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Devolving power to those closest

By Mark Christensen - posted Tuesday, 11 June 2019

"Relationships do not scale," notes Brooks. "They have to be built one at a time, through patience and forbearance."

Any paradigm shift, of course, is resisted by elites and the mainstream media, convinced as they are that more of the same will eventually save the day. No matter hammering away further at societal problems, including hyper-individualism, with blunt legislative and fiscal interventions is what dehumanised our culture to begin with.

Ironically, Break O'Day Council was actually on the money with its resolution last year. Everyday issues like wheelchair access in regional Tasmania is where real change can occur.


While necessary, regulations and technical standards aren't sufficient. What empowers people and nurtures a shared sense of purpose and belonging is individuals, business and community leaders working together, in good faith, on solutions that reflect local conditions, not some one-size-fits-all requirement imposed from above.

Australia has been well served by secular liberalism. As in America and elsewhere, however, we've overshot the mark and, in the process, diminished the deeper connections that truly bind us. And now, a defensive establishment finds it difficult to see, let alone accept, the next step is qualitative, to do with grassroots concerns beyond its bureaucratic reach.

More trusting of his instincts and silent majority sentiment, Morrison has a genuine opportunity to be a transformative figure, someone who leads from behind.

A suggestion, then, for a coalition in need of a strategic agenda with bipartisan appeal: openly acknowledge the limitations of a Canberra-centric ethos and commit to reforming the federation, consistent with the principle of subsidiarity.

Give local government, properly resourced and supported by a patriotic vision and fit-for-purpose federal and state systems, a chance to spearhead the restoration of Australia's depleted social capital.

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This article was first published in Government News.

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About the Author

Mark is a social and political commentator, with a background in economics. He also has an abiding interest in philosophy and theology, and is trying to write a book on the nature of reality. He blogs here.

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