I’ve practically finished my first week of orientation at the Training College. We’ve had a lot of different orientations – to uniform, to education, to prayer and more. Yesterday, we had a session called “Coping with Change”. We have all had to go through a big change in order to come to the Training College. At a very basic level, the shift from Perth to Melbourne was a big change. We were discussing yesterday the differences in language that we share – from Milk Bars and Delis, to Stobie Poles and Power Poles and even the way we pronounce Lego.
One thing we did was to create a well-being plan that focussed on some goals in four areas – Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. By setting goals in these four areas, we can help take control of certain areas of our life so that we can deal with the change better, but also be in a better mental state. Part of the exercise was to write down some names that we would share the plan with so that we can be accountable with it. So I’m going to share my goals with you, and post regularly on how I’m going. Continue reading Well, I better have a Well-Being Plan
A government is responsible for infrastructure. Not only the building of new infrastructure, but the maintenance and regular upgrading of old infrastructure to suit the needs of the population. A national broadband network, such as the one the government is currently building, is essential to cater for the needs of the population now and into the future. A fiber network has already been proven to be significantly upgradeable with minimal change to the existing infrastructure once the fiber is in place. This is why if I was prime minister, I would continue this process.
Refugees is a hot topic at the moment. It is one that requires clear thought, and compassion on both sides of the debate. Personally, I believe that off-shore detention centres are a violation of human rights, as we are detaining these people when they have not committed any breeches of the law.
However, I can also see the need for there to be some kind of fact checking process to ensure that those we let into society are indeed refugees. This process needs to be completed as quickly as possible.
If we are to detain asylum seekers, we need to have a deadline by which time a decision must be made. The main thing that has caused so much mental health issues within detained asylum seekers is often not the detention itself, but the uncertainty in how long they will be detained for a crime that doesn’t exist. We need to ensure that all claims are processed quickly – say, within six months – and if that is not possible, then we recruit more staff to ensure that it is possible.
Also, I would promote as Prime Minister a scheme where once an initial assessment is made, every asylum seeker is sent into community detention. Community detention is not only far better for the asylum seeker, as it also helps them settle into the community, but it is also far cheaper for the Australian government than off-shore detention.
Investing in renewable energy
Renewable energy sources such as wind, water, solar and others are not at the stage where they could replace coal completely. However, we would be foolish to assume that coal and gas will remain a viable source of power into the future. Eventually, we will mine all of the coal, oil and gas, and need to find another source.
It is therefore a smart idea to develop existing and potential renewable energy technologies to not only prolong the amount of time we have until coal runs out, but also to eventually replace coal when it does run out.
Is there a lot of work to do to get it to this stage? Absolutely. However it would be foolish not to act on this now.
So that’s three things I would focus on if I was Prime Minister. What would your three things be?
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."
I acknowledge that I live and work on land for which the Whadjuk Noongar people are the traditional owners and custodians. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. I also respect any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from other lands.