Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

2020 Summit - Henry's shopping list

By Henry Thornton - posted Friday, 18 April 2008

As the countdown to the 2020 Summit continues, participants have been getting in early with their favourite ideas.

A prominent law professor has said it should be illegal for politicians to lie. Perhaps the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) should be given the task of policing this, as they supposedly do for Company Directors who issue dud prospectuses, tell lies or fail to report "material developments".

The Prime Minister himself has got in early with his plans to properly educate kids.


Michelle Grattan and colleagues report today. "ALL Australian parents would have access to low-cost child care and welfare services under a proposal Kevin Rudd will take to his 2020 ideas summit.

"Days before the summit begins, the Prime Minister has outlined a vision for universal access to a network of ‘one stop’ child-care centres.

"The centres would provide a broad mix of maternal and child health services, including feeding advice and vaccinations, long day care, preschool education and support for parents.

"Addressing the Sydney Institute last night, Mr Rudd said his plan would need partnerships between various levels of government, as well as private and community service providers".

This is a great idea, but we all recall the promise that no child would live in poverty.

Read Emma Tom in The Australian today for a searing account of the state-of-play with some of our most vulnerable kids.


Other clever ideas from Australia's most reforming PM include bringing the troops home from Iraq, heating up the debate on becoming a republic and encouraging China to do something about human rights abuse in Tibet and elsewhere.

Presumably Mr Rudd also encouraged China's leaders to do something about climate change, which we must hope involves them buying still to be perfected Australian technology to clean up their coal-fired power stations, at the rate of one per week, as they are built.

Henry has not been invited to the great meeting of Australia's best and brightest. But he cannot avoid the temptation to add some ideas. These are oldies but goodies, and they are presented here so that they do not get overlooked in the rush of new ideas.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

First published on Henry Thornton’s blog on April 17, 2008.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

9 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Henry Thornton (1760-1815) was a banker, M.P., Philanthropist, and a leading figure in the influential group of Evangelicals that was known as the Clapham set. His column is provided by the writers at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Henry Thornton

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Henry Thornton
Article Tools
Comment 9 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy