Arbitration In Contempt
Farmers, Australia's Cost Structures, and Union Power
The post-war period---especially since the late 1960s---has seen an increase, overall, in the power of trade
unions, and a corresponding increase in the subservience
both of governments and of supposedly independent arbitral
authorities. This trend culminated in the Accord between
the ACTU and the ALP, which was finalised in February
1983. The Accord was the basis for the present Federal
Government's Prices and Incomes Policy. In turn, the
Accord and the Prices and Incomes Policy were ratified
in September 1983 by the Arbitration Commission as
its wage fixing Principles (now under review). The
recently concluded agreement between the ACTU and the
Federal Government---Accord Mk II---will extend the
duration of this formal relationship as it, too, progressively
is ratified by the Arbitration Commission, notwithstanding
overwhelming economic and social reasons for its rejection.
The farm sector is acutely aware of these changes
in relationships. Their results include major impacts
on Australian cost structures. These, combined with
difficult trading conditions, threaten the viability
of the rural producer. They threaten Australia's living
standards as well.
Today, there would be little challenge to Mr Justice
Higgins' implicit assessment of where the arbitral
authorities stand in the pecking order, as revealed
in his 1911 exchange with Mr H.E. Starke, Q.C. We all
know who's running the country.
As a group exposed to the hard economic realities
of international competition, farmers are unprepared
to accept that these relationships should endure (and,
if the Hancock Committee has its way, be further strengthened).
Economically, farmers' backs are against the wall.
With their survival on the line, they are determined
to fight. That fight is intended to ensure that other
groups in the community face up to economic realities
My objectives in this brief address are as follows.
First, I will review some of the main channels through
which unions influence Australian cost structures and
economic performance, as seen by farmers. I will illustrate
how acceptance of union power has produced a number
of myths about economic performance, policy and prospects
in Australia. Second, I will argue that unions ultimately
are constrained by economic realities, but that those
realities may only intrude after irreparable economic
and social damage has been done. The economic pain
involved in the operation of those constraints is directly
related to the pursuit of centralised industrial appeasement
and to the lack of effective Common Law restraints
upon union excesses. Finally, I will suggest some policy
orientations that must be pursued if that economic
pain is to be reduced on a lasting basis.
Union Influences on Farmers' Cost Structures
It is well understood that the farm sector is closely
linked with other areas of economic activity. On the
production side, these links reflect the interdependence
between production, processing, transport and marketing
of farm production, both in Australia and overseas.
On the income/expenditure side, the farm sector is
a significant generator of income, especially foreign
exchange, and of demand for goods and services from
Nevertheless, there are special features applying
to the farm sector. These relate primarily to the problems
it faces on world markets for its products. The subsidisation
of European (and, in retaliation, United States) production
and export for such markets is a most worrying example.
Limited access to some overseas markets is another.
The uncertainties of supply associated with weather
conditions are with us all the time and farmers understand
that. Interestingly, analyses of Australian economic
activity typically exclude the volatile farm sector
and focus on non-farm production in an attempt to obtain
a clearer view of 'underlying' economic performance,
unaffected by weather conditions.
These special features imply two aspects worth noting.
First, they apply mainly to farm output. Second, for
all practical purposes, they are probably not amenable
to control by farmers or Australian policy makers to
any great degree.
On the input side, however, the same sorts
of cost problems and concerns as do other parts of
the economy. The intensity with which those pressures
are felt by farmers is much greater, however, because
they are determined in ways that generally have little
regard for the problems faced by them in selling their
Even so, a most important aspect of Australia's cost
structures is this: potentially, at least, they are
amenable to substantial control by Australians---if we really want to control them.
The farm sector takes a macro view of costs: much
that happens beyond the farm gate determines whether
or not a farmer's output can compete on product markets.
Farmers are particularly concerned about the need to
minimise total production costs. If costs cannot be
restrained, farmers will lose markets. In addition,
their net returns from those markets to which they
have access will continue to decline. By and large,
farmers are price takers. The latest BAE estimates
for prices received and prices paid by farmers show
how the rural sector has undergone a steady cost/price
squeeze over the years. For example, since the September
quarter 1983---just after the last drought broke---
the ratio of prices received to prices paid has fallen
on average by about 10 per cent.
