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Australia, Community, Motivational, Philosophy

The Future of Australia

This is Australia, a continent not ravaged by war, disease or famine.

A country rich in resources and a friendly open public.

It should be a vanguard for a successful democracy, shouldn’t it?

distortion effect

Australia in 2020

A wobbly renewable energy sector,

Over-reliance of exports of raw materials,

A powerful and corrupt financial sector,

A struggling research and tech industry.

Environmental devastation from natural disasters,

Bushfire, drought and cheap imports.

Declining export markets and competitiveness.

Decreasing full time unemployment and

increasing casualization of the workforce.

It all sounds like a bit like a third world country, but it isn’t.

This is Australia!

And it might be a recipe for economic and environmental disaster.

The Tyranny of Distance

rural australia

Many companies find trading in Australia logistically difficult, due to the ‘tyranny of distance’. We are, after all, stuck right down the bottom of the planet, on the way to nowhere except perhaps New Zealand and Antarctica, and not too many companies head to the southern continent. (No offence there to my Kiwi rellies intended).

In order to stay competitive, Australian companies might decide to decrease production costs, and one popular method of achieving this is reducing staff. Any profits made via increased productivity, is then divided up amongst shareholders. So there is not much incentive to hold onto staff.

Offshore Corporate Relocation

Companies that formerly hired Australians in varying sectors of the economy have, in the last decade, moved company operations off-shore, to a cheaper labour market in Asia, Bangladesh or India.

The result: Lower quality control, poorer reliability and worst of all: – less jobs in Australia! Not only is there less job vacancies, there are less permanent full time jobs – with the end result being a workforce that is highly casualized and contractual. That sure doesn’t help economic stability.

The solar energy industry and the Green movements are not to blame, yet that seems to be the mantra from conservative politicians and mining companies magnates. The country has became so very much dependant on them, that it is their voices that now carry weight over any others.

Agricultural Industry

The agriculture and animal farming industries are in constant decline too, with perhaps the worst, yet to be experienced, as we feel the full brunt of the aftermath of the bushfires and the Chinese slowdown.

Sheep Merino wool Mt Cook
splitting the mob

Australia grew up on the “sheep’s back.” That is, we sold wool and wheat to the world. But as the third world develops along western lines, Australian products have become far too expensive, and we have to add in long and expensive hours of transport, from this corner of the planet. Thus, Aussie products are no longer selling well, and there is nothing yet to replace that.

Except mining.

This gives the mining companies so much power to influence public policy and push their own agenda, to politicians.

We have a non- existent manufacturing sector – what we did have already disappeared overseas. The banks and mines and perhaps, housing construction are the only thing keeping our economy going and thus, our current standard of living.

Is this enough to maintain our current standard of living into the future?

“… the old cargo cult mentality of Australia that she’ll be right.

Paul Keating Former P.M and Treasurer

Education in the form of mostly Asian fee-paying students, is the only other small growth area in the economy, and wholly depends on Australia’s immigration policy towards foreigner students.

Universal Compulsory Voting

The outlook seems bleak, and even more so, as the majority of people do not realize the long term implications for our country. They appear easily swayed by sweet talking politicians.

Politicians with a complex and well thought through economic plan did not seem to find favor in the electorate at the last election.

Franking Credit Scheme

The Government pays out an enormous amount of money on public schooling in Australia, and an equivalent amount, is paid out by the Government to shareholder investors, in the form of franking credits for shares. The shareholders get paid a second time by the Government on top of the dividend itself, and the proposed scheme to rein this in, was complex.

Dividends are paid out of profits which have already been subject to Australian company tax which is currently 30%. This means that shareholders receive a rebate for the tax paid by the company on profits distributed as dividends.You are entitled to receive a credit for any tax the company has paid. If your top tax rate is less than the company’s tax rate, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will refund you the difference.

http://www.commsec.com.au/education/learn/managing-investments/how-do-franking-credits-work.html

With the Opposition not being able to communicate this properly to the electorate at the last election, meant the incumbent Government hoodwinked voters into believing money was going to be taken off their investments and another new tax imposed!

