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The economy is central to everything

October 15th, 2007 · No Comments

The Australian Federal Election’s first full day is today. The conservative government’s advertising campaign is heavily messaged with the tag line “The economy is central to everything”. The Prime Minister talks about the importance of a strong economy, but frustratingly, he misses the point. A strong economy at what cost? A strong economy based on the trade of fossil fuels? A strong economy that pumps tonnes of toxins into our air and water every day?

Our planet is dying because of the way we live, and the sicker our planet gets, the healthier the economy looks. This is not sustainable.

The truth is it is the environment that is central to everything. As the adages go – you can’t eat money, and there’s no jobs on a dead planet.

My generation demands more than just a strong economy, we want an economy that’s strong and sustainable. We won’t settle for wealth that relies primarily on digging up rocks in the ground. If anything, we’d prefer an economy that’s built on the strength of the rocks in our heads. That means education and innovation. That means supporting renewable energy programs and having the courage not to sell things just because we know there’s a buyer. It means protecting forests, restoring wetlands, making tough decisions because we’re wise enough to know that somethings have a value beyond money. Some things are too good to dig, to knock down, to chop up and to sell.

In this election, politicians are asking Australians to think about the kind of economy they want to live in, but that’s a stupid question. The question Australians are increasingly asking is what kind of a world do we want to live in? What kind of an environment do we want for our grandchildren to inherit and what kind of a community do we want to grow old in? Our answers to those questions will help answer this big question: what kind of economy do we want for Australia?

This post is part of Blog Action Day.

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Category: election07


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