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Everald's election edict

By Everald Compton - posted Wednesday, 25 May 2016


We are two weeks into the 2016 Australian Election and I have waited in vain to hear any policies of vision and conviction from either the Coalition, the Opposition or the Greens that will stir my passion as a proud Australian who wants to build and expand the quality of our nation.

Sadly, I have stared at a barren waste.

Our politicians have missed the heart beat of the nation. They are talking to the old fashioned electorate of yesteryear that no long exists.

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Nevertheless, there is little to be gained by being an armchair critic. So, I must put pen to paper and comment on some crucial policies that are lamentably missing from the political rhetoric. I reckon they will set alight our national fervour if we can discover just one political leader who will run with them and make them happen.

The first is to recognise that the rapid ageing of the population will destroy our nation economically and socially unless we urgently develop and implement a visionary plan to turn grey into gold.

So crucial is this issue that it is both lamentable and irresponsible that it is not a priority for any party.

A Minister for Longevity must be appointed and have powers to coordinate a strategy to develop visionary policies on pensions, superannuation, savings, mature age employment, age friendly housing, health, nursing homes, home care services, homelessness, transport, technology, volunteering, philanthropy, discrimination and intergenerational partnerships etc, etc.

This Minister must have Cabinet status and be located within Treasury with power to coordinate the efforts of every Minister who covers any of the issues listed above so ageing can be turned into an asset within five years.

There is no more important issue facing the nation. It is a far greater challenge than Climate Change and I say this as a staunch environmentalist.

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At the same time, we need a massive investment in water to make our nation droughtproof. The challenge has been before us since the first fleet arrived 225 years ago. We found the driest continent on earth and have concentrated on plundering it.

We waste 90% of the water that falls on the continent and do our best to contaminate the remainder.

It will take only a small investment to divert tropical water into the Murray Darling and Lake Eyre river systems as well as the Pilbara. Additionally, there is huge capacity to build new dams in isolated areas of agricultural productivity.

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About the Author

Everald Compton is Chairman of The Longevity Forum, a not for profit entity which is implementing The Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. He was a Founding Director of National Seniors Australia and served as its Chairman for 25 years. Subsequently , he was Chairman for three years of the Federal Government's Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing.

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