24 December 2019

Shirley Jackson makes the case for mission-oriented industry policy: “[T]hose in power have taken their hands off the wheel of government. They have accepted that the best kind of government is one that doesn’t intervene. It is hard to build trust in a political system that tells you that you’re on your own. To rebuild trust and solve the various problems confronting the nation, the government must act decisively. The good news is that there is a way to address the climate and economic crises and rebuild trust in our political system: industry policy.” After setting an ambitious emissions target, government should “identify companies that would benefit from government assistance… These companies would act as the hub of an investment strategy that would extend through businesses in the supply chain, distributors and energy retailers. … Finally, government procurement and planning laws could be rewritten to require public buildings and institutions utilise this growing sector. … Not only would this approach substantially reduce our country’s carbon footprint, but it would provide secure jobs for Australian workers, show that the government has vision and purpose, and most importantly, it would give people hope in uncertain times.”