Australia’s Bad Things.

One of my readers in the UK has requested that I do a post about the bad stuff. He says I’m making Australia look like paradise and it’s making him depressed. He needs cheering up, but he’s read about….

•    Cheaper houses
•    Cheaper petrol
•    No problems parking
•    Free parking
•    Bigger houses
•    Cheaper houses
•    Hot and sunny
•    Under crowded beaches
•    Open roads
•    Schools with fields

He wants to hear about some bad things. Perhaps I have been a little one-sided. Australia is a big place, bad things do happen here. We have lots of bad stuff like

•    Sharks
•    Spiders
•    Snakes
•    Crocodiles
•    Deadly sea creatures
•    Dangerous sunlight
•    Extreme weather conditions
•    Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris and Friends

Rolf Harris and Friends

Image courtesy of Lamere

So, starting next week, I will be adding an  “Australia’s Bad Things” category. I had hoped that this would be a happy blog. I wanted my message to be all about how great it was to move to this fantastic land. I was hoping to inspire people to make that big leap, to take that incredible step and move to the other side of the world. I wanted people to feel my happiness at living in the land of the lucky.

But it seems I am just cheesing some people off! You just can’t please all the people can you?

So look out for next week when I introduced misery to Bobinoz.

Update: 1 July 2014

Yesterday in the UK Rolf Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four girls, the youngest of whom was aged seven or eight and the oldest 19.

Harris was originally included in this article as a joke, but sadly it turns out that he really is both a UK and an Australian Bad Thing.

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{ 104 comments… add one }
  • John May 6, 2015, 2:48 pm |

    Rolf Harris is not a bad person and is not a bad thing to happen to Australia he is an excellent person, a wise person once told me that ‘a man may do thousands of good deeds in his life time and change the world, but when he does one wrong nothing else matters and the world will just remember the bad’. OK, yes what he did was bad, but lets focus on the greatness and happiness he brought to millions of people.

    • monah May 6, 2015, 3:31 pm |

      have to disagree John. I was in his vicinity during the late 70s. He was very disliked and known to be a serial molester. He used his fame and power to get away with it with no thought at all of those whose lives he ruined. Obviously a very clever and intimidating man and I’m very pleased his time finally ran out.

      • BobinOz May 6, 2015, 7:25 pm |

        I am with monah on this one, in fact I’ll go a little further; I’ll clarify what I’m pretty sure monah probably thinks. Anybody who abuses and bullies children, irrespective of their fame and power, is a bad person. It really doesn’t matter what else they have done in their lives.

        We will have to disagree John, simple as that.

        • Di Shepherd September 17, 2017, 9:59 pm |

          Bob, I add to yours (and Monah’s) comments and say I fully agree with you both. I DID like RH at one time but now I can’t stand him. When we were in Sydney last year, we were walking through a park back to our hotel and there was a little refreshments area. They were playing a Rolf Harris song. It thoroughly annoyed us both and it was in VERY BAD TASTE.

  • Rakesh November 19, 2014, 4:39 am |

    Which state is good for industrial engineer in Australia .
    How is weather in it highly cold during winter.also I would like to know about people’s behaviour.

    • Ash November 19, 2014, 9:44 am |

      You might find this enlightening:

      And this:

      The rest of Bob’s site has most of the answers your looking for: in short – try the larger cities: Melbourne and Sydney and possibly Perth. Stay away from the outer suburbs and check your qualifications are recognised here.

      • BobinOz November 19, 2014, 5:11 pm |

        Rakesh, some good advice from Ash, you might also like to look at my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship as there is a whole section on finding jobs within it.

        Ash, I watched the entire six part series of Dumb, Drunk and Racist, ultimately I thought it was a dumb exercise throughout and for me didn’t appear to succeed in making any point one way or another.

        But hey, that’s TV shows for you 🙂

  • Rakesh November 19, 2014, 4:34 am |

    Which state is good for industrial engineer in Australia .

  • Pete January 12, 2014, 3:39 pm |

    Cheaper houses? LOL

    Australia is turning into another expensive congested mess. Happy I left.

