In The Media | 28 June 2016

Disillusioned with politics? Then take heart in July 1

Being sick of this election campaign is now the leading sentiment on which Australians of voting age most fervently agree.

For everyone but Bill Shorten (one of those maniacs naturally born to enjoy campaigning) July 2 will mark the end of a chilly and largely underwhelming contest.

But if you need some cheering up, or some reassurance that it’s not all a waste of time, or indeed even the tiniest scrap of evidence that the entire democratic world isn’t sliding helplessly into a morass of property-developer-electing, compulsively-Brexiting kneejerk nationalism, try thinking about July 1 instead.

July 1 – this Friday – is the day on which the National Disability Insurance Scheme slips quietly into national operation. It’s embedded now; a genuine new feature of the nation’s public policy landscape. It has bipartisan support. Its existence is a powerful rebuttal to that contemporary whine about big policy reforms being too hard for our short political attention spans.

And it’s a landmark worthy of reflection, partly because the scheme itself so very nearly never happened at all, and partly because its back story is a good lesson on what happens when politicians are led by their better angels.

Source: abc, The Drum