I was at a meeting tonight and one of the speakers was talking about the possibility of Australia being like Nauru in 50 years time. For those unaware, Nauru was "blessed" with a lot of phosphate rock, see this extract from Wikipedia: Independence On January 31, 1968 Nauru became the world's smallest independent republic. Phosphate rights were acquired from Britain in 1970 and the Nauru Phosphate Corporation was established. Money gained from the exploitation of phosphate was put into the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust and gave Nauruans the second highest GDP Per Capita (second only to the United Arab Emirates) and one of the highest standards of living in the world. Modern-day Nauru By the close of the twentieth century, the phosphate supplies were fast running out. Nauru finally joined the UN in 1999. As its phosphate stores began to run out (by 2006, its reserves were exhausted), the island was reduced to an environmental wasteland. Nauru appealed to the International Court of Justice to compensate for the damage from almost a century of phosphate strip-mining by foreign companies. In 1993, Australia offered Nauru an out-of-court settlement of 2.5 million Australian dollars annually for 20 years. New Zealand and the UK additionally agreed to pay a one-time settlement of $12 million each. Declining phosphate prices, the high cost of maintaining an international airline, and the government's financial mismanagement combined to make the economy collapse in the late 1990s. By the millennium Nauru was virtually bankrupt." What do you think? We have already just about killed off our manufacturing industry. Is this what is in store for our children?