Something happened this week which I am extremely grateful for. After several weeks of nothing but negative news and backward steps, the new State Government has done something good. (I know, how could one government possibly be making ONLY bad decisions? It's simply not feasible.)
Think federally for example. If Abbott is to be believed, the balancing act that is the Gillard Government has not made a single good decision or passed a single beneficial bill in the past few years. In fact, this perception has entered mainstream thought and is a popularly held belief throughout the country. No doubt the numbers will reflect the success of the negative campaigning from the Opposition when the election rolls around late next year.
I can't remember a time since I became politically aware (I think I was about 12 when I first realised that Queensland was being laughed out by the rest of the nation due to its backward direction politically) when a Government has not had a single moment with bi-partisan support for one of its proposed policies. It's an interesting phenomenon to witness and appears to be a reaction from the new breed of political beast which utilises the 24 hour news cycle to work for votes, not for the best interests of our nation. I still can't help wondering what a carbon based bill would have looked like if the Opposition had chosen to work WITH the Government, the Greens and the Independents, rather than against them.
Being a 'NO! NO! NO!' Opposition may fit the job description quite literally, but it doesn't take into account the population or national needs.
The same can be said for our current Queensland Government. Many times since the election the Campbell Government has provided fodder for negativity and pessimism. How could you possibly find a silver lining to the abolishment of the Literary Awards, the Healthy Community services, green programs, solar programs? The fast-tracking mining interests, ignorance of the Great Barrier Reef ecology, abandonment of the NDIS, the reduction of workers' rights, removal of significant funding opportunities for the Cairns region, potential loss of up to 20'000 public service jobs and the removal of Civil Unions compounded by the loss of surrogacy and adoption rights for vast portions of our society? Where is the positive news? The programs which will bring jobs? The programs which will be environmentally brilliant? The services which will make a healthier, more vibrant community?
Someone asked me recently if I would ever report something positive about the Newman Government. My answer was "Yes, as soon as they do something positive." Well, I am very pleased to announce; that day has come!
Michael Trout, MP for Barron River, will be tabling a Bill shortly that will put the implementation of Fouridation into water supplies back into the hands of local Councils. This, is BIG news.
Quite unfortunately, many Councils (including Cairns Regional Council) have already added fluoride to water and the Bill is not retrospective. However, areas like Kuranda, due to come online very soon, will hopefully have the opportunity to do what their community would prefer and leave fluoride out. In further good news, Behana Creek water supply, which services much of the south side of Cairns, is NOT fluoridated and was not due to come online until later this year. I haven't seen the Bill so am unsure if specific parts of Council areas could exercise their rights to withhold fluoride but will be ensuring the local population is aware of their options as soon as the information becomes available.
So, quietly hopeful for the Newman Government. A sound option based on what the community is telling you and science is backing up. Pass this Bill so I can thank you properly! Now, bring on some more good decisions and a heck of a lot less stripping away of people's rights in all other sectors and I will make sure that every single one of those positive movements is applauded. With a majority as big as the one you have, think of all of the innovative ideas you could implement!