Thursday 24 May 2018
On Monday my wife and I attended a function at which a friend, Dan Clancy, a councillor with the La Trobe Valley Council was the guest speaker. The La Trobe Valley was the home of the Hazelwood power station that closed in 2017.
Dan is a relatively new councillor and in an all to brief discussion with him I asked how things were going. He explained that the most frustrating thing was “getting things done.”
It seems that even the most simple of things required a survey, a report, an inspection, analysis, examination, or a study of sorts.
In order to generate activity and jobs after the loss of Hazelwood, Council and both State and Federal Governments are contributing a generous amount of dollars to build a new aquatic centre, Performing Arts Center and a Sports centre in Traralgon.
To cut a long story short it got me thinking about “getting things done” and how long it could sometimes take. I recall hearing John Butten the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce in the Hawke Cabinet explaining on talkback radio just how hard it was, and how long it took, to turn the car industry around.
Then there were the setbacks that Architect Ulson had with building the Sydney Opera House.
But there are those among us, those who seem to have a natural aptitude for getting things done despite having obstacles placed in their way.
One such man who had the ability to crash through regardless of the circumstances he confronted was Gough Whitlam.
Please Note: This is a piece about getting things done using Whitlam as an example. I have had the debate about his worth as a Prime Minister many times and don’t wish to have it again.
It was on May 23, 1974, that Gough introduced a Universal Health Care system to Australia.
The Leader of the Labor Party from 1967 to 1977, Whitlam led his party to power for the first time in 23 years at the 1972 election. He won the 1974 election before being controversially dismissed by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, at the climax of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.
The Whitlam Governments Achievements
“In his brief three years the Prime Minister produced profound and lasting changes – reforms which could not have been so broadly conceived and so firmly implemented by a lesser man. The Whitlam Government without doubt was the most creative and innovatory in the nations history. Under Whitlam, Australia’s foreign policy came of age. His Government made education its top priority and poured money into schools and colleges throughout the country. It created Medibank, set up community health centers, gave a new deal to pensioners, took an active role in urban improvement and development, provided funds directly to local government, and gave a healthy boost to sexual equality and aboriginal advancement. It promoted greater Australian ownership and control of resources, legislated against restrictive trade practices, introduced the most civilised and sensible divorce laws in the world, gave encouragement to the arts, and in its final budget implemented some fundamental reforms which made the income tax system considerably more equitable. Whitlam himself dominated both his party and the Parliament, and he commanded respect when he traveled overseas in a way no previous Australian Prime Minister had done.”
Extract from Laurie Oakes book “Crash through or Crash”.
My question is, how do today’s current crop of politicians compare?
My thought for the day
About that red headed women. ”She thinks climate is the only thing you can do with a ladder.”