2020 delegates reflect a narrow vision

Kevin Rudd tells us that he is pulling together the “best and brightest” 1000 Australians for his 2020 summit in Canberra in April. Rudd has already been hammered for selecting only one woman, Cate Blanchett, among the 11 prominent Australians who will help select the participants. But it is not just Rudd’s gender blindness that is a problem.

The ABC’s Media Watch exposed the fact that 20 media organisations (News Ltd, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Channel 9, etc) have been invited to run competitions to select a member of the public to fill out the numbers-and stall any media criticism.

Not that we would expect much given that the chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd is chairing the session on the future of Australia’s governance.

David Morgan, chairing the session on the future of the Australian economy, is the former director of Westpac and now non-executive director of BHP-Billiton. And so the list goes on.

As far as vision for climate change goes there is perhaps even less cause for excitement. Kevin Rudd has been all over the place on climate change. In October 2007 he committed to 20 per cent carbon reduction by 2020. Then at Bali in January the Australian delegation said it would consider cutting greenhouse gas emissions by between 25 and 40 per cent although it refused to set a target. But don’t hold your breath for any sweeping vision for change at the Summit.

Roger Beale, who will chair the climate session, was Howard’s appointee for the Department of Environment and his Special Representative on Climate Change. He is presently a director of Connector Motorways-the company that runs Sydney’s Lane Cove toll tunnel among others.

What it does look like is a recipe for much hot air. We need a vision of a very different Australia from that imposed by 11 years of Howard. Where are the climate change campaigners, the Indigenous representatives and the people representing single parents and people with disabilities?

We hear a lot of talk about working families too-but we aren’t going to see them at the Summit either.

By Ian Rintoul


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