Oh dear. Standards are slipping, especially in the Sunshine State.
Gun
ownership is on the up, more children are born out of wedlock and
divorce rates are spiralling. The question is, could we blame New
Zealanders?

  • Gun ownership is on the rise in Queensland with evidence
    the tough restrictions introduced after the Port Arthur massacre nearly a decade
    ago are losing their effectiveness. Queensland police Weapons Licensing Branch manager, Inspector Mike Crowley,
    said gun ownership applications had increased 30% since 2002. Up to
    11,000 of last year’s 26,000 applicants were first-timers.

  • Rising petrol prices notwithstanding, the number of new
    cars sold leapt 2.6% in the past month in seasonally adjusted terms.
    Across the country during January, 83,728 new cars changed hands,
    with the strongest growth coming in Queensland and New South Wales. The
    sale of four-wheel drives dropped 1.5%.

  • 47.6% of all Tasmanian children born
    in 2004 were not born into a married family.
    It is a massive shift in the past 20 years, with just 15.2% of children born to non-married parents in 1984.

    It is second only to the Northern Territory, where just one
    third of children were born into a traditional nuclear family. In
    contrast, in Victoria, 74% of children were born to married
    parents.

  • The number of Queensland births were at an all-time
    high in 2004 and the state’s population growth remains highest in
    Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of
    Statistics (ABS)
    . Queensland’s population continued to grow at a stronger rate (2.3%)
    during 2003-04 than other states and was above the Australian average
    of 1.1%.

  • In 2004, the crude marriage rate for Queensland, at 6.3 marriages per
    1,000 population, was the highest in Australia. The crude divorce rate
    was 3.4 divorces per 1,000 population.

  • 22,500 more citizens left
    New Zealand

    for Australia than returned last year – up almost 34% on 2004. It is
    the highest net loss to Australia since a net 24,600 left in 2001. “Quite
    clearly the massive tax reductions that (Australian Treasurer) Peter
    Costello has been signalling in Australia are continuing to attract
    more and more skilled Kiwis,” says opposition finance spokesman, John Key.

Peter Fray

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