Today Tonight and A Current Affair

What does it mean to be Australian?

Here, in Australia, we have a couple of current affairs programmes.

One is called Today Tonight and the other is simply called A Current Affair. They are both on every weekday evening after the news at 6.30 PM. One is on Channel 7 and the other on Channel 9.

They like a bit of a scandal, you know, the real price of milk, plastic surgery nightmares, school bus dangers, exploding TV’s, that kind of thing.

I’m not making it up, you can check the headlines for each of these programs here….

I have never seen either show, ever. I certainly wouldn’t have seen last Thursday’s Today Tonight show, because last Thursday was Australia Day and the day I became an Australian citizen.

Had I decided to go home and watch TV after my historic day, instead of celebrating wildly down my local sports club, I would’ve seen the programme’s special report on migration in Australia.

In this short video you will discover what it means to be Australian, what some of the experts think of Australia’s migration program and what some migrants think of living here.

Unfortunately the video, which was called ‘Australia’s new and changing face’, has now been taken down from YouTube. Here’s a reasonably good replacement though…

On the original video though, you would have seen certain numbers being thrown around. 243,000 long-term arrivals to Australia last year. A current population of 22,813,500. On track for 35.5 million population by 2056.

Some experts are saying we have too many migrants, other experts say this is simply not the case.

Migrants leaving Australia

But if we go back to the previous day, that’s January 25, 2012, Today Tonight ran a different article, this one about migrants leaving Australia.

The latest figures show that migrants are leaving the country in record numbers.’ starts the article.

You can read the full article here, although I’m not sure it’s worth it.

It tells the story of a plumber who came here and went straight back when he found out that he would have to retrain to get Australian qualifications.

And a travel agent from the USA who decided to go back after 10 years. Among the reasons given, she states “Movies take like three months to get here and there’s nothing to do at night.”

Really?

Has she never heard of Scrabble? Or charades? I Spy? Doesn’t she have a piano?

Right, I’m off to the club for a beer.

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Alan May 9, 2012, 9:01 am | Link

    As a older Aussie i can see the younger generation just accept things the way it is,when i get asked by a Vietnamese woman at a post office”excuse me how do you spell Australia”then i realize things are not getting any better.there are 60 thousand overstayers here and when i ask for a extension for my girlfriends visa i get knocked back,and we did every thing by the book,but yet thousands of boat people come here and throw there passports overboard,they pay people smugglers thousands of dollars to come through the back door,they are not refugees they are simply que jumpers.God help Australia.

    • BobinOz May 10, 2012, 12:22 am | Link

      I shouldn’t think there is a country in the world where there aren’t older people thinking how much better it was in “the good old days”.

      The thing is, every country faces these challenges as the population of the world continues to grow and travelling from country to country gets easier and easier. By and large, I think Australia is dealing with these challenges better than most.

      • Rupert May 10, 2012, 12:31 am | Link

        True Bob, true.

        We said goodbye to Cosmo and Lulu yesterday at Heathrow – quite upsetting. I’m so glad Cat Cuddles will be popping in to quarantine to give them some love. They are the most adorable cats, and crave human company.

        So now the cats have gone, it’s suddenly for real, and it’s action stations. Removal men come on Monday, then we leave the UK on Wednesday. Two and half weeks in France and Italy and we land in Sydney June 4th.

        Your website has been a valuable, reliable and comical source of information, stories and details that you just cannot find anywhere else. I’ve also really enjoyed the political debates. Thank you Bob.

        A new life in Australia here we come!

        • BobinOz May 10, 2012, 1:02 am | Link

          Karen will be sure to take care of Cosmo and Lulu for you, so don’t worry about a thing. They will be just fine.

          As for you humans, enjoy your European jaunt and I hope your move to Sydney goes very well and you settle quickly. Be sure to get out and about, get involved, meet people and make friends. You will need them to settle in long term.

          And do pop back in here, not just for the political debates, but to let us know how it goes. Best of luck to you.

          Cheers

          Bob

  • Alan May 6, 2012, 10:47 am | Link

    Australia is not the same we all know that,Australians do feel they are don;t belong in there own country and immigrants or refugees seem to get better treated in a lot of ways.I for one will retire in the Philippines in 10 years time on a beach and nice home for $70,000 AUS.And get the Australian pension,which is more than the locals receive in a month for working 10 hrs a day,no wonder we are all leaving.

