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EDITORIAL: Let’s have clarity

Have we gone or been mad? And are we on the road to getting it right?

In watching, reading and listening to news bulletins on just about any issue that involves government and their departmental protocols and processes it’s been a safe bet to assume, particularly in the regions, we’ll end up with more questions than answers.

In a society screaming for straightforward direction based on common sense, compassion and a majority of community sentiment, we have seemed as lost as ever in a tangle of bureaucracy and ignorance.

If we ever needed an example of a need to ditch the bulldust, it has surely been in the relationship between our top two tiers of government and the people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But as we’ve seen during the past year, the pandemic has unveiled the awkward course many of our state and federal leaders walk in applying politically motivated approaches to decisions demanding a straight-forward and educated approach.

It is little wonder that this muddle filters down through departmental agencies, which must try to make sense of it all. Little wonder we’re left with curious outcomes, contradictions and ambiguous responses and decisions – all fuel for radical elements of society looking for opportunities to explore weaknesses in the system.

A prime example of circumstances generating a confused message must surely be a state decision to allow tens of thousands of people to attend a football match at the MCG while severely limiting the amount of people at an Anzac Day commemoration service. To use an old line from Larson cartoons: ‘What the hey?’ 

We also need only look at the wobbly COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, the debacle surrounding the quarantining of overseas travellers, major projects starting, stopping or being held up for years at great public expense and community outcries about all sorts of issues such as a lack of understanding of our health needs in regional areas. To the average person it has appeared all over the shop.

It all falls well short of reflecting high-level governments and their agencies working like pragmatic, efficient and well-oiled machines and instead suggests more effort goes into establishing the process instead of getting results.

Private enterprise has had to endure some of the overflow of this muddle and if consumed by the same approach simply couldn’t operate.

COVID-19 has given us a sneak view of what can fester under the covers of bureaucracy and we wonder what else lurks in the depths.

Sure, I might be offering over-simplified commentary about the complications surrounding the governance of millions of people across a vast land. Or am I?

Regardless, we must be able to have confidence in our agencies and the elected members setting direction and calling the shots above them.

The entire April 28, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser and AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!