THEKOUK and EVERALDATLARGE OUTLINE A WAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN SUSTAINED PROSPERITY
Covid19 has opened a door for Australians to positively accept significant changes that will lead to a shared good. This rare opportunity enables us to achieve sustainable economic and social goals that create a new ‘normal’ as our way of life.
These Ten Steps are presented as non-partisan recommendations to the Australian Parliament in the firm belief that, if they embrace them, the Australian economy and society will be greatly enhanced after the Covid19 pandemic has passed. Continue reading “CLIMBING THE COVID MOUNTAIN”→
Helen and I decided to go bush last week for a change of scenery and an escape, mentally and physically, from COVID19.
We achieved this by signing up as travellers with NATURE BOUND AUSTRALIA, a unique bush touring operation that is very professionally owned and managed by our friends, John and Ros Thompson.
For a moderate fee covering their time and all costs, they take couples like us out into the country in their comfortable four-wheel drive for a highly personalised bush experience that is based on relaxed chats on heritage, history, environment, natural capital and good physical and mental health.
We chose how many days we wanted to go on tour with them and agreed on an itinerary after we had interesting advice from them about the many options that rural Australia offers. None of our chosen destinations had yet experienced COVID19.
Our itinerary took us on back roads through delightfully small communities and our accommodation was in bed and breakfast homes on farming and grazing properties, with other meals at wineries and quaint cafes in interesting places.
John and Ros are a huge source of knowledge about local history right back to the dreamtime of indigenous culture and spirituality, their deep attachment to the land and connecting it to the advent of European culture.
We looked at the impact of civilisation on the environment and the way in which we all consume our natural capital without being aware of it. A fascinating experience.
Occasionally, we got out of phone range, but always managed to connect with Wi-Fi regularly.
The end result of it all was a refreshed mind, more stored knowledge of our superb continent & a happy attitude towards preserving its wellbeing and our own.
We got our money’s worth and more.
Next year, we will line up again because we know that, in essence, a good bush holiday is all about reconnecting to nature and the guiding restorative power it has on our lives.
You can contact the Thompsons on their website natureboundaustralia.com. It will be one of your more productive contacts.
EVERALD COMPTON RELATES HIS LONG AND PAINFUL JOURNEY
Soon after John Howard became Prime Minister of Australia in 1996, I met him at Parliament in Canberra to outline my plan to build an Inland Railway.
He agreed that it was a visionary project well worth a try and he gave me the green light to open negotiations with appropriate Ministers in his Cabinet.
I mentioned to him that there was a political downside for his Government. No matter what corridor we chose for the railway, many people would be hurt as we resumed properties & demolished homes as inevitably happens with every infrastructure project anywhere in the world.
We agreed that we must always work on the principle that every effort would be made to avoid unnecessary hardship and that compensation for property and loss of income would be generous.
There, I went to a tiny bush school which had eleven students whose parents worked in the local timber mill. I enjoyed many happy days in a prosperous little community that really was one large family.
Back in those days of the 1930’s and 40’s, Australia had thousands of small towns, most of them larger than mine, which were stable and secure with affordable housing, plus good shops and a fine school and reliable hospital, based as they were on solid rural industries which were the core of the national economy.
Let us for the moment presume that Bill Shorten will become Prime Minister of Australia on Saturday evening.
Once he settles into the job, I will seek a meeting with him to advocate a number of changes to the way in which we elect governments and the manner in which changes can be made to the Senate which is currently a blot on democracy.
For 75 years, the Liberal Party of Australia has been a respected and enduring institution of our nation which will be remembered kindly for many notable achievements.
However, it is breathing its last and rigor mortis will set in very quickly and permanently.
Its record over the past few years has been so lamentable that few will weep.
The death spiral began when Fraser illegally removed Whitlam in 1975, then governed with such a guilty conscience that he will be remembered as a very dismal Prime Minister.
Temporarily, Howard steadied the ship, but the rot set in when Turnbull ruthlessly destroyed Nelson and Abbott replaced Turnbull in as stupid a ballot as has ever been held.
Abbott’s reign in Opposition and Government was as close to insanity as can be imagined and Turnbull let down Australia in everything that he did and did not do, a huge disappointment to me personally and many like me.
Now Morrison is an illegitimate Prime Minister, not accepted in this high office, as he was put there by 45 people, most of whom the nation disrespects.
We have reached a huge watershed in Australian political history.
There is now no Member of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament who holds a safe seat, not one, no matter what their current majority may be, not even Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten.
And neither the Coalition nor the ALP can be certain of getting more than one Senate candidate over the line in any State. Their number two Senate candidates cannot be confident of getting the required quota. And I joke not.
Some, quite wrongly, will see this as a terrible catastrophe that will ensure huge a period of very unstable government.
