There really aren't any other more important words in the Australian Constitution than "peace, order, and good government."
It must be the mantra of any successful government and intertwined within these words is a commitment to boost the living standards of all Australians.
Voters will reward any government that can boost living standards. In a world that seems uncertain our communities want a government that can deliver what they have set out to achieve.
So how does this aspirational essence ring true in contemporary Australia? Well, it must start with the vaccine rollout and end with secure, well-paid, full-time jobs.
The Morrison government is missing the mark on both.
If you are reading this article and you still are not fully vaccinated then you will know what I'm talking about. There really isn't any other test. I could detail to you statistics of how many Australians have been vaccinated but the test is administration of the vaccine. If you haven't had the jab yet then your government has failed the "peace, order and good government" test.
Now let's talk about full-time and secure work or as I refer to it, boosting the living standards of Australians.
Most recently the Productivity Commission released figures which determined that we are currently living in the worst decade for living standards in 60 years. This is a truly shocking finding, but probably not surprising to many who are struggling to make ends meet and see a more certain future.
There was once a view that future generations are destined to have a better life than the generation before them or their parents' generation. But that just isn't the case based on the cost of living and unaffordability of goods and services currently available to us.
If you don't have a secure well-paid job, a mortgage or ability to lift yourself out of your current social and economic circumstances then life can be very tough indeed within our society that celebrates home ownership as the pinnacle of the Australian way of life.
The Productivity Commission argues that average incomes would have been $11,500 higher than last year had growth continued. The pandemic aside, growth in per capita national output terms, income in the decade 2010-2020 was around half the 60-year average.
So if living standards growth is the worst it has been in 60 years what can the Morrison government do about it?
Economic experts argue reform is key. Governments effectively control living standards and the economic reforms of the '80s and '90s led by Hawke and Keating set Australia up for unparalleled economic growth.
A community belief in aspiration and confidence is key and government should be employing policy which targets job security and increased wages to create broad-based prosperity.
This means backing in Australians to educate, innovate and manufacture.
The Morrison government has had eight long years to get the policy vision and settings right - but they have fallen very short.
A Labor Government would introduce Startup Year to potentially create 2000 new businesses and provide a platform for future job growth and economic opportunity.
Labor would offer income contingent loans to 2000 final year students and/or recent graduates to support their participation in accelerator programs.
The policy would grow Australia's pool of young entrepreneurs, help drive innovation and grow much-needed links between universities and the startup community, encouraging universities to draw in private sector mentors and investors.
Startups have been shown to possess very good job creation potential - encouraging these new firms is good for the economy, job growth and wages growth.
It is the duty of government to work with the private sector to inspire and stimulate the national focus for entrepreneurship by championing the growth of new businesses, especially those created by young Australians.
The Startup Year loans would be delivered through the existing HELP system.
The policy would aim to support more productive relationships between industry and the tertiary sector through supporting the development of university accelerators and incubators.
Working with higher education institutions, entrepreneurs and investors will be better placed to identify opportunities for commercialisation of university research. Building this cooperation should also make it easier for potential entrepreneurs within universities to find business opportunities.
There is a need for government to assume a leadership role encouraging entrepreneurial activity and new firms that can use tech for social good or improve the productivity and efficiency of other businesses.
If government does not invest in policy to reform, then Australian living standards will continue to flatline. Australians can't afford this to happen. Australians deserve the hope of the future. To have better living standards so they can get up in the morning and go to work, save for the future and buy a home to raise a family.
The next generation deserves better living standards than their parents. This is the new Australian dream.
- Helen Polley, Tasmanian Labor senator