A POLITICAL VIEWPOINT

We need a CHANGE! Not necessarily in the Government of the day, but in the way we are governed. Politicians have become the slaves of their Party, in many cases led by self interest rather than the interests of Australia. 

Do most politicians go into politics wanting to make a difference?  If so they then find that their Parties require them to tow the line in order to push the party’s ideology, not taking into account what may be best for our country. 

We need our politicians who stand up and say – “That’s a good idea. Let’s get it done.” A bipartisan approach! 

When good ideas are put forward our representatives should be able to vote freely on what is in the best interests of their constituents. It doesn’t matter what Party or Independent puts forward the proposal. If it is a good idea, discuss it, modify it, make it the best that it can be and get it done.

I have experienced the Education sector for forty years and in the first twenty five years there was relative stability. Then Ministers for Education along with the Government of the day decided, for political reasons, to change policies in the way things are taught in schools. Often these changes were instigated by people who did not work in, or had no working knowledge, of the system. Changes came along when they failed the students’ education suffered. So the next Government came and made their changes and the kids suffered again and again and again …… It is still happening. Experts in the field should run education. Stop Ministers being able to change policy on a whim. How quickly can they get across a totally new portfolio? One minute they’re the Minister for Health, the next Minister for Defense or lost dogs or such.   Kids, teachers and schools need stability and when changes come, let them be good for kids not a budget bottom line. 

I suggest they take Education and Health out of the hands of politicians. Have a Board of Education and a Board of Hospitals and Health that are comprised of a wide variety of experts in that field who have only their specific expertise to cater for with innovation being ongoing with schemes that last over many years, not just the life of a Government. 

Get rid of the lawyers and financiers telling our Institutions how to teach, or what is the best way to look after the sick. They are not experts in that field. 

The country needs stability and changes made when needed. Success comes when the people working in a system are proud of that system and what follows is positive achievement.

How can teachers teach properly when so much of their time is concerned with budgets for the school and paperwork that doesn’t help kids learn. The best schools were where meetings were about what was best for the kids. Teachers had time to get together with colleagues about units of work, teachers had time to prepare thoroughly and there was pride in what was achieved. Now much of their meeting time is taken up with  budgets and funding and never ending paperwork.

The same could be said in the Health industry, the Police Force, the Military, Ambulance, Rural issues, Industry, Local Councils, Environment …….. the list goes on. 

Are any of these groups treated the way they would like to be treated by our politicians? Or do they feel overpowered with paperwork and bureaucracy rather than being able to do their job to the best of their ability. 

Maybe it is time that politicians allocated a slice of the pie (budget) to each of the ministeries and let experts in that field take it from there.

No knee jerk reaction to the twenty–four hour news cycles. Experts should be invited to join boards (no Party politics involved) and suggestions as to future directions. 

Would our State run better? Would our country be better? It surely would have to be an improvement on what we have!

The problem for all governments is to fix taxation rates which will bring a maximum amount of revenue to the treasury, and at the same time not bear too heavily on the taxpayer or on business enterprises. A delicate balancing act. 

A sound taxation policy must take into consideration three factors; it must produce sufficient revenue for the Government; it must lessen the burden of taxation on those least able to bear it; and it must remove those influences which might impede the effective, steady development of business and industry on which our country depends for employment and prosperity. 

A permanent taxation system should be designed over many years and shouldn’t target any class of taxpayer. It should be designed so the ultimate effect is the prosperity of the country as a whole. Remember the Henry Report a few years back (Ken Henry – a local lad now retired back here) where he designed a reform for our tax policy. Great ideas that looked at the “big picture”. Shelved by the Government of the day. 

We need good ideas! Taxation policy should never be made the football for either side of politics. It should be worked out by those who have made a careful study of the subject and are prepared to recommend a course that will be in the country’s best interests.

By paying our taxes we are making our country a better place. Our taxes pay for the things our communities need. It is strange we have so many who feel tax avoidance is acceptable.  

We all need to do our part! Be interested, let your voice be heard. We need a country run by politicians with innovation, insight and an ability to take advice from experts.  

Make your vote count!

R. Nicoll 

Taree.

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