Post-election I’ve been trying to think about what I want from our government. The big three for me are:
- Improve education
- Improve our health system
- Minimise our environmental impact
During a five-year uni course I saw the effects of imposed budgetary constraints begin to reduce the quality of education. I heard from many sources that it has been in steady, albeit slow, decline ever since. I also believe that our public primary and secondary school systems need an extensive overhaul. Teachers are underpaid (and flocking to a private system or, worse, to other careers) and years 7-10, for me at least, could have had a far more challenging curriculum.
I’m concerned that our health system is beginning to trend toward the American model. Which is OK if you’re wealthy. While I’m prepared to admit that money will always buy better medical service I’m a staunch believer that decent medical coverage should be for everyone. From what I’ve seen the public system has deteriorated much like the education system.
Climate change is of course a hot topic (pardon the pun) in recent years but I’m all for reducing the crap that we push into the environment. Even if you don’t believe the doomsayers wouldn’t you rather live in cities with fresher air and cleaner water supplies? I’d love to think that one day I could dip my toe in the Yarra without it falling off. 😉
Other issues close to my heart:
Public transport. It’s just good enough. Spend more money on PT less on roads I say. It’s the only way to make a large city accessible – roads simply do not scale. I’d be keen to see us take up driverless trains and have them run more regularly and through the night. However the train driver union is strong enough to make that progression difficult.
Housing. Buying a house, particularly your first, is damn hard. Any help would be appreciated. And get rid of stamp duty already!
Tax returns. Make them automated! Spend a bucketload of money to put everyone’s details in a consolidated system so we don’t have to pay accountants.
Invest in tech. In many ways Melbourne is a technological wasteland. There’s plenty of talent but few companies do R&D here. Why? No government benefits. Difficult to get funding. Many of our talented, highly educated people go overseas because it’s far more lucrative. I’ve definitely felt the pull to be drawn overseas… Ireland is the textbook case how to turn this around – the government offered incentives for companies to do business there and – in a very short time – they’ve become a global player.
Anyway, this post is getting too long and much more could be written. But tell me, what was/is important to you? What do you want our newly appointed government to do?