Things have meaning in part because of the way we see things, based on our own historical context. An example is the conception of Australia as the Lucky Country because it was the world's quarry. Donald Horne, who coined the Lucky Country phrase, used it in an ironical mode.
Horne was critiquing an Australia that did not think for itself; a country manacled to its past; and 'still in colonial blinkers'. It was meant as an indictment of an unimaginative nation, its cosy provincialism, its cultural cringe, its second rate politicians, and its White Australia policy. Horne's irony is usually overlooked.
Old resource based Australia is a particular historical pattern of vision. A week in Andamooka, in northern South Australia indicated that it was a strange place--a frontier land. The town was full of mine tailings as was the surrounding landscape. This was a quarry economy. It indicated mining's "boom and bust" economics, and that mining, by its nature, involves the environmental damage to the land. This often has serious consequences for the surrounding environment.
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