I do not need to emphasise the importance of the farm
sector to Australia. Farm output amounts to about 5.7
per cent of GDP. Its contribution to exports of goods
is much higher, at around 40 per cent. Without that
contribution to exports and activity, Australia would
be much the poorer. For that contribution to continue,
Australia's cost structure must more closely reflect
its international trading environment.
b) How Unions Affect Cost Structure The
Statement of Accord between the ACTU and the ALP shows
how broad the influence of the unions upon all facets
of Government policy can be. The coverage of the so-called
'social wage', for example, extends to almost every
conceivable area of activity. The ramifications of
the Accord result in major union influence upon all
elements of cost structures faced by farmers and other
Farmers are very conscious of the influence of union
power on (i) labour costs, (ii) other current input
costs and (iii) capital costs of production. These
influences can be quite obvious or more indirect.
Both rates of remuneration and performance are directly
affected. Unions have used their industrial muscle
to push up wage and non-wage remuneration rates. Unions
have also undermined productivity growth---which otherwise
would reduce the adverse effects of cost increases---by forcing the adoption or retention of a whole range
of productivity-destroying practices (e.g. the present
method of applying the tally system in the meat industry,
and overmanning on railways). The arbitral authorities,
by and large, have ratified these claims and given
them legal force.
Other Current Input Costs
The effects of union power are seen in input prices
through a variety of channels. Apart from the direct
effect of changes in unit labour costs on such prices,
there are indirect influences as well. Protection policy---strongly supported by key unions---increases input
costs and holds the exchange rate higher than otherwise
would be the case, putting exporters' competitiveness
from both output and input perspectives. Increases
in government taxes and charges add further to input
costs. Union influences on public service salaries
and on the level of unemployment add to these charges
by increasing public spending and the demand for tax
revenue. Indeed, the problem of excessive public sector
spending is substantially attributable to problems
arising from the exercise of union power, as perusal
of the elements regarded by the unions as sacrosanct
parts of the 'social wage' suggest.
The interest rate and debt stock implications of large
public sector borrowing requirements are now obvious.
High levels of public sector spending---in part the
result of union excesses---are the prime cause. Those
borrowings are at present combined with an automatic,
formula approach awarding regular wage rises (largely
'justified' by, of all things, our excessive inflation
rate). That system is regarded not only as being unable
to cope with, but also as ignoring, the requirements
of a flexible exchange rate and difficult international
trading conditions. Interest rates have been at record
levels. They are perceived by the Government to be
needed to support the dollar against 'irrational' selling
pressure. But why support the dollar? Why not let it
float more freely? The Government is worried that a
further fall in the dollar would precipitate a devaluation/inflation
spiral. That spiral would be the probable result of
the wage system that the unions have insisted that
the Government retain. The Government is not prepared
to confront that reality.
By driving up production costs in almost every conceivable
way, union influence in Australia is the most important
single controllable impediment to better economic
- union influence retards progress towards
reducing inflation and unemployment;
- union influence deters increased investment
(both by driving up required rates of return and,
through direct action to disrupt projects, by generally
putting investors off). Without that investment, sustainable
growth and rising living standard cannot be achieved;
- union influence hampers resource allocation
to the most efficient areas of activity, imparting
a defensive, inertial attitude to industry.
Union power in Australia operates over time to undermine
living standards for non-unionists. By slowing attainable
real growth, it also reduces prospects for better real
living standards for union members themselves.
c) Australia's Economic Performance, Policy and
Prospects: Some Myths
The influence of unions is regarded by many in Australia
as an immutable constraint, akin to overseas economic
conditions or the weather.
Acceptance of such views has contributed to the development
of a number of myths about Australian economic performance,
policy and prospects. These are properly regarded as
self-imposed limits upon realisation of Australia's
economic and social potential. They illustrate nicely
the channels through which unions affect cost structures.
I would like to focus upon three of them, identified
by the following assertions:
(i) the accord has worked;
(ii) Australia has a floating exchange rate;
(iii) it is not possible to alter wage relativities
in the Australian context.
I believe that acceptance of each of these myths,
and failure to address the controllable factors
underlying them, is a recipe for further economic
mediocrity, both absolutely and relative to other countries.
(i) The Accord Has Worked
Let me stress that, while they disagree with its detail
and with the way it was finalised, farmers have no
difficulty at all with the central objectives of the
Accord which are simultaneously to attack inflation,
and unemployment. Farmers also have no problems agreeing
with the mechanism linking labour costs and those objectives.
