Queensland Policy Pitch
The Australian Fabians Policy Pitch is open to all political thinkers and activists in Queensland. We want to hear your view on any policy issue relevant to Queensland in 2020.
- Opinion pieces can be on any policy issue facing Australian progressive politics today
- Entries should be greater than 700 and no longer than 1,000 words, with no footnotes
- Entries will be judged for their originality, fluency of style and their practical solutions to current issues
- All policy pitches will be also voted on by Queensland members.
Your views about the future of Queensland could be published in our Yearly Pamphlet in Queensland. In Fact the top 5 submissions will be.
This competition is an exciting chance for progressive writers to challenge themselves and share their ideas with the Queensland public.
To enter, simply use the upload and attach your 1000 word opinion article or policy pitch below before the 29th of February 2020.
This policy proposal is to develop technology hubs in in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities as well as rural and remote communities. These hubs would provide telehealth; tele-allied health; telepsychiatry/psychology; tele-TAFE courses; tele-business training and tele-education. It would also assist in saving dying Indigenous languages and cultural practices. I was involved in a telehealth trial. A specialist from a city hospital would spend two days a week travelling to two regional hospitals. Almost one day of that was spent in travel. At the start of the trial he had almost a three-year waiting list at those hospitals. The trial involved a three-screen system for the specialist and trained registrars and a remote screen with camera at the two hospitals which was at the patient’s bedside. The specialist’s screens had (a)patient records , (b) the view of the patient and for the patient of the specialist via camera and (c) electronic monitoring/scans on the third. This system, by removing travel, cut the waiting list was brought down from3 years to zero in 6 months. With the development of Digi-hospital and more powerful computing this could be adapted to Indigenous health Clinics/community centres and small rural hospitals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (WHO, 1948). This is consistent with the biopsychosocial model of health, which considers physiological, psychological and social factors in health and illness, and interactions between these factors. Thus, for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community health would include: cultural health; linkage to land; mental health; safety and security; income; housing; education; good diet; sewerage/sealed septic and access to potable water. In Canada, they have developed a number of options to deliver health services to the Inuit and similar peoples as well as the first Nations peoples. This includes training lay people or nurses aides in small communities in basic skills like tele-physiotherapy and tele occupational therapy as well as the skills to assess homes and identify what aids are required. The physiotherapist obtains the health records and views the ability of the person to undertake certain skills tests and then identifies a list of exercises and reviews the ability of the person on a regular basis. Meanwhile the lay person supervises the exercises and ensures the patient is completing them properly. A similar process is used for occupational therapy. In many remote Aboriginal communities, the cost of constructing a house is in excess of $1 mil for a basic home. This is due to the fact that roads to these communities are only open for 3 to 4 months for the heavy trucks that carry the building materials and concrete. In addition, white tradesmen are sent to the community and paid remote allowances as well as provided with an expected level of accommodation. Housing in communities may accommodate 15 to 17 people in a three-bedroom home and this impacts on the community. In addition, maintenance is not carried out on houses due to a lack of tradespeople. The telehub could resolve this. TAFE courses online could train community members in carpentry; plumbing; concreting and electrical works. This could all be carried out through the hub in the community. Training projects could be printed out in the TAFE on 3-D printers. To ensure that work is being done correctly. Canada also uses a remote timber milling computer program to cut timber into assemble able housing frames. The timber could be ethically sourced from the local community. This would cut the cost of housing in these communities by a third and boosting the stock of available housing significantly. It would also provide for construction of safe shelters and maintenance of existing structures. One of the major issues in relation to psychiatric illness and substance abuse in communities is the lack of employment and feelings of self-worth. By exploding employment opportunities in this fashion; decreasing overcrowding in housing and improving drainage and sanitation, the impact on physical and mental well-being would be substantial. Another element in Aboriginal communities is the loss of language and culture. In the Northern Territory, Richard Trudgen, from Why Warriors has spent a lifetime gathering what would otherwise be now extinct languages. Some languages are limited to not just peoples or even clans but sometimes even to family groups. Many community people of the last two generations have lost much of their culture because of The Stolen Generation; because with a lack of culture significant numbers took prison sentences as an ‘initiation process and because there is a growing generation of FASD(Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) youth who have drifted away from community/cultural expectations. While elders are still with us, now is the time to capture the languages and cultural traditions and hold it in storage to educate community youth. Tele-psychiatry/psychology is