The new millennium

Murray Goot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


‘At the beginning of the last decade of the twentieth century’, John Edwards, an economist and former adviser to Paul Keating observed two years before the global financial crisis (GFC), ‘something happened in Australia that had never happened before’. What had happened and continued into the new century was ‘an economic expansion so sustained, so deep and widespread in its impact, so novel in its characteristics, that the lives of Australians, their hopes and plans, their work and leisure, their wealth and incomes, the way they saw themselves and their country and the ways it related to other countries, even the way they thought about their past, began to be changed by it’. Until its defeat in 2007, the Liberal–National Party Coalition government led by John Howard was buoyed by the boom. Elected in 1996, Howard’s campaign was informed by research suggesting that Labor voters had come to feel that they had been ignored in favour of ‘minorities’. Under Labor, it was the ‘minorities’ – not ‘ordinary people’ – who ‘were being listened to and were the winners’. Those on ‘welfare’ were winners at ‘the bottom’ and those with ‘lurks and perks’ were winners at ‘the top’. But winners, on this view, were also the new and apparently powerful social constituencies: among others, migrants, Indigenous people, feminists, gays and the Greens.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge history of Australia
Subtitle of host publicationvolume 2 : the Commonwealth of Australia
EditorsAlison Bashford, Stuart Macintyre
Place of PublicationPort Melbourne, Victoria
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781107445758
ISBN (Print)9781107011557, 9781107011540
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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