The Rudd Government came to power with the promise of policy revitalisation- and his government proceeded to roll out what seemed a range of great policies across the many areas of government. As we approach the next Federal election it seems that both Labor & Coalition are fighting desparately to win the opposition benches.

  • Aboriginal: ( co-written with @blackfellas ) The Rudd government were never in the right library on aboriginal policy and continued the disgraceful persecution of aboriginal people under the racist NT Intervention. His early but empty Apology soothed some mainly NGO based aboriginals who had argued the reconciliation case for over a decade. The Federal Intervention and its State spinoffs have effected imposed government siezure of whatever aboriginal assets government sees fit under a “leasing” program.
    • The solution to aboriginal problems is direct economic empowerment,without conditions.To accomplish this aboriginal people need to have an equity stake,to participate in the economy on aboriginal terms.The solution is stunningly simple.You stole it,give it back- but while it is still useful and not after it has had a nuclear bomb dropped on it(Maralinga).
    • No Aboriginal family is yet living in the promised housing.
    • No aboriginal child is safer.In fact some State abducted children are already much worse off, in an alien culture.
    • The government desired option of creating “aboriginal hubs”, little more than feeding centres for animals where different aboriginal peoples will be forcibly corralled emulate the South African Apartheid era “homelands”. Doubtless,this policy had its genesis in the racist police state focussed minds of anglophile police management, aided and abbetted by Childrens Services bureau. Aboriginals of different cultures and law groups will be lumped together, a sure breeding ground for discontent riots and the death of aboriginal community law,as inevitably clan groups will oppose each other for many and various reasons. There are many examples in urban areas where this style of housing solution has not produced desirable outcomes for aboriginal people, or the wider community.Examples include social housing in Rockingham,WA, Inala(and others) Qld, Wellington NSW, and, notoriously, Redfern NSW. In fact, one of the selected “Hub” sites, Wadeye, falls into the same category already.
    • Racism in education subject matter continues to have a profoundly adverse effect on aboriginal children and families who are judged for competency on the basis of what is commonplace to anglo people but alien to aboriginal. Further systemic racism has been inserted into education which reinforces anglo(under the guise of Australian) while trivialising all other cultures.Of particular note is the insertion of “Australian values” propaganda into sports curriculum, prompting many aboriginal and ethnic students to abandon sports.In many cases children abandoning sports had been well performed, and some continue to be at extra expense, via non school venues. Racism, or monocultural focussed education in core cirriculum is evident across the subject range, with undue focus on English “scenario” providing cultural comfort to anglos and their descendants.particularly denigrating for aboriginal people, many of whom consider anglos in Australia to be descendants and benefactors of thieves, genocidists and conmen,leaving out some of the more personal crimes.
    • Other associated issues have been widely canvassed. Neither Coalition nor Labor at State or Federal levels articulate a credible long-term solution to aboriginal issues. Their policies are a continuum of the “assimilate or annihilate” mantra of past Colonial State and Federal governments. The sole possible success option is the eventual demise of aboriginal people and cultures. There is a critical need to address aboriginal issues on a community by community basis, funded by federal government in reparation for past (and present) injustices.A genuine community driven consultative process needs to be put in place, with participation from parties who might genuinely partner with a viable development model.This consultative process must necessarily exclude current NGOs, churches and other self interest bodies. Government involvement should be minimal, or “not at all”.
  • Aged Care: This sector is bedevilled by an ongoing incapacity to attract or retain capable staff, due to #wageslavery payrates and conditions: Extraordinarily oppressive care bonds and fees payable by clients, and borderline humane minimalist client services.Nothing will change for as long as #wageslavery persists,and operators refuse to accept lower earnings. A large percentage of “beds” provided in this sector are under the control of Anglican,Catholic,Salvation Army and Uniting Churches: Anglicare, Catholic Aged Care,Uniting Care being among the brands. We believe that the 12000 “extra beds” in this sector announced by federal government will be new revenue streams for these organisations, and are a result of ACOSS lobbying. Some cases have been reported to us of aged people being placed in care by psychiatrists or doctors against family or clients wishes. In 2 cases known to us the clients have had their finances,including assets placed under care organisation related party control. Of concern to us is the welfare of clients and staff, the possibility of medical professional investors acting unprofessionally to “Funnel” clients, and organisations influencing “clients” will decisions.