a powerful tool for both Indigenous and Rural and Remote Communities. The highest three categories of suicide in Australia are Indigenous Peoples; Veterans; and Farmers/Farm workers. The hub could provide a centre in GP clinics; small rural hospitals; Community Health clinics where private soundproofed rooms could be made available. This could allow for private consultations and consultations with GP or authorised health worker to put in place a mental health plan. The GP or a tele-pharmacy could provide medication and script renewal to assist in the mental health plan. The plan could also allow for family members to identify indicators and organise more regular sessions. One of the biggest problems in rural communities is the dependence on the weather. Floods or droughts not only affect the farmers but also the small businesses in the towns that depend on the farmers incomes. Many small to medium businesses carry Farmers “on tick’ hoping for a good season to settle their books. Farmers overcapitalise in equipment or expansion, taking on too high a debt burden to meet during poor seasons, while the town businesses do not have the underpinning capital to maintain their businesses. A while back, an understanding local banker would allow for these factors, but in this age of centralised profit driven banks, this is not an option and there are many empty businesses following the long drought. A tele-hub could train those businesses and farmers in basic accounting law and practice; ASIC and other regulatory requirements; occupational health and safety requirements; as well as Government loans and grants to assist in maintaining their community. This is but a small overview of the opportunities for a tele-hub. State Government investment of about $20 mil over four years would make a huge difference. In many communities existing empty buildings could be adapted for a small cost leaving equipment as the major cost.
Remove the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.
Queenslanders will take the day off work in 2020 on 1 October, not in recognition of their hard work, but to recognise a monarch who will most likely be sleeping through the public holiday held in her name.
It has always seemed absurd that Australians acknowledge the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II at a completely different time to her actual birthday. Around Australia in 2020, the Queen's Birthday public holiday will be held on the second Monday in June — except in WA on Monday, 30 September and in Queensland on Monday, 5 October.
Queen Elizabeth II will turn 94 on Tuesday, 21 April 2020. You have to wonder when will she be allowed to put up her feet? Most 93-year-olds are long retired, but not that trouper the Queen. My grandmother will be 95 later this year. She's a hardy soul, but there's no way she would be up to the frantic pace needed to be a world leader. Even though retirement plans for many people keep going further and further beyond 60, Queen Elizabeth II has still well and truly exceeded this. Prince Philip was able to officially retire in August 2017 at 96 after his dramatic announcement of his intention to retire from active royal duties in May 2018. So surely it’s time for the British monarch to step down and start having afternoon naps.
After the election of the LNP Newman Government in 2012, until its shock electoral loss in January 2015, there was a steady outpouring of ideological revisionism aimed at bolstering the concept of monarchy in Queensland. During 2011, there had been widespread consultation by the Bligh Labor Government on changing the public holiday system in Queensland. It was agreed, in 2012, that Labour Day would remain in May and the Queen’s Birthday public holiday would move from June to the first weekend in October, while retaining a one-off Queen’s Diamond Jubilee public holiday in June 2012. However, Australia completely ignored the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
All this was thrown out the window later in 2012 when legislation was passed through the Queensland Parliament by the newly elected LNP Newman Government to move the 2013 Labour Day public holiday from the historically traditional 1 May to the first Monday in October and the Queen’s Birthday public holiday back to its previous June timing. The change in attitude towards the public holiday timetabling suggested the Newman Government was determined to take a conservative monarchical stand. With the election of the Palaszczuk Labor Government in Queensland in 2015, one of the first actions was changing the Queen’s Birthday public holiday for 2016 to the first Monday in October and restoring the Labour Day public holiday to the first Monday in May. With this move Queensland had become a little less ‘Queenie’, but no one seemed to have noticed the move.
Surely, this must be the most irrelevant and outdated of all public holidays? Although the Queen’s Birthday public holiday is observed as a mark of respect to the Sovereign, there are never any public celebrations or community engagement around it whatsoever. The Queen’s Birthday holidays don’t remind us of anything good about our country. At worst, they tell us Australia’s head of state gets the job by inheritance and that Australians are subjects of a foreign crown — the opposite of democracy and liberty. The lack of any public activity in Australia around the Queen’s Birthday holiday is a clear example of how much the entire concept of monarchy is out-of-step with contemporary Australia. It appears Australians will turn out and show respect to the Queen when she is here but when she is not, then the concept of monarchy becomes irrelevant. Australians may like the celebrity surrounding the monarch and the royal family when they visit Australia but are then totally uninterested in any form of royal celebration when the "party girl" is not here. You can’t have a party without the "party girl" — which brings up the issue of an absent head of state.
