These are the strangest of times: climate change, and its associated consequences, is the issue of our lifetime. But can we get coherent, visionary policies and targets from our elected representatives?
No, certainly not during an election campaign.
Citizens have always prided themselves on their values, in believing in a fair go and in doing the right thing. But can our political leaders separate the claims of genuine asylum seekers from the debate about the size of our population? No, not during an election campaign, not when there are votes to be won.
We remain heavily dependent on the resources sector to sustain our economy, but how assiduously are we creating smart new industries that will diversify the nation in the cycle ahead — the yotta that will belong to our children? No, you're kidding — let's not talk about such complex issues.
Can it really be that our leaders can rely solely on slogans and smiles and get away with it? Are citizens so happy with their lot, so worry-free, so enamoured with life that real issues of substance can float by?
Perhaps this is an overly harsh view. Maybe it's just the view of a media insider.
But more than at any time in its history, the Republic needs leadership that matters. We need to believe in the future. We need to hold our politicians to account. Are we talking enough about creating sustainable cities and sustainable prosperity?
We hope it stimulates an informed debate about our future.