AQ Volume 89, Issue 1
What could Australia look like in a Take-Make-Recreate society?
What is the Blockchain, and how will governments react to the risk/potential? What will it mean for ordinary Australians?
Poverty: Why will Australia be called to account?
Technically, we all own the mineral resources found in Australia; so how should public resource ownership look in the modern era?
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In the new AQ:
Alleviating Poverty: Australia Will be Called to Account
Bob Hawke’s pledge to ‘end child poverty by 1990’ was met with widespread cynicism. Yet that pledge was ahead of its time in two key regards: first, its emphasis on the need to set poverty targets; and the focus given to the problem of child poverty. One of the key elements of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is to eradicate poverty in all its forms. As a signatory, Australia will be called to account for our action on poverty trends, internationally as well as domestically.
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A King’s Ransom: Public Benefit within a Modern Energy Landscape
Australia has an abundance of natural resources and when these resources reside within the the land they is subject to state ownership; the state must look after those resources for the benefit of the public as a whole. Yet public benefit in this context has never been fully defined and is therefore grounded in unarticulated assumptions. Current governance mechanisms are unresponsive to broader social contexts, generally treating economic benefit as the only true consideration. The times are changing and it’s about time our public resource governance does too.
From trash to treasure: Australia in a take-make-remake world
In 2014-15 Australia produced 64 million tonnes of waste, the equivalent of 2.7 tonnes for every person. But what if this didn’t have to be the case; what if waste was seen as a resource and treated accordingly? Instead of endlessly digging, growing, harvesting and processing virgin materials, we could take what we had finished using and remake it into what we wanted to use next. This is the idea at the heart of the circular economy, that we go from a linear process of take, make and dispose, to a circular one, where we take, make and recreate.
Samantha Sharpe and Damien Giurco
Blockchain and the State: Vehicle or Vice?
As ultramodern as they may seem, cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology, represent the intertwined evolution of two prosaic yet fundamental pillars of civilisation: money and accounting. From the earliest issuance of barter tokens, to coins of precious metal, paper notes, then digital strings of ones and zeros, one feature of these two pillars has been ubiquitous and constant: centralisation. The blockchain threatens this centralised control, yet is this an opportunity or a risk for the centralised power of our governments?