Wave pool is most exciting part of election
YANK IN OZ LISA DONOVAN IS BACK IN TOMORROW’S MORNING BULLETIN WITH HER LATEST AUSSIE ADVENTURES
THE most inspiring, fun and innovative thing that has come out of the local state election campaign so far was the announcement of a wave pool being developed opposite Mt Jim Crow.
And really it was just the timing of their announcement in the middle of the campaign. No promises or candidates for the publicity shots; they’re just going ahead and doing it.
The political strategists for most parties will be wondering how to connect with local youth in regional Queensland, especially the ones at voting age and registered. One party though has decided that’s too hard and best to ditch them till they’re 21. Those, among the best educated generation with the greatest stake in the state’s future (and debt repayments), because of a blanket belief that “they don’t have an idea”! Perhaps it is the political parties who don’t have an idea on how to engage with youth, particularly those who live in the regions. For starters slogans like “Under Tim it will be Grim” are wasted because a significant number don’t know who Tim is. But is that really their fault?
Who can blame the youth for being disinterested or cynical about politics? The negative campaigning the major parties feel necessary to win is arguably even more of a turn-off to the youth than older demographics. Of course, there is the usual mouthing off about creating jobs for youth (and so there should be considering the youth unemployment and underemployment rate in the regions), but where, with Brisbane building the $5.4b cross river rail, is there a project of equivalent size being promised for regional Queensland, by any party? There are the announced dams and weirs, but if the once touted Nathan Dam is any indication, being on the “to be completed started” list for about 30 years, patience will indeed be a virtue.
Of course, there is that “A” word that one major party are now going green in the face trying not to say any more about in the regions till after the election – Adani. But can someone simply tell us what is happening with it?
Would I be stretching things to say local youth are more interested in the wave pool than the state election campaign? Not because they don’t have any idea or jobs, but because it is inspiring, fun and innovative. Which candidate and/or policy announcements has displayed these qualities?
My favourite wished-for policy announcement is a Youth Entrepreneurial Economic Zone encompassing at least Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast.
Now that has all these qualities. But that may first require those promised bus shelters both major parties want dibs on in Frenchville for the candidates to sit down in and work out what a Youth Entrepreneurial Economic Zone involves.
What about promising the money needed to make the Dreamtime Centre the best indigenous cultural centre in the world, even Australia for starters. That would be inspiring, require innovation and could be fun to be involved with. But that would possibly also require federal funds and that’s a touchy subject at the moment, with that A word, Rookwood and levee bank issues.
There is also the talent drain issue that should be addressed. For candidates who aren’t aware of what the issue is, it is when talented youth leave the region to live in work in a place that is more inspiring, fun and innovative; resulting in their home economy sliding into decline.
So, here’s a hint for the candidates who are allowed to voice their own opinions: if you want to connect to the youth, don’t look like a Johnny come lately and get your picture at the wave pool site; talk about your inspiring, fun, innovative aspirations that you will try your hardest to get for the region if elected. Aspirations that will retain and attract youth to your electorate. Aspirations like reinvigorating Rockhampton into the Cultural Capital of the North. This has the potential to retain our budding artisans and attract others. And it is from the arts that the most creative innovators and entrepreneurs often come from.
This will have a greater positive effect on the region’s economy, and more stirring with youth than bus shelters.