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Never in a million years ( as the saying goes) did I ever imagine that we would be witnessing the rapid death of a once truly lucky country. We considered ourselves lucky to call it home. Lucky to enjoy its bounty of food, natural resources, freedom and thousands of miles of sandy beaches and pristine coastline.

In 18 months, we have descended into a hell on earth that little resembles that nation we loved, felt enormous pride to be part of and an almost arrogant smugness at declaring ourselves under its bounteous protection and wealth.

What the hell have we allowed to happen? How did we let it happen? Who stole it from us? When did the rot set in? Why did we allow it to happen?

 I look back on my life here since 1978, when I arrived from New Zealand and started to call Australia home. It was at the height of the maori gang uprisings that New Zealand was encountering at the time. While not a refugee as such, I was a refugee nonetheless, having fled my home country because our family had been threatened with death should we stay. After months of taking my little daughter to preschool in a police car, having to sleep with a loaded shotgun under the bed and being afraid to go shopping without a police escort, my family was advised to leave the country if we wished to survive.

We did.

 And so it was, we arrived in Australia and rejoiced in the sunshine, the freedom and the laid back embrace of Australian generosity of spirit.

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It was not an easy transition. We had to learn new terminologies, modify our accents and discard many of our more parochial attitudes. All of which we gladly did because we were so grateful to find peace and a home that was free of fear and potential harm.

We decided to ask Queensland to be our new home and found Sir Joh a welcome leader who ruled with a quirky but  stable fist. For fist it was.

In those days, he would say, when asked by the media, ( he " lovingly referred to as the chooks " ) some controversial question, he always used to say " You let me worry about that. That's what I am paid to do "  and we all accepted it and moved on and let him sort things out so that we could get on with living and enjoying the bounty of the life he was protecting.

 

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The first seeds of the Bradfield Scheme had been sown. Strikes were rare and, when they happened, were quickly put out, down and buried. Was Joh a dictator? Yes. But, in my opinion he was what I call a benevolent dictator. Queensland and Queenslanders lived a halcyon life under his strict rule. 

But along came the first vanguard of the left. They gathered dirt on Joh and threw it with such vigour that, in 1987, I pulled my curtains and went into mourning at the loss of the man who had given our state money in the bank, free and excellent hospitals and a state that ticked along without a hiccup.

By 1990, Queensland was embroiled in one of the greatest controversies that still remain unaddressed: The Heiner Affair.

A woman who had, as a teenager, been allegedly abused at the John Oxley Youth Centre. She was indigenous and had been allegedly raped by a group of older inmates. At that time, the girl was 14 years old.

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THIS is the woman paid not to talk. But she's refusing to be silenced any more. Annette McIntosh, 37, is one of the living victims of Shreddergate - a 20-year controversy involving politicians, shredded documents and "hush money". For the first time, she has revealed her full identity in her fight for justice. Mrs McIntosh alleges that at 14 years old, as a ward of the state at Brisbane's John Oxley Detention Centre, she was pack-raped.

In 1989 retired magistrate Noel Heiner was asked to look at wages and conditions of the staff at John Oxley. During this investigation, the proverbial hit the fan and the then Goss government shred all of the documents relating to the issue. It is not the purpose of this article to go into the Heiner Affair, but it is highlighted for a specific reason. To show that if a government wishes to cover its tracks, wittingly or unwittingly, if the evidence does not exist, then the paper trail does not exist. It is interesting to note that the then Chief of Staff to Queensland Premier Wayne Goss was Kevin Rudd, who went on to become Prime Minister of Australia. What is his knowledge and or involvement of the illegal destruction of the Heiner evidence taken from sexual abuse victims while under state care? Will we ever know?

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You must be wondering why I am writing about things that happened so very long ago. I suppose it is because the country that I came to as a young mother all those decades ago, seeking refuge from things that were hurtling out of control in my country of birth, is now itself becoming unsafe should I dare deviate from the party line of " do as you are told, when you are told and beware the consequences if you disobey. "

What the hell have we allowed to happen?

Well, we have allowed apathy, complacency and the " she'll be right mate " attitude to destroy our ANZAC spirit, our Aussie spirit and our unity under the Southern Cross. We have become lazy in our patriotism and lazy in our defence of our nationhood.

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Eureka Rebellion which took place in 1854. The gold miners in Ballarat, Australia revolted against the United Kingdom colonial forces. On 3rd December 1854, the rebellion took place.

How did we let it happen?

Because it crept up on us, like a thief in the night. Step by step, toe by toe, our governments have taken away our liberties in tiny bites " for our own good. " Before we knew what had happened, we have realised that we are no longer free and the baby bites turned out to be the jaws of a crocodile who is set to devour us, our freedoms and our will to fight back.

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The same applies in Australia and every so-called, previously free nation around the world. 

 Who stole it from us? 

Well, strangely enough, WE allowed it to be stolen by our so-called governments. We are responsible. We watched and silently questioned while thinking " No, it won't happen to Australia. " 

We trusted. Shame on us. Our arrogance and belief in our freedom under the Southern Cross allowed our governments to move in, by stealth and inch by inch take a mile and leave us in no man's land.

 When did the rot set in?

So many words flood into my mind.

Mabo.

Same sex marriage.

Transgender rights.

As Darryl Kerrigan said all those years ago in " The Castle " it's the vibe.( Or was it his mate Dennis Denuto? ) 

 

Which brings me to my last question: 

Why did we allow this to happen?

Because we stopped caring. We stopped being patriotic. We stopped giving a shit. We became apathetic and stopped learning about our history.

This was ONE year ago and things have only gotten worse.

We stopped being involved in our children's education. We stopped being involved in our politics and our past, our present and our future.

We stopped being involved in anything.

People became preoccupied with taking images of the meal they last ate, not knowing that it could be their last meal, should the truckers go on strike because they are being threatened with vaccine passports to cross state borders.

We became preoccupied with gay rights and ignoring the rights of the unborn.

We became preoccupied with climate change and forgot that if the lights go out there is no Australia.

If Bruce Pascoe's idyllic pastoral fantasy of indigenous Australia exists, then why is it that our indigenous children are being abused at ever-increasing rates?

Our governments are assisting with the destruction of our Nation.

We are all so fearful of the future because we have been conditioned to be fearful. 

The lucky country? 

I wonder. I think Hungary has the right idea.   

Because when the shit hits the fan after this vaccine rollout, the shredders will be running overtime and the powers that be will duck for cover and it will be no one's fault.

No wonder they don't release their medical reports. They are probably all about to go in the shredder. 

 Let's face it, the vibe has changed

 

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