Emissions Initiatives

Suggestions of introducing Emissions trading schemes have ended many a politician’s career on both sides of politics. The media and oppositions have turned these suggestions in to the popular and false threat of a “new tax,” and the Australia public runs scared.

Voting in Australia

Compulsory voting means these folks who are ill-informed, or who might hear a mere headline or snippet of news from a tabloid source, vote with a knee-jerk reaction. In key electorates, this can make or break a good policy and Government, even though the majority of voters see through this charade.

Photo Credit: i.guim.co.uk

Another example of voter ignorance was the suggestion of introducing a subsidized Electric Car Initiatives to tackle Climate Change and Emissions, which was scoffed at by conservatives who believed, quite incorrectly, that if elected, the party with the Electric car proposal would destroy the Aussie weekend culture, that centres around activities, in the ‘Ute” – (pickup truck)

Solar Power Generation

A country bathed in perpetual sunlight should be the solar powerhouse of the world. We should have our own solar panels in endless production, but instead we import solar panels from colder countries like Canada, Germany and China.

Why?

Because Australia has alway relied heavily on Coal fired power. Dirty Coal. The current Prime Minister loves it so much he brought some into parliament. What a joke!

Apparently it is cheaper to pollute the planet, than support Australian jobs and industry. In fact, the coal mining lobby is so widespread and so powerful, it spreads so many lies and falsehoods about solar power generation, it is scandalous. And the naive voters lap this up and spit it back at backyard barbeques to other ignorant constituents, who don’t know any better. Closed minds and closed hearts. And these folks vote.

An initial scheme to subsidize the introduction of solar panels in residential homes was SO successful, the government put a stop to it, as the coal industry was feeling the financial pinch and the government was losing royalties paid by mining companies.

Notwithstanding a solution is urgently needed to dispose of used solar panels, why on earth would you not want free, clean, non-polluting energy, I ask?

I’m irritated by the incumbent government and the future of my country. I now question universal suffrage and the abilities of the opposition parties to communicate their policies with the electorate.

Is this where democracy is flawed?

The public votes for short term gains, and not long term benefits for all?

Australia – become informed and think about where your vote goes.

51 thoughts on “The Future of Australia”

  1. You’ve thought this one out thoroughly, and it’s a worthy read.
    Here’s hoping it isn’t going to be read only by the converted.
    But then, how in the name of all the gods does a blogger find a soap-box for hectoring from ?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If it gets it off my chest, it is worthwhile, M-R. I guess my blog has more of a global reach so my lamentations and points may fall on largely deaf ears. If, on the other hand I can make one person think twice about things, would it be worthwhile?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. France tries solar power but only the upper pastures that don’t have electricity are allowed, the rest is highly regulated. I always said they want to pretend they going green but the electricity company does not want to loose business..;-(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are onto them, Lisa. Does everyone else realize this? For not many want to be without electricity. They carry enormous power – no pun intended.

      Like

    1. I think we need to take advantage of any opportunity to let our elected representatives know this is the way we are feeling. They have a terrific job with multiple benefits which unfortunately attracts slimey self serving folk rather than servants of the public.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am optimistic that there is some hope for change, so many of us are now having conversations with our friends, family and neighbors about this issue to try and raise awareness, I just hope we are not to late to bring about the necessary change. The level of uncritical acceptance of what is ill informed and manipulative BS really never ceases to amaze me but like I said I am hopeful, if leaders fail to come from our political parties then we all have to step up and display the leadership we are missing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is fantastic to hear that friends family and neighbours are having political conversations. A far cry from the days when political subjects were taboo. Absolutely we should discuss things as this works against the misinformation of some media channels. And sparks discussion. Amongst friends I would hope it is all platonic and informative. It is also our job to pull apart and analyse the policies suggested by the politicians. That seems to be forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All I can say is amen to all that. Except for one point. I’m not sure compulsory voting holds that much responsibility. They don’t have compulsory voting in the US and look who they elected to the White House.
    I firmly believe that until we can change the narrative around the word ‘tax’ from something that must be avoided at all costs to something good we can do make our country the best it can be, nothing will change.

