Kevin Rudd has taken the unusual, but I think admirable (and seemingly popular), step of convening a national summit to map out Australia's long term future and is looking for ideas on a range of issues that will be impacted by peak oil (particularly population, sustainability, climate change and water and security and international relations).
A website will soon be established allowing all Australians to make submissions on each of the policy areas, so I thought I'd open it up for suggestions - what would (or will) you propose in a submission ?
My top 5 suggestions :
* increase the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) to 30%
* introduce a carbon tax, starting off a low base and increasing until coal fired power has a similar cost to wind or concentrated solar power today
* increase fuel efficiency standards for vehicles
* rebuild / expand the national rail system for freight haulage
* modernise and expand public transport systems in major cities
KEVIN RUDD will ask 1000 of the "best and brightest brains" to map out a strategy for Australia's long-term future in areas ranging from the economy and the environment to the arts and health.
The Prime Minister said yesterday a two-day Australia 2020 summit in Parliament House in April would bring together talented people from outside government to look beyond the usual short-term focus of politics and policymaking. The aim would be to come up with policies to help meet challenges Australia faced over the next decade and beyond. "For too long Australian policymaking has been focused on short-term outcomes dictated by the electoral cycle," Mr Rudd said. "If Australia is to effectively confront the challenges of the future, we need to develop an agreed national direction that looks at the next 10 years and beyond." ...
The Government has identified 10 areas it will ask the summit to tackle. These are: directions for the economy; infrastructure; environmental issues including population, sustainability, climate change and water; rural Australia; national health strategy; strengthening communities; indigenous Australia; the arts; the future of government; and Australia's security and international relations.
Mr Rudd said Australia's three-year electoral cycle meant policymaking usually focused too much on the short term. He wanted to generate a focus on the longer term and to bring people from outside politics and government into national planning and policy formulation. "Government, irrespective of its political persuasion, does not have a monopoly on policy wisdom," he said. "To thrive and prosper in the future we need to draw on the range of talents, ideas and energy from across the Australian community."
The summit will be asked to produce policy options. The Government will announce by the end of the year which ones it accepts.
More at The Australian (who seem surprisingly supportive).