As with all so-called incomes policies, the core proposition
of the Accord is that cost restraint will allow a retreat
from 'stagflation' toward better economic performance.
Lower labour costs mean more jobs and less inflation.
But what runs are on the board? To be sure, rates
of unemployment and inflation have been reduced recently
and, however achieved, that is a source of some satisfaction.
But there is a long way to go. Inflation is at present
running at about 7 per cent. It is around twice that
of our main trading partners. Inflation is still too
high, both absolutely and relative to our trading partners,
and seems likely to remain so even on the basis of
official forecasts. Unemployment is still high---just
under 8 per cent of the work force. The youth unemployment
rate is nearly three times as high. The Government
tends to be very cautious when asked to forecast unemployment
prospects. Unemployment remains as a major problem
In terms of its own central objectives then, the Accord
has not worked---at least not yet. Given that its real
claim to fame is its asserted ability to allow full
employment with low inflation, it remains fully to
Moreover, what prospects are there for success? The
Accord's framers and its defenders at least implicitly
accept that wage and labour cost restraint is crucial
for success. The ACTU, for example, warns of a wage
explosion, with all its dire consequences, if the Accord
is abandoned. However, the key wage fixing Principles
enshrined in the Accord---especially national wage
indexation to the CPI and national productivity guidelines---operate directly to retard reductions in inflation
- By definition, the objective of wage indexation (Principle
1) is to ensure that real wages do not fall. Wage indexation,
per se, does not help to reduce real labour costs or
contribute to an easing of inflation.
- The only other avenue for reducing production costs---and thereby inflation and unemployment---is productivity
growth, but unions want that to be appropriated for
existing wage earners in national productivity increases
(Principle 2), regardless of industry or enterprise
In short, through the Accord and Accord Mk II, unions
have been allowed to impose major limits upon the extent
to which production costs can be reduced, and thereby
upon prospects for the full achievement of the objectives
of the Accord itself.
In fact, success to date---such as it has been---
has been due substantially to cost restraint. However,
if cost restraint since 1982 is attributable to anything
beyond underlying market forces, it is surely not to
Principles 1 and 2. Rather, as. far as institutionalised
wage fixing processes go, it is the direct result of:
- the Fraser Government's wage pause, which continued
well into the Hawke Government's first term;
- the CPI consequences of the introduction of Medicare
(the 'Medifiddle'): the CPI did not increase in the
first half of 1984, and therefore there was no indexation
adjustment of wages, even though other price indices
increased over that period;
- the postponement of any consideration of wage increases
on account of any so-called national productivity claims.
That is, to the extent that it has been secured, cost
restraint has derived from exceptions to the main wage
fixing Principles in the Accord. The mechanism intended
to promote the Accord's objectives---reduced costs
(ii) Australia Has A Floating Exchange Rate
Technically, of course, it is true that the value
of the Australian dollar is determined by the market;
that is, by demand for and supply of foreign exchange.
That was stated as the immediate objective of the Government's
decision announced by the Treasurer on 9 December 1983.
However, 1985 has seen substantial declines in the
value of the Australian dollar. In the second half
of 1985, the market---or at least the private sector
players therein---were accused by the Government of
being 'irrational'. That is, the Government believed
that these market participants' views about domestic
policy and prospects, including wages and labour cost
prospects, were wrong. ('Rationality' and 'consensus'
seem to have one thing in common: they both involve
acceptance of Government/union views.)
Accordingly, monetary policy was tightened, resulting
in a marked increase in Australian short-term interest
rates over the course of the year from around 13.5
per cent early in 1985 to about 20 per cent or more
by year's end. This action was dictated largely if
not wholly by a desire to maintain the value of the
Left to itself, and in the absence of other policy
action, the dollar would undoubtedly have fallen
to much lower levels. Substantial intervention was
considered essential in Australia's 'best' interests.
Is the exchange rate management situation post-9 December
1983 really different in a fundamental sense from that
applying before that date?
To be sure, there is now no scope for net foreign
exchange inflows or outflows, and that volatile influence
on domestic monetary aggregates has been replaced by
more volatility in the exchange rate itself.
However, concerns about domestic policy and institutional
inadequacies remain, and official acceptance of the
need to offset these by intervening to influence the
value of the dollar also remains.
