Gina, I think it comes down to a fundamental difference in how we view government, rights and freedoms. The Australia that we know today, began as a penal colony for the British. I think this very much effects the way we view our government and our freedoms. Subversive thinking and behaviour is a way of life here. People play along with the governments game. Much like letting your husband or wife think they make all the decisions, when in fact they do not. People here have a long history of knobbling the government, its just done quietly, and without a lot of fuss.
Take the proposed internet filter, people knobbled it before it could even be brought into play. Now its so useless there is little point in the government pursuing it.
Much the same happens with many laws that the government brings in, if people disagree, they simply go around the law, quietly and effectively. It could be called a quiet revolution, so effective, that the government hardly knows it is happening.