Australia’s 2020 Summit-a nation’s vision for our future, a challenge for the Rudd Governement.

I carried out a small survey of people I know, a straw poll of the common person, what aspirations do they have for 2020? Here are their thoughts:

Taxation – Income splitting between spouses that would recognise the contribution of homemaker during periods of child raising, whether male or female.

Energy-The hope climate friendly sources of energy will be in common use. We don’t have to do anything innovative we already have the technology we just need to roll it out.

Education-give teachers back their rights-eg.being able to discipline students in the classroom (not physical punishment).

Social Services- Reward people who do things the right way – Centrelink payments should be linked to people making positive contributions to the society that supports them.

Superannuation-We need a uniform superannuation fund that treats everyone equally and protects the contributions of members.

Science and Technology-Faster broadband that is available to everyone ensuring equity of access.

Housing-We need housing that provides a variety of types, not just wall-to-wall MacMansions but small medium and larger dwellings for different needs and stages of life. What people need, not just what developers want (maximising profits at the expense of the peoples actual needs).

Education- A more balanced education system. Find better ways to provide a quality education not just in affluent areas but also in disadvantaged communities.

What this little survey highlights is that the 2020 Summit has actually started people talking in positive and creative ways about the future and that, like the delegates, there is a variety of ideas for the society that we will be in 2020. All those interviewed had thought about the Summit and had ideas to share.

The 2020 Summit and the discussion it has engendered has been, as the Prime Minister said, like a window opening and a fresh breeze filling the room with fresh air after 12 years of living with the blinds pulled down against the world. Of course it is governments that have to bring these aspirations to fruition and not all the ideas may be feasible, but at least people are being engaged in thinking about the future in positive ways and engaging in the discourse of future building and our place in our world. The naysayers who wallow in their negative views expect society to progress without any effort or creative thought. Surely a vision for the future is required if we are to create the 2020 world of tomorrow.

The challenge for the Rudd government now will be to show that the exercise was not just a talkfest by following through with some actual policy from the ideas. The gesture of participative democracy, even if only by an ‘elite’ is important, but it must be followed by concrete policies that bring about societal change, if the vision is to become a reality in 2020.

~ by abstraktbiblos on Sunday, 20 April, 2008.

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