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2020 Summit « Previous | |Next »
April 19, 2008

It is hard for me to judge the 2020 Summit from the wilderness of NZ's South Island. I'm aware, from reading Crikey that The Australian, has swung around from its initial support for the summit as a worthy successor to its own new policy agenda for prosperity to calling it a "gabfest" and muttering about the chattering classes and Howard-haters.

2020Summit1.jpg Leak

I just don't have the time on the internet to be able to read the submissions or to comment on them. So I cannot evaluate how they address the way the Rudd Government has linked its values of equity and community to the country's economic problem of falling productivity and the Government's long-term priority of investing in our kids.

Will they address the coal industry's shameful history of climate change denial and obstruction of abatement efforts to fight climate change. Will they question the enhanced respectability to the coal lobby by the commonwealth government?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:20 PM | | Comments (9)


Gary, while you're stuck in the bucolic setting of NZ's South Island Ignatius Blanchett is helping out with new ideas that will fashion our future. We're the envy of the world right now.

You're not missing much. Most of the media is reporting it in simple good vs evil terms, is it worthwhile or is it crap? The usual media suspects doing their predictable partisan thing. Lots of coverage of Cate Blanchett's baby and speculation over why Kevin Rudd sat on the floor at one point.

the ABC has TV coverage but so far it's been the ceremonial bits. Not much in the way of ideas we hadn't already heard during the week. No serious live blogging. Andrew Bolt is about the best source so far, but he's only mentioning things he can criticise.

Muttering darkly seems to be the core of the Australian's editorial policy these days.

Rumpole has a point about celebrity at the summit. Blanchett and Jackman guarantee much wider publicity than it may have had otherwise. New Idea has an excuse to cover it and the Hollywood entertainment press can photoshop post-baby blemishes and a few more chins all over Blanchett.

It's very Rudd. Very celebrity politics.

The big ideas seem to be very conventional. An Australian republic was at the top of the governance stream's list of ideas.

The other big ideas of this group were: a charter or bill of rights, collaborative governance, a modern Australian federation and open and transparent government.

The group also put forward three policies: recognising indigenous Australians in the constitutional preamble, a national cooperation commission to ensure state and federal governments work together, and automatic enrolment to vote at the age of 18.

And that's it.

I am deeply disappointed. A ban on new coal-fired power plants has been left out of recommendations by the 2020 summit despite widespread support among environment delegates.

Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong cited a lack of consensus in not including a moratorium on building plants which did not capture and store carbon.How come there is still support for building coal-fired power stations these days?

There is no explicit reference to the internet in any of the summit topics. No internet, no telecom either, no new media or digital.I'm amazed.

You say that I'm stuck in the bucolic setting of NZ's South Island

I'll have you know that I'm in Queenstown, the adventure playground of the world. It is a world of rapacious and naked commercialism.

the conservative side is whining about it as a waste of time because there has been no rabbit pulled out of a hat,but if there was, they would then belittle it as more rudd symbolism.seems like sour grapes to me.

The "Indigenous" group was atrociously bad. "Best and brightest?" What a joke.