Kevin Rudd set the tone for the 2020 summit with this, ‘the job of government is to set a strategic vision for the nation.’ The PM then urged delegates to ‘ignore’ critics of the summit. Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, agrees with Kev saying he quite likes the summit, as there is ‘some method to the madness’.
So that’s it folks – there is simply no opposition to 2020. What they said is going to happen. So what did they come up with? What are the ideas that our brightest and best 1,000 (gender balanced of course) have produced?
I’ve tried to pick up the actual ideas as opposed to the vapid, nauseating, white picket-fence, white middle class, patronising apple-pie dirge (for example in the ‘productivity’ room, the participants proposed encouraging ‘children to try new things without fear of failure’). Fuck me, why hadn’t i thought of that before?
So take a deep breath, pour yourself a stiff brandy (whilst you still can) and come with me for a walk about as far as you can travel away from Liberty Street…
“We’ve got our fair share of welfare workers who came with a clear focus on 5% of the population” remarked Chair, Tim Costello. Do you really want to hear what they came up with? ok – big deep breath needed …
A national paid maternity scheme.
A new health equality commission.
To legalise all drugs to reduce prison overcrowding. (yes!)
Barry Jones wants everyone to be forced to live in densely populated urban hubs. (jeez -who the hell invited the Brownshirts?)
The introduction of a rent-to-buy scheme by 2020 whereby the government guarantees the mortgages of those who can’t afford them. (err…anyone here heard of sub-prime?)
Federal recognition of gay marriage. (yes!)
Maxine McCew wants a 50% quota on female MPs (a teensy bit sexist perhaps? why not a quota on all Christians, Muslims and ginger-haired people too?)
For Australia to become a republic by the year 2010.
To strip every Australian of their citizenship and only to re-issue it to those who could ‘prove their environment-climate friendliness’. (i have double checked this one – it’s true!!)
To jail politicians who lie (a straight swap – smackheads for politicians?)
To abolish the States.
A national Bill of Rights enshrining human rights protections (can you just imagine what would go into this Bill?)
Xstrata want to replace the government’s renewable energy target of 20% by 2020 with a clean energy target. (certainly an improvement)
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition wants the 20% renewables target by 2020 increased to 50% and nuclear power taken off the table. This to be paid for by raising employer Super payments to 12% and investing the extra 3% in renewable energy sources. (my 8 year-old boy has more mature ideas)
To instal hydro-power turbines at the heads of sydney Harbour.
To establish a Reserve Bank to oversee the carbon emissions trading system.
An energy audit for low-income households, offsetting their tax with low-flow showerheads (i didn’t make that up, i promise).
Ros Kelly wants an audit of all existing Commonwealth legislation to ensure it is environmentally sound.
Former Defence Force Chief, General Cosgrove, wants corporations to accept smaller profits to become more environmentally conscious (stick to flying planes, idiot)
To force sedentary workers to take 30 mins of exercise per day. (‘force?’)
To make it compulsory for children to eat fruit at school.
To introduce a tax on ‘junk food’. (how do you define ‘junk food’? )
The introduction of Health Savings Accounts.
To ban smoking for all Australians born after the year 2008 (but to legalise drugs – see above)
Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, wants the introduction of an annual fitness test with financial incentives for those who pass (a tax on the working class to subsidise the middle class? – why not go further and tax pokies, booze and ciggies? oh – they already do. Bit of a bummer to be working class in Rudd’s Australia.)
The re-establishment of ATSIC (a different name so it’ll all be different this time around).
Warren Mundine violently disagrees with the above calling it a ‘white man’s dream’. He wants all State governments to help Aboriginals to learn English (the smartest guy in the room?).
A new treaty between black and white Australia to formally recognise Aboriginal and TSIs as the first people of Australia (imagine if England adopted a new proposal to recognise ‘descendants of the Angles, Jutes, Celts and Saxons as the first people of England’)
The establishment of an Indigenous Future Fund to provide ongoing funding for indigenous people (because unconditional welfare has worked so well so far – have they listened to a fucking word Mundine and Pearson have said?)
To set aside a fixed number of Parliamentary seats for indigenous people (err..isn’t that, err, undemocratic and err, racist?)
To means test all welfare payments. (yes!)
The re-introduction of death duties. (no!)
To abolish stamp duty on housing (yes!)
To establish a Ministry for the Arts.
To tie 1% of federal funding to the Arts.
Hugh Jackman wants politicians to be ‘forced’ to attend arts events.
To increase the Australian content on SBS by 50%.
A 125% tax deduction to encourage Australian film production.
To enable students to repay their HECS debt by doing community service.
More Asian language teaching
For businesses to ‘adopt’ a school.
I reserve the right to make changes to the above as more news comes through.