in a rain squall. A heavy mist settles over the range. A mother kangaroo with a joey in her pouch hops out of the bush for her evening meal. As she bends to nibble the sweet grasses, joey’s head pops out inquisitively, licking the newly deposited moisture from the green blades. The bush is silent, save for the occasional call of a magpie sheltering from the rain. There is no breeze. Strings of bark hang limply from the tall strands of bluegum. Below, the green grasslands, grazed by generations of cattle and sheep, undulate over the plateau amidst this great backbone of eastern Australia. Surely God gave to the sons of Joseph the most precious places on earth—and this is one of them (Deut. 33:13-17). Yet, this land does seem strangely empty when one contemplates the fact that at its northern gateway lies a country which contains within it the teeming millions of the third-largest nation in the eastern hemisphere.

Although attached by heritage, culture and ethnic roots to Great Britain, Australia’s closest neighbor exhibiting any reasonable extent of power and population is Indonesia. Two hundred million Indonesians cram together in an archipelago barely a quarter the size of Australia. To their south, only a short haul by sea, lies an almost empty land as big as the United States.

Fear of the prospect of invasion from the north has spawned Australia’s first private militia—the Australian Freedom Scouts. Several thousand personnel, from mainly rural areas, have joined this group under the patronage of brigadier Ted Serong, Australia’s most highly decorated Vietnam veteran. As a British newspaper reported, “The Scouts rely partly for their rallying power on unsubstantiated reports that Indonesian schools have maps showing most of the top half of Australia cut off and renamed South Irian…. The claim provokes laughter at the Indonesian embassy. ‘Australia is our friend—and a friend in need is a friend indeed,’ said a spokesman” (The Sunday Times, July 19).

This prospect, however, was recently given some credence by none other than Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, during an address on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American-Australian Association in New York. Speaking to a group of prominent guests, Murdoch stated, “For instance—and this is not a far-fetched idea—what if a total meltdown takes place in Indonesia and 10 or so millions of people come over the little Timor Sea? Would anyone (in the U.S.) be interested?” (Herald Sun, July 2).

Australians only have to think back to the 1960s to remember Indonesia, under former president Sukarno, on the march seeking southern hegemony, resulting in the annexing of the western half of Papua New Guinea, which they renamed Irian Jaya. Further, the Indonesian government’s treatment of the peoples of East Timor in recent decades has shocked the world with its blatant disregard for human rights.


Senior citizens in Australia remember the country’s golden years. This was a time when Australia’s population was predominantly British-Irish in descent. They remember the time of full employment and the exploitation of seemingly inexhaustible natural resources. It was a time when everyone knew everybody else in the street in one’s neighborhood. A time of the morning or evening chat between neighbors over the back fence. A time of pride in the national flag and a strong sense of heritage which, despite being 10,000 miles away on the other side of the globe, gave evidence of their roots, attached to the crown, to a royal throne that dated back to the mists of antiquity.

Despite its youthfulness as a nation, this attachment to the crown gave Australia its traditional institutions which evoked a strong patriotism and a sense of duty and loyalty. This inspired Australians to leap to the defense of their culture, and the way of life of a whole empire and commonwealth, when the trumpets of war sounded in 1914 and 1939.

Yet, one has to wonder, when this year a chief petty officer of the Royal Australian Navy is photographed kneeling on the deck of the missile frigate Newcastle before the statue of a buddha, where does the loyalty of Australia’s present generation lie? Should the trumpet of war sound and Australia be called to battle against an eastern, Asian nation which worships this pagan god, to whom would this sailor show his loyalty? To his pagan god, or to his country?

Although, per capita, the number of Asian migrants is not huge, the impact of their culture and religion on Australia has been rapid and significant. “The influx of Asians is perceptibly changing Australia’s culture, society and pattern of ownership” (The Daily Telegraph, Sept. 7). The view of the “Asian-Australian” is put forward by Jason Yat-Sen Li, Australian Unity Party spokesman. “It’s like they [Australians] are trying to romanticize an older version of this country, back to a time when you could walk down to the shops and leave your front door open. A time when there were none of these strange foreign-looking faces around. But even though that Australia doesn’t exist anymore, it’s a period that’s easy to make look attractive” (The Observer, Sept. 6).

