While our PM is away negotiating free trade agreements with Japan and China, members of a smallish car club in West Gippsland were demonstrating the success of a politician from the other side, Senator Button who served in the Hawke and Keating Governments. Perhaps ironically, he is partly responsible for the loss of GMH and Ford, as he in he in his wisdom initiated a system of diminishing import duties for imported cars, known as the Button Plan. This was successful in making Holden and Ford more efficient, but also inclined Australians to buy foreign cars. But I for one, feel very sad about the loss of the Big Two Aussies.
At Tall Timbers Senator Button was responsible it could be argued, for cars from Japan, USA, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, 23 in all. Their owners enjoyed a delightful wander alongside ferny forests and crystal clear streams, that meandered through paperbark clusters in turn growing under massive Mountain Ash. Like the rich variety of Porches, MGs, Triumph, Sprite, and Lotus cars from different countries, Tall Timbers was adorned with trees from many places, and no-one was complaining about the beauty that surrounded us.
Then we swung into the saddle again and drove on to the Noojee Pub, which in its own turn reminded us of the richness and variety of many countries’ foods in Australia today, a legacy of our multicultural immigration stance over many decades.
Perhaps it is true that we are all a little uncertain about our real feelings about our multicultural variety, our free trade agreements and gradual loss of the purity of culture. We like the rich flavours of many nations, but are a little sad also at something we are losing which it is not PC to talk about.
I enjoyed all the exotic sports cars, parked in the paddock at Tall Timbers, but wish I could buy a new Calais in 2017 if I wanted one. At least our multi ethnic lunch was served was served in a real Aussie Pub, so my grief and confusion over these lifestyle issues was a little ameliorated. After eating we climbed into our Rover from the “old country” and headed home past bright green paddocks of grazing Angus cattle. Yes I am proud to be an Australian, but also enjoy paddocks of Porches, and that is my best resolution to the issues raised under Tall Timbers, earlier today.
Words and static pictures by Ian Murray
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