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Federal priorities post-election: Dr Des Griffin

Federal priorities post-election: Dr Des Griffin

Priorities for an incoming federal government 2022

By Dr Des Griffin AM

1, Climate change

Reduce carbon emissions: by 2030 close coal mines and gas extraction, re-skill affected workers, promote electric vehicles, renewable energy and fit/re-fit homes to electricity.

2, Biodiversity

Substantially reduce destruction of plants and animals, eliminate land clearing and maintain/improve habitat, support endangered species and prevent development which can impact biodiversity.

3. First Nations self-determination

Create a Voice to the Parliament in the Constitution, agree Treaties between governments and First Nations legal entities, introduce truth telling, stop jailing Indigenous (and all) children under 15 for all for minor crimes in all jurisdictions.

4, Early childhood care and education

Provide free attendance for all children from age 3 at centres for care and learning for lifetime learning gains, and vary tax arrangements to ensure maximum possible equity.

5, Housing crisis

Substantially increase social housing, reduce the price of rental housing and ensure new developments are right-sized and right-mixed for society.

6, Universities and CSIRO

Restore appropriate funding to universities and CSIRO, value humanities subjects equally with other subjects, make grants on panel recommendations (not Ministerial fiat), value all fields of research.

7, Health

Ensure adequate mental health professionals to meet demand, and add dental services to Medicare. Review the health system resourcing balance between community medical centres and hospitals (including regionally), support research into drugs resistance and future potential viruses.

8, School education

Adopt Gonski’s second report, abandon disproportionate funding to non-public schools, and ensure allocation against students’ need. Stop unproductive testing and curricula interventions, and fashion teaching best practices based on the latest quality education. research worldwide.

9, The Arts and Culture sectors

Balance increased funding to art, arts and cultural endeavours, remove power of Ministers to interfere in grant decisions, encourage diversity and excellence, ensure board appointments on merit of people with demonstrated interest and competence.

10, Prepare for emergencies

Prepare better for emergencies to mitigate impact (floods, fires, pandemics, etc) and ensure adequate response resources, both physical assets and trained people.


Des Griffin writes on education, current affairs and the environment, especially political debate about climate change, economics and particularly on museums, arts, culture and leadership on which I conducted worldwide research from the late 1980s until now. For 22 years, he was Director of The Australian Museum. You can read some of his writings at:

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