Take a look at the relative growth rates of Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK and Europe in the chart. Starting in Q1/2004 at 100, Australia is nearly at 155 (and that was before today's scorching 1.2 % Q-on-Q growth estimate for Q2/2010) much higher than any of the other countries or regions shown.
Partly luck. China continues to boom, and we're selling them raw materials. China is now the world's largest consumer of commodities. And despite a Chinese "slowdown" (we should be so lucky), prices and volumes just keep going up.
Partly good management. Unlike the Fed, the RBA took away the liquor before the party got too wild. They started raising interest rates early on before the 2002-2007 boom got out of hand, whereas the Fed kept rates too low allowing an unsustainable housing bubble to swell. When it duly burst everybody was covered with gunk.
Partly immigration. Massive immigration, some of it allegedly temporary (students here to study in a cheap but definitely not nasty English-speaking country) helped push up demand for housing, demand for everything. Our unemployment rate is just 5%.
There's talk of an Ozzie housing bubble. Meself, I doubt it. Unless... they slash immigration and remove negative gearing.
BTW, did you observe the good performance of New Zealand in all this? And they don't produce any commodities. Beaut country though. Maybe it's all the tourism.
Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. But I can't by law give you advice, and I do make mistakes. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. Oddly enough, the expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would, or on the other hand happens more quickly than you expected. The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.
BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.