We have our own identity as Australians. The Royals represent Britain, but cannot represent us or unite us as Australians. Australians believe in freedom and equal opportunity, not that some are born to rule over others. Monarchist's can prattle on endlessly about how retaining the monarchy brings stability and is cheaper than having a homegrown head of state and the like. But when you boil it all down, you can't escape the fact there's something a little unnatural about a grown child of, shall we say, 230 years, still electing to live in mummy's back bedroom.
It is a disgraceful fact that without constitutional change the citizens of Australia will not even be consulted on our next head of state. Since his birth, Prince Charles has known he will take over the top job. One morning we will simply wake up to hear news from England that will change our country for decades to come.
Deciding to pack our bags and finally leave our Buckingham Palace nursery room isn't being rude to the Queen. It's just the natural order of things and the Queen has reportedly acknowledged as much to past prime ministers. We can have respect and affection for Britain and its celebrity royals but still question why we do not have our own head of state. The royals are welcome to visit as representatives of Britain, but I look forward to when the British people and their royal family will welcome a visit by the first Australian head of state. How many more Ashes tours must we endure with the Barmy Army taunting us with their song, 'God Save Your Queen'? Time to cut the apron strings, assert our independence and let one of our own people serve as Australian Head of State.
The lack of any public activity around the Queen’s Birthday public holiday shows how the concept of monarchy is out-of-step with contemporary Australia.
Proportional Representation for a hobbled democracy
The Australian people have lost trust in our politicians, our government, and our Parliament.
This is canvassed in some detail in the Discussion Paper issued by the Senate last year at the launch of the Inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy.
The decline in trust has occurred speedily since 2007. Now only one in five people trust our politicians.
The rot has set in. Voters increasingly look for instant gratification in minor parties, independents, and cult heroes. Primary votes for the two old parties in Federal elections have been falling and more and more voters seem so disengaged as to merely turn up at the ballot box and haphazardly make a last minute selection on the menu.
Our democracy is in shambles.
What is to be done?
There is no magic bullet.
But Proportional Representation (PR) in Queensland would make an enduring structural reform that in time would be regarded as enlightened, and seminal.
The time is ripe.
Just one in four in Queensland voted for the ALP at the last Federal Elections on 18 May 2019. It is said that the dramatically increasing “soft votes” deserted us on voting day.
That the Queensland Labor government set up a Parliamentary Enquiry into introducing Proportional Representation in Queensland, with widespread community consultation: as soon as possible, but well before the next State elections in October 2020.
The objectives for Proportional Representation (PR) in a nutshell:
- to better represent the will of the voters; This is a democratic right. In essence under PR a 10% vote for a party would mean 10% of MPs in Parliament, more or less. This will redress the entrenched misrepresentation of the voters’ will.
- to ensure governance stability; PR would ensure a relatively stable cohort of MPs in Parliament, from one term to another. The Campbell Newman hurricane would not have happened; Labor would not have been scratching for ministerial candidates after its unexpected win following that hurricane. The public service would not have had to endure the slimming and fattening regimes as governments fall and rise.
- to banish the gutter-fighting on the floor of the Parliament; PR means more equitable and fair representation. This in time would demand political leadership focusing on consultation rather than the brutal might of numbers. With loyalty to the old parties falling, coalition governments are likely to be the norm under PR. Most legislation then would be negotiated beforehand, through the force of fair and equitable representation, and not be shouted through with theatre and rancour. This would improve our legislative outcomes, elevate the behavior of MPs on the floor of the Parliament, and make politicians more worthy of respect to the ordinary people.
From my casual observation it would appear that this is the case with the New Zealand Parliament, and probably with the Tasmanian State Parliament as well, with PR in place in both of these Parliaments.
- to civilize MPs; PR also would mean more negotiation, more deliberation, the emergence of the focus on what is good for society and the slow death of the warrior mentality on the floor of the chamber. This civilizing of our politicians, for all to see, would be a welcome experience for the ordinary citizens.
