WE HAVE THEIR VOTE: Backpackers Luke Bottomley, from the UK, and Katja Schneider, of Germany, on Byron Bay’s Main Beach yesterday.
WE HAVE THEIR VOTE: Backpackers Luke Bottomley, from the UK, and Katja Schneider, of Germany, on Byron Bay’s Main Beach yesterday. Jay Cronan

We're No 2 in world for best place to live

THE United Nations thinks we live in the second-best place on Earth, but English tourist Luke Bottomley and his German friend Katja Schneider know better.

“I originally came here for three days and I've been here three weeks now, so that pretty much sums it up,” Mr Bottomley, who is staying at Byron Bay, enthused yesterday.

Mr Bottomley, who hails from Yorkshire in England's north, said he was not surprised by the finding of the UN's Human Development Report, 2009, which ranked Australia as the second-best country in the world, based on life expectancy, access to knowledge and standard of living.

The only mystery, he agreed, was that Australia had been ranked behind Norway - something the global financial crisis was expected to change next year.

Ms Schneider was just as enthused. She is here on a working visa and hit Byron a couple of days ago. Yesterday she was frantically searching for work so she could also extend her stay in the town.

Ms Schneider came to Byron after a seven-week stay in Melbourne, where Mr Bottomley said she had grown heartily sick of the grey days and 11 degree Celsius temperatures - proving something else Northern Rivers residents have always known: Melbourne is not the best place to live in Australia, as official reports have claimed. This is.

TOP 10 COUNTRIES
1. Norway
2. Australia
3. Iceland
4. Canada
5. Ireland
6. Netherlands
7. Sweden
8. France
9. Switzerland
10. Japan
SOURCE: UN Human Development Report, 2009


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