Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or rather, not in Australia at all, you’d know that Australia’s Federal Government has changed hands in what appears to be a landslide.
Whilst I tend to keep this blog mostly apolitical, I think it’s worth pointing out why I think that this result is good, and what I hope will become of the next three years.
It’s not too hard a stretch to tell that I like computers, and therefore by proxy, the Internet. Unfortunately, Australia’s standard of Internet is very poor when compared with other countries, since we have suffered from artificially low ADSL speeds and artificially high prices due to an agreement made with Telecom in 1990 when our first high-speed links out of the country were laid. Thanks to the sale of Telstra, I believe that the pricing issue will never fix itself (at least for the foreseeable future), but it is still possible to fix the speed issue. It will be good to see Government investment in new communication infrastructure, which will hopefully bring our standard of connections well above what they currently are now (though, unfortunately, still well-short of world standard).
As a school student, I went to a school that was extremely well-sheltered by Government policies on Education, and so I never really saw the effects of current disinvestment in education. As a University student now, the scope of the issue has become apparent to me. I attend a small University, which due to its comparatively remote location, only really attracts students who have lived around it, at least as far as Australian students are concerned. This has meant that with disinvestment in the University, the University has, in the past five years, sought to increase its enrolment numbers from the local area.
Due to the small population base around the University, they are naturally seeking students from demographics that, if living in other states, would certainly not be seeking a University education. This has undoubtedly led to a reduction in the quality of the courses that are being offered, an unfortunate situation indeed. It would be good to see funding of Universities increase, such that my own University, and others like it do not have to worry about maintaining high student numbers, at the cost of a quality teaching programme.
Since the new Government has placed education as one of its pillars of policy, I hope to see the situation in higher education be fixed. Although I suspect that policies will focus more upon school-level education, since that is where the majority of the “family” vote has come from. Investment at all levels of education is important, and I hope to see more of it at a Federal level.
Whilst there were many other policies inherent in the campaigns on all sides of politics, I feel that none of them affect me heavily right now, and as such, I won’t make any comment on them. I hope that the current members of Parliament do their job well, legislating in the best interests of the entire country, as really, that’s what politics boils down to in the end.