Monday, February 04, 2008

The 2020 Summit - get ready

The announcement:

The Rudd Government will convene an Australia 2020 Summit at Parliament House on 19 and 20 April to help shape a long term strategy for the nation’s future.

The Summit will bring together some of the best and brightest brains from across the country to tackle the long term challenges confronting Australia’s future –challenges which require long-term responses from the nation beyond the usual three year electoral cycle.

To do this, the Government will bring together 1000 leading Australians to the national Parliament to debate and develop long-term options for the nation across 10 critical areas:

1. Future directions for the Australian economy – including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nation’s productivity agenda

2. Economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities

3. Population, sustainability, climate change, and water

4. Future directions for rural industries and rural communities

5. A long-term national health strategy – including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population

6. Strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion

7. Options for the future of indigenous Australia

8. Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design

9. The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens

10. Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world...

Participants will be selected by a 10 member non-government Steering Committee. The Summit will be co-chaired by the Prime Minister and Professor Glyn Davis, Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

This Steering Committee will select up to 100 participants in each of the Summit areas who will attend in a voluntary capacity. The participants will be drawn from business, academia, community and industrial organisations, the media and include a number of individual eminent Australians. Summit participants will be invited in their own right rather than as institutional representatives from any particular organisation. Each of the 10 Summit areas will be co-chaired by a Federal Government Minister and a member of the Steering Committee.

The Summit will have the following objectives:

To harness the best ideas across the nation

To apply those ideas to the 10 core challenges that the Government has identified for Australia – to secure our long-term future through to 2020

To provide a forum for free and open public debate in which there are no predetermined right or wrong answers

For each of the Summit’s 10 areas to produce following the Summit options for consideration by government

For the Government to produce a public response to these options papers by the end of 2008 with a view to shaping the nation’s long-term direction from 2009 and beyond.

In providing this response, the Government in providing may accept some options and reject others – but will provide its reasons for embracing its course of action for the future.

The Government has no interest in a talkfest. The Government’s interest is in harnessing and harvesting ideas from the community that are capable of being shaped into concrete policy actions.

Government, irrespective of its political persuasion, does not have a monopoly on policy wisdom. To thrive and prosper in the future we need to draw on the range of talents, ideas and energy from across the Australian community.

For too long Australian policymaking has been focused on short-term outcomes dictated by the electoral cycle. If Australia is to effectively confront the challenges of the future, we need to develop an agreed national direction that looks at the next ten years and beyond.

For these reasons, the Government will also be inviting the Leader of the Federal Opposition to participate in the Summit, together with State Premiers, Chief Ministers and their Opposition counterparts.

In addition to those participating in the Summit, all Australians will be invited to make submissions on each of the 10 future challenges. These will be submitted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet which will act as the secretariat for the Summit. An Australia 2020 website will provide a digital forum for this purpose.

The Rudd Government believes Australians, whatever their political views, can come together to build a modern Australia capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

More details