21 March 2013

Why is Australia So Expensive?

Google 'Why is Australia so expensive' and you find lots of people posing the same question. One chap who recently returned from a trip to Paris, found a bottle of good wine there costs between $2.70 to $6.80 (or 2 - 5 euros) and can be purchased in every supermarket, you don't have to traipse to a bottle shop.  You're pushed to buy a good bottle of wine here for under $20 in one of those Supermarket-owned bottle shops.

The ABC recently reported that Australia has become one of the most expensive countries in the world. They quoted Dr Oliver Hartwich from the Centre for Independent Studies that we can thank the Australian Government for the fact that we pay too much. That means governments of any persuasion. Dr Hartwich concludes that governments need to remove regulatory obstacles.

Books, CDs, DVDs clothes and food are much more expensive here, in the lucky country, than in Europe and in the United States, especially in the United States, having been there twice in as many years recently we were surprised of how inexpensive it is to live there.

On our last trip to the US, I saw a CD, I wanted on the US App Store for $US9.99. I didn't have my laptop with me, only my iPad, so I decided I'd buy it back home. Back in Brisbane on the Australian App Store, the very same CD, 2 days later cost A$19.99. The exchange rate at the time was 1:1.

Just to let you know, I haven't taken a photo of the contents of my wallet here, it's from the internet.
So! What's the answer? I don't really know but I rather suspect it is because we as a nation are complacent. We see something we want, look at the price and say to ourselves, oh well, if that what it costs, who cares.

I think it is time to change our way of thinking. We need to do it, governments won't help us.


  1. Our visitors from the UK are noticing how much things cost here, but the exchange rate has a good bit to do with it. They had a much more favourable rate seven years ago. There is no doubt we in Australia pay too much for books, movies and music, along with many bits of technology.

  2. Prices increase very much too in Belgium. However the Australian wine is still very cheap, very good and very appreciated (3 to 6 €)

  3. Hmmm, I'm not sure that I agree with you Bill, because - almost two years since moving to Switzerland - I still find myself reeling in shock at the cost of clothing, FOOD, meals in restaurants, petrol, RENT, house prices generally. However, I do agree that the price and quality of wine is a lovely surprise.

    The UK seems like the best of both worlds - cheaper DVDs, books, clothing and restaurant meals on a par with Australia.


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