  • Roschelle April 16, 2013, 7:10 pm |

    Sorry Bob,
    This wasnt a hate speech or something…Ive had my fair share absolutely great memories to take back home…

    Made some wonderful friends around here…

    But Uk vs Aus…

    Aus is far far behind not only in terms of distance but also the distance from the world beyond Australia…

    Sports can get u a fit n fine …its not always about winning or loosing is it? ..its also about having a good soul and a great mind…

    Aussies need to get out of the boundaries that they have set for themselves…

    For example the music played in the clubs are absolutely outdated…Ministry of sound UK is 100years ahead of that…
    Australian films are far from Hollywood or English films, far from reach

    Younger generations must and should break free from the shackles of age old rules set…They need to mingle with the real world…get the best out of every culture to stayahead in the world map…

    When it comes to technology Aussies pick the best of all the newest and best inventions from the world…But no innovative thinking…no value addition
    to the world except for in the area of sports…Thats ok if you only want to remain a Holiday destination…

    I love Australia for a great holiday but not some place i want to raise my kids…

    I met a lady on my flight to Thailand…She is an Aussie and so is her husband but she thought it sensible to raise her kids in Thailand…She wants her children to explore, innovate, excell….She also plans on moving to other parts of Asia and then to US. I think its the best she can do…She admits the shortcomings of an Australian upbringing…

    The government has to take great measures to pull back Australia from its laid back attitude…

    Australia is lovable but not livable in the longrun…

    On a more positive note…they need to challenge the world not only in sports but in every other area of expertise…

    • BobinOz April 17, 2013, 10:29 pm |

      I am very grateful that Australian films ARE NOT like Hollywood, who needs more of that?

      Lots of negatives there for Australia, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but in my view Australia is lovable AND liveable in a longrun, I’m here to stay.

      Thanks for your views though, they are appreciated.



  • Roschelle April 16, 2013, 5:40 pm |

    Hi BobinOz,
    I thot it wud be absolutely ignorant of me if i didnt open ur eyes onto some dirty truths, based on my exps in Sydney.
    I’ve lived in London all my life, except from 2yrs i live in the posh Eastern Suburbs flat in the Double Bay area. I pay 350 Aud rent plus internet n other charges every week.

    Back in London i always heard the Dumb Drunk & Racist stories on Aus, never believed them till i actually got here.
    My 60 yr old, 2 times divorcee flat owner is always buried into the 10 free Tv channels, 24/7 bragging abt how great Australia is n how miserable all others countries are. Most part of his pension goes on the dog races he bets on, endless beers & parties he throws, on his like minded friends who don’t seem to have stepped anywhere out of Aus their entire lives.

    After 2 yrs in Sydney I still cant understand the language the Aussies speak and no one makes an attempt to help either. When asked to repeat ur stared back at or made fun of

    I finally got a flatmate who speaks English. Not being modest, I must tell you she happens to be an Indian, looking like a demi-goddess, far more educated, well mannered, 10 times cleaner n hygenic than me or any aussie..

    An old hag who owns a store a couple of steps away from the Edgecliff station never had a problem with me smoking out there, frm the past 2 years, but now she did…the smoke blown out of the Indian girls mouth started getting her store smelly!!! Funny it wasn’t even a “No smoking zone”

    3 weeks later, one evening I took an Indian boyfriend of mine to a pub in Manly. He studied Uni with me bk in London and he was on his first business visit to Aus.
    We were just 1 beer down having a nice time. He was taking pictures of us, for just a few mins i went out to grab a smoke. When i came back i had a shocker, a lady almost double his age had snatched his camera and was accusing him of taking her pictures… After carefully examining all the pictures he had taken and not finding any of hers in there, she shamelessly walked away with not even an apology! Her drunk friends found that really funny but none sorry!
    The club manager seemed really concerned and rushed to us cutting sorry figures…and just while i was starting to comfort my friend who was shaken by the incident, another shocker awaited. The club guy began requesting us to leave the club cos’ he didnt want any kind of tension !!! -%&*/–???

    Well my Uni friend is never coming bk to Aus, and im getting back home this semister. I can only pray my Indian flatmate survives her 1 yr contracted job in Sydney. God bless her…

    Needless to say maybe not all Australians an be blamed… A handful have definitely managed to impact

    Arent we not thought in school to treat all humans equal! If i hadnt witnessed all of this myself i never would have known or even believed…

    • BobinOz April 17, 2013, 10:25 pm |

      Yes, we are and all humans are equal, except of course, some are complete idiots. Sounds like your flat owner and the shopowner down the road fall into that category along with the drunken mob in the pub and let’s also add to list the guy who works there and threw you out.

      That’s quite a big bunch of idiots.

      I am really sorry to hear about your experiences, and this country, like any country, does have its racists, thankfully they are in the minority. And, in my opinion, they usually belong to the older generation and it does sound like many of the characters in your story were old.

      By sheer coincidence, I wrote my post today about racism, you might like to read Is Australia Racist?

