For democracies, all elections are important.
Some are just more important than others.
It is not our business here to urge a vote for a particular person or party.
Rather, we outline the issues that we think are important for an incoming government.
Our thinking is shaped by a particular view of the world and of the reality that Australia faces.
We take it as a given that without action on our part the climate will change and the social, economic and environmental consequences of change are potentially dire.
We take it as a given that world is more fractious and contested and that necessary action by nations to solve joint problems is harder.
We take it as a given that Australia can no longer live as we have.
We take it as a given that change is coming our way. How we live, how we produce and how we consume will change.
But we also take it as a given that we hold our destiny in our hands. We are not victims. We are not prisoners. We have both agency and courage.
The challenge therefore for the incoming government is to do better. Monies must be wisely spent; integrity must underpin action; priorities must be carefully identified; programs must be competently delivered; the nation must be properly engaged; citizens must be fully informed.
Back in May 1986 the then treasurer warned Australia that it had to take control of its own future:
If, in the final analysis, Australia is so undisciplined, so disinterested in its salvation and its economic well-being that it doesn’t deal with these fundamental problems . . . then you are gone . . . you are a banana republic.
We are now some 36 years down the track and face a different and greater set of challenges.
Time again to become interested in our own salvation as a nation.