If this is true I am voting for Jeff Kennett. For the non-Victorians he was the best premier this state has seen in a couple of generations.
This election, vote for responsible and exciting government Ö and growth, writes Jeff Kennett
May 10, 2016 10:00pm
Jeff KennettHerald Sun
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Jeff Kennett wants us to send his PREG team to Canberra.
LADIES and gentlemen, it is my honour to lead a team of politicians seeking re-election to the Australian parliament, plus a number of new candidates standing for the first time.
Collectively, we are a diverse group of men and women, certainly a cross-section of the Australian electorate. We are the Party for Responsible and Exciting Government, or PREG, and we are a team, because teams, not individuals, deliver positive outcomes.
We pledge to act together, in your and the nationís interest. We pledge to ensure the best people possible lead our public sector agencies and we will work closely with them and encourage them to offer their views because nobody is in possession of all knowledge or new ideas.
We pledge to consult and communicate with the community and community agencies and industry groups as best as possible. But then decisions must be made in the communityís best interest.
I pledge that during this campaign my team and I will conduct a positive campaign explaining how we will create exciting opportunities through growth over the next 10 years.
There are four issues I want to address.
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Our three tiers of government reflect times past, when great distances and slow communication dictated that we needed many forms of government.
But now we are over-governed. It is inefficient and costly with far too much duplication.
If elected, my government will review the functions of governments and report back within six months. We will then decide how best to implement the findings, preferably with the agreement of the other tiers. But if there is no agreement, I will not rule out a referendum to seek the nationís support for radical change to make government relevant for the next 100 years. The referendum would also seek backing to extend the term of the federal government to four years.
For the past decade Australia has spent more than it has generated in revenue. Our debt is too high and interest payments of $12 billion a year deny us the opportunity to invest that money in social and economic priorities.
If elected, I and my advisers will go through every item of expenditure to identify areas government should not be involved in, or where we can spend more efficiently ó and more humanely.
Our assets, including water, must be used wisely.
Unless we do so our expenditure rates will mean greater long-term pain than the short-term pain our review will impose. But none of the changes will be retrospective and we pledge to return to a balanced Budget at the end of four years.
PATH TO GROWTH
We need a simpler taxation policy that encourages individuals and businesses to grow. My government will also invest in a national water policy that will have a 100-year life. The governing body will be bipartisan as there will be many changes of government in that time.
Water is fundamental to the good health of the population and the land mass, and our policy is the base for the second initiative we commit to today: a national agriculture policy.
Itís goal is to build Australiaís capacity so that within 10 years we will be able to feed not just our own 23 million people, but another 500 million people and, after that, a billion.
Australia sits at the base of Asia, which has a population of four billion and rising. Most Asian countries are net importers of food. We have the capacity to meet much of their needs, but we have not seized the opportunity to do so.
The water and agriculture policies will be our main priorities and we will back both with funds for science and research.
Such policies will create employment for thousands, from the highly qualified to the unskilled, particularly in rural and provincial Australia where in some cases youth unemployment is as high as 30 per cent.
The outcome of both policies is not just the responsibility of government but if we provide the leadership, the private sector will provide much of the required infrastructure and energy.
Of course, there are other needs to be met, particularly in the provision of infrastructure. But a sound government with consistent policies will kickstart growth.
SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES
We must ensure Australians in need are looked after with dignity and to do that we need a strong economy.
We need to better understand the culture and aspirations of our First Peoples. While many are successful, many, particularly indigenous children, live in traumatic environments.
Economic growth and an expanding economy will allow us to address unemployment, particularly among the youth. Sadly, we are now seeing generations of families who have never been employed. That is simply unsustainable.
PREG will ensure all society is treated fairly.
Australia must take notice of situations overseas and we must continue to take some of those genuinely dispossessed. But we mustnít lose sight of our needs at home.
Our environment is all pervasive. It is our people, the quality of the air, the water we drink, our waterways and the quality of our land.
We all have a responsibility to improve our environment for future generations. That is why our national water policy is so important, so overdue. Without water, neither individuals nor our land survive.
You do not have to be a Greenie to be green.
My government will enhance our environment, not necessarily by locking up assets but by using them responsibly.
Australians need to be brave at this election and think long-term. We need real change not incremental change or, worse, no change.
All of what I have outlined today is possible if the public has the courage and foresight to vote for a new order on July 2.
Victorians know it is possible. My government did it here from 1992-1999.
That period changed forever the way we did things in this state and the priorities we set. It created the base that has allowed successive governments to deliver surpluses while other states are languishing.
Yes, there was short-term pain, but it was delivered for long-term gain. We Victorians are the clear winners as a result of a positive agenda that was advocated consistently and then delivered.
At the heart of Victoriaís success was a well-qualified team of politicians, working with committed public servants, with a union movement that supported our vision for growth (regardless of what it said publicly) and a business community that was prepared to invest in the governmentís vision.
My team offers you great excitement. Some readjustments, certainly, but as we come through that, potentially decades of growth, of security and, importantly, fun.
Have a good day.
Jeff Kennett is a former premier of Victoria and joint leader of PREG