By Michael Giles
Three words; boring, boring, boring!
It’s an all too familiar refrain from many as we close in on another Federal election on Saturday, May 18.
In fact, early voting centres open next Monday week, on April 29.
And who can blame people for turning off from the self-interest, lack of vision politics we see today.
But the 2019 election could turn out to be an absolute watershed moment, not only in Australian politics but also in Australian society generally as our approach to immigration, workers’ pay rates, increasing the New Start allowance, the pension, energy policy, negative gearing affecting property values, and climate change, among other things, changes.
It’s cool (pardon the pun) to talk about climate change and at a candidates’ forum in Leongatha last Tuesday night they were talking about this being the ‘Climate Change Election’.
It may well be that in the end.
Certainly, many young people in particular are concerned about it and rightly so, it’s their future.
But there are also deep-seated concerns about Australia’s immigration policy and what it might come to if, as expected, Bill Shorten takes over the government benches.
And just as we should have a proper discussion about our attitude and favoured action on climate change, we also need to be allowed to have a discussion about immigration, even if it’s only to dispel the myths.
What’s your attitude to immigration and what might happen if there’s a change of government?
At the political forum last week, sitting MP Russell Broadbent said it was a complicated issue, but he believes we need to continue with a high immigration intake to balance our ageing population and poor reproduction rates.
Essentially the economy will collapse from being too top heavy without immigration to fill the worker-age, taxpayer demographic, he says.
But if it’s so important to the economy, while also helping to enrich our community, why doesn’t the government put more resources into supporting the various groups that do come here, ensuring that they not only settle in well but are also prepared to abide by our customs and laws.
The policy can be more supportive and security conscious without being seen as racist.
How important will this election be… maybe it’s not so boring after all.