EDITORIAL: State of Victoria in shutdown mode despite population boom
Monday 11 March 2013 is Labour Day in the State of Victoria.
Australian Food News, like most other businesses based in Melbourne, Australia, will be shut for this public holiday.
Labour Day historically celebrates a well-organised strike and public march on the Victorian Parliament by Melbourne workers on 21 April 1856. The government responded by awarding the workers their objective to reduce the working day from 12 hours to 8 hours with no loss of pay.
Now some 157 years later, the Victorian government appears to be on a perpetual holiday and has placed Australia’s second most populous State into policy shutdown mode.
Victoria is being pushed to a standstill by a lack of political leadership and absence of any growth activity and direction.
Ted Baillieu, the Premier of Victoria for the past two years, has resigned amidst heavy criticism of his government’s ineptitude and lack of activity. His successor as Premier is perceived by many to have been a ‘loser’ because he is a former leader.
Under Baillieu’s leadership, Victoria has faced many infrastructure and industry challenges. His government appears to have failed miserably on most scores.
While Australian Food News has reported in October 2012 figures released by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries that showed Victoria has been Australia’s main exporter of food and fibre, many food manufacturing jobs have disappeared during Baillieu’s tenure.
Dissatisfaction with the Victorian government’s performance has coincided with a spate of plant closures in the Victorian food industry. This is despite a population boom that is occurring in Melbourne and its surrounds both from a baby boom (the kids of baby boomers are now having a boom of their own) and Melbourne’s attraction for migrants with the city’s enclaves of ethnic diversity. In particular, the explosive growth of Melbourne’s South-east and West is not being serviced by the poor infrastructure such as in public transport, hospitals, schools and you name whatever else.
The next Victorian government will succeed only if it can take positive steps to build the necessary infrastructure to service the overwhelming population boom. What Victorians, and Australians generally, need are governments that are not as underwhelming and incompetent as the current incumbents are.