Good health is fundamental to our lives, so in assessing whether a government decision is good, bad or just acceptable it is useful to apply the health criterion. If this was applied to every decision, no doubt government would improve. I am going to apply this criterion to the Adelaide Oval.
Our health has two fundamental needs. Easy to understand is the need for hospitals, emergency services, life support systems (intensive care) and family doctors. Waiting lists and hospital closures are rightly big news.
Even more fundamental to health are the natural life support systems, the natural resources, water, availability of productive, non-degraded land, biodiversity and stable climate. These are deteriorating, and scientists have used the words global environmental change to describe them. This change is accelerating.
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Years ago, hosting an American, I was confronted with a challenge.
George Washington is clearly the great unifying figure of American history. So who is Australia’s equivalent? Wrestling with this idea overnight, the next morning I had the answer.
“Our great unifying person of history,” I declared, “turns out to be a horse – Phar Lap – and you people killed him.”
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