There are lots of people, elbows out, trying to shape what Australia’s post-Covid future looks like. Scott Morrison would have us double-down on gas, conveniently forgetting climate change remains an existential threat. Around the country, state governments have taken the opportunity to ramp up police power, investing in unprecedented police numbers, more equipment, more arrests. Investment in industries including public services, aged care, childcare, social housing construction, preventative health, and education have been ignored in favour of a no holds barred bet on the free market. The Government’s already miserly offer of humanitarian places for those fleeing persecution has been, yet again, slashed.
Amidst all of that, remaining hopeful – and channelling that hope into an alternative post-Covid future – can be a challenge. This is particularly the case when many of us are experiencing pain in our own lives , with personal loss, separation and struggle such a feature of this year. With so many of us already exhausted, where can we look to find hope in the dark?
In this Spring 2020 edition, our contributors offer insights into where this may be found. Identifying the problems with Australia’s current trajectory, these pieces offer alternative pathways forward, both in terms of understanding the predicament that we face, and, what we can do about it. These pieces canvas a number of sectors, highlighting how the erosion of labour rights, migrant rights, social safety nets, and the environment is further exposed in the face of Covid-19. Each author considers what may be borne of the ashes: where to from here? What opportunities exist for a future that is just, sustainable, peaceful, and participatory? And how do we get there?
We have to strike forth with confidence. The Government, the fossil fuel industry, Border Force, those who would seek to undermine our rights at work, our right to social assistance – they have plans and resources, and they are seeking to cement their influence over our post-Covid future. Our role is to imagine and mobilise collectively around alternatives. The contributions in this edition offer some ideas about what that might look like.
- ‘Now is the time for bold decision making’: Senator Siewert on the lessons of 2020 by Senator Rachel Siewert
- The trash economy: employment in the post-Covid era by Dr Jane Goodall
- The state of welfare: reimagining support in the wake of Covid-19 by Maiy Azize
- Mobile phones in immigration detention: capturing lessons for post-pandemic transformation? by Kirsty Anantharajah
- A casual reflection on academia: before and after the pandemic by Dr Joe McCarthy
- Unions and worker’s rights in the pandemic: an interview with Godfrey Moase by Simon Copland
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