Letters to the Editor - September 2016

Our island home

Dear Editor,
Melbourne geographer Peter Christoff may be right that Australia should shake off its island mentality, but he is wrong to suggest that Australia has become much less of an island economy in the half century since the publication of Donald Horne's The Lucky Country. In his review of The Lucky Country? Reinventing Australia by Ian Lowe (ABR, August 2016), Christoff misquotes some statistics and misrepresents others. Christoff writes that Australia's exports amount to forty-two per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP); the correct figure is twenty per cent. Christoff writes that half of Australia's exports go to China and Japan; the correct figure is forty-two per cent. And Christoff claims that Australia's economy is now 'integrally Asian', yet nearly all of Australia's exports to Asia are minimally processed minerals and foodstuffs.

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