- to put an end to perpetual campaigning and pork barrelling; more equitable representation in Parliament, a civilized parliament, coupled with fixed four-year terms, would with good leadership put an end to the perpetual campaign and the tumbling of pork barrels that assault the senses of most of the people most of the time.
- to embed ethics into our political culture; The preceding promises of PR would help embed ethics in our polity.
With proper design, voters in multi-member electorates under PR would in due course have a direct impact on the quality of candidates a party would present at an election. For instance in the case of Jacqui Lambie it would appear that the voters in Tasmania valued her integrity highly. (She only had $20K to spend on her campaign!)
Yet in the two old parties winning for the plotters and the top dog incumbents is everything: the ordinary people have been left to the wolves, since Kev07’s midnight execution in 2010.
Here in Queensland the last Brisbane City Council elections in 2016 should tell us that the ALP did not smell like a bunch of roses. From the low base of seven out of 26 councilors we lost another two. And despite our much vaunted “foolproof” grass roots campaign we achieved a swing of just 1.2%, even though we had fielded a seemingly outstanding mayoral candidate. The Greens by contrast gained 6%, and in the two wards we lost, the Greens achieved gains around 14% each.
Last week the Courier Mail, based on a recent poll, reported that neither of our political leaders is well loved. And neither party is preferred.
There is a chance that a decision by the Labor Government to initiate a Parliamentary Enquiry into Proportional Representation, in a rigorous manner, would provide at once a political circuit-breaker and an enduring legacy for our political culture, in Queensland and elsewhere in the nation.
Under proportional representation the Greens would be the biggest beneficiary, and coalition governments would become more likely. The Greens would become the dominant minority party, but that might be happening anyway, though at an excruciatingly slow pace that drains an inordinate amount of clear head space and energy from the Labor electoral harvesting machine.
The voters are disenchanted with our two old Parties. They are also getting increasingly well educated. Together this will mean more discerning voters. These sooner or later would more than likely demand proportional representation in our unicameral system to retrieve their democratic rights.
It seems such a god-sent moment to show visionary leadership and acute political nous.
Australia’s current industrial relations system provides minimum national basic terms and conditions of employment which are supplemented by a complex technical and legal framework covered by legislation, awards and enterprise-level bargaining agreements.
This system is not delivering for workers, for employers or for the economy. Low or zero real wage growth is an issue for workers while also being a documented drag on economic growth. The inability of policy makers to address record unemployment in some regional areas and underemployment across the economy undermines the social compact and fosters ever growing inequality. It is also clear that the system lacks the adaptability to respond to influences such as the ‘gig economy’, automation and climate change,
The current system ignores the diversity of Australia’s economy and population in geographic spread, economic activity and social context. In a nation and economy so diverse, the current system creates winners and losers based primarily on location. Established businesses close to the centre of our cities are naturally advantaged by a scheme which insists on universal application of standard terms and conditions of employment.
The failure of policy makers to address the fundamental flaws in the system is related to the corruption of debate surrounding industrial relations policy, which has become a partisan plaything. Contemporary debate on this topic is primarily framed by reference to major points of conflict, for instance the Waterfront Dispute and WorkChoices. Defining as those events were for a generation of working Australians, they were symptoms of a broader malaise.
The well of policy debate has been poisoned by the rancour of past conflict and has resulted in a climate where common ground is harder to find. How else can one explain the position of union leaders publicly defending the indefensible (domestic violence) and equally employer groups providing cover for the systematic underpayment of basic conditions (wage theft). However, to focus solely on the politics of industrial relations prevents a closer examination of the true problems with the system itself. At the heart of the problem is the enterprise-level bargaining framework, underpinned as it is by awards and a highly legalistic structure.
Whether intended or accidental, the decline in relevance of the union movement and the inevitable shrinking influence of unions as a part of the civil society landscape has at its root enterprise-level bargaining. In the modern union, significant resources are dedicated to negotiating new enterprise agreements, interpreting and arguing points of interpretation of existing bargaining agreements, or litigating workplace disputes related to enterprise agreements. Union resources are so focused on achieving incremental change to a narrow band of ‘permitted matters’ such that focus has been lost on bigger struggles, including addressing the decline in union membership itself.
It is hard to argue, however, that unions and workers are the only losers in this system. Employers too must expend significant resources on enterprise bargaining and litigating disputes. Virtually none of those efforts result in increased productivity or other positive benefits for the economy.
