Correction – just under 2000 unnamed, unhindered, unaccountable, unelected lobbyists are walking the halls of Federal Parliament, not 280 as stated in my previous letter. Is it true these voices have 24-hour unannounced access to pollies’ offices and ears? Just asking for a friend.
Like moving deck chairs on the “Titanic”, our State Premier, Ms Palaszczuk, has internally swapped some portfolios of her front bench, without replacing anyone. This includes the Health Minister, the new Director-General of Youth Justice and Attorney-General. The most pressing State Government issues raised by public protesters have now been addressed by a cabinet reshuffle, albeit a change of position, not policy. We all are aware of how the unsinkable Titanic met its fate.
The assumption that a man-made vessel of such prestige and engineering, can’t fail, was false. However, politicians must learn the lesson – that repeating the same actions over and over, expecting a different outcome, is a sure sign of insanity. The pressing issues confronting the State have finally sunk in. The Premier after almost a decade in office, confronted by public outrage, has seen the writing on the wall, deciding to do something, which is better than nothing. Is this a move of survival? Only time will tell. Taxpayer-funded politicians are failing their constituents.
The police are frustrated by a court system that fails victims of youth crime. Juvenile gangs seem to enjoy free reign, where parental discipline, seen as a criminal offence, is curtailed by legislation. Children growing up without boundaries know they are untouchable according to the law. It’s the same law that adults abide by. Parents are bound by forces outside their control. Parental frustration and public outcry have sent our politicians a clear message which cannot be ignored indefinitely.
Police and the hospital system, largely underfunded, are the consequence of a determined financial focus in 2032. Law and order and a public health system without delays, with affordable health care for all, should be a given in our wealthy nation. We are not a third-world country, are we?
Later this year there will be a referendum and Australians will be asked to approve the insertion of a new section into our Constitution. It is to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First People of Australia and enshrine an advisory body called a Voice to Parliament which cannot be subjected to the vagaries of politics.
How we have been treating them over the centuries has not been working. Australia’s Indigenous people have the lowest life expectancy and the highest incarceration rate of any Indigenous people in the world.
It is time to listen to them through the Voice.
It is not about shame or guilt. It is about moving forward along the path to reconciliation.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart has asked for this first step to be followed by a treaty and truth-telling. It was an invitation to all Australians to walk together towards a better future.
We cannot change the past, but we can change the future. Vote yes for a better united and inclusive future.