Looking for a Proper Job in Australia


Looking for a Proper Job in Australia?

I was speaking recently with a young man about to enter the work force. He wanted a ‘proper’ job, not just a temporary position serving petrol or fast food.

Reluctantly, I informed him he’s about thirty years too late. Until then Australia had a booming clothing industry, an innovative electronics sector, factories making every type of home appliance, most tools, cars, boats, and all the spare parts anyone could ever need. There were steel mills, oil refineries, printers and publishers, independent tradespeople in every field—butchers, bakers, booksellers, hardware shops, draperies. You name it, someone in Australia made it, small businesses sold it and tradesmen repaired and maintained it. But all those jobs have gone to cheap labour in China, Taiwan, Indonesia… And nothing’s repaired because everything’s ‘disposable’ or there are no spare parts, so we throw millions of tons of perfectly good stuff into toxic dumps.’

Supermarket chains have destroyed local bakers, butchers, drapers, smallgoods shops, pastry cooks, local hardware shops, local electrical appliance shops… which is why Main Streets have empty stores and bazaars full of cheap junk imported by the shipload.

Virtually the only jobs left in Australia are in the service sector—the so-called health industry [sickness industry would be a better description] the finance industry, the education industry, the tourism industry, the fitness industry, the entertainment industry, the transport industry, the military industry, the police and prison industry, or working as a salesperson for one of the giant corporations that have swallowed up small businesses, fueling consumerism by advertising stuff made in other countries, selling stuff made elsewhere.

Not one of the above mentioned jobs requires actually producing anything of value!

As for the mining sector; we let foreign corporations dig up minerals, paying us a pittance for them, then they take them home and make all the things we used to make ourselves, then sell them back to us.

A job on a farm? Thousands of individual farmers have been reduced to a few hundred multinational graziers and croppers whose factory farms take too much water and spray too many poisons, making the rivers toxic, so they can sell their raw produce overseas so we can buy it back in the form of processed meat, bread, cakes, canned vegetables…food we used to make and grow ourselves. The days of hands-on farming are gone, along with about ninety percent of the topsoil due to land clearing. Add a rapidly changing climate and growing enough food for an exploding population is becoming a problem.

Fishing? Giant trawlers scrape the bottom, literally, leaving mud and destruction; their catch going overseas.

Market gardening? Sadly, the best land for market gardens now grows houses as the cities expand, leaving inferior land that produces inferior produce, heavily reliant on toxic sprays and fertilizers. Food imports, thanks to free trade, are putting many Australian horticulturalists out of business. Pretty soon we’ll be reliant on other countries to feed as well as clothe us. We will be dependent on the good will of other countries for our very existence. Not a situation any rational person would relish. Australia is on the way to becoming a third world state with a tiny elite of insanely wealthy people, a struggling middle class and vast hordes of poverty stricken breeders with all the associated problems.



4 thoughts on “Looking for a Proper Job in Australia

    1. Rigby Post author

      Yes, when I remember. I’m always thrilled to see interviews with farmers who are improving their land, making them sustainable as well as attractive. It’s odd that so few others are prepared to change their ways. But I’m not thrilled when I see the ‘factorisation’ of farming. My Grandfather had a 500 acre farm in Canterbury. They lived well on it, but now it is no longer viable, like friends with a dairy farm in the Waikato who lived well with 60 milking cows. Now they would need about a thousand. Jobs for young men and women who would like to be real, ‘hands on’ farmers are disappearing along with other interesting jobs. I taught Art and Art history. There used to be jobs for sign writers, poster makers, ticket writers… now all is computerised and stock images and fonts are used. Even composition is automatic. But what the young have never known they don’t grieve over, so why should I? Except that there seems to be more depression among young people now that heretofore. Ha! Your hair is darker in this avatar, but the face and expression is the same. You still think the rest of us are all a bit odd.

      1. Photobooth Journal

        I used to teach art and art history, too. I value hand made things and the ability to make things. I think more and more young people are valuing hands-on skills. Even if it doesn’t get one a job, it offers a measure of self sufficiency and it certainly helps to give life satisfaction and meaning.

        PS Not sure what your last sentence in this comment means.

  1. Rigby Post author

    Sorry, it simply means the expression on your face is as enigmatic as in the earlier portrait with tousled blond hair, You have kept that slightly amused/bemused look of someone who finds other people a little strange at times. It doesn’t mean you are like that, I hasten to add. But it does make you appear interesting – as if you know more than you’re letting on. Forgive my rave; faces intrigue me.


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