The primary sin of the current system is that it pits worker against worker. It forces employers to compete against each other on terms and conditions of employment (cost of labour) rather than on innovation, technological improvements, productivity enhancements, skills, expertise, or indeed on things like location or approaches to corporate social responsibility.
We need to move beyond points of conflict like the Waterfront Dispute and WorkChoices as reference points for the true contours of Australian industrial relations, and we need to remove workers and employers from the front line of industrial disputation. Their efforts are better focused on what they are good at – applying skilled labour and being engine rooms of economic activity for our economy. The continued framing of debate by reference to old battles also prevents us from looking forward and designing a system which is responsive to the needs of today’s workforce and economy, while being adaptable enough to change as needed.
Neither can government continue to wash their hands of industrial relations as a matter solely between workers and employers. Industrial relations is the bedrock on which the entire economy is footed, so government has a vested interest.
A better industrial relations model would see unions, employer bodies and government coming together to reach a tri-partite national partnership agreement focused on basic terms of employment for all Australians – for example annual and personal leave entitlements, basic rights and obligations, and standard hours of work.
This national partnership approach would also provide a forum to debate and agree actions to boost standards of living, improve productivity, reduce unemployment and underemployment, reduce regional and rural disadvantage, and to adapt our industrial relations settings as needed in response to major challenges, whether they be man-made or natural.
Genuine negotiations between unions and employer bodies, removed from enterprise-level conflict between managers and workers, would result in less hostile workplaces and workplace cultures.
Wage rates and other conditions would be agreed on a sectoral basis as part of subsidiary tri-partite agreements based on geography or industry. In this system, regions would be given the opportunity to compete favourably with city cousins. Having the same conditions across an industry or region would allow employers to focus their efforts on competing through technology or innovative practices, or indeed by becoming an employer of choice for the most skilled workers.
Central to this model is the need to remove industrial relations from courts and tribunals and return it to the negotiating table, with government as the honest broker and guarantor of last resort.
Our economy has changed, and the pace of change is accelerating. The system has not kept up with that change, and indeed has embedded disadvantage which is likely to become more pronounced. The current system has passed the end of its useful life and the task of re-shaping our industrial relations framework for the twenty-first century is now an urgent necessity.
Due to the Paris Agreement and stark warning signs from leading members of the scientific regarding climate change, and anxiety in the business sector and wider community its time that the state of QLD reflects on its impact environmentally and transition in ways forward economically to better itself in the next 30 years and reduce its carbon foot print. Economy and Jobs: QLD is to date the second highest unemployed state in all of Australia sitting at 6.4 %, increasing amounts of employers are paying less appropriate wages to their staff of all ages, particularly new young workers in industries across the board, particularly in retail and hospitality. There is a growing trend towards robotics and aviation as well but water security, increasing weather events and drought is also playing a big impact in already existing industries as well. QLD has a substantial tourism industry (which is affected by drought and cyclone seasons) but also a successful farming belt industry growing bananas, pineapples, peanuts, it also is known for its wineries, cattle industry, wool, cotton, and sugarcane. But it is well known for its mining sector. Primary metals and resources mined are coal, silver, bauxite, lead, zinc, copper, and gold. Although coal resources are one of the state’s biggest exports, less demand for coal is projected in coming decades this leaves opportunities still open for mining alternative resources such as lithium in North QLD which would be more sustainable and long term then mining projects like Adani. Future state governments could consider the following options: • Assess stolen wages in the retail and hospitality industries and encourage incentives for businesses to pay minimum wages to their staff. • Boost employment opportunities in sustainable eco – tourism ventures. • Create transitional compensation packages for employers in the coal industry to transition into more viable long term alternative mining projects like Lithium etc. • Assess the necessary transitional changes for industries that will be affected by the growing demand for robotic industry and manufacturing, and compensation for workers affected in retail and manufacturing. • Introduce a safety net levy for future drought, fire and cyclone related events that may affect businesses in the tourism industry. Education: With high youth unemployment figures particularly in regional areas, and casualisation at all time highs throughout the state it could be time for a total rethink of how we treat the education system. Future state governments could consider the following options: • QLD needs to streamline more affordable TAFE and undergraduate