NEW YEAR MESSAGE FOR TONY ABBOTT Social Justice Wishlist 2015

January 1st, 2015  |  Published in Power & Politics


Dear TonyA, Prime Minister of Australia’s 44th Parliament,

Or could that be Tonya – for convenience? It shouldn’t make a difference (Tony/TonyA/Tonya), but we all know it does, and you can’t afford to go any lower in the polls, can you?

Getting down to business (and I know you’re open to that!) I asked people on social media what they want in terms of social justice for 2015. They came up with heaps of stuff you seem pretty clueless about, so I’ve cut it down to ten byte-sized chunks and the relevant quotes for each chunk.

Before consigning this message to “Unread” (where all my previous ones must have fetched up) it’s probably no more ‘out there’ than your own checklist for your time in office, “published in manifesto form as the IPA’s itemised agenda” (click here).

NY3Here’s some of what people with a social justice agenda want (and just so you know I’m not making it all up I’m putting people’s names next to their ideas, and you can check with them if you don’t believe me).

You might notice no one actually mentions banning the blue tie, but it’s more or less implicit in the rest.


  • An end to conservative rule (Phil Kyson).
  • Change of government (Anne Smith); that would be social justice in one fell swoop! (Allison Disbray).
  • Double dissolution (Deborah Lamb; Hazel Moon).
  • Immediate double dissolution and the current mob in front of the Hagueins (39) (Anna Ward).
  • Compassionate government! Obviously not the one we have! (Linda Sutherland).
  • A decent prime minister and government that uphold social justice (Mary Margaret Rankin).
  • Reversal of almost every federal government policy I can think of, but not in sufficient doses to reverse the current polls in time for the 2016 election (Heather Gridley).
  • Intelligent tweaking of the rules controlling politics in Australia so that people like the ones who comprise our present government get weeded out before they can even think about trying to get elected (George Baumann).
  • Reduction in the pay and perks for politicians, and an independent (public servant) speaker for parliament (Mary Margaret Rankin).
  • An end to two (and a bit) party politics, to be replaced with more parties to better represent the Australian people. Political discourse and action to be undertaken by equal numbers of female and male representatives, using negotiation and accommodation to gain equitable outcomes; in other words, the Scandinavian model. All the good things we want would flow from that. Oh, and genuine rule of law for the US (Sarah Louise Ricketts).
  • Get rid of the LNP! (Amanda Whittington).


  • An end to sexism, misogyny, and male domination (Cathy Picone).NY9
  • The lives of women to be valued (Sonia Ess).
  • Real action against domestic violence (Wendy Harper Phillips).
  • Action at the core of domestic violence and abuse and parental ‘rights’ to participate in a child’s life with such impacts on those children. Enough is enough (Col Doe).
  • Perpetrators of violence against women to be held accountable by the court system (Anne Seery).


  • Indigenous justice (Deb Chapman); close the gaps (Ricky Buchanan); equity (Karen White); no discriminatory policies (Mary Margaret Rankin).
  • Indigenous perspectives represented at all levels of government (Stef Rozitis).
  • Fewer Indigenous people in prison; Yorta Yorta people to be given their traditional land in the Barmah Forest (Rod Judd).
  • To stay local with my community, assisting them to start their Noongar Institute of Western Australia (NIWA), believing it really is possible (Anne DeSouza).



  • A fair go for those who come across the seas (Stef Rozitis).
  • Respectful treatment of asylum seekers and compliance with international law and the UN conventions we’ve signed (Mary Margaret Rankin; Ricky Buchanan); Wendy Haigh added “Maybe I’m asking too much!”
  • Free asylum seekers (Cleone Strybis); end detention (Ellen Kelly; Gwen Challenger-Scotman); end detention of children (David O’Brien), and recognise the illegal and immoral actions of our leaders (Wendy Harper Phillips).
  • Asylum seekers (adults and children) to live in the community and be entitled to work, study, and reunite with relatives (Squill Candy).
  • Ban arseholes who say “illegal immigrants shouldn’t get welfare” (Tonia Binsiar).


  • An end to inequitable distribution of earth’s resources, so no one in the world goes hungry (Cathy Picone); genuine planetary economic democracy for all (Greg Firmstone); growing recognition that inequality is bad for everyone (Heather Gridley).
  • Fewer tax breaks and wage increases for politicians, the NY10wealthy, and corporations (Michelle Hines); corporations to pay taxes commensurate with their profits (Gwen Challenger-Scotman).
  • Policy and funding guided by concern for wellbeing of the vulnerable rather than multi-national corporations (Kate Adele).
  • Justice for the underclass (Hazel Moon).
  • Reduction in cost of living or increases in wages and welfare to match rises in living costs (Michelle Hines).
  • Government to employ people again. If people work they earn; if they earn, they spend, which gives more people work, and this in turn gives a sense of worth, thus cutting down on social problems such as boredom and resentment, and hopefully reducing alcohol and drug dependence (Michael Williams).
  • Jobs for the unemployed (Mary Margaret Rankin); leave the unemployed alone if they genuinely can’t find work; stop sending jobs and manufacturing overseas (Rodd Judd).
  • Decent pay for working Australians (Stef Rozitis); employment for all and a living wage for those needing support (Sandi Seymour; Stef Rozitis); welfare consistent with the cost of living, and fair pensions (Mary Margaret Rankin).
  • Real job creation, less casualization of the workforce, less stigmatisation of unemployed or underemployed and those on welfare (Michelle Hines).
  • No one in Australia living in poverty (Karen Chesterfield).
  • Australia to be once again ‘the lucky country’; far from it now! (Joanne Curtain).
  • Scott Morrison to be removed from his new role in Social Services (Ro Mc).


