19 February 2020

John Falzon: “Australian policymakers must acknowledge the social nature of risk and address the distribution of that risk. As a society, Australia must face uncomfortable truths about how its democratic processes have been steered in the direction of compulsory risk-imposition on large sections of the community. … The removal of workers’ rights, attacks on the right to collectively organise as unions, the casualisation of jobs, the dismantling of social security, the imposition of precariousness on the working class — including people excluded by the labour market and those whose labour, especially the labour of caring, is devalued and carried out either for low pay or no pay — all of these deliberate acts amount to an inherently unequal imposition of risk. It is time Australia reconfigured its economy and society so that it can democratise the process by which risk is allocated. In other words, instead of sustaining and protecting the persistence and growth of inequality, Australia must sustain and protect its people.”