Concern about the inflationary impacts of devaluation,
arising out of Australia's wage fixing arrangements,
militates in favour of Government intervention to support
the dollar (mainly by maintaining tighter monetary
policy settings and therefore higher interest rates
than otherwise would apply). The adverse effects on
business and consumer confidence of a devaluation/valuation
spiral reinforce these views. Concerns about the effects
of devaluation upon the servicing and repayment of
Australia's overseas debt work in the same direction.
However, all along there has existed an alternative
policy approach open to the Government to maintain
a strong dollar namely, Government action to change
the system of indexed wage determination: through renegotiation
of the Accord.
London and New York based money market operators advise
that the downward pressure on the $A stems from a view
that Australia has an inflation problem. They see the
inflation problem linked primarily to a rigid, indexed
wage system. They do not believe that the Australian
Government has the resolve to tackle this underlying
cause of the inflation problem. Without such resolve,
propping up interest rates becomes the overriding policy
In fact, the failure to deregulate labour market arrangements
at the same time as the foreign exchange and financial
markets were liberalised has now produced one depressingly
familiar result. Specifically, Australian economic
policy must still rely heavily upon the 'blunt instrument'
of monetary policy to regulate the economy. Ironically,
the Accord was supposed to obviate the need for such
blunt instruments. In the event, the main elements
of the Accord, notably wage indexation and provision
for national productivity-based wage increases, have
not avoided that result. If anything, with a floating
exchange rate, they have made it more certain.
The Government is aware of the problem. Partial (but
delayed) discounting, and some further postponement
of the productivity claim, as included in Accord Mk
II, are a very limited reflection of that. In the end,
however, the unions have been able to limit the Government's
preparedness to act.
Australia's exchange rate and official intervention
policy have been determined by the unions. Through
high interest rates, that influence is operating to
subdue investment prospects and thereby undermine capacity
for sustainable growth. The adjustment burden is being
diverted: the share of that burden that properly falls
to wage and salary earners is being shifted by unions
onto the jobless, employers, farmers, and other groups.
This is not to say that a lower value for the Australian
dollar is desirable in all circumstances. Devaluation
involves a loss of national income. If greater wage
restraint was achieved or even expected, there is little
question that selling pressure on the dollar would
be reduced if not eliminated, without the need for
deflationary domestic policy. The international capital
market does see a strong future for the Australian
economy if a credible anti-inflationary policy is put
in place. The strategy, incidentally, would be wholly
consistent with the objectives of the Accord.
The central point is that unions are preventing the
exchange rate working efficiently to preserve external
balance and sustain strong domestic growth.
The dollar is not floating: it is under the old management
in a new guise.
(iii) Wage Relativities Cannot Be Altered
The preceding myths relate mainly to perceptions about
the degree of average labour cost restraint that is
believed to be feasible.
But wage relativities are also believed to be inflexible
because of union insistence, in various forms, on 'Comparative
Wage Justice' (CWJ). CWJ is a key element of 'industrial
relations realities'. In fact, the Minister for Employment
and Industrial Relations recently stated that the Government
did not believe that relativities could be adjusted
under the present centralised system without threatening
what little wage restraint Australia has already secured.
That is a most telling comment on that system. It also
speaks volumes about official perceptions of union
power. Is the Minister saying that the Government is
not in control? Is he suggesting that the Arbitration
Commission is not in control? If he is, then the system
is in need of change.
Inflexible wage/labour cost relativities contribute
to pockets of greater inflation and unemployment than
would otherwise develop. Such inflexibility does not
help to reduce inflation and unemployment, despite
the stated objectives of the Accord.
In fact, wage relativities have been adjusted in Australia
in the past. Some examples serve to illustrate these
First, in the case of pre-tax/subsidy rates of remuneration:
- rates of pay for women, youth and unskilled labour
have been increased relative to other rates, on 'social
- 'plateau' indexation in the 1970s, per se, operated
generally to raise lower income levels (for those with
jobs) relative to higher income levels, again on 'social
- in terms of award wage relativities across industries,
even the Arbitration Commission has allowed change---at least temporarily (e.g. the Pastoral Award was
not adjusted fully to the so- called metal industry
'standard' in 1982: that decision was delayed until
Second, in terms of post-tax/subsidy rates of pay:
- the intended squeezing of relativities in favour
of lower income groups by the income tax system is
also apparent although the actual degree of income
redistribution probably falls well short of that intended
because of major design deficiencies in the tax system.
