The Wonderful World of Oz

prince nez

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Possibly aprocyphal but I heard a story that Coober Pedy means “white fella underground” in the local Aboriginal dialect.
 

Dropbear

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Interesting that Perth makes it in there. I hear very conflicting reports about that city, but they all agree that housing now is unaffordable and double expensive if you want to go out to eat.
My home town. Beautiful beaches and bushland with wine country a few hours drive. Decent weather too.

But not my first choice of places in Oz to live. The city itself is pretty ugly and it is still a cultural desert.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Perth is hot and fucking boring. And full of white south ifrikaans and pommies
Yes, appears to be the case.

My home town. Beautiful beaches and bushland with wine country a few hours drive. Decent weather too.

But not my first choice of places in Oz to live. The city itself is pretty ugly and it is still a cultural desert.
One of my colleagues out there has recently taken a year off and he told me ''I came here for 6 weeks that was 29 years ago and I need to get out of this small town....''

Another colleague who visited from the UK said you would get really bored there after about 12-18 months. Another who's emigrated there say's it's great if you just want barbecues and cans of beer in the back garden.

We had some guys who came out to The Netherlands from there for some training a few years ago, they were Brits and had emigrated in the early 1990s. They said it was a working man's paradise when they got out there: house prices a quarter of what they were in the UK and your wages were three times what you would get in the UK....But sadly, they informed that the boat had well and truly sailed and now it was like a million bucks for a starter home.

I actually find climate makes a big contribution to what you need to live and live well. Somewhere like Fortaleza in Brazil, you can basically buzz off the climate for 365 days of the year. You don't need that much culture.
 

Dropbear

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My mum still lives in Perth and when she goes I will inherit her house. I’d like to keep some roots in Aus, but honestly I can’t see myself living there anymore
 

Rambo

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-41675196

The end of Australia's car-making industry

Image copyrightHOLDEN
Image captionA 1970s advert featuring a Holden car and smiling, patriotic Australians
Australia's final locally made car left the production line on Friday when Holden stopped manufacturing in the nation. It is considered the end of an era after similar exits by Ford and Toyota, writes the BBC's Hywel Griffith in Sydney.

"We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars."

The chorus to Holden's 1970s TV advert tells you everything you need to know about the company that gave Australia its first homegrown, mass-produced motorcar.

Or almost everything - since 1931, this all-Aussie brand has in fact been owned by the American giant General Motors.

It is Holden's position in the global market that is key to understanding the rise and fall of car manufacturing in Australia.

Holden started off as an Adelaide saddle-maker before adapting to the arrival of motorbikes and cars by supplying upholstery and vehicle bodies.

Following World War Two, it got the backing of the Australian government, which wanted to kickstart domestic car manufacturing and give the nation some global status.

The birth of the first Holden 48-215 in 1948 began the public's love affair with "Australia's own car", which would blossom over the decades.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionA former Ford employee speaks to reporters after a factory closure last year
"It's what we grew up with, it's just what we know," explains Jason Fischer from Gosford Classic Car Museum, as he shows me their collection of vintage Holdens, from one of the first 48-215s to a classic Aussie ute.

"I came home from hospital in a Holden car, my dad had one, my grandfather had one and so on, so you know - it's just a natural progression."

While there were other cars on the market, Holden could lay claim to producing the first vehicle made by Australians, for Australians.

"They were rugged, they could deal with our temperatures," Mr Fischer says. "Outback Australia is a pretty harsh place and these things were made tough."

Tribal loyalty
Through the 1960s and '70s, Holden was king of the road in Australia, with the only serious competition coming from Ford, who launched their own Australian-made family car, the Falcon.

Toyota also started production in Australia in 1963, but it was Holden and Ford who built almost tribal loyalty among their customers, which culminated each year in the companies going head-to-head in the Bathurst 1000 motor race.

These were the sunshine years - the time of that technicolor TV advert for meat pies and kangaroos that showed Holden cars being driven by happy, smiling, patriotic Australians.

As more families could afford a car, Holden expanded and introduced its popular new model, the Commodore.

Until the late 1980s, steep import tariffs kept Australian-made cars ahead of the pack, as foreign-built vehicles from the rest of the world remained largely unaffordable.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionToyota announced in 2014 it would cease manufacturing in Australia
But that same protectionist policy may have created complacency, according to Prof Roy Green, the dean of UTS Business School in Sydney.

