Media Release: 23 April 2009: “Where’s the Vision in 2020 Top 9?” ask Democrats

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DARREN CHURCHILL
ACT Democrats President

“Where’s the Vision in 2020 Top 9?” ask Democrats

“The Prime Minister’s 2020 shortlist is a bit like an ad on the TV” says ACT Australian Democrats president, Darren Churchill. “A few catchy ideas that make us all think ‘isn’t that clever’ but no real investment in the things that matter.

The Federal Government today announced the nine key ideas to be focused on from last year’s 2020 summit are: a bionic eye, a children’s TV channel, a civilian army for regional emergencies, golden gurus to mentor younger workers, Asian/Australian scholarships for cultural understanding, business and schools partnerships, a green skills “carbon challenge” a vocational education broadband network and children & family centres to help indigenous people.

“There’s some good things amongst that. We welcome any initiatives for carbon awareness, cultural understanding, emergency relief and indigenous people.” Mr Churchill said. ” But we have to be careful that we don’t allow this process to detract from the major goals of Greenhouse Gas reduction, economic recovery and building a really visionary future for our children”

“A children’s TV channel is a great idea.. But ABC for Kids already exists doesn’t it? So what’s new?

“What about some serious effort for greenhouse reduction in addition to “green skilling?” questioned Mr Churchill.

“I agree, younger workers need support and advice from those with experience. But what about raising the whole minimum standards in vocational education and training in the first place?”

“Surely, water has to be a priority? Water security, conservation and sustainability surely must be of higher priority than some of the Top 9? Has the government seriously considered rainwater tanks? What about the acquisition of water entitlements in over-allocated systems? We need a comprehensive national water strategy. Surely this has to be a priority?” insisted Mr Churchill

“Indigenous health is still appallingly below that of non-indigenous. How about something to help there? Surely that is a national priority?”

“Perhaps the civilian army for regional emergencies should be managed by assisting the existing aid agencies. Give them support to use volunteers in the same way that we have volunteer bush fire fighters. Provide compensation for employers, volunteer costs, and any injuries or losses.”

“At a time when the government is tinkering with economic stimulus, these areas could be a priority. Not to mention other nation building exercises such as upgrading rail networks and national highways. How about some improvements to public transport to make the systems far preferable to the private vehicle?”

“There’s some nice ideas there Mr Rudd. But show us the real substance and some 2020 vision!” concluded Mr Churchill

Darren Churchill
ACT Democrats President
darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au
Tel: 0412 196 473

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