Federal and State Governments have a desperate need to generate a considerable volume of new funding to finance the creation of new assets to serve the people — but it is clear that they will never be able to do this from their general revenue.
It will happen only if they go into many meaningful investment partnerships with the private sector, as well as selling their old assets so they can create a continual rolling over of funds from the old to the new.
The problem with most asset sales by governments in Australia has been that they have largely allocated the funds that are raised from sales to repay debt, rather than use them to create new assets. The sale of QR National has been a prime example.
Public anger would have been muted if they had clearly nominated which new community assets would be created as the result of the sale. The fact is that governments have a long and infamous record of being poor managers of their assets to the extent that the nation will be far better off if every government sells all of its assets to the private sector, while ensuring that they are managed under sound guidelines.
Then they can use every cent of the sale proceeds to create the long list of new assets that the nation needs after generations of failure to provide adequate infrastructure and public services. The rollover policy can become a continuing policy which ensures a never-ending process of creating new assets, instead of lagging further and further behind in providing for the essential needs of a growing country.
An initiative that enables old to finance new will have the capacity to maximise the benefits to society if “not for profit” corporations are established specifically for this purpose. They have the potential to be far better managers of community assets than either a government or a traditional private company.
Voters should accept that it is not the task of any government to preserve the past. They must be the creators of a future which is based on the realisation of the values created in the past.