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    1. Like you Mosy, I used to be a absolute advocate of compulsory voting as a constitutional right. Unfortunately, many people don’t take this for granted. A comment from Khurt Wiliams, on my blog post re democracy changed my thinking on this -https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/sunday-saying-democracy/

      “A compulsory vote from a slate of candidates whose do not represent my views would be tragedy of democracy.”

      However, you would never catch me declining or abstaining to vote. What we need is a well informed electorate not an ignorant voting one. And yet in the upcoming council elections, I am faced with a huge dilemma – all the mayoral candidates are from one party – noone else is contesting it. It is a party that does not represent my values, so what do I do there? Vote for someone whose values oppose my own or abstain/protest or waste my vote. This is an instance where compulsory suffrage fails and we need a right of us to abstain from voting in certain circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for this thoughtful yet passionate overview of the issues you encounter in your corner. I appreciate very much the insider’s perspective.

    It is very sobering to pause and look around the world this morning. And yet, in your call to arms, I feel so hope that it takes just one voice, one brave heart, to call for change. Thank you for being a vehicle of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ju-Lyn, I want to tell you that your comments mean a lot to me. You are always so positive and inspirational in your tone, it leaves me with a warm, happy feeling after I read your words, even if the content is sour. Sobering and cautionary words they might be, and yet it seems banal in comparison to the face of the bigger shadow that is starting to loom over the world this year. Blogging is unique however is giving the individual truths, as we see them, from our respective corners of the globe, unadulterated by advertisers or lobbying influences. With elections coming up, I felt compelled to get up on the soap box for a short period.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So much of this sounds like America– especially the reliance of so many of our companies on foreign work forces. And with our president wanting to penalize/extra tax some foreign countries, their response has affected our own factory and farm workers. We’ll see what the future does hold for everyone.
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In times of threats, either finanial or physical, people become fearful and turn to the the right wing of politics. This closed thinking leads to distrust of anything foreign as politicians and country tuck themselves in to protect themselves. It is so detrimental and the future at times, looks bleak. I hope we can find a way through this mire.

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  7. Depressing. I would have hoped Australia was in better shape than most, but apparently no. Australian bloggers seem to paint a dark portrait… I wonder why we all seem to elect incompetent politicos the world over.
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. For a country that weathered the GFC, we should be. Sadly, we are tied now to the vagaries of the Chinese economy. A lot of us or here have lost faith in our politicians who are adept at marketing to the electorate but have no real policies. The last election was lost in one or two stares, on local issues. The right side of politics uses fear campaigns to get their message across and unfortunately it works. The electorate is starting to wake up, but I don’t think it will wake up in time, Equinoxio. Shame, that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “No real policies”. Interesting (and saddening). My greatest critique of little Macron in France is his lack of vision. Oh, he does put forward important reforms. But with an accountant’s perspective. (No offense to accountants, I did quite a bit of accounting at school) Figures, percentages, what have you. But no vision for the country.
        Ask your politicos that: “What is your vision for Australia?”. Then you’ll see whether you agree… 🙂
        Have a nice week-end.
        Brian