      Thanks for taking the time to tell us your story.


  • GOODNESS November 4, 2012, 10:59 pm |

    i want to enroll in Endeavor College of Natural Health in Australia that’s how i managed to find this blog in search of the cost of living in Australia. Please anybody who could assist me with info about the College and the truth about the cost of living should contact me

    thanks for the blog

  • Pete October 4, 2012, 4:09 am |

    Ive been in Australia for two years now. I cannot wait to leave. Its such an awful,flat,ugly country. Its expensive,its arrogant,the food is rubbish and i just cant bear it anymore. I cannot wait to go back to Bristol! most people i talk to (Australians included) agree with me that this country is just one big rip off!!!!

    • BobinOz October 5, 2012, 12:57 am |

      Well it’s not flat where I live, we have rolling hills all around us. Norwich is the flattest place I’ve ever been to.

      That aside, Australia obviously isn’t for everyone, that’s why it’s really important to be sure it’s the place for you before spending all the money it takes to get here. Anyway, sorry it didn’t work out for you, good luck back in Bristol.



  • Richard Ivanovic September 7, 2012, 7:00 pm |

    Hi Bob I was talking to my son who was telling me about his friend from Bankstown and he told me that a young boy that appeared to be of Lebanese background tried to stab his friend but he said he somehow got the knife out of the boys hand but he does not remember as he was quite shaken my sons friend is only 16 and he said the boy looked quite young around 14. I feel unsafer than I did in the past as over the past few years I have been hearing and seeing more crime, do you know why there’s been an increase in crime out in the suburbs?
    Do you think these issues are going to get worse or is this going to get better?


    • BobinOz September 9, 2012, 4:00 pm |

      Richard, I don’t really know why crime is on the increase, I think it usually happens when people are struggling to get by.

      As we know, some areas are worse than others when it comes to crime rates, I’d be seriously considering trying to move to a different area rather than waiting for things to get better. I know that’s not always easy, but it’s not impossible either. Good luck!


  • aprile01 September 5, 2012, 6:15 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Just read your last comment, got to take issue with it. I actually lived in Westcliff up until 4 months ago, which as you know is next door to Southend, I also do quite a bit of work in the area. Who in God’s name told you Southend has been taken over by Somali drug dealers?!?! I don’t think I’ve ever once seen a somalian round here… Ever! Let alone a Somali drug dealer! This is a common problem with British ex pats in Australia, they regurgitate ridiculous stories about their homeland, almost certainly rubbish they’ve read in the Daily Mail (I asume to justify their move). Come on Bob, you’re clearly a clever chap, I’ve enjoyed your blogs, don’t succombe to this kind of nonsense.

    • BobinOz September 5, 2012, 6:43 pm |

      Well I can assure you I don’t make these things up, maybe these gangs moved in after you moved out. Anyway, this matter was brought to my attention by somebody else and it is up-to-date information, dated 24th of August 2012.

      It’s not from the Daily Mail, it’s the local paper for Southend and you can read it for yourself in the online version of the Evening Echo.

      Here’s a quote from the article…..

      A spokesman for Essex Police added: “We are aware of the problem and are continuing with our high-visibility policing to deter the drug dealing.

      “We are also doing a covert operation to make arrests related to the dealing.”

      Doesn’t sound like nonsense to me.

      • aprile01 September 5, 2012, 7:46 pm |

        That sounds like an isolated incident in a very particular part of Southend. The idea that Southend has been taken over by Somali drug dealers is nonsense, I actually work here Bob and still live in near by Leigh, I’ve never seen anyone who even remotely looks Somalian, so again I say; this sounds like an isolated incident.

        • BobinOz September 6, 2012, 1:35 am |

          Isolated incident? Google “Somali gangs Southend” – it’s no isolated incident.

          That said, I do accept that my quote “…Southend-on-Sea, has now been taken over by Somali drug dealers” was badly worded and a little over dramatic. But I do stand by the message I was trying to get across, which is that the crime hotspots which affect some suburbs in major cities here in Australia, are actually already in existence in the UK in much smaller towns.

          Thanks aprile01


          • aprile01 September 6, 2012, 1:56 am |

            Well I’m glad you’ve retracted your over the top remark ;-). When I say isolated, I meant in an isolated area (I too am guilty of a badly worded comment).
            On another note, I wouldn’t be so sure that these kinds of things don’t happen in small Australian towns. I lived in Campbell Town when I first arrived in Australia and can confirm that it was a hell hole, it was certainly victim of violent binge drinking and drug gangs (I saw it for myself). I also remember reading about gang shootings in a near by suburb (forget the name; Rose something). So whilst I appreciate your original sentiment, I don’t agree with the idea that Australian towns don’t fall foul of violent crime hotspots in the same way the UK does. I speak from experience. I could give you a rather long list of awful places I visited during my time in Australia. Both countries have amazing spots, both harbour dumps per capita in equal measures, no doubt about that.

