Reality of Rudd’s summit failure still fresh a decade on
OH DEAR. I’ve upset Kevin Rudd, and on the 10th anniversary today of his most laughable stunt.
The former prime minister is furious that I mocked his “Australia 2020” summit, where 1000 of our “best and brightest” were summoned to our Parliament House to tell Rudd how to run the country.
This was a fascist vision – of carefully hand-picked “representatives” cheering on the Great Leader in doing what he always wanted.
But what really angered Rudd were these words of mine: “As for big, new and good ideas, there was not one which Rudd ever enacted, nor which anyone remembers.”
Rudd (pictured) wrote a stinker, typically rich in abuse, and named four things he thought met my test.
“For the record,” he said, “the 2020 Summit recommended the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Australian Civilian Corps, ABC for Kids, and the Organ and Tissue Authority.”
Oh dear. How Ruddesque to list the NDIS above all.
True, the NDIS is a big idea – a $22 billion-a-year idea at last estimate. The NDIS is so vast that a Goldman Sachs analysis estimated it created as many as 50,000 jobs last year, plus 1950 at the NDIS HQ. And what a honey pot. More than 50 lawn-mowing and gardening companies were reported last year to have signed up as providers, to service clients including even the able-bodied parents of children with autism.
So, yes, here was a big idea from Rudd’s summit, but not necessarily a good one. Nor was it new. The Whitlam government first came up with the idea – how ominous – although it took Rudd to finally agree that this megabureaucracy would do more good than harm.
And what of the Australian Civilian Corps? Sure, it’s nice that it keeps a list of up to 500 civilians prepared to help tackle disasters overseas, but is this seriously a big idea?
Nor was the ABC’s TV channel for children new, big or much good.
ABC for Kids was first launched seven years before the summit.
Cash then dried up, but trust Rudd to open the purses again in his great spendathon that started this unbroken record of 10 big deficits – and counting.
Yet a decade later, there Rudd fumes, unable to tell the difference between success and failure.