As we approach the election, I’m thinking carefully about how a Shorten Labor Government will be remembered for our reform of education. It feels like every week I meet someone in their 60’s or 70’s who reminds me about how Gough Whitlam was responsible for them going to university. I’m struck by the way they passionately talk about this – even after so many decades. They tell me how the opportunity of a university education transformed not just their life, but the course of their family’s life.
When cattle and sheep are dying in vast numbers across Eastern Australia, how sane is it for the driest inhabited continent in the world not to capture and redirect wastewater and stormwater from our cities and towns into food and beverage production? Energy is a major component of the cost of treating and moving water. Renewable energy sources can become an essential component of responding to the effects of climate change and climbing temperatures.
Fortunately, there are some very bright and committed minds working on this issue, especially in our state and territory water supply agencies.
Power does reveal substance. It tells us quite quickly about the values that drive political parties and political leaders. Scare tactics are always a sure sign that the values and policy cupboard is bare.
We can accept that our leaders must make some compromises from time to time, but we need to know ‘what they stand for’. We look for leaders who have conviction. Hypocrisy and double standards become very obvious.
Australians are sick and tired of politicians. The community is deserting the major political parties in droves. Most recently we have seen it in Longman and Wagga. We have lost trust in our major political parties and most particularly the Liberal and National Parties in recent months.
In the 1980’s we embraced economic change and reform. It was necessary but painful for some. Today we need democratic reform and renewal. Like the 1980s, it is necessary but it will be painful for some.
For those of you following the review of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names. auDA’s Chair, Chris Leptos, has released the following statement.
“Dear Members and Stakeholders
It is now 130 days since the Minister for Communications and the Arts (Senator Mitch Fifield) wrote to auDA outlining the 29 recommendations of the review into the .au namespace (the Review). In this time we have published auDA’s Implementation Plan, which details the steps we are taking to meet the new ‘Terms of Endorsement’, in addition to conducting an extensive consultative process through the Consultation Model Working Group (CMWG) on the proposed governance framework and membership model.
Earlier this year the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council commissioned a report on the ‘innovation economy’ by The Business of Cities advisory group – to provide a contemporary picture of the innovation economy, to understand the current trends, learn from leading innovation regions and guide the Council’s forward work program.
The innovation economy describes what happens when new generations of technologies and business models emerge at unprecedented speeds and scales to disrupt existing sectors, create new products and processes, and foster advanced and high-growth industries.
The Coles plastic bag bungle has a lot to teach us about the importance of community engagement, including how to get it right and the costs of getting it wrong.
We can assume the supermarket chain had good intentions when they started charging for plastic bags, but from the outside it looked as if they were approaching the issue as just a public relations exercise. Surprised by the customer backlash, the company reacted to the reaction and dropped the charge. Then, in the face of broader public criticism, they announced they would reimpose it after all.
Turnbull was always going to do it. It was a matter of language and timing. Fears his government has allowed to spread about Chinese money in Australia’s democracy and China’s growing influence in the region had little substance, and have done Australia more harm than good.