The plain fact is, to the generation which weathered the storm of the Great Depression, which has fought the “droughts and flooding rains” of Australia’s sometimes unfriendly climate, the generation which fought to keep “the Asian hordes” out of the country (Australia was a base for General MacArthur’s successful Pacific campaign in World War II), the generation which reconstructed Australian industry following the years of war, with support from British and European migrant labor—to that generation, the “older version of Australia” was much more attractive than today’s Australia, which sees its national heritage warped and increasingly diluted by the progressive Asianization of its society.

Lost Heritage

“At the going down of the sun and at the dawn, we will remember them.” Four generations of Australians and New Zealanders have repeated these words over the past 80 years, annually, each 25th of April. These are the closing words of the eulogy to the ANZACS, the Australians and New Zealanders who fought at the failed campaign of Gallipoli, at Pine Gap, the Somme, Poziers and on other famous battlefields in the war they once called “the Great War” of 1914-18. It is the eulogy to those who fell in battle in the tradition of the Anzac soldier in other great battles—World War II, the Malayan Incursion, Korea, Vietnam. Anzac Day, as the national public holiday is known, was once an event revered by the nation as an icon—that is, until the liberal socialists unravelled the entire fabric of Australian society. Thanks largely to their efforts, this day which gave honor to true heroes and praised the name of Almighty God for the deliverance of the country’s population from certain slavery under the flag of the rising sun, is now, in the nation’s eyes, becoming somewhat of an anachronism. Australia is forgetting. Forgetting her heritage.

This loss of connection with her heritage has largely stemmed from the liberal-socialist thought which penetrated Australia’s institutions of learning from the 1960s on. Such influences prepared the collective mind of the nation for separation from its British heritage, an embracing of all things Asian and a mood swing in favor of the replacement of its present monarchist form of government: giving allegiance to the Queen, with a republican model.

Prime Minister Paul Keating, of Irish socialist descent, brought the republican issue to the fore in 1993, during his term as national leader. Keating also deregulated the Australian economy in the 1980s, while he was Federal Treasurer, and led the refocusing of Australian business toward Asia, away from many of its traditional first-world customers.

In recent decades, years of socialist government in Australia devastated its traditional economy. The impact of this change of long-standing economic policies in this nation has had its most detrimental effect on rural Australia.

Australia’s non-metropolitan sector accounts for 35 percent of the nation’s work force but accommodates 42 percent of its unemployed. Rural commentator Asa Wahlquist expresses the reason for the destruction of Australia’s traditional primary industry-based economy thus: “When Labor won government in 1983, there were guaranteed minimum prices for wheat and wool, and statutory authorities held sway over sugar, coarse grains and oilseeds, dairy products, eggs, citrus, dried fruit, peanuts, rice and tobacco. Banks were highly regulated, the dollar was fixed.

“In 1989, the guaranteed minimum price for wheat ended: The next year, prices fell to the lowest on record. The wool reserve price scheme collapsed in 1991: The next year, wool prices halved to hit the lowest level on record. Most woolgrowers have not made a profit since.

“Interest rates soared. Farm debt increased by 18 percent from 1985 to 1995, reaching a record high of $17.9 billion. In 1995, beef prices sank to a 20-year low. Drought struck. At its peak in 1994-95, drought reduced production by $1.95 billion” (The Weekend Australian, Sept. 26-27). State governments mounted surveillance on their farm communities in official “suicide watches,” out of concern at the escalating incidence of farmers taking their own lives.

Some claim that the issue of republicanism was brought to the fore by Australian Prime Minister Keating in 1993 as a strategy to refocus the worrying minds of Australians off the issue of their rapidly failing economy. If this is so, then the strategy has, sadly, worked. The Australian press and opinion makers have seized the issue of republicanism and conditioned the emotions of the nation towards the support of a constitutional convention, set to vote on February 12 on the issue of whether to replace traditional allegiance to the British monarch with a republican government. Meanwhile, as Australia’s leaders fiddle on this distracting instrument, her economy burns.

