Lucky country still shines, despite our politicians

Anthony Radford | Bendigo Weekly | 13-Jul-2011 5:00pm

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LUCKY: An overseas trip highlighted how good Australia really is, says Keith Sutherland.
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Having just returned from a 10 week holiday overseas with my wife Karen, I find that the same arguments are being raged by the Federal Government.

The Gillard Government has lost its way and feeling the pressure of a hung parliament. It cannot make the major decisions without consensus from the Greens and the Independents, but that is what the Australian people voted for. The big infrastructure projects and Nation building are being neglected because it is too hard satisfying the independents requests. The Government cannot sell their achievements as they dare not to give former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd any recognition for his achievements whilst being in the top job.

Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner should all be congratulated for keeping Australia out of a recession during the Global Financial Crisis with their decisive action. You can argue at what cost, but when you see the effects of unemployment overseas, they did the right thing. They should not have locked themselves into a balanced budget by 2013 which is really just a political decision.

The opposition is a disgrace. Just because you are in opposition doesn’t or shouldn’t mean you knock everything in hope that you bring down the Government. Tony Abbott is the most negative leader, he’s only interest is his own power and is totally devoid of policies and any credibility because of his changes on many important issues. Bring back Malcolm Turnbull, at least he is intelligent and makes a principled stand on issues, unlike Tony flip flopping all the time.

Having watched Parliament it was very disheartening knowing that these are our leaders, with both sides only interested in point scoring not policy: with Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne urging Tony Abbott on, it was like a school yard at recess.

It is time to govern, and it is time to put petty party politics aside and come up with bi-partisan agreement, particularly on the Asylum Seeker issue. Both parties are taking the popular viewpoint with the Malaysia and Nauru and the number of people that come to Australia is very minor compared to other countries. I hope all sides of politics have watched the SBS program “Go Back Where You Came From” it puts forward the human side to this difficult debate.

Having seen riots in Athens and Madrid first hand and riot police in Paris, we are the lucky country and we don’t have people rioting against austerity plans. Also having been to Ireland, it was as though every 3rd house was for sale, and with no buyers, some properties were down by as much as 50%, Parts of England were experiencing the same problems.

It was particularly shocking to see well dressed people in suits begging through Madrid, this country faces a 21% unemployment rate. In Ireland the young unemployment rate was as high as 40% in parts of the Country

It really is time to govern, no more stunts like the ridiculous plebiscite. Start to work on some real policy, stop the crap and start agreeing on what’s good for the country instead of political point scoring. No one side of politics has all the wisdom or the answers. It’s time to govern for all Australians, not just the powerful Lobby who have the ear of the Power Brokers.

It is finally good to see that finally the Government and Telstra have arrived at an agreement on the National Broadband. Go out and sell the benefits that we are the smart country looking to the future. This Government seems incapable of selling any policies. Get on with the Carbon Tax; don’t get bogged down in the increased costs of utilities, which have come about by the sale of these assets with no safe guard for the required infrastructure to keep services going.

Let’s all start to move forward, have more consensus decision making and realize just how good this Country is as compared to the problems in Athens, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the Middle East, where change has come at an enormous cost with lives to have democracy.

Stand up politicians, get out of the gutter and set an example for our youth to consider Politics as an honourable profession.

Keith Sutherland is chairman of Bendigo Publishing, publishers of The Bendigo Weekly and www.bendigoweekly.com.au

David Klein commented on 08-Feb-2012 12:50 AM5 out of 5 stars
Keith, I read this twice and came to wishing I had written it myself. It is by far the best reality check I have read for quite a while. A must read for politicians of all sides.

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