Third, in terms of post-subsidy rates of pay as perceived
by the employer:
- The so-called 'Priority One' project, and other wage/training
subsidy schemes, are intended, inter alia, to change
relative costs of employing specified members of the
workforce or to increase their skills at no, or reduced,
cost to the employer.
The first and third of these sets of changes are related.
The first involves raising relative rates of pay for
lower income/less skilled groups, despite relative
increases in the number of such people seeking work
in pre-tax terms. This movement has been built into
the award structure.
The third involves increases in subsidies and other
expenditures by governments to lower the cost of employing
younger, less skilled job seekers. In effect it attempts
to reverse the abovementioned narrowing of award relativities,
as faced by the employer, but at the expense of the
taxpayer, rather than employees.
The net effect of these two movements has been to
divert needed wage flexibility into increased public
spending, taxes and borrowing.
In short, there has been some flexibility, but in
net terms, as revealed, for example, by relative unemployment
rates for youth and the unskilled, it has either been
in the wrong direction or at least inadequate. In either
case, unions have been a major cause of the problem.
Ultimate Constraints on Union Power: Economic Realities
Implicit in the foregoing comments is the fact that
union power is ultimately constrained by the
economic realities of Australia's situation. Unions
cannot extract more from the private sector in remuneration
and benefits than it can afford to pay. Farmers know
only too well how the adjustment mechanism works. Excessive
union demands boost the cost structure to a point where
labour is laid off and/or some farm operations close
down. The problem is that the present adjustment mechanism
imposes too much damage---often irreparable damage---upon particular groups, such as the unemployed, farmers,
and other small businesses, and, finally, upon the
economy more generally.
The choice lies between allowing larger and larger
doses of economic pain to constrain union irresponsibility
on the one hand, and effecting enforceable legal restraints
on union power, on the other. The more the latter restraints
are binding, the less Australia needs to suffer poor
economic performance, and conversely.
This fundamental tradeoff must more widely be understood.
Here, too, the Accord and Accord Mk Il fail---indeed
they are counterproductive. For example, Accord Mk
II suggests to wage and salary earners that they do
not need to shoulder their share of the adjustment
burden required by the devaluation of the dollar. Specifically,
pre-tax discounting of wage indexation (intended to
respond to the price effects of devaluation) is to
be countered by income tax cuts, preserving post-tax
incomes. In fact, of course adjustment is taking place
to a degree. To the extent that the tax cuts are financed
by 'bracket creep', they are illusory. To the extent
that they are not, then they must be financed by expenditure
cuts, by more borrowing (higher interest rates and
public debt), or by more inflation, all of which involve
burdens for some groups, including, but not only, wage
and salary earners. The central point, however, is
that these adjustment paths are less direct and less
understood: there is probably greater scope to 'con'
the unions. If policy operates on this 'pea and thimble'
level, is it any wonder that a 'cargo cult' mentality
about remuneration prevails in Australia?
How, under this regime, can we expect Australians
to shoulder their economic responsibilities, rather
than behaving like undisciplined children?
Australians need to be told it like it is. To my knowledge,
there is no historical precedent supporting the proposition
that appeasement constrains the activities of any entity
having unusually wide powers and privileges. There
are plenty of contrary examples.
Those powers and privileges must be addressed directly,
regardless of the groups possessing them. It is the
responsibility of governments, for the common wealth,
to address them. So far from accepting this responsibility,
successive governments have run away from it. The Accord
and Accord Mk II are examples of appeasement. The Government's
continuing disgraceful conduct in relation to the Mudginberri
dispute is a classic example. This Government seems
destined to relearn the lessons of history through
deteriorating economic performance in Australia over
the latter part of 1986 and beyond.
Some Policy Orientations
Farmers cannot agree that avoidable constraints upon
economic performance should be accepted when unavoidable
constraints are making life difficult enough for them
as it is. Australia can do better---if it wants to.
I believe that the following three elements must be
included in a policy program directed at sustainable
improvements in Australia's economic performance.
1. Under present centralised wage fixing processes,
there should be no improvements in award conditions
for as long as Australia continues to have either unemployment
or inflation problems. Principles 1 and 2 should be
suspended indefinitely, at least pending restoration
of full employment and durable growth. That is our
position in the current National Wage Case.
