Saturday, November 30, 2013

What did this Roman, Whitlam, ever do for us?

Noel Pearson delivers the 2013 Whitlam Oration
Extract @ 21 min:

Whitlam's was a reform government for which policy and economic management were secondary. In less than three years an astonishing reform agenda leapt off the policy platform into legislation and the machinery and programme of government. The country would change forever. The modern, cosmopolitan Australia finally emerged like a technicolour butterfly from its long dormant chrysalis.

Thirty eight years later we are like John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin's Jewish insurgents ranting against the despotic rule of Rome defiantly demanding, "And what did the Romans ever do for us, anyway?"

Apart from:
  • Medibank
  • End of the Trade Practices Act
  • Cutting Tariff protection
  • No fault divorce and the Family Law Act
  • The Australia Council
  • The Federal Court
  • The Order of Australia
  • Federal Legal Aid
  • The Racial Discrimination Act
  • Needs based school funding
  • Recognition of China
  • The Law Reform Commission
  • The Abolition of Conscription
  • Student Financial Assistance
  • The Heritage Commission
  • Non discriminatory immigration laws
  • Community Health Clinics
  • Aboriginal Land Rights
  • Paid Maternity Leave for Public Servants
  • Lowering the minimum voting age to 18 years
  • Fair electoral boundaries and Senate representation for the territories
Apart from all this, what did this Roman ever do for us?


Anonymous said...

A not insubstantial list, for better or worse.

But really, just a quick note to say that I do appreciate your writings, even if I only drop in to see what you have discussed every couple of months.

Thank you for taking the time.

Joannie said...

One might also add the Trans Tasman Travel Agreement of 1973, which opened the borders between Australia and New Zealand. It was the first case of an Australian government adopting an 'open borders' policy in immigration.