    • BobinOz May 8, 2012, 8:59 pm | Link

      I’m not leaving.

      • Rupert May 8, 2012, 9:07 pm | Link

        And I’m just arriving!

        Come on Alan – if your think Oz has got problems, try living in Europe or the US. As Harold MacMillan said “You’ve never had it so good!”

  • BobinOz April 30, 2012, 9:57 pm | Link

    Rupert is correct. By “tough stance on immigration” I do refer to the reams of red tape you need to get through, the strictness of the acceptance criteria and the sometimes quite substantial fees involved in gaining a visa.

    There are no racist undertones whatsoever.

    The Australian Government themselves state that they do give out Australian Citizenship to people “regardless of race, religion or creed”.

    I hope that has cleared it up for you.

  • Rupert April 29, 2012, 7:00 pm | Link

    No Steve. It means the Australian government has a tough stance on immigration. There is nothing racist in that.

    The UK has very lax border controls and within the European Union there is mass migration, which results in high levels of unemployment and social ghettoisation. I am neither Muslim or ‘negro’ (as you put it), yet I have had to jump through a great deal of hoops, provide reams of certified paperwork and pay a lot money to get into Australia. It’s been ‘tough’.

    I’m not complaining however, because I want to live somewhere that isn’t a haven for refugees, asylum seekers and beggars of government handouts. I may not be a socialist Steve, but I’m certainly not racist… ok?

  • steve [;evin April 29, 2012, 1:43 pm | Link

    I am not sure what you mean by “tough stance on immigration? Could this have racist undertones? Does tough mean no Negro’s, no Muslims?.

  • BobinOz February 9, 2012, 12:29 am | Link

    Hi Rupert and Sean

    Rupert, I know what you are saying, and Australia’s population has pretty much doubled in the last 50 years. In terms of world growth, that’s above average I think, but there’s still only 22 million living here.

    Every country has to put up with population growth, and has to manage it. I think Australia still has a long way to go before it is overcrowded. I think over the years Australia has, and will continue to manage its immigration program with care. Which brings me to….

    Sean, yes, it is very hard to get a visa for Australia, even if you do have the kind of qualifications and experience they really want. So I think the exclusivity of Australia will remain.

    Let’s face it chaps, the Today Tonight programme loves a sensationalist story, what better than an overcrowded Australia? Tabloid television!

  • Sean February 8, 2012, 11:20 pm | Link

    Rupert,
    Based on how strict the immigration proceedure is and how many hoops you have to jump through (I’m a civil engineer with nearly 20 years experience, a masters degree etc. etc. and I have found getting a visa a difficult process), I can’t see how the Australian government will let just anyone in as the UK seems to.
    The big question is, is this likely to change? I’m interested in this because the ‘exclusivity’ of Oz is one of the main things that’s attracted me.

  • Rupert February 5, 2012, 10:34 pm | Link

    The report from Today/Tonight is very sentimental and lovely and bubbly, but there is a massive elephant in the room.

    The reason why most Brits move to Australia is to get away from congested roads, over-crowded public transport, large class sizes, few job opportunities etc. The other reason why Brits are moving to Australia is because of the country’s tough stance on immigration. The open-door policy of the UK has not worked.

    The fact is that the more over-populated a country is, the more unemployment there is. Unemployment leads to crime and crime leads to poor quality of life. The excuse that immigration is good for the housing market is ridiculous. The only people who benefit from expensive housing are the wealthy. The housing market is way, way over-valued, so how can all these immigrants help? Their pockets are not lined with gold. I suppose they could borrow beyond their means to fulfil the Australian dream…? It’ll end in tears.

    Australia needs to wake up and look at how the US has failed, look at how the UK has failed and look at how Europe has failed. For Australia to remain the land of milk and honey, it must not follow the same trends of believing that mass immigration is good or that a buoyant housing market is good, or that cheap labour is good.

    Unless Australia remains exclusive and special, it will destroy the very things that make Australia so attractive.

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