With the dust settling on the G20 and APEC meetings, Xavier Toby is scratching his head and asking “Did I miss something?”


What did the G20 achieve?


What happened at APEC?

Not much.

The USA and China did sign a deal on climate change. The US pledged to get its carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. China agreed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030. This agreement didn’t have much to do with either G20 or APEC, and seemed to be announced only because both leaders happened to be shaking hands at the time.

Probably a bet to see who could hold their breath longer, once they ventured out into the Beijing air.

Or lack of it.

So a whole bunch of world leaders went to APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) then almost the same group kicked on to the afterparty at the G20 in Brisbane. It’s called the “G20” because you need to have downed at least twenty gin and tonics just to get into the door. Beer bongs are so G8.

They’ve all now left, and apart from exhausting Brisbane’s prostitutes (allegedly…), stressing out hotel staff and causing countless police and security staff to sweat boredom for up-teen hours, what was achieved?


Like I already said.

Well there was a list of stuff they decided, but made no actual commitments to any of it, or explained how even the smallest assertion might be achieved.

Let’s quickly go through some of the highlights from their “action plan”…

LIFT GDPThe G20 nations committed to lifting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by two percent by 2018, adding more than US$2 trillion to the global economy.

This is like me saying, “I can definitely afford that new car, as next year I’m going to make $30,000 more than this year. So give me the keys please.”

Sales-guy: “How exactly? Like, what’s your plan?”

We both look awkwardly at the ground, until I leave.


INFRASTRUCTURECreate a “Global Infrastructure Initiative” to lift investment, and match investors with projects, with a hub based in Sydney.

Businessman one: “I’m going to open an office in Sydney to do business and create investment.”

Businessman two: “Is that right? What sort of business exactly?”

Businessman one: “You know, business business. The real business.”

Business man two: “Sounds solid.”


PARTICIPATIONReduce the gap between men and women in the workforce by 25 percent by 2025.

Woman one: “Did you see that? More women in the workforce. Hooray!”

Woman two: “That’s great! So where are they going to list the opportunities?”

Woman one: “I think if you keep asking questions like that, the whole system might crumble.”

Woman two: “Really? So let’s keep asking.”


POVERTYMore food and jobs

Australia: “Did anyone invite any of the poor countries?”

Indonesia: “We’re over here.”

Australia: “Damn. Luckily, nobody cares. That’s why the media completely ignored you.”


FINANCIAL SYSTEMSStop them being so dodgy

USA: “Stockmarket reform. Who’s in?”

All other countries explode into laughter. Germany actually blows champagne through her nose, causing everyone to laugh even harder.


EBOLA – Stop its spread

Australia: “What’s Ebola?”

USA: “It’s this disease in Africa.”

Australia: “What’s Africa?”

Italy: “A war-torn and impoverished continent that produces a constant stream of refugees in dire need, who we welcome with a humanitarian immigration program.”

Australia: “I don’t like Africa.”


ENERGYImprove energy efficiency, support effective action on climate change

Britain: “I can’t see anything. Why is it so dark in here?”

Australia: “We’re trying to save power.”

Britain: “By turning off the lights?”

Australia: “Have you got a better idea?”

Britain: “Here’s a document with hundreds of them.”

Australia: “I can’t see it. The lights are off. Ha!”

Britain turns on the lights. The G20 countries notice Russia hiding in the corner. All the G20 countries cast a nasty look in Russia’s direction, which he ignores, and goes back to cyber-bullying the Ukraine.



Australia: “Thanks for coming everyone. Enjoy your souvenir koala, and please remember don’t sign anything unless it’s so general that no real action will be happen on anything ever. On a side note, how bad are Australians for wanting free healthcare and an environment? So selfish. See you next year.”



To celebrate being a year old, we want you, the readers, to help us decide the articles you loved best during our first year and to encourage you  to participate, we are giving away three prizes!

All you have to do is look through our archives of content and email us your favourite article and also if you want, the one you weren’t so up with. From the submissions, we will assess the most-loved content from our first year and republish it at the end of our birthday month.

Both writers and readers are encouraged to enter (No, Paris, you cannot nominate your own articles…#justsaying), so please email us at admin@thebigsmoke.com.au by 30th November to enter! Please include your name, address and mobile number.

And the prizes are…(did we mention there are prizes…?)

First prize: A brilliant acting course based in Sydney and hosted by Darlo Drama worth $550!

Second prize:  A gift pack from our friends at Booktopia

Third prize: Four movie passes

(Plus watch out for a couple of of other competitions during our birthday month !)

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