My first visit to Parliament in Canberra to attend a Budget speech occurred half a century ago when Harold Holt was Treasurer and he delivered it in the old Parliament House. Continue reading “Can we have a Budget of gradual reform?”
Per Capita, an independent, progressive think tank, is astounded at the decision of the new Federal Government to axe its Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing so close to the completion of the Panel’s Blueprint for Ageing. Per Capita considers it an enormous waste to suddenly disband such a high quality, research‐intensive policy initiative on an issue of such vital importance to Australia.
In light of this, Per Capita is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with four members of the recently sacked Panel to complete a Blueprint for an Ageing Australia.
Per Capita and the former Panel members will complete the Blueprint by its scheduled publication date in June 2014. The project will be funded by crowd funding, institutional donors, philanthropists, private companies, NGOs and individuals. Public consultation will be vital to ensure the relevance of the Blueprint.
The Panel was originally constituted in 2011 with a three-year mandate to produce a comprehensive policy review on the opportunities and challenges associated with an ageing Australia, the Blueprint.
However, earlier this month, Treasurer Joe Hockey axed the Panel, less than eight months from the completion of its work. The former Panel members who have partnered with Per Capita are Everald Compton AM, Prof Brian Howe AO, Prof Gill Lewin and Neville Roach AO.
Per Capita considers that the completion of the Panel’s Blueprint is critical to the social and economic wellbeing of Australia, given the scale of the ageing issue facing Australia.
“Per Capita believes the decision to sack the Panel is outrageous. This vital work must continue in light of the huge impact that ageing will have on Australia in coming decades”, commented Per Capita’s executive director, David Hetherington. “The Panel has invested two-and-a-half years of tireless effort towards the Blueprint, and it would be a shameful waste not to see it to completion.”
Former Panel Chairman Everald Compton stated, “I am impressed that an independent policy organisation of the stature of Per Capita has taken up this challenge, which is vital to the future of Australia. I look forward to working with them to produce a blueprint which will provide the basis for turning the ageing tsunami into a national asset.”
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.”
Wayne Swan’s admiration of Bruce Springsteen got him plenty of headlines last month and caused Joe Hockey to make some self-righteous responses. It was a delightful way for Swan to turn the debate away from the monotony of the carbon tax saga and on to the many more important issues that we should discuss and implement. Continue reading “Wayne Swan’s admiration of Bruce Springsteen”