  • Hospitals & Health:Rudd Labor Government made a commitment to nationalise hospitals if endemic issues had not been addressed. Deadline has passed, hospitals are still rundown and still under State control. Rudd has stated that Federal government delay is “so that they will have it 100% right when the plan is implemented. This delay and reasoning is in stark contrast to the haste with which Rudd Labor responded to the “financial crisis” or ramped up the “NT aboriginal intervention. The coalition hospitals policy of local management boards seems akin to Abbotts unfortunate Mersey Hospital,Tasmania Takeover in his previous incarnation as health minister.
  • Banking and Finance:
  • Extractive Industries: (in consultation with @OilLeaks )The Montara Oil Spill disaster off Western Australia in the latter half of 2009 brought to light the fact that ineffective disaster mitigation and compliance measurement regimes are in place at the issuance of exploration and extractive licences. The fact that Montara well licensee were able to contract a 30 year old oilrig using superceded technology appears to be the root cause of this disaster, compounded by the fact that insufficient environmental failsafe mechanisms appear to be required. It seems logical going forward to start at the point of extraction technologies employed are worlds best standard environmentally and from an OHS perspective- and that mitigation resources are onsite should an event occur.Mopping up does nothing to prevent immediate environmental impact, and little to provide long term solutions as borne out by events post the Exxon Valdez disaster over 2 decades ago. While not apportioning blame with PTTEP or its contractor Atlas, whom we have every confidence acted within the terms of their licences and legal obligations at Montara. We are mindful of the duty of care of PTTEP directors to shareholders, which,it may be argued gave directors no legal recourse than to employ the cheapest extractive process they legally could. To employ a more expensive option when under no legal obligation to do so potentially puts the directors at risk of a shareholders class action. It would seem that the economics of the current resolution under current legislation would more than justify such a shareholder revolt.
    • Australia and the International community need robust frameworks in place which provide
  • Churches:
  • Climate: ( in consultation with @CL1MATE ) In many ways, #cop15 was the Rudd governments Waterloo. In the leadup to Copenhagen the Australian government sold the public a rather rosy picture of its #climate strategy, an ETS model, as a worlds best practice model
  • Environment:
  • Homelessness: Neither major political party has a solution to homelessness.Both are adherents to the laissez-faire capitalist model for business, regulated constraint of workers rights (and incomes ) and listen attentively as church based organisations map pathways to their own growth.
    • Tony Abbotts Coalition put in place the #wageslavery based, anti union, anti worker, anti claimant, government model which prevents workers acting to enforce sustainable wages and conditions. Abbott recently quoted from the bible in relation to homelessness “.. the gist being that “homeless will always make the choice to be so, we should do nothing.Abbott has committed to ending “The Road Home.”
    • The Road Home”, Kevin Rudd’s plan to “halve the number of homeless” is in tatters, and should be abandoned.When a sink is overflowing,yes,you pull the plug.But first you turn off the tap.While the Road Home arguably seeks to provide a limited housing solution (SAAP) it does nothing to turn the tap off.
      • The Rudd Government has done nothing to alleviate the entry causes of homelessness. #Wageslavery work conditions prevail (the minimum wage was not raised in 2009,rents in Sydney rose 30%,despite a decline or 0 increase in property values.
      • There are scant and ineffectual laws to ensure the timely disbursement of payments to workers and small to medium business contractors,compounding the already negative personal impact of working for slave labour wages.
      • Casualisation and contracting of workforces has made Home ownership an unattainable option for many lacking existing property or guarantors.
      • Standard 6 month leases, commonly terminated after 6 months so the rent can be increased has meant that additional costs of househunting removals,entry and exit costs combine to make rental accommodation an unaffordable option.
      • Absence of regulation of Banks business methods, allowing them to plunder retail customers, vary interest rates and increase customer costs with impunity.The Howard and Rudd governments have both on occasion “asked” for but not legislated, constraint.
      • Absence of price regulation.Businesses are allowed to increase prices with impunity, while workers incomes subject to legislated constraint.
    • The SAAP model provides subsidised rental accommodation on terms which provide for personal and familial invasion by multiple authorities, and a subset of NGO agencies masquerading as housing agencies with the dual role of collecting information(spying) for government.
    • SAAP Housing is defined separately under recent additions and alterations to the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 1987 which take rights from the marginalised tenant and give them to the administering NGO. To our knowledge, tenants entering into SAAP arrangements are not told of this arrangement.
    • We know of no new SAAP Housing in the Sydney CBD (postcode 2000), and many people being “incentivised” to live in outer suburban areas. We believe that the Sydney City Council “Street Count” conducted 16 February 2009 will show an increase in “Homeless Sleeping rough” in the region of 25% on last year, and that the methodology used reveals only 50 to 60 percent of rough sleepers. With homeless youth,this figure will rise to 90% or higher,as youth are forced by the high incidence of Mandatory Reporting spies to not use traditional homelessness structures.

