Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Democracies Elect Govts to Serve the Greater Good

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Democracies Elect Govts to Serve the Greater Good

Article excerpt

WHO ever came up with the concept of self-assessment as a suitable means of regulating business while eliminating so-called red and green tape missed a fundamental responsibility of government.

Like it or loathe it, accept it or seek to avoid it, we live in a democracy meant to function for the greater good. Health, education, maintenance of the environment as an inter-generational responsibility, fair conditions of employment and planning that has at its heart the quality of life of those impacted by new development should be fundamental to who we are, how our laws are enacted and to whose benefit they serve.

That of course is not now the case. We have allowed ourselves to be directed into an existence where everything is subjugated to the making of a profit at any cost to the broader objective of that greater good.

The unseemly rush to extract gas and coal from the ground with little thought to the long-term impact on more sustainable endeavours are immediate examples. Green and social welfare groups, including many eminent Australians, are now petitioning Malcolm Turnbull to seek an international moratorium on new coal mines in line with the plea from President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kiribati, a small Pacific country threatened by rising sea levels.

Meanwhile the Queensland Labor Government, with Federal Liberal Coalition support pursues the Adani Mine project despite cost, declining demand and clear evidence of environmental impact the management of which will ultimately be an exercise in self-assessment by a business whose primary motivation is profit.

George Bender's daughter Helen told Q&A on Monday night one of the last things her father said before taking his own life was: "No-one is listening, why are you wasting my time".

It was an expression of his hopeless realisation that a 10-year fight to stop coal seam gas exploration on his property would inevitably fail. …

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