In August 2016 I wrote a piece about dysfunctional government and how much patience was needed if one was to have any confidence in conservative governments ever reversing their incompetence.
There is probably no need for me to tell you that Tony Abbott won government in 2013 – he poured his ideology over society in a period of disastrous dysfunctional leadership that saw him warned by his party that he needed to shape up or ship out.
His answer was to say that “Good government starts today” and we all wondered why it didn’t start on day one.
It never came, of course, and yet another Prime Minister in Malcolm Turnbull not only promised better government, but a more open one that would listen and be more transparent.
Now I am a patient man, but I must say it’s not infinite. I’m still waiting for it to happen. Take for example the kerfuffle at the time over the banking sector.
Blind Freddy knew that the banks had been ripping off their customers for yonks. There is ample evidence that they had destroyed the lives of many thousands of people.
The conduct of their financial advisers was criminal and a drover’s dog knew that they had manipulated interest rates, even colluded on them.
In short, they had behaved criminally. I recall thinking at the time that if a government that was hopelessly dysfunctional can have a Royal Commission into alleged corruption in the Union Movement, why can it not have one into our financial institutions?
Well, you all know what happened after that. The government relentlessly resisted a financial services Royal Commission until the scandal became bigger than Ben Hur and the chariots of fire were let loose.
Good conservative governance requires patience. Lots of it. Which rather laboriously brings me to my point.
Seven long years after Tony Abbott spoke those now infamous words, “Good government starts today” I am still mustering every ounce of something that is very foreign to me. I am by nature a very impatient man.
And so it was when I learnt that none of the $250 million set aside for ‘The Arts’ in June had been allocated.
Art in all it’s forms is just a reflection of society.
By God, they didn’t take long deciding on the allocation of funds prior to the last election.
Now being a thespian of long-standing, a composer of poetry, short story writer and portrait artist, I was a touch upset for those in the arts who are now unemployed. Well, I’m more than a touch upset, I’m actually filthy on the government that since the announcement by Minister Paul Fletcher on 25 June, nothing has been done.
“Thousands of jobs across Australia’s arts industry will be backed with a new $250 million targeted package to help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.”
“We are backing over 600,000 Australians in the cultural and creative sectors whose work contributes $112 billion to our economy. These sectors have been hit hard during the pandemic, and the Government’s investment will play an important role in the nation’s economic recovery,” Minister Fletcher said.
Surely, in the circumstances we find ourselves, time is of the essence. Drawing up the guidelines for the allocation of funds could be done overnight. As I said the sports rorts funding was a very hasty effort. They didn’t waste any time with that.
Some six weeks have now flowed under the bridge since the announcement of the arts package. The Office of the Arts has submitted the draft guidelines but Minister Fletcher is sitting on them.
Once the Minister gives the go-ahead it will take another eight to twelve weeks for the cash to start flowing. So it will be November before anyone gets funding. Eight months after the announcement meaning we won’t see any production until the New Year.
Please forgive my impatience but I thought we were in some sort of crisis.
My thought for the day
An artist creates a sculpture alone; a painter uses a brush in isolation. But music forms a community, where the Spirit of life can be felt.
It didn’t take him long to give Murdoch another $10 million on top of the previous $30 million. Still waiting on an answer as to what for. Just be patient.
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