However, it is far more likely to provide a refreshing change in which the political establishment will self destruct and never again be able to return to its inefficient complacency and its inability to be accountable.
Above all, it shows that Australian voters have had a massive gutful of bad government and blame it on all the major parties, without exception.
Incredibly, most politicians are blithely unaware of their very uncertain future and need to be blasted into recognition by getting a brutal dose of acute voter anger.
American Marine Scientists have discovered the remains of the Endeavour, the fine old ship sailed by Captain James Cook on his voyage of discovery along the Eastern Seaboard of Australia in 1770.
It lies at the bottom of the harbour at Newport, Rhode Island, where it was scuttled during the American War of Independence long after Cook had died on his third world voyage.
My hope is that the remnants of the Endeavour can be brought Australia and placed in a new Museum which can be built at Cooktown. There, it can become part of an international study centre on the enormous impact it had on life on the Australian continent, changing forever the proud heritage of 65000 years of indigenous habitation.
Sadly, we are now at a time in Australian history where an influential minority are demonising James Cook, accusing him of being the originator of every social and economic problem that Indigenous Australians have faced, and will face, into an uncertain future.
However, I am one who seeks to differ quite passionately, but courteously.
When John Howard departed the political scene in 2007, there began an era of instability that has all but destroyed legitimate democracy in Australia.
I am in my 87th year on this planet and I have never witnessed a more shameful Parliament than this one. Sadly, only a few of our Parliamentarians are aware of it. They live in a world of utter unreality, totally divorced from voters who now feel a huge sense of insecurity.
What can we do about it?
Nothing at the moment.
We have to wait for an election and hope that the deadwood in all Parties will be wiped out and replaced by Independents of quality who will force quality debates that will result in fine policy decisions.
Barton and Deakin achieved this with minority governments in the first decade of Federation 120 years ago and passed historic legislation that serves us to this day. They had brains and vision and they were leaders who had people skills. Our current Parliament hasn’t got these attributes and never will.
Donald Trump is the worst American President in my 86 years on Planet Earth.
In all likelihood, he is the worst since George Washington kicked out the British.
But, let me stop beating around the bush and admit that I utterly and thoroughly despise him.
Having said this, I must confess that there are times when I am tempted to cheer him, especially when he kicks the hell out of the political establishment. They absolutely need their guts hit out of the park because of their complacent insensitivity to the needs and aspirations of humanity.
But, the problem is that his skills end at the point of his boot. He has not got a clue what to do next, because his sole skill in life is as a gut kicker.
It is unfortunate that the word ‘welfare’, which used to mean well-being, now implies that recipients are unfortunate people who need to be propped up by the rest of society, much to the anger of an increasing majority who resent the sense of entitlement that many welfare beneficiaries seem to have adopted.
It’s time to remove it from our vocabulary and from our economic and social system, replacing it with a NATIONAL DIVIDEND that is paid to every Australian citizen every year.
This is not just another political idea, it is an unavoidable change that will be forced upon us when robots and their artificial intelligence take over the productivity of the nation leaving millions of us without employment while the Federal Treasury absorbs the revenue of a technology driven Australia.
Murdered by political, financial and religious ideology inflicted upon us by ‘leaders’ with closed minds who survive by divisively spreading fear and greed.
It is time for a new world order called THE COMMON GOOD to take over.
It will succeed when decent people, with brains, commonsense and courage, step forward and insist on dramatic and decisive changes in the opposite direction to the insanity of Donald Trump and the woeful wilderness of Australian politics. Continue reading “THE COMMON GOOD”→
I voted YES because I do not believe that heterosexuals like me are finer human beings than homosexuals, nor are we entitled to any special privileges.
So, I cheered mightily when YES won decisively and have now set out to play my part in healing the deep rifts in society caused by having a totally unnecessary Survey when Parliament had the power, but not the guts, to pass legislation without it. As a result, we have experienced an awfully vindictive and divisive time in the life of Australia as a nation that has destroyed goodwill.
Sadly, I note in the social media that some ‘Christians’ have stated that the institution of marriage has now been trashed to the extent that it has absolutely no value for humanity. They intend to get divorced, but still live together, so they are not ‘shamed’ by being married in the same manner as gays.
My only observation on the plight of these sad people is that in October next year, Helen and I will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our wedding and we can confidently say that, while the piece of paper we signed on our wedding day has had nothing whatsoever to do with us living happily together for 60 years, it is a treasured document that we are not going to tear up. Continue reading “Future of Marriage”→
Pauline Hanson, Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi all say that they are totally committed to the defence of the Australian Way of life. But, they differ broadly when they endeavour to explain to us what it is they are defending.
Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten have differing versions of the Australian Way, but both also disagree with some of what Hanson, Abbott and Bernardi have to say.
So, how does the average Aussie punter work out what it is we are all supposed to be promoting and defending?
Embarrassingly for more moderate citizens, there seem to be some broad areas of common bias.
The primary one is a strong belief that Australia must be defended from hordes of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as foreign workers and investors who bring with them sharia law and burkas and terrorists. Added to this is a primitive view that gays, lesbians and aborigines represent a threat to ‘decent’ society.
So, how do we find common ground on what it is in Australian life we should be standing up for as we try to curb the influence of those supposed ‘infidels’ and, much more formidably, how can we achieve it? Sadly, too many seem to believe that the creation of an atmosphere of fear is a good way to begin. Continue reading “THE AUSTRALIAN WAY”→
It was in the year 1912 that John Flynn established the Australian Inland Mission.
Immediately, he set out to establish a MANTLE OF SAFETY across the Continent, resulting in the founding of many Bush Hospitals, the Pedal Radio, Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air.
I became fascinated with him as an extraordinary nation builder during my School Days in the 1930’s and studied his life story whenever I had the opportunity to visit the scenes of many of his greatest achievements.
His inspirational life caused me to make a decision in my greying years to write a book about him. I called it ‘The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes’ and published it last year. It turned out to be a best seller, such is the public fascination of great achievers.
As part of my preparation for that experience as a writer, I travelled on some splendid bush tours with my friends John and Ros Thompson who personally run a small specialist touring company called NATURE BOUND AUSTRALIA. It is highly professional and very friendly.
The first trip was a memorable journey to the Corner Country, out where the borders of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory converge, the land where Burke and Wills died at the Dig Tree at Cooper Creek. It enabled me to look at the remains of the old Flynn Hospital at Birdsville and experience a little of what his constant drives across the Simpson Desert must have been like.
Then, the Thompson’s took us on an exploration of the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, up to Lake Eyre and the Red Centre, visiting Flynn’s old hospitals at Oodnadatta, Leigh Creek, Maree and Innamincka to learn about the lives he saved and the tragedies that he helped lonely people overcome as they suffered through sheer isolation.
What was great about a Nature Bound Tour with the Thompsons was their superb knowledge of flora, fauna, water, history and the legends of the bush. The dialogue was highly educational and fascinating. This should not have surprised me as John and I had worked together down the years planning such visions as diverting tropical rivers down into the parched inland and planning railways across the undeveloped North, none of which any government bothered to listen to. But we enjoyed the experience immensely. We even planned simple technology that Senior Australians would find useful in communicating with the world when they became too frail to get around, a very mini version of Flynn’s initiatives that finally led to the Pedal Radio.
All of this enabled me to understand how the Australian Bush fascinated Flynn. Travels across its vastness were a revitalising challenge that he enjoyed. It taught him to relax and be patient. A lot of us who work too hard could try it with the Thompson’s and enjoy the benefits while absorbing a lot of history. Actually, I met a single woman the other day who expressed interest in discovering the Inland, but not by travelling alone. I referred her to the Thompson’s. She can travel with them in comfort, style and security.
If you would like to learn more about Flynn before you venture forth with the Thompson’s, I suggest you click on the book title in the menu above, fill out and despatch the order form. Once you get into it you will want to follow the Flynn trail and experience the challenge that made him a nation builder. He will become a role model for your future no matter how old you may be.
Not so long ago. Helen and I travelled with the Thompson’s for a long weekend in the Border Ranges of Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, right into the timber country. We did it because my father had been a long time employee of a sawmill in a small bush town. It made me realise what a relaxing experience the peace and silence of the mountains really was. I did some of my clearest thinking in a long while, nothing to disturb me except the rustle of the wind and the calls of the birds and the magic of nature.
So, I leave you with this thought.
Flynn had a powerful faith, a belief that nothing is impossible and that people are a nation’s best assets.Australia will be enhanced if a little bit of his humble power rubs off on each of us. Australia will be a better place if the Flynn magic captures you and me.
Give John and Ros a call and open the door to a new experience of life.
Bill Shorten has recommended to Malcolm Turnbull that they join together in a bi-partisan attempt to hold a Referendum on Constitutional Change which will enable the Australian Parliament to have four year fixed terms. To his credit, Turnbull has left the door open for further discussions.
This is a good initiative that I will strongly support and I hope that you will too.
It will enable governments to spend at least their first year of office implementing difficult policies before they inevitably become obsessed with their pressing need to hold on to power at the next election.
In addition, fixed terms will cause Prime Ministers to cease their appallingly undemocratic practice of calling elections on a political whim, treating us all as fools in the process, just as Campbell Newman did so disastrously in Queensland and Theresa May did so arrogantly in Britain.