"In a sense, the Australian local assembly industry was destined to fail because it was established originally behind very high tariff barriers," he argues.

"It couldn't become export competitive when the tariffs were reduced. This is when imports started to flood in and the local industry was very slow to adapt, very slow to take on new ideas and methods."

As those tariffs started to fall, global competition increased - but Holden's decline wasn't instant.

The company's Commodore model continued to figure prominently among Australia's best-selling cars well into the 21st Century.

Holden was also an important exporter, shipping cars to the Middle East and Brazil, and contributing significantly to Australia's balance of trade.

'Loss for Australia'
But by 2013, with decades of government subsidies drying up, the writing was on the wall and Holden announced it could no longer afford to manufacture cars in Australia.

With Ford and Toyota already having ceased production in Australia, Holden said its vehicles would also be built abroad.

The decision means the deep loyalty many customers have felt will be tested.

Image copyrightEPA
Image captionA parade featuring classic Holden cars in Adelaide earlier this week
At the Australian Car Sales garage in western Sydney, we found one worker with a Holden tattoo on his arm.

But manager Shayne Hennessey is concerned about how people will respond.

"I think it's going to be a huge loss for Australia," he says. "I don't think the public are going to take lightly to this, they might go to a different brand."

At the moment around 70% of customers at his used car yard are looking for a Holden Commodore, and he anticipates there will at least be an initial spike in sales for the last Australian-made Holden cars.

"The only thing it's going to be now is a historic car," he says. "[For] people who can afford to put it away in the garage, it might be worth a fair bit of money in years to come."

With the rapid growth in electric vehicles threatening to disrupt the market, there is at least some hope Australia could one day produce its own cars again.

But for now, the story of "Australia's own car" seems to be at the end of the road.
 

Dropbear

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My first car was a '77 Leyland Mini. Then the EK and finally a Celica-Supra Mk2 that I swapped a 1JZ-GTE engine into as attempted therapy.

If any non-Oz people read this and wonder what a 1962 EK Special looked like, mine was paster aqua blue with a white rook, like this one:

holden-special-ek-05.jpg
1961_Holden_EK_Special_sedan_(7026288771).jpg
1962-holden-ek-special-station-wagon - Copy.jpg
 

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prince nez

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My first car was a '77 Leyland Mini. Then the EK and finally a Celica-Supra Mk2 that I swapped a 1JZ-GTE engine into as attempted therapy.

If any non-Oz people read this and wonder what a 1962 EK Special looked like, mine was paster aqua blue with a white rook, like this one:

View attachment 25479 View attachment 25477 View attachment 25480
My uncle had one of these - bronze with cream roof. Absolute garage queen. The Venetian blinds on the rear window were a nice touch. I remember being chastised for closing the door too hard one time and was “shown” how to click it shut with two fingers. I guess I was used to slamming the shit out of the mis-aligned doors on my Cit.

He also had a Statesman with a vinyl “island” roof (great for trapping moisture and rust!)

ECD1683F-8592-4D5D-AEAA-7D324C4B6547.jpeg
 

Dropbear

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Yeh, I added Venetian blinds to mine, a modern stereo hidden in the glove box and some deep dish chrome mags. Never had the money to ground-up restore the body - which it really needed. Cool car to drive to the beach and uni though.

Ha. An ex-gf’s brother nearly beat the shit out of me after I wrote on the dust on his project/garage queen XB Falcon coupe. Even though he was a weirdo ice fiend he still told everyone what a horrible person I was after that.
 
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fxh

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Today:

After Thursday reached a top of 35 degrees, the temperature was still 28 degrees at midnight, dropping to an overnight low of 25 degrees at 4am.

Though the mercury will soar on Friday, by Saturday night temperatures look set to drop low enough to see a sprinkling of snow in the alpine region.

The cooler weekend will bring tops of 21 degrees and more scattered rain.

Think 31 degrees and snow within two days sounds a little odd?

"That's Melbourne," Mr Stewart said."That's not unusual for Melbourne."
 

The Shooman

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Kangaroo stares down a bloke's car and starts belting it. Looks like he has one of those lolly cigarettes in his mouth at 33 seconds.

Fags.jpg
 
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