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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Henry Thornton. At work again, 59

Henry has been travelling the eastern part of Australia. Henry and Mrs Thornton have driven from Melbourne and Yeppoon and back again. A fine young couple were married and overall we spent five days at Yeppoon.

Now it is time to catch up on our other friends.

Yesterday’s Inquirer section of the Australian is a fine start, and perhaps a thought or two from The Economist.

Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers start was a summary of PM Albanese: ‘The PM has had a successful first 12 months, the next year looks decidedly more dangerous’.

I must congratulate Labor for a decisive win and until the second year’s financial situation the government saved a lot of cash, using a surprising amount of extra dough to suggest we were headed toward a better future. However it is highly likely that this was an aberration and future years will be much darker.

“Economic conditions are conspiring against the government amid the global and regional insecurity, domestic pressures and a growing sense of pessimism in the community with a budget that fell short of expectations that middle Australia would be endowed with cost-of-living relief.” (Bensen and Chambers).

Albanese’s centrepiece social policy – a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament – is also beginning to look shaky.

Read on, gentle friends. The start of Chris Kenny was ‘Compromise on words and save the voice’. The next paragraph: ‘Set aside the politics and scaremongering, we need leaders to work together’. ‘At a time when Australia is swamped with economic and security challenges, in the public square, such as it is, has all the attention span and substance of Twitter’. … This country needs to avoid national self-harm on indigenous affairs over the voice.’ Hear hear, Chris.

Bjorn Lomborg makes the wonderful point that ‘free trade is one of the best development policies there is.’

‘Trade doesn’t just lift average incomes. It also helps lift the world’s poor out of abject poverty. We have seen this clearly in the world’s two most populous nations, China and India’. Well worth reading and presented on P 18 of the Oz.

The final article from yesterday is a ‘Hard Road to Fix NDIS’ by one Stephen Lunn. On April 18 the man responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme told a national audience in a televised address that the scheme had “lost its way”.’ It was a frank and terrifying speech.

I am sure that Bill Shorten will do his best to fix the whole barrel of laughs, but I have spent many hours trying to see how such a lot of requests for funds can be provided. People seeking NDIS help are far too many, just as there are far too many people unwilling to find jobs and trying to sign up to jobseeker. (What a euphemism!)

My other major complaint is how will Australia feed and build houses (or tents, or barrels) for 700,000 extra people to arrive in Australia in the next year, and 400,000 in the following year? Please Mr Prime minister, this is will surely be a major failure and I feel your failure with this project would likely end your promising start.

Finally Michelle Gunn’s note from the Editor-in-chief calls on all participants in the Voice debate to be civil and to respect differences of opinion. The ever declining tone of the debate has worried this writer for some time.

And we shall end with Johannes Leak's pictorial summary of the ACT 's DPP fiasco.

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