  • An end to the attack on public health and education, including tertiary education (Rod Judd).
  • Free primary, secondary, and tertiary education and health care (Mary Margaret Rankin; Matthew Skellett; Stef Rozitis).
  • Better access to health care and dental treatment for all (Michelle Hines).
  • More funding for building schools and less for building prisons (Heather Gridley).
  • Education programs to teach our true history and promote cultural understanding at all levels and among the wider community (Gaynor Martian).
  • Affordable housing for all – private and public (Hazel Moon; Tony Canning).
  • Genuine affordable housing that isn’t substandard or so small you can’t have friends or visitors. Who wants to live in a tiny box anyway? (Michelle Hines).



  • Greater focus on mental health; too many people suffering needlessly and the ripple effect is growing (Georgina Ogilvie).
  • Better access to mental health services (Sandi Seymour).
  • Mental health issues accepted on a par with physical health issues (Jacqui Pierce).
  • More funding, better service provision and access, and more programs for children with mental health or behavioral problems. I’m fed up with discriminatory practice about who is more deserving and whose crisis is important; ready to explode (Kieran Mitchell).
  • More available respite facilities for carers/parents of children with intellectual disabilities (Dimi Lataishia Mcc).
  • People with disabilities to be treated fairly and equitably by both government and community (Jackie Gravatt).
  • An end to the persecution of disability and aged pensioners (Rodd Judd).
  • Implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)(Gwen Challenger-Scotman); full rollout (Ricky Buchanan).


  • Ramped up action on climate change; extreme measures or we will all be in climate (3)serious trouble (Gail Weston); get back to sanity on climate change (Ricky Buchanan).
  • Renewable energy targets and a carbon emission reduction scheme (Gwen Challenger-Scotman).
  • Miners to be taxed to the hilt, and an efficient carbon tax (Matthew Skellett).


  • Unity (Jodie Woodrow).
  • A quantum shift in world consciousness – without huge political upheaval, loss of life and human misery; a kind of miracle where people of relative wealth and influence (but everyone else too) wake up to the fact that we are all one family and need to care for the environment (animate and inanimate) and that the future happiness of our children depends on wise action now; not too much to ask is it? (George Baumann).
  • Everyone to put aside their pain and start again so people from all walks of life can live in peace and harmony; bring kindness back; give rather than take; love not hate (Soph Joz Ellul Ridder).
  • Basic human decency and respect for each other regardless of color, background or creed. If we had that and looked out for each other we could achieve amazing things (Monika Szigeti).
  • More compassionate ways of talking about people (Stef Rozitis).
  • Conceptual framework for analysing government and different views on balance between maintaining order, providing public goods (such as education and health systems), and equity (Ralf Kluin).
  • Laws that are consistent across society; none that address just bikies or Indigenous people; no discrimination (Mary Margaret Rankin).
  • Voting for policies instead of politicians, because we are mostly good people and wouldn’t make the nasty decisions politicians make (Chiteira Selent).
  • Overthrow capitalism! (Shelly Macky).


  • Respect and dignity for children and laws that protect children. Pedophiles and child abusers should serve serious time; abuse against a child = life; stop sweeping protection of abusers under the rug (Nicky Matthews).
  • An end to abuse in care of aged, children, asylum seekers, and people living with disability (Sandi Seymour).
  • An end to human trafficking (David O’Brien).
  • Government that remembers farmers and supports them through drought or anything else nature throws at them; stop farmers being bullied and overpowered by the greed of banks and mines (Jackie Crighton).
  • Reliable and affordable transport systems (Michelle Hines).
  • Brave, honest, independent journalism that stands up to intimidating media moguls and greedy big business, exposing injustices, and giving citizens the courage to take a much more active, collective stand (Gaynor Martian).
  • An end to Israeli occupation of Palestine (Carole D Powell).

So, there you have it TonyA/Tonya, and before you dismiss these people as out-of-touch-bleeding-hearts, you might want to check your standing with the punters (click here). Your government is pretty much on the nose with a lot of people, and learning to listen wouldn’t be a bad place to start turning things around. You never know, there might be creative solutions that could bring a lot of people onside and not even put your IPA buddies offside!

Best for the year…Looking forward to improvement on the last one…Joan Beckwith.


Comments and additions to the list are warmly invited


This one’s for fun and to keep it on record

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3 comments on “NEW YEAR MESSAGE FOR TONY ABBOTT Social Justice Wishlist 2015”

  1. FOR THE RECORD I wanted to note that the Facebook post I used to invite ideas for this wishlist ‘reached’ 2446 people (in Facebook terms), 342 people ‘liked’ the post and comments on it, and 79 individuals contributed ideas (sometimes several ideas per person). It would not be a statistically representative sample but the diversity of ideas spontaneously contributed is pretty impressive, I think, and I appreciate the trouble people took to be involved…Joan Beckwith.

  2. Imogen Prior says:

    Tony Abbott I do not support or agree with any of your so called ‘achievements’ in 2014 – none of them have benefited Australia in anyway – those who were coerced into voting for you through the manipulation of fear mongering now surely rue the day they gave any heed to your list of broken erroneous promises!

    • Good on you for having your say, Imogen Prior. We all need to stand up and speak out more than ever in 2015…Joan Beckwith.

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