Bust Economy

In the 1960s, an Australian writer and child of left-wing liberal socialism, Donald Horne, authored a bestseller titled The Lucky Country. The principal thesis of the book was that Australia had been blessed by great and continuing good fortune, since its establishment as a nation in 1901, on the basis of a series of lucky breaks. The gold rush of the 1800s was followed by decades of massive wool and wheat production which followed through to the 1960s, underpinning the national economy. The mining boom seemingly replaced primary agricultural production as the “backbone of the country” in the 1970s. New high-tech industries, plus tourism, offer the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as the nation’s mines progressively close down in the 1990s due to international oversupply of key mineral resources.

Following the great migrations of the 1950s and 1960s, which built the muscle to drive its expanding manufacturing, resources and construction industries, Australia took off on a collective materialistic binge which consummated in the profligacy of the great wage pushes of the 1970s and the age of commercial greed in the 1980s. Then, suddenly, as the current decade dawned, having priced itself out of its markets, the country woke up from its obsessive consumption binge to the hangover of extraordinary levels of foreign debt. Australia now finds itself living high on the hog, enjoying the best of first-world standards in her lifestyle and trying to pay for it on a third-world budget! National consumption is simply unable to be matched by the means to finance it.

In short, Australia is brokebankrupt! The Australia of today lives on cash flow and does its best to bury its head in the sand to ignore its liability to those who have underwritten its gluttonous consumptive habits.

Financial analyst Christopher Story paints a bleak picture of Australia’s economic future: “Australians seem liable to suffer the worst of all possible combinations: a weak and vulnerable exchange rate…soft to declining commodity prices, eroding reserves of foreign exchange (already at precariously low levels), increasing or persisting trade and current account deficits, and ever rising external debt and, of course, net external liabilities” (Economic Intelligence Review, September 1998).

During the last 15 years, certain influential voices within the Labor (socialist) government, business and the press cajoled Australians into thinking of themselves as having their future tied to Asia, economically, rather than to the first-world economies. The result of the proselytizing ways of Australia’s “Asiaphiles” has been disastrous for the country. It is now bracketed together with East Asia by analysts in their overall assessments of economic and financial developments. This has led to the Australian dollar suffering along with the East Asian currencies. Since 1996 the Australian currency unit has declined 21 percent in relation to the U.S. dollar!

The “luck” has simply run out for Australia. “To match the country’s net external liabilities, Australia’s official foreign exchange reserves would need to grow by more than 15 times” (ibid., emphasis mine). This is an untenable position for any country to be in. In fact, so painful is the realization of the country’s financial and economic predicament that government and the bureaucracy tend to avoid both analysis of, and comment on, the subject. “Thus, the authorities console themselves with spurious calculations, when, in point of fact, Australia is technicallybankrupt” (ibid., emphasis mine).

Race Problems

There are voices being raised in Australia which claim that the national Australia Day (celebrated every January 26, it centers on the historic landing of captain James Cook on the shores of Port Jackson, to raise the Union Jack and claim this southernmost continent and largest island as a possession of Great Britain) should, in fact, become a national day of mourning for the Aboriginal people of Australia.

The origin of the Australian Aborigine is couched in myth and the warped conclusions of well-meaning and some not-so-well-meaning anthropologists. One thing is certain. These black-skinned people came from the Indian subcontinent and the island peoples of the straits of Malacca. Traditionally, the Australian Aborigine is a hunter, fisher and gatherer. The concept of agriculture, of tillage of the land and animal husbandry, seems to have largely escaped Australia’s earliest settlers. They were simply content to plunder the land of its wares without thought of giving anything back to it.

It is not fashionable in these days of political correctness to give the clearly observable facts surrounding the Australian Aborigine, in their original state, as they existed at the time of white settlement. However, the plain facts are that the Australian Aborigine, at the stage of their cultural development in which the early settlers found them, were not an industrious people. Their articles of manufacture were limited to the most basic of tools and weapons, traditionally thought of as “stone age.” They largely went naked, save for the use of animal skins in the colder climate of the south. The concepts of cloth and yarn manufacture and weaving eluded them. Simple dug-out canoes were their only obvious means of transport in coastal areas, the areas of greatest settlement. In the harsh desert areas of the great Australian inland, people scrabbled for existence living off fare which was simply not designed for human consumption—snakes, lizards, grubs, kangaroos and assorted other marsupials, fortified by edible native berries and fruits in areas where moisture was more concentrated.

