Let’s re-imagine a new and better Australia

The IMAG_NE sign at Koolewong. Image CNPThe IMAG_NE sign at Koolewong. Image CNP

[Forum] As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in six, 12 months or more, let’s take the best we have discovered about ourselves in lockdown and re-imagine a new and better Australia.

We should all now try to take life a little more slowly, enjoy our precious family time, playing, learning and exercising together and appreciate the extended family even more.

As we all recall the choking smoke and multiple tragedies of lives and homes lost in the summer bushfires, over 1.2 billion animals killed and our gorgeous bush destroyed, let’s really appreciate our clearer skies and cleaner air.

With that in mind, why don’t we resolve to get serious about changing our economic base to reflect our desire to always breathe clean air and see as easily.

This will require real political leadership to press the fossil fuel pause button and ask the questions that will result in Australia becoming a smart country with advanced manufacturing using renewables.

We should put aside the opinions, echo chambers and all people who fuel polarization, and pay attention to the research and scientists, just as we have done during this current COVID-19 pandemic.

We must stop falling for the furphy that renewable power can’t provide enough power to produce steel or be reliable 24 hours a day, because it can, and this has been shown.

We can make “green” steel which is in demand around the world.

Our infrastructure funds should be put in to building social housing, public transport for the future and building the new electricity grid required for renewables.

Why don’t we start manufacturing electric or even hydrogen cars here, now?

The public at large is crying out for affordable non fossil fuel cars.

We can build a green hydrogen hub using electrolysis from water through renewable energy and export it to Japan and other Asian countries.

We should encourage business co-operatives where all have a financial stake in the business and profits are shared.

We must fund all levels of education, but particularly tertiary, if we are to become the smart economy of the future.

We need research and development more than ever, as well as advanced trades and IT professionals.

Whilst doing all of the above, we must also turn our attention to the devastated bushfire areas that need so much rehabilitation.

While the economy is still recovering, the government should retain the JobKeeper allowance and, for those interested, get them retrained and working on that rehabilitation all over Australia.

We could extend this to disused mine sites and other degraded landscapes around Australia.

Use our unemployed, or under-employed, to start massive tree planting projects as identified by local Councils and landholders all over Australia.

Invest in regenerative agriculture and carbon farming.

Grow crops suitable for the second driest continent in the world.

Get serious about curbing carbon and pollution so we can try to save the Great Barrier Reef.

Trust the science, it has proven to be correct about COVID-19, it is also right about why our earth is in such a frail state and facing a dire future without intervention.

Please don’t let this pandemic be another missed opportunity to change course.

Every person who has lost their job, or will need to retrain and change their career, needs the government to show them that they are valued and important human beings who matter, and that they are vital to our future prosperity.

All of the above suggestions will require some government funding to start, but they would lead to a happier, healthier, cleaner, richer and more fulfilled society and country.

Why don’t we give it a red hot go?

Email, May 14
Sue Wynn, Mannering Park