A forum of community, academic, research and union leaders met in Sydney on 15 April to set out a blueprint of good government for Australia. AIER President , The Honourable Paul Munro AO, was amongst leaders from the St Vincent De Paul Society, Uniting Church, ACOSS, The Red Cross, the ACTU and leading academics such as Professor Barbara Pocock, who spent the day in conversation about the many challenges associated with the “small government” and economic rationalist perspective of current Australian federal and state governments.

Many present predicted some of the extreme policy directions arising from the Commonwealth Government’s Commission of Audit, including in particular the attacks on Australia’s minimum wage as a safety net and the further promotion of greater deregulation of the labour market.

The Statement arising from the forum is a blueprint for a fair, democratic and egalitarian Australia, and the role of Government in promoting this. It, along with the AIER’s Australian Charter of Employment Rights, should be used as measures against which a number of extreme rationalist policies arising from various Australian Governments, and processes such as the Commission of Audit should be assessed.

In particular AIER supports calls for governments to adopt and promote the ILO’s Decent Work agenda. Policies that call for the removal of workplace rights as a means to achieve economic growth are short sighted, unfounded in evidence and unsustainable. They lead to poverty, division, inequality and unrest.

AIER looks forward to continuing to participate in this valuable forum.

Lisa Heap – AIER Executive Director