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Economy

May 30, 2011

Australia can afford to have vision

As a nation we've never been better placed to tackle long term issues like health, our ageing population, transport, sustainability, communications, superannuation, climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor.

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As part of their compelling series on Australia, The Economist has examined just how stinking rich we are right now:

“These statistics reflect an astonishing transformation of Australia’s fortunes,” marvels the mag. “…the terms of trade have reached new heights. As the central bank’s Mr Stevens has put it, five years ago a shipload of iron ore would have bought about 2,200 flat-screen television sets; today it buys about 22,000. That is partly because import prices have fallen, but more because export prices have risen. Neither trend can continue indefinitely, but the average terms of trade over the next two decades are likely to be higher than over the past three.”

We’ve said it before — as a nation we’ve never been better placed to tackle long term issues like health, our ageing population, transport, sustainability, communications, superannuation, climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor.

And yet we’re reluctant to cash in on this position.

Over the weekend inventor Saul Griffiths spoke at the TEDx Sydney conference. Griffiths is the founder/principal scientist at Other Lab, where he focuses on engineering solutions for energy production and energy efficiency.

Griffiths marvelled at Australia’s collective lack of imagination — not just from government: “To paraphrase the environment movement, if we try really, really hard, and make a lot of sacrifices, the future will suck a little bit less than otherwise.” Griffiths is also a Tin Tin fan:

“I want to live in a future walking on zero gravity on the moon, with a fish bowl on my head and my dog is walking beside me. There is a collective failure of our imagination if we let ourselves believe that the future is going to suck. We have to inspire our children to do some awesome stuff.”

As Climate Spectator reports today, Griffith is based in the US — mainly because of the lack of resources given to the technology sector in Australia. He implored Australia to think about how we will use our money and resources.

“We should be using investment this in an intelligent way. We are a very rich country, but we are not investing. We are investing in casinos and horse racing…”

So what are we consumed with talking about today? Not our collective wealth and what to do with it, but someone else’s fat wallet and whether it negates their right to have a political opinion.

Aren’t we bigger than this? We can certainly afford to be.

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14 comments

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14 thoughts on “Australia can afford to have vision

  1. Harvey Tarvydas

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    National imperative worth a conversation is this editorial, thank you Crikey for handing the people of this fortunate nation the opportunity to declare themselves either pathetic hopeless twits or smart modern human animals that know they live on a planet and not in endless Aussie heaven of no responsibility.

    That seriously lucky odd thing called Barnaby should stop sucking frozen sh*t- on-a-stick things because when he opens his mouth the stuff he says sounds and smells like crap. ‘Barnaby-Mr-Market-forces’ ideology and party doesn’t know what your super golden nugget…..
    “……five years ago a shipload of iron ore would have bought about 2,200 flat-screen television sets; today it buys about 22,000……” means.
    ‘Barnaby-Mr-Market-forces’ doesn’t understand that when the price of coal (the stuff electricity is made of – make it simple out of respect for that thing he carries around in his skull) goes up more than ten fold like the Iron Ore then three things happen
    1. Electricity price in Australia goes up heaps but the little Aussie twit thinks it’s the carbon tax which doesn’t exist until he opens his completely stupid mouth that won’t stop sucking those discussing things and then he turns his pathetic misunderstanding of everything and his stinking breath on the lovely, smart and wonderful Aussie Cate.
    2. The billionaires who dig coal out of the ground get richer because they can and its not their job to keep the price down for the struggling Aussies
    3. The struggling Aussie gets poorer Barnaby not because of Cate or the non-existent carbon tax.
    Cate knows all this but you Barnaby don’t and you are showing that off to the world. What did the Rhodes Scholar offer you, the twit of the year Gold Crown or a truck load of those things you suck? You and your friends should be deeply ashamed of your lies and stupidity.

    His pathetic political group think that beautiful, intelligent Aussie achievers like Cate and her friends should be ashamed of themselves for stating their intelligent concern that science is telling us to watch out for our planets future health but they cheer when the richest people in Australia dress in overalls and hang out on a truck begging not to have to pay anymore tax cause it will spoil their ‘whose the richest billionaire’ competition.

    A medical fact Barnaby, psychopaths don’t know shame.

    @MICHAEL CROOK — Posted Monday, 30 May 2011 at 5:48 pm
    Your on fire Michael, good on you.

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