University education across the board, explore the possibility of a space centre in North QLD. • Construct more education and research hubs in Regional QLD townships with emphasis on sustainable jobs focuses on emerging industry. Energy and Waste: QLD has a high demand for electricity generations particularly in metropolitan’s areas but also in refineries, smelters, mines and in regional QLD. QLD has a big output of coal, oil, and gas production as well, but a developing industry in renewables; geothermal, wind, hydro, and solar. A largely forgotten resource that many underestimate also is the production of waste from metro areas which is usually exported to foreign countries more recently in Asia. Future state governments could consider the following options: • Considering that state electricity assets were deregulated it could be an idea for increased incentives to be introduced alongside solar power and set up a state owned energy retailer. • More Hydro facilities such as Kidston should be built in North QLD; furthermore pipelines should be built to connect this water to QLD regional townships and agriculture. • Assess the viability of sensitive water resources that may be susceptible and delicate during drought seasons, and find ways to mitigate impact on them from the water grid during such time periods, an example would be North Stradbroke Is. • Waste from Metro and Urban areas should be processed in QLD not shipping overseas, stronger legislation should be encouraged to discourage neglect of waste being shipped in areas that will also otherwise cause environmental harm. • Waste collection businesses must be held accountable if they are raising unfair prices on their customers and the general public for collecting rubbish and unfairly making a profit in the process, better waste management regulations must be introduced. • Introduce a state based penalty caps for big polluters – ETS mechanism and introduce incentives for everyday households who are complying with saving energy. Urban Planning, Housing, Public Transport: In recent years there has been a vast steady rise of concern from communities, businesses, and groups on numerous issues on urban planning and public housing. Some issues address the concern for the regional SEQ plans, the Toondah Harbour PDA, recent planning law changes, and the widening crisis of homelessness, long public waiting lists and rising crime. A particular concern noted is of planning new highways, urban sprawl in areas where space, vegetation, green and wildlife already exist. Future state governments could consider the following options: • Improve consultation with communities particularly surrounding PDA projects. • Amend planning legislation so that it can better protect RAMSAR wetlands and sensitive bush lands that it can protect wildlife and vegetation fro overdevelopment. • Develop urban density in CBD areas of regional QLD, and metro areas where infrastructure already exists and can be improved. • Develop public housing in areas susceptible to likely job prospects long term in Regional QLD (be it mining, research hubs, manufacturing, or energy). • Introduce drugs rehabilitation and PTSD programs for stressed public housing recipients across the state, and cultural empowered programs for TSI and Indigenous recipients in public housing. • Introduce more affordable public transport for students, pensioners, and unemployed via train, and bus, rising cost prices are making it more difficult for people to travel mobile and more people driving creates more carbon footprints. • Develop a high speed rail network for better accessibility across the state. Species Protection, National Parks and Green Spaces: A growing concern for species protection is rising in QLD, particularly for Koalas populations, migratory shorebirds, marine wildlife in the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. Concerns are also evident for plans to privatize national parks and create corporate investments outside the scope of state which could impact green spaces in such areas. Future state governments could consider the following options: • Better map the planning of species including in areas were developments are planned, with the spread of disease and illness all populations need to be factored. • Better mitigate and include the protection of Koala populations across QLD. • Better mitigate and include the protection of migratory shorebird populations. • Ensure limits are capped for any corporate investment in national parks to ensure that no overzealous ventures encroach green space or national park land. • Introduce community garden initiatives across the state in conjunction with city/shire councils, small business and Indigenous groups to encourage alternative lifestyle choices and encourage people to grow their own produce as well.
Queensland is part of Australia. We are a Commonwealth, by definition, all the States & territories in Australia and its wealth are the wealth of ALL Australians. So we move from the current debt based speculative economy to a planned economy based on resources, with a reduced work week using automation. This will reduce waste, create stability and increase the wealth and happiness of most of us. Yes the top will be a little angry, but they can cry on the mega yachts.
We have a system where the RBA creates credit based on population and lends it to Banks. The concept is that if borrowers use it to buy a house, it takes a house off the market, creating demand shortages. In turn this spurs construction and with it increased economy. Same with lending to business for operations causing shortages, increasing demand. This doesn’t happen though; instead new money is created and competes with existing money for existing goods, services and assets.
