The New Liberals Dr Jeff Gill
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Dr Jeff Gill

Senior Policy Advisor on Science and Climate Change

Ex – Farmer. Grew up on farms.
Ex – Scientist; Cambridge, Friedrich Miescher Institute (Basel), Genome Research Institute (Cincinnati), Cambridge Antibody Technology (Astra Zeneca)
Ex – Lecturer and Teacher

For far too long “salesmen” have run this country. Short-sighted decisions and lack of long-term planning have been bugbears of our country for decades now, if not since European settlement. The status quo is unsustainable and morally unacceptable.

Long-term sustainability is the only sensible way forward. Even the fundamental business sector will admit that stability and predictability are essential when looking at investments. So forget the nonsense of the fossil fuel industries. They knew about anthropomorphic climate change before most and rather that do the right thing by humanity as a whole, made a conscious decision to continue to pollute the planet. For money. This type of abominable behaviour, for what ends up being some number on a ledger in a bank somewhere, that enriches only the account holder, must stop.

We could actually be the cleverest and luckiest country on Earth, if we were strategic about how we structured our society. All we need to do is stand up and say no, we are not for sale.

Education, widely spread, intensively encouraged and actively promoted, from preschool, all the way through to tertiary education, should be, as it once was, free. Being clever is our only way forward.

Our insular, inward-looking attitude must change. There is a World out there and we must engage. But we must engage under conditions that we set ourselves, not those imposed upon us. Not those of any “more powerful” nation, nor any “less powerful” nation, but our conditions. Australian conditions, that include our empathy, our love and support for the battler and our disdain for those that will not roll up their sleeves when necessity calls.

Climatically, we are immersed in change. I have fought bushfires , but I have never seen anything like what we are facing now. The fire-storms set up all too easily now, raining down embers kilometres ahead of the front. It becomes predictable only when one considers the worst possible fire scenario. Not only are the winds stronger, but their changes are less than predictable, making fire fighting a far riskier activity than in years previous. This must be dealt with.

As a farmer, and as a scientist, I am very worried indeed. I can remember, even as a young adult, having to put a fly-wire screen in front of my car’s radiator to avoid it getting clogged with insect remains, mainly grasshoppers and moths. This is no longer required. That too concerns me. Our ecosystems are profoundly disturbed.

Dr Phil Schmidt and I want to position our research, our education and our future, upon working smarter, not harder. And to work with a vision for the future. Not just for the next five years, not just for the next ten or twenty years. But to establish a way for all Australians to benefit from the advantages we undoubtedly and demonstrably have.

To quote from my colleague and friend, Dr Phil Schmidt’s profile: “Science is more important than ever and we need leaders who look to the experts for advice and take heed of that advice. It is time for the present government to get out of the way and for The New Liberals to lead.”