            • BobinOz September 6, 2012, 2:42 pm |

              It’s not a retraction aprile01, more of a tempering of the wording. It still looks to me as though there is a problem there in Southend.

              As for Campbell Town, which Campbell Town do you mean? Or do you mean Campbelltown, NSW? The one that is actually a suburb of Sydney, our biggest city? Can’t really call that a small Australian town, can you?

              • aprile01 September 6, 2012, 5:48 pm |

                Well like I say Bob, I actually work here, I’ve never even seen a Somalian, so whilst it’s clearly an issue in that ONE park, it’s not a huge issue for the whole of Southend as you’re making out.
                In terms of Campbeltown, yes it’s the one in NSW and if you can count Southend as a small town then you can count Campbeltown as an even smaller town. Both are around the same distance from their respective major cities (Sydney and London) at around 35 miles, the difference being Southend has a poplulation around 20 times bigger than Campbeltown. I have to say Bob, I’m very interested in what you believe does and doesn’t constitute as being a small town.

                • BobinOz September 7, 2012, 12:48 pm |

                  You say that because YOU haven’t seen any Somalis, there isn’t a problem. Just because you work in the area, doesn’t mean you know everything that is going on. Googling it shows there is a problem with reports in newspapers, quotes from policemen and talk of crack house closures in locations other than the park. So we will have to disagree on that one.

                  Now, being as you said you were interested in hearing what I believe does or doesn’t constitute a small town, I’ll oblige you with an answer.

                  You implied Campbelltown is a small Australian town, the records say it is a suburb of Sydney, Australia’s biggest city. The fact that it is a suburb makes it very different from a “town”. The suburb of Campbelltown is within the LGA of the same name, and that consists of about 35 other suburbs including the suburb of Ruse that you were trying to recall, the total population of which is around 150,000. You can read more about that on my page about West Sydney.

                  As a suburb that rubs shoulders with so many other suburbs within an LGA that rubs shoulders with all the other LGA’s in Australia’s largest city Sydney, it’s a big stretch to describe it as a small town.

                  Nowhere have I described Southend as a small town, I simply said it’s not a major city, big difference. I did also refer to it as a “much smaller town”, but that was in comparison to big cities like Sydney with 4 million ish. Describing something smaller, is not the same as describing it as small. For the records, Southend has a population of 160,000.

                  If you visit any of my state pages, NSW for example, you will see a list of all towns with a population of more than 10,000. There are many many Australian towns with less than 10,000 population, too many to list. They are small towns. Maybe even towns with less than 20,000 population are small, I don’t think there is an official definition, it’s a bit subjective.

                  This debate started because you didn’t much like something I said and you disagreed with it. You could have pointed it out politely, but instead you were quite aggressive, including this, and I quote…

                  “This is a common problem with British ex pats in Australia, they regurgitate ridiculous stories about their homeland, almost certainly rubbish they’ve read in the Daily Mail (I asume to justify their move).”

                  You might think it’s okay to pigeonhole British expats like this, I don’t. It’s insulting.

                  Anyway, I’m done with this debate, after all, I was only reporting something that has appeared in your local Southend newspapers. I don’t need to defend that to you.

                  • aprile01 September 7, 2012, 5:54 pm |

                    Bob, this is getting a bit silly now, you did imply Southend was a small town by making the bold statement (which I believe to be wrong) that small Australian towns are not affected by high levels of crime compared to the UK, you then went on to use Southend as an example, now you’re claiming that you never implied Southend was a small town at all?? Talk about moving the goal posts to suit your argument. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blogs, but if this is how you react everytime someone disagrees with you and largely disproves what you’ve said then I won’t bother with it any more. Shame.

                    Take care.

                    • BobinOz September 9, 2012, 3:58 pm |

                      For my readers who are staying, let me make it clear, nowhere have I made the statement “small Australian towns are not affected by high levels of crime compared to the UK” as stated by aprile01. What I have said is all here in black-and-white.

                      I also explained fully my comment about the size of Southend as a town to aprile01 in my previous reply, yet that explanation has been totally ignored and I am again accused of the same thing as before.

                      When arguments go round in circles like this, they become very boring so it’s good that this one has come to an end.

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