Sydney Homeless suggestions to government on Homelessness;

We reject the solutions proposed by NCOSS / ACOSS and their members, and accepted by government in the White Paper; “The Road Home.”

We reject the consultative process used in developing “The Road Home”

For the majority who want to be housed is that there is no “1 glove fits all” solution.

Priority should be, and is not currently given to stemming the flow into homelessness.

Some SAAP Housing is desirable, even necessary, and should be available to those with identified chronic mental disorders, and those who select to be housed in managed accommodation. Except in cases where persons are clinically ( or a few other special sircumstances ) certified as such, SAAP should be a housing option, not the sole option.

The majority of social housing should be government ( or local body) owned and subject to the normal terms and conditions of The Residential Tenancies Act or such parrallel legislation as may apply interstate. This housing should be accumulated on a pro rata basis from every new residential development, as a developer contribution.3% of lettable space seems a good starting figure, with appropriate tax offsets in lieu of payment to developer.This would ensure that accumulation of “State Housing” is spread across the community evenly, and that inner city social housing is provided.

In Social Housing, the indexation of rent to income is a barrier to working, with many tenants looking at being financially worse off when costs of working,tax, Centrelink support loss and subsidy decrease combine out of a low to middle income paypacket.

Consideration needs to be made of the option of assisting some persons into mobile home units as an accommodation solution.Many currently homeless would prefer this option, but lack capital and equity to effect this solution.

  • Employment:
  • Education:
    • Two years ago the incoming Rudd government squandered a glorious opportunity to invigorate and balance education policy.
    • The announcement of the IT initiative and “Laptops for Students” had the potential to deliver a nationally standardised IT backbone across the disparate education structures,complemented with standardised software, IT protocols and support. Developed with compatibility with the National Broadband Network under development. Instead,Federal Labor stood at the kerbside and threw money to the wind. Laptops,Pick your own.Schools without IT departments forced to make IT decisions on a school by school basis.In summary, what could have been a national legacy project has floundered through incompetent management to become a farcical embarassment, with many of the inappropriate laptops purchased already beyond repair-Not to mention a $100million infrastructure allocation which remains unspent.The consequence is hundreds of millions of dollars wasted.
    • Systemic racism is unaddressed at any level.White teachers bureaucrats and management decide on the core cirriculum for ,and actually teach, a sterile version of ethnic and indigenous culture.”Aboriginal Studies” is for whose benefit,for what purpose?