Sunday, April 20, 2008

1,007 delegates gathered at Parliament House in Canberra this weekend for the Australia 2020 Summit How good would it be if we were our imagined selves and not our real selves? Australia's 2020 Summit

View from the floor: Vision for the future Republic, treaty and tax reform top the list
RADICAL tax reform, a push for a republic by 2010, a new bill of rights and a treaty between black and white Australia were among a swag of ideas flung onto the national agenda at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's historic 2020 Summit yesterday.

Nation building recommendations floated by the 1000 delegates who gathered at Parliament House in Canberra included:
A move towards a republic within two years, as flagged by Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus. Delegates in the governance group originally agreed to a 12-year target but, when Mr Debus challenged them to commit to a shorter time frame, he was cheered and clapped. "I want us to say that we will proceed to a republic by 2010," Mr Debus said. Summiteers in the stream voted three to one to endorse the ambitious target.
Higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol and a "fat tax" on junk food, to help fund more preventative health programs.

Strengthening Communities; [Fewer homes were built in NSW last year than any year since records began in the mid 1980s, figures from the Bureau of Statistics show Buyers scarce despite house shortages; Kevin Rudd's world tour might be over, but his fingerprints were everywhere this week Talking about a Kevolution ]
• · If Rudd takes just one of these observations to heart, this book will have been worthwhile Dear Mr Rudd;Olympic torch sizzles in Australia: Kevin Rudd has little option other than to go to the Olympics in Beijing or risk offending China. Protests will make China reluctant to lose face
• · A SYDNEY businessman is taking legal action after he was allegedly knocked unconscious three times by police and transit officers at Town Hall station. Mark Girvan - Brother of British lord sues over Sydney station assault; Google defies sceptics with 30% profit rise - Public trains The thrill of risking explicit exposure makes the naughty business wickedly arousing
• · · The State Government's promised power privatisation is hotting up with a Labor Party branch pushing to have Premier Morris Iemma and Treasurer Michael Costa kicked out of the party Move to sack Iemma, Costa on power sale; John Pilger gathers journalism's revelations that have shaken the world While everyday reportage tells us the who, what, when and where of events, it usually fails to chart the deeper, less accessible level that lies below - the how and why