At the foundation of the Aboriginal “culture” lies the cult of serpent worship. Legends and myths of the “dreamtime,” when the great serpent (Gen. 3:1) ruled not only the earth, but the universe, abound in Aboriginal lore. For the student of the Bible, the origin of such myths and legends is clear, as is the intent of their author (Rev. 12:9). What is not so apparent to most is the emerging industry which white anthropologists, historians, multitudes of liberal-socialist do-gooders, a few sharp operators, young left-leaning lawyers and self-seeking politicians have made out of this cultural apparition. What has emerged has indeed become “the white man’s burden” in Australia.

Australian investors, pastoralists and landholders got a real scare in December 1996 with the “Wik” judgment in the Australian high court. The “Wik” Aboriginal tribe, original inhabitants of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, the northeastern Australian state, claimed native title over unoccupied land under lease to Australian pastoralists. This raised the specter of other native peoples jumping on the bandwagon of this judgment. The potential existed, under the “Wik” judgment, for 76 percent of Australia being “claimed” by the Aboriginal community who number less than 2 percent of the country’s population! Encouraged by greedy white lawyers, Aborigines soon tested the legislation via a rash of claims on mining and oil leases and such tourist attractions as the Great Barrier Reef.

Recently, the “Wik” legislation has been revised to allow closer monitoring of land claims. However, white pastoralists and business interests still feel under threat.

Once again, the liberal-socialists have succeeded in warping the country’s conscience. Over the past 40 years, the collective Australian mind has been brainwashed into paying penance for the perceived sins of their forefathers against the Australian native peoples. A national “Sorry Day” was declared this past May, for Australians to issue an apology to their Aboriginal population in atonement for these perceived sins. On the other side of the coin, a motley collection of mixed-race, self-interested anthropologists, historians, lawyers and politicians have bent the minds of the Aboriginal population to the extent that they now expect to be apologized to, by the very people that have built the systems of health, welfare, education, business and housing of which they freely avail themselves. Commentator Auberon Waugh succinctly summarizes this phenomenon. “Australians…. Uninspired, for the most part by the now discredited promises of socialist rhetoric, they nevertheless allowed themselves to be brainwashed into exaggerated feelings of guilt towards the surviving Aboriginal population, as if large payments of money and special privileges could recompense these people for whatever rough treatment their parents and grandparents might have received in the past.

“The resulting encampments, where Aborigines live in idleness and ease and usually in great squalor, are seen as an affront by the white farming population which works harder and harder for ever smaller returns” (Daily Telegraph, Sept. 7).


Divorce rates in Australia, although lower than the U.S., are escalating dramatically. Most analysts predict that one-third of contemporary marriages in Australia will end in divorce. As the current millennium draws to a close, for the first time in Australia’s history, the majority of its divorces are initiated by women. Since the 1970s there has been a powerful liberal element within Australia creating policies at the economic and political level which have flowed into law to force a change in gender roles. As social commentator Hugh Mackay declares, “By redefining gender roles, we not only start to redefine marriage, the family and the household, but we also begin to redefine our attitudes towards politics, the place of work in our lives, our patterns of eating, shopping, mass media consumption and, ultimately, our demand for domestic housing” (Reinventing Australia, Hugh Mackay, p. 54).

MacKay goes on to declare that “the traditional family unit, on which many of our most cherished notions about the Australian way of life depend, is in disarray.”

Indeed! The traditional family unit has been so undermined by the success of the liberal socialist engineers, press, educators, religionists, policy-making bureaucrats and left-wing politicians in Australia that its oldest city, Sydney, now boasts one of the world’s largest annual homosexual debauches. Termed the “Gay Mardi Gras,” this yearly festival of perversion attracts tourists, both “bent” and “straight,” from all over the world. It is funded gratuitously and significantly by taxpayer dollars, with Australian businesses and the tourist industry keen to capitalize on the so-called “pink dollar.” What a great shame! In just 30 years, one of the traditional strengths of Australian masculinity, the “mateship” bond that underpinned her heroic defense forces, has been perverted to the point where many a middle-aged man sports an earring and evinces a mincing, feminine gait. Butch women striding through Australia’s cities reveal the fulfillment of Romans 1:26 in this land which once was proud to honor the real manly heroes and true feminine heroines of its pioneer days. “Organizers say the parade is the most spectacular promotion of gay and lesbian rights in the world but stress it’s also a political statement with those taking part calling for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Visitors from around the world flock to Sydney for the month-long Mardi Gras arts festival, now in its 19th year, injecting millions of dollars into the city’s economy. What began in 1978 as a protest march has evolved into the world’s biggest night time parade. It draws a bigger crowd than any other event in Australia” (WTN News, January 3, 1998).

