Monday, April 21, 2008

2020 summit

1,000 Australians came together over the weekend in Parliament House in a government-organised attempt to create a community-driven policy agenda for Australia in 2020 in 10 key areas of public policy. It would be easy (and some have already taken this attitude, including, predictably, the Federal Opposition) to cynically dismiss this exercise but I prefer to take the more optimistic view that this represents a sea change in the way that Australian governments engage in public policy development. The proposals that emerged range from motherhood statements to specifics but as an exercise in energising public debate on complex key issues I think it is a model for the future in itself. If nothing else, the blanket media coverage it received means that many of these ideas will now gain a life of their own that one voice could never have achieved.

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