- Evidence & Experiment: while this plan covers very specific items in some detail, it is assumed that there will be many other avenues that can be investigated, trialled and if successful, implemented and grown. These other approaches could be developed locally or abroad and they are all welcomed. In fact the first method clearly shows a way to ensure we try as many things as we can afford. The critical factor in success is letting evidence drive decisions and keeping dogma and ideology at bay.
- Science & Technology: Investment and focus on STEM will provide us with the skills we need to achieve our vision. It is also critical that the wider population improve in science and logic literacy so that our democratic decision processes support the achievement of the vision.
- Humanity & Environment: Balancing environmental protection with human progress is the key challenge of the 21st century. Reducing our reliance on the environment through technology while ensuring all humans have access to the best possible quality of life.
Focus on value building, not rent seeking.
- New Economy Jobs: the economics of all activities are vitally important, we must work within the boundaries of sensible economic management, leveraging public and private investment and support to maximise outcomes. Good ideas must be more than simply good at face value (eg electric car incentives when coal is still the main source of power would be wasted economic capacity). This means that the order in which we do what needs to be done matters. To achieve this all ideas must be assessed within the confines of the reality of the day and assumptions about the future must be carefully made with risks of delay carefully considered.
- Value Added Exports: Creating value that recognises the importance of improving global prosperity and reducing environmental impact with solutions to these problems. As a small country by population but large by land area, we are in an interesting position, like no other country in the world today, to create the technology that will change the lives of billions of people.
- Social Safety and Healthcare: we will continue to invest and improve outcomes for all citizens. The ultimate goal is to find as much high value employment as we can for all Australians but we need to recognised that there will always be some number of disadvantaged that deserve our compassion. This is not an entitlement but it is an imperative, we will be measured by how we treat our fellow citizens and we must always strive to deliver better outcomes, and economic growth is the long term solution to social responsibility.
- Education and Research: the long term solution to a more prosperous life for all Australians lies with the education of our children. Their prosperity is directly linked to the education we invest in them and then the jobs that we ensure they can have that use that education. STEM is critical to creating our value added export economy and ensuring the economy is tuned to providing STEM based jobs is key, STEM jobs are almost always high value and value adding in their outputs.
- Secularism: The removal of dogma and ideology from the workings of government and politics is key to good evidence based decision making, more so, liberty cannot be protected by government successfully except through the removal of government and other organisation’s intervention in as much of its citizens lives as possible. The reduction in discrimination since the enlightenment must be attributed to broad education and wealth creation and not to an increase in authoritarian approaches that force people to value secularism and freedom. The liberal democratic nations of the world today are successful because of secularism, without secularism it is not possible for democracy, freedom and science and technology to flourish.
- Pluralism: The importance of accepting different points of view is not a new idea. In fact multiculturalism has been with modern western society for sometime, however it has for the most part failed to empower the minority and enrich the total group. Why? 'Culture' is not a divisible concept. If I accept your culture, I accept it all, I am not given the option to reject certain parts of it. Culture is just a set of ideas, not a set of people. To complicate it even more, there is not a central culture department defining the culture, everyone is able to pick and choose which parts of a culture they want to focus on and live with. This means culture is never well defined, but if you offend it that is bad. This leads to stepping on eggshells and deprives us of the verbal tools we need to improve the world around us by discussing issues. Without words and dialog, violence is all we have left. This is why we need to focus on pluralism. Pluralism is the acceptance of ideas individually, allowing us to discard the bad ideas without prejudice. This is a much better way to teach our children to be open and accepting without taking away their ability to think critically. Without rational critical thought and speech, the future of the world we have built is at risk. The values we have learnt that make a better world; human rights, secularism, democracy, freedoms of conscious, speech and press, all rely on rational and critical thinking.
- Individual Freedoms: we will not give up the gains made in the last several centuries since the enlightenment and the positive effect this has had on humanism. It is clear that for science and democracy to be successful we must encourage debate and different points of view. At the same time we must not allow groups to threaten these values in the name of ideology or of taking offence. Ensuring secularism, pluralism and the value of the individual over the group is protected will help us to protect this. Facts and speech will always be more important than feelings and beliefs, without this basic social contract, science, democracy and the human individual cannot thrive.
- Effective and Open Government: for this vision to maximise it’s potential, open government is critical. Without clear objective decision making at all stages of the process, the chances for poor outcomes multiplies. The success of reason, evidence and science is built on the free and open exchange of information. Government cannot become a contradiction to this unless in the most exceptional circumstances and even then only for short periods of time, like holding your breath through a rubbish tip, there is a point where the smell must be faced so that you can breathe.