Tuesday June 27, 2017

Queensland's Responsible Government?

Written by Caroline Bennett
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Queensland's Responsible Government?  

To be ‘responsible’, the government, and (hence) its government departments, must be accountable to each and every person within its constituency, regardless of its nature, value or function.

Caroline Bennett is a parent and P&C president fighting to save Toowoomba South State School from closure by the Newman Government. 

"The central features of Australia’s constitutional system are the doctrines of responsible government and separation of powers. Under responsible government, the executive is accountable to the parliament and the parliament to the people."
  - About Australia - Democratic rights and freedoms

In other words, and within the bounds of what should be a responsible government, ‘power’ (or any power perceived to be held by any person with a position of leadership) does not equal the right to dictate and oppress any individual, regardless of age, gender or background.

To be ‘responsible’, the government, and (hence) its government departments, must be accountable to each and every person within its constituency, regardless of its nature, value or function.

In that, I fear, we have lost that fundamental and most basic of Australian rights: to make our own decisions; to understand, elect and make judgments based upon what we believe to be ‘right’ and ‘as it should be’.

Yes: In reality, some decisions in life cannot be made for us and cannot be ‘undone’, but these are decisions that are generally to do with our lives in the sense of how we (ourselves) choose to live them.

Do we finish school, do we go to university, do we follow a trade, do something we love or something expected of us?

Do we choose to travel, have a career, or do something, whatever that is, that we want to simply because we can?

Do we have children and accept all the related responsibilities’, children who from the moment they are born, are inherently born with the need for ‘us’ (as parents/grandparents/children in our care) to make decisions for them until they themselves are able to do so of their own accord?

As a grandparent, with full time care of a special needs, but astonishingly wonderful and amazing grandson (I personally made the decision to care for him, regardless of my own career, desires, and wants) made this decision thinking (naively) that I would have, at the very least, control over what I felt to be his best interests, the most important being his education, his future, his life and his best learning outcomes.

No: It seems that I am not even afforded this luxury, that I have to ‘bow’ to a decision (made by a stranger) about where my grandson goes to school, based NOT upon my knowledge of what my grandson ‘needs’ and is in his best interests, but upon random, arbitrary and perplexing decisions based upon what can only be described as nonsensical, ludicrous, inhospitable and inane statistical values (i.e. bigger must equal better).

I know what my grandson needs, and it isn’t a broken promise (that he would be at his school until it was time to go to high school). What he needs is what I came to know would be the best decision possible under the circumstances (and for him): a small school where his needs would be met in as much as that was possible, where he would have the greatest chance to succeed, where he would be stable, happy and have the best chance to succeed as an individual.

Do not take this away from him.

If you do then I have failed in terms of ‘duty of care’.

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