Future Reality

In the real world, there is no such thing as “luck.” Solomon was inspired to declare, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Eccl. 9:11). Here the word “chance,” which we associate with “luck,” is translated from the Hebrew pegia. A better rendition would be “occurrence” or “happening.” The same author penned the words, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).

The wealth of Australia did not come about by pure chance. It was gifted to her by a beneficent, supreme creator God, in fulfillment of His promises to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Australia, the great south land called Sinim in your Bible (Isa. 49:12), was colonized by descendants of Ephraim, younger brother of Manasseh, both sons of Joseph (for a full explanation, write for our free booklet, The United States and Britain in Prophecy).

Australia is part of the “company of nations” (commonwealth) that God promised to Jacob, in Gen. 35:11, would be produced through his lineage. The birthright blessings of God, inherited by the descendants of Jacob through his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh, were bestowed upon their descendants exactly 2,520 years following the imposition of the great curse God brought upon Israel for their rebellion against His law. In 1800 a.d., God began lavishing the birthright blessings upon Ephraim (Britain and her colonies) and Manasseh (USA).

But God had a sobering warning to Ephraim and Manasseh. If they did not properly worship their God, who continued to deliver them in modern times by miracles from their enemies in two great world wars, He would bring upon them such curses as have never before been seen upon this earth. “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee” (Deut. 28:15).

One of those curses had to do with Ephraim and Manasseh suffering from the influence of “strangers,” those not of the household of Israel, who would dwell among them. Israel, particularly Ephraim and Mannaseh, has always been a magnanimous group of nations. They have opened the gates of their countries to receive the Gentile peoples and share with them the special blessings of God. Yet God prophesies that these Gentiles who dwell among Ephraim and Manasseh will end up biting the hand that feeds them. “The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low” (Deut. 28:43).

This is happening, today, in Australia. The 2 percent of its native population seeks to hold the 98 percent to ransom. Increasingly, alien, particularly Asian, cultures are imposing their ungodly practices on Australia, changing and corrupting its heritage. This will be the downfall of Australia. Having lost sight of their God-given heritage, this nation is destined to be overrun by its Asian neighbors. It almost happened in World War II when the infamous “Brisbane Line” was drawn, as Australia admitted that it did not have the military resources or population to mount an adequate defense of its vast empty northern region. God saved Australia then, as He used the military might of Manasseh, under the direction of General MacArthur, to fight back in the Pacific campaign and gain ultimate victory for the Allied forces.

God is now warning Australia! For over 30 years He warned through a radio-then-TV broadcast, The World Tomorrow, which covered the whole nation, bringing to Australia the prophecies of Almighty God through the voice of Herbert Armstrong.

Another voice now cries out an even more dire warning—an end-of-the-end-time message! Increasingly, people are hearing and responding to that voice. Gerald Flurry unfearingly declares God’s warning prophecies to Australia via a powerful televised message, The Key of David. He is supported by a small, yet loyal and devoted, army of volunteers who have dedicated their lives to see that Australia is warned of the impending punishment for its sins of rebellion. Do you hear that message? Does it strike a chord with you? Do you really hear Jesus Christ knocking on the door of your mind (Rev. 3:20) in an effort to save you from this horrifying tribulation which He prophesied would come upon a world hell-bent on its own destruction (Matt. 24:21-22)? Your only hope of protection from this devastating period of Australia’s coming enslavement is to heed this warning and respond! Respond by writing immediately to request your free copy of Mystery of the Ages, and learn the reason for your being and of the wonderful, unsurpassable future that awaits those who heed Christ’s knock, repent of sin and turn to submit to their gracious and merciful God in complete obedience. Heed the knock and start now to fulfill your incredible God-given human potential!