This proposal should receive full Government support.
It is directed at the objectives simultaneously of
reducing inflation and unemployment. It exploits the
mechanism (production cost reductions) already used
with some success by governments both here and overseas
in the recent past. For example, in response to similar
economic conditions in Denmark in 1982, wage indexation
was suspended, and a temporary wage freeze was put
in place. In response, interest rates fell from 21.5
per cent in 1982 to 13.5 per cent in 1983. Inflation
trends were reversed, and began to decelerate more
strongly than abroad, and exports grew in 1983/84 by
7 per cent.
2. Provisions of the Trade Practices Act applicable
to unions should be retained. They have proved effective,
when used, in restraining abuses of union power.
3. All sanctions against both employers and unions
at present contained in industrial legislation should
be abolished. The Hancock Committee has proposed this
in respect of unions. The NFF simply seeks the same
treatment in respect of employers.
The first of these elements is restrictive. That reflects
Australia's present economic situation. Further inroads
into unemployment and inflation require lower production
The second element continues direct legislative restraint
on the abuse of union power in the interests of fair
The third element recognises the ineffectiveness of
sanctions on unions under the Industrial legislation,
and seeks to balance that with corresponding adjustments
with respect to employers, in the interests of better
I believe that this third element will have a number
of desirable effects:
- it will bring about no dramatic change, but a freeing
up at the periphery of the economy;
- it will lead to a reduction in the importance of
centralised authority in the industrial arena, that
is, 'The Club';
- it will, I believe, re-establish the personal responsibility
of employers and employees for their own industrial
- this proposal allows for what will be, over time,
the most important change in industrial relations since
1904, without causing panic or dislocation to the great
majority of employers and unionists;
- it is able to be achieved by the repeal of a number
of provisions in the Act in one set of amendments.
It does not require a series of amendments over time;
- it is entirety compatible with the increasing demand
for further flexibility in our economy and it does
not force alteration, lt allows change,
- this proposal would provide business in trouble with
the option of going to its employees and allowing them
to decide to join the firm in fighting for its future
rather than compelling the firm to sack all or some
- the eventual effect would be to bring the wages system
to a combination of adjudication and contract;
- nothing in these proposals should lead to the removal
of regulations affecting registered organisations.
They can remain regulated without in anyway restricting
the deregulation of individual employers and employees;
- implicit in this proposal is the eventual re-establishment
of the employment contract between employer and employee
enforceable at law, and able to be prosecuted by the
existing inspectorate machinery.
The employment contract constitutes the core of an
alternative system that more fully acknowledges the
economic realities faced by Australia. In particular:
- it allows scope for different arrangements reflecting
differing industry/enterprise conditions and prospects;
- it ensures that those directly affected by their
results have the responsibility for framing conditions
of employment, engendering greater commitment thereto;
- it enhances perceptions of the common interests of
employer and employee in the economic performance of
the enterprise/industry concerned, operating to minimise
- above all, it restores perceptions of the fundamental
link between reward and performance, and breaks down
the 'cargo cult' perceptions of wage/benefit increases
that have built up under the centralised wage fixing
system. In that sense, it is not restrictive at all,
but rather an incentive to better economic performance---and rewards therefrom---as the Mudginberri
example so clearly illustrates.
I suspect that many members of the Government and
the Labor movement would strongly identify with the
advantages of removing the penalties for all.
Let me quote two authorities. First, John Ducker,
at the time Senior Vice President, ACTU, and Secretary
of the NSW Trades and Labour Council, March 1972:
'So constant repetition of the phrase that arbitration
cannot work without sanctions is pointless. It emphasizes
only that he who uses the phrase has not thought about
penal provisions, their inherent injustices, or even
The second was in December 1971 by Clyde Cameron,
Labor Member for Hindmarsh and Minister for Labour
under Edward Gough Whitlam.
'In Labor's view, such an award or agreement
fixing national minima only will not entail penalties
against either unions or employer organizations if
their members breach it. Penalties in this area are
entirely wrong and unfair'.
We must insist that the Government shoulder prime
responsibility for facilitating the implementation
of these proposals. Groups such as this Society must
assist the process of public education that will be
needed to ensure that the Government faces up to its
If our elected leaders do not face up to these policy
realities, then, sooner rather than later, the electorate
must force these policies on them.