That we are still, 52 years after the book was published, The Lucky Country. Which is meant to be a bad thing: prospering through luck, rather than competent planning.
The original indictment the author intended was that the luck was inertia in following British habits—Australia Forrest Gump’d it into prosperity. The popular understanding is that he meant natural resources. (The idiot popular understanding is that he meant “luck” as a compliment.)
The most appalling excesses of Britishist inertia have been curbed, Tony Abbott notwithstanding. But the popular understanding remains valid. We had a chance to become Norway with a nice future fund, and we blew it.
The scariest thing about living in Australia is its future.