A BUSH HOLIDAY IS MOST EFFECTIVE VACCINE FOR COVID19

Heritage listed bridge
Heritage listed Dickabram Bridge over the Mary River

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.

Creekbend B&B
Creekbend B&B

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.

AUSTRALIA URGENTLY NEEDS A MINISTER FOR AGEING

When Tony Abbott became Prime Minister he made an extraordinary decision not to appoint a Minister for Ageing even though the entire planet faces a huge crisis in which the population is ageing faster than at any time in the history of humanity. Continue reading “AUSTRALIA URGENTLY NEEDS A MINISTER FOR AGEING”

Are we financially literate? – Should governments protect the vulnerable, the greedy, the reckless?

About 15 years ago, a major mortgage company that was based in Victoria went broke. It had offered its investors ridiculously high interest rates for short term deposits, then loaned long at rates that their mortgagees would never be able to repay. Many Seniors put most of their savings with them, and they lost it all. Continue reading “Are we financially literate? – Should governments protect the vulnerable, the greedy, the reckless?”

I will complete the Blueprint on Ageing

I have made real progress with my plan to complete the Blueprint on Ageing and am pleased that we will do so with the aid of an eminent Australian Think Tank, using crowd funding plus some corporate and trust gifts.

We will publish it on schedule in June, 2014, so that Hockey’s sacking of me and my Panel will have been of no avail and we can then plan to implement many of the recommendations without help from government.

Before we finalise the Blueprint, we will hold public consultations around Australia and I hope that those who have contributed to the debate will be able to attend and express their thoughts.

The more I work on the plan, the more I realise that the scope of it is enormous, as ageing is a significant element in every facet of national life. So, the turning of ageing into an asset will create great change, but I believe that it can be centred on an economy that is not dollar driven and will create a level playing field for young and old.

A problem we face in Australian politics is that anyone who has a conscience about anything is labelled a socialist and, every time there is a change of government, it is regarded as essential to destroy everything the previous government has done. But, Australians are wise enough to overcome this and export our good policies on Ageing to a world that is being hit by the same ageing tsunami as we are.

Government sources have hinted to me that I will breach copyright if I try to complete the plan. Can I say that I will enjoy my day in court and I will appear without a barrister as my defence will be that I am completing a document of national importance that was otherwise destined for the shredder simply because it was initiated by Wayne Swan.

The court case will cause millions of Australians to read the Blueprint.

Why Joe Hockey should not have sacked me.

As we face an ageing tsunami, Treasurer Joe Hockey has sacked the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing (and me as its chairman), declaring it to be irrelevant without stating why this is so. Shortly before that, Prime Minister Tony Abbott decided not to have a minister for ageing, downgrading the importance of millions of seniors in the life of the nation.

The sole reason for the dismissal of the panel, as conveyed to me privately by Coalition MPs, is that it was established by former treasurer Wayne Swan and it has been decided that every vestige of Swan’s term as treasurer must be obliterated. Such is the waste that politics represents in our national life. Continue reading “Why Joe Hockey should not have sacked me.”

Economic Growth or Quality of Life – measuring the progress of a nation.

Politicians and economists calculate the stature and prosperity of a nation by the annual percentage increase in its Gross Domestic Product. Governments rise and fall on the basis of this statistic, mainly because nations are declared to be in recession if there is negative GDP growth on three successive occasions.

However, the thoughts of many support the view that it is long overdue for this inadequate gauge of a nation’s growth to be declared the farce that it is.

I want to suggest that it should be replaced by a new measure that could be called General Domestic Prosperity. This means that a GDP will still be calculated, but it will have a new meaning and a different basis of measurement. Continue reading “Economic Growth or Quality of Life – measuring the progress of a nation.”

For whom the bell tolls – The last days of Rudd or Abbott or both.

Saturday will be a time of great personal relief for the vast majority of Australian voters. After the most painful and boring election of a lifetime, we will have made the decision that most of us would prefer not to make.

Is Abbott about to achieve his dream of becoming Australia’s Prime Minister, or will Rudd pull-off what will be recorded as a political miracle? The making of this sad choice will enable us to experience the profound relief we cherish when we get-up after sitting for a long time on a really nasty bit of prickly pear. You feel a hell of a lot better, but you know also that you will have a sore backside for a long time thereafter.

It is not an exaggeration to say that I have never before seen Australians so disgusted with politics, or so disillusioned with the choice that political parties have forced upon us by presenting us with leaders who inspire such little confidence. But, there is not much we can do about it right now, and it is our democratic responsibility to ensure that whoever wins is given a fair go at trying to give positive and sustainable leadership to Australia.

So, let us look for a few moments at the key figures in this eminently forgettable election:

Continue reading “For whom the bell tolls – The last days of Rudd or Abbott or both.”