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Brian. I am having a lovely weekend, and I think you ask a very good question there. What is your vision for Australia? The current politicians are liable to say things like, They want to make Australia great again (sound familiar?); They want our kids to grow up safe, to be able to find jobs and enjoy their weekends at the footy or the beach…. .blah blah blah… hyperbole without substance….. Many are hoodwinked by his campaign slogan, How good is Australia! – he is a man with marketing background – nuff said?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Nuff said indeed. I was in Marketing for 30 years… I know what you mean. The affair of Politics and Marketing has been a disaster… Now, in Marketing there has to be vision. If you don’t know who and what your brand is, what it brings to the consumer, your brand is as good as dead. And a slogan does not make a strategy. Example: Germany basically wants to be a “Big Switzerland”. Eine grosse Schweiz. Understandable. But their whole strategy is oriented around that. Now, France? Do we want to be a “Big Belgium”? Or pretend we are a super power we can’t afford to be anymore…
            Ask around, who and what do you want Australia to be? 🙂
            Take care.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The affair between politics and marketing. It is natural but abominable at the same time. Leaves policy changes open to lobbyists and corrupt elements. I will ask that question, Brian and see what the Aussie bloggers at least say. My opinion- I would like to see the clever country, mooted in the eighties come to pass. We have so many innovative technologies that get sold overseas as there is little interest in funding anything not related to homes and holes, (the mining industries). I would also love to see us become the electric car/ solar nation of the world! Sustainable tourism and developments that get precedence over profit and habitat destruction and of course fast transition away from fossil fuels. Is that too idyllic or too left wing for mainstream Australia to bite down on? The electorate appears to think so.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand your reluctance to like this post, Phyllis. It seems quite wrong to like it, and it should be. Who likes to watch their once prosperous country experience a slow decline into obselencence, complacency and rot?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a sad fact and that politicians and the political systems are happier with knee jerks than careful organized future plans. It seems also to be culturally dependent, Manja. Thid is not to be confused with living in the moment. The Chinese are the masters of long term planning – perhaps this explains in part why the Corona virus got away from them? Which begs the question- how are you doing over there now? The mortality rate is escalating in Italy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is enlightening. I was not aware of all these issues. From this part of the world, it seems Australia must be rich with all those raw materials and mining industry. Lately, I have read how the Indian conglomerate, Adani was stuck in big environmental issues. The whole problem centres around consumerism and capitalistic tendencies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adani is a dirty work in some parts here, Arv, whilst in other parts, it is a champion of job prospects. Unfortunately, it is hard to balance the cost of the environment against the prospect of work in a country area where they are desperate to find work. Some of the main problems are that desperation for the potential for work –
      Politicians like to make promises of supporting new industries which help the job situation.
      The company Adani needs to use massive amounts of water in a place where water is rationed and is precious. So the farms and people will miss out and the water will go to the coal mine.
      The environmental track record of Adani is not good. The company is very untrustworthy and has already breached environmental laws.
      Finally, noone wants to invest in coal anymore. It is a relic of the past if our planet is to have any chance of a future. Solar energy and other sustainable energies are a better way to spend money than a new coal mine…….
      Capitalism democracy is in many ways a flawed system. Letting the market dictate what happens is a road to more money being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. More poverty not less.
      I do think many Indians might think Australia is a panacea for their economic problems. It once may have been a country that would welcome and embrace immigrants who could build a new life, but the economic problems spill over into fear and distrust. You can still make a good life here, but it is getting harder and harder. Very little permanent work. A country needs more than just mineral wealth to succeed. That is a myth that has led us to where we are today.

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      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the reality that Australia is facing. I agree we need to put environment first. Every system has it’s flaw, so does capitalism. Over the last few years, we have been witnessing this as well. Who knows this will fail someday?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately, it is.. especially with all the coral bleaching due to rise in ocean temperature from global warming.
        Hope it’ll replenish in future, bring back the charm with all the effective action plans aiming at the same.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for your comment, Ar Gopika. Some of the funds for the stimulus package to save Australia from economic collapse during the covid crisis have come from levies which are supposed to benefit the Barrier Reef, so I don’t know that there is much hope for the reef. The current governments do not seem to realize the precarious state it is in and how many tourists come here to see it. Mind you, the tourists are heading here at the moment, but I remain hopeful that things will return to normal one day.

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          1. Present economic collapse is definitely a crisis and to address it is an emergency . Estimated around 70,000 jobs created from great barrier reef, reels around $6 billion annually. Similar is the case for most of the international and domestic tourist destinations.
            Economy and environment, both being the pillars of sustainability are interlinked.
            Moreover, services provided by these ecosystems are inevitable like how reef provides coastal protection, erosion prevention and nurture wide range of marine animals and plants.
            Hope policies and action plans turns out favourable for all pillars of sustainability.

            Like

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    Like

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