There was a time not so long ago when Australia’s future looked bright.
In 2008, Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generation and COAG agreed to a definitive strategy to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.
We had successfully negotiated the global financial crisis with continued growth and relatively low unemployment.
We were world leaders in putting a price on carbon. We were addressing water issues with the Murray-Darling buyback scheme and extending marine parks. We had introduced water trigger legislation giving the federal government the right to oppose mining in sensitive areas.
We had expanded the Renewable Energy Target and established the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Wind capacity trebled and Labor supported the installation of more than 1 million solar panels.
Needs based funding for school education was underway, tertiary education had been expanded, and we had an agreement with the states on hospital funding.
The rollout of a world class fast NBN was underway.
We had a mechanism for deriving some income from the mining of our natural resources which was just about to start earning some money as they moved into production phase and had used up their accelerated depreciation.
We had introduced paid parental leave and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
There was a Royal Commission into child sex abuse instigated.
Our troops had finally come home from Afghanistan.
We had our first female Prime Minister who was admired around the world who looked on bemusedly at the vilification she received at home.
But Rupert Murdoch wasn’t happy.
We had a debt and deficit disaster, which is now much larger.
They were a dysfunctional illegitimate government who knifed their own leader, just like the Libs have done.
We had to get rid of the carbon and mining taxes to improve investment and employment, both of which have gone backwards after the repeal.
And Juliar told us there would be no carbon tax, just like Tony said there would be no cuts to health, education or the ABC.
So what do we have to look forward to now?
Another war in the Middle East.
Paying hundreds of billions for war toys.
Paying hundreds of millions for political witch hunts aka Royal Commissions designed to demonise Labor and the union movement.
Becoming a toxic dump for the world’s nuclear waste.
A great big new tax on everything you buy.
Paying billions to polluters.
Forking out millions to try and keep Telstra’s copper network working so we can have really slow broadband.
Lots of big new coal mines and CSG mines dotting our prime farmland.
Getting sued by global corporations if our laws interfere with their profits.
An influx of 457 visa workers.
Condemnation by the world for torturing asylum seekers.
The selling off of all our assets.
Working till we are 70.
The removal of penalty rates.
Being told that government spending on everything to do with society is unsustainable because we need more money for security.
I sure hope Rupert is happy because we have paid a hell of a price for him to get his way.
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