The best example is when house investors borrow using created credit, than enter the cities to buy existing houses. They do this because they want renters and value increases. The Banks leaned on government to allow foreign investment. This created huge speculation and the created credit doesn’t enter production, it enters into the speculative markets. We have excess credit of over $136 trillion dollars turning over every year in the Australian Markets alone. This excess credit will cause hyper-inflation if defaults happen and economy crashes.
We need to prevent the further debt credit creation and remove the excess credit.
When Franklin D Roosevelt applied huge taxes to the wealthy; he created a stable and fair economy. It is good that the wealthy invest their money to generate production and increases to economy, but when they pool it in market speculation, it means real goods will go to waste. So when the USA moved off this policy, they saw huge wealth created, but with it huge waste and a massive poor class of people. To control an economy we need to know the minimum, average and maximum of a money supply.
To do this we have a managed economy where we have a minimum wage (with training wages just below this, but supplemented by public funds), below average wage, average wage, above average and top wage. Plato envisaged a ratio of 5:1. The great American robber baron J.P. Morgan argued that the limit should be 20:1.
We if set a basic metric of 12 months of minimum wages against 1 month of minimum wages, we’d still offer incentive, but limit the massive divergence that takes place.
To determine money supply we multiply it by estimated population. Money Supply The preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia at 30 June 2019 was 25,364,300 people.
Minimum wage: $41,600 x 25,364,300 = $1.05 trillion dollars as minimum money supply
Average wage: ($30hr x 40) x 52 = $62,400 x 25,364,300 - $1.5 trillion as target money supply.
Top wage: 12 x $41,600 ($240p/h) = $499,200 x 25,364,300 = $12.6 trillion as absolute maximum money supply (Above this will definitely cause hyper inflation without the markets and government quantitative easing strategies.)
* Out of fact, Australia’s optimum population is around 66 million people. If we looked at the average wage of $62,400 x 66 million = $4.1 trillion. This would easily cover the expenses of infrastructure maintenance, r&d services, defence, police, fire & emergency, hospitals, education, training etc for a country out size.
* If you look at the Australian Defence Force Pay scales we’d follow this example for a national pay scale matrix.
Category A – Traineeships, Apprenticeships, Cadetships Wages from $15hr (with supplement of $5hr) to $35 hour for 30 years plus
Category B – No skill to Skilled (general hands, retail and entertainment, warehouse, deliveries, labourers etc) Wages from $20hr to $40hr
Category C – Skilled and Important (Technicians, Medical, Education, Government, Supervisors) Wages from $30hr to $50hr
Category D – High Skill and Knowledge (Specialist Technicians, Managers, Government) Wages from $50hr to $90hr Category E – Highest skill, importance (Theoretical scientists, medical officers, explorers, philosophers, thinkers, engineers, Directors) Wages from $60hr to $100hr
# There would also be allowances to reach $240hr & bonuses paid out from achieving targets for both workers, managers and directors.
New Deal for 21st Century with Automation
People would be trained and qualified in their chosen field by their current performance.
Unlike feudalism and communism, people could still shift careers, retrain, move into a higher category or down.
There is something about the Human Species that wants to be free, but can’t be free as we can be so destructive. So we apply rules to our natural law and we also regulate ourselves, but allow for enough freedom to keep the soul happy. However part of the human condition is natural born psychopaths, which and MRI can measure, but this is another topic.
The above examples are based on 40 hour weeks.
So long as Automation picks up the reduced human worked hours and production is maintained, the only extra cost on government and commerce is the cost of energy for the automation and maintenance. To cover this extra expense, we divide the population into a 6 day working week of 3 days x 8 hour shifts.
The Days would increase to 16 to 24 hours days, depending on the roles. People would perform work in production of 24 hours of work per week, 3 days of 8 hours shifts.
Solving the Speculative Market and Debt based credit creation issue
An automated transaction fee, set as a percentage, once per month with RBA interest rates. This will remove over time that $136 trillion over credit where it is over by $134 trillion. It is only hidden by the markets, but not forever.
RBA interest rates only deal with the Bank lending, it doesn’t deal with the inflation and speculative issues caused by the credit creation and lending.
In Brisbane, we live in a city where those that can afford inner city living enjoy a lifestyle of choices - where to go, when to go and how to get there. The further out you live the less options you have. It’s cheaper to drive the car (which is saying something at today’s petrol prices) than catching public transport, the roads are congested and it takes forever to get to where you’re going. Why not formulate a policy that rewards people using public transport? Encourage it as a way of life as it is overseas? By swapping the cost around so that fares are cheaper the further out you live, you give people a choice in their budgets. In the long term you’d have less cars on the road which means less road maintenance. It improves the lifestyle of people, the sustainability of the city and would be the a blueprint for the rest of the country.
Noticeable changes over the past generation have been evident in sport. Professionalism has seen significant investment at the elite level of those few sports with an established market presence. Meanwhile, community team-based sports are struggling with increased bureaucracy, dwindling volunteer numbers, inadequate facilities and limited support from peak sports bodies and all levels of government. On current trends, participation in community sport among adults could drop by 15% by 2036 with a similar decline in sport diversity. We risk becoming a nation of sporting consumers, rather than participants.
Beyond the recognised health benefits of physical activity, community team-based sport offers participants and families an opportunity to interact across demographics and promotes diversity. It can provide positive role models, teach resilience, enhance academic performance, and enable development of a wide range of life skills. The wide range of clubs and competitions in community sport can bring together people like no other sector, and clubs are a rich source of social capital.
While the value of community sport has been well documented, assistance in the sector has largely come from local, state and federal government grants aimed at developing sporting infrastructure, with very little regard being given to the lifeblood of community sport - volunteers. Addressing some of the difficult aspects of community sport administration, making available comprehensive education opportunities, and providing volunteers with recognition of skills could improve the recruitment and retention of volunteers. Some of my ideas to address these follow below.
Develop a comprehensive State or National insurance model providing accident insurance to all community based sports. This would include insurance for all volunteers and participants. Community sport injuries should have its own surgical stream to quickly resolve sports injuries with adequate funding made available to facilitate this, meaning return to sport can be done as quickly as possible.
Insurance models should also include income protection for sport participants with injured participants streamed into established Workcover processes to assist business when a staff member is injured playing sport. Business needs to feel included in the sporting community just as much as participants. Demonstrating the benefits to business of a strong community sport model can assist with sponsorship opportunities and with developing new business opportunities.
Provide a community sport education model for all volunteers with nationally recognised accreditation for various levels of training. Ensure these courses are targeted at outcomes to enable further training in relevant areas such as; community development, social work, youth work, teaching, physiotherapy, sports science, business, marketing, food health and hygiene.
There are many aspects to managing a community based sport and many opportunities for the young, old, unemployed or people in training to get a taste of these areas and to develop skills that can both benefit the volunteer and also the wider community. Government should develop a specific program to assist with the integration of tertiary students into community sport by specifying practical hours required for course work and resourcing this adequately to enable all community groups to participate, regardless of size or existing resources.
The development and application of specific skills from tertiary students can make a real difference to clubs where resources are stretched thin, and also to the educational outcomes of students who are provided with an opportunity to develop creative outcomes for often resource-poor clients. This is particularly true for humanities students such as marketing and business, journalism, and creative arts such as photography.
Incentivise the utilisation of government departments and the non-government service sector to further engage with the wider community. An example of this could be the use of police resources for coaching young people in areas of disadvantage. This both familiarises the local police and the community and enhances empathy for all participants. Quality refereeing and coaching are two key areas that have an impact of the participation of young people in team sport. Simplistically, police officers apply the law in the community. Development of that skill in a sporting context for officers in training should enhance the decision making skills of those people and also enhance their relationship with the community.
Similarly, other public servants could be engaged in community service to put them in touch with their key demographics and allow them to gain a better understanding of the communities in which they work. An example of this could be local government sport and rec officers gaining a grassroots appreciation of infrastructure and service gaps in community sport by serving on club committees.
Governments can also play a role in better recognising the role of volunteers in sport. Similar to Army Reserves or volunteer fire fighters, there are opportunities to provide real incentives for volunteers to shore up an area that is vital to the continued success of community sport. Whether providing taxation incentives for the use of phones or vehicles, providing subsidised educational opportunities that are targeted for specific outcomes, or simply expanding opportunities for public recognition for volunteers – all assistance to support volunteers to support our communities is important.
While government at all levels continues to focus on infrastructure to support community sport, a shift in thinking that supports wider engagement from the community, better access to skill development for volunteers and greater recognition for the economic and social benefits of community sport can ensure the predicted demise of community sport can be avoided.