Those last two commentaries went by pretty fast, and so we are moving along to Alan Mull just as my plane passes Muscat. Is this a hint that I will need a drink before continuing?
(I do not, in fact, write these posts under the influence of anything except sleep deprivation. I’m always like this. I like to think that it’s part of my charm.)
Alan Mull wants you to know that he is an entrepreneur and retried farmer from pioneering stock, whose great-grandfather selected land in Tawonga in 1867. I am resisting the urge to indulge in family history one-upmanship here, because while most of my family are recent immigrants, we do have an ancestress who was born here in 1815. Ah. Apparently, I’m not resisting that urge after all. Oh well.
Mr Mull is running on a platform of honesty and integrity. Who would like to bet me that we are going to get references to government corruption on this page? Perhaps even a hint of a Royal Commission? I’m sorry, these posts are getting frivolous now. I’ve been on the road for a while…
So. Mr Mull wants to give a greater voice to Australia, because he feels that Australians are becoming disillusioned with politics, and ‘the Australian approach of a fair go for all has been diminished.’
He really likes to talk about his CV, so here goes. He has, apparently, 60 years of farming experience, has managed hotels, has been married for 53 years and also pilots light planes, which is admittedly pretty cool. Mr Mull has lived all his life in the Alpine region of Victoria and was an early promoter of tourism there, and now I’m looking at it, I’m wondering if we’ve stayed at one of his motels when I was a teenager. Hmm. He also advocated in 1975 for a TV translator, which became ‘the first community licensed, owned and funded translator in Australia.’
I’m too young to know what a TV translator is, and will need to look this up when I get home.
Edit: OK, I’ve looked it up. It seems to be a way of passing on TV signals beyond the normal broadcast range, handy for remote areas.
So that’s Mr Mull’s background. What does he plan to do with it?
His policies start with a ‘duty of care to vote as to what the majority of people want, and be accessible’, which is nice. Once again, these are one or two sentence policies, often with a reference to his CV.
Mr Mull wants to deregulate small business, and keep farmers viable, and to keep public utilities in public control. He wants to promote ‘sound and proven conservation methods’, but modern renewables are not mentioned, nor is the environment otherwise discussed. He also wants to keep Australian land in Australian hands, but leasing it for foreign investment is fine.
He is worried about family violence and wants ‘all aspects of its causes… researched and disclosed and put out for public assessment’, and he talks about how he has experience in this field but not what it is. I really wish he would put more details in this policy, because I have seen people blame family violence on male entitlement and I’ve also seen people blame it on evil feminists undermining men. And this, of course, is the broader problem with all these super-short policies from the independents – there are many ways to approach problems such as unemployment, problems with the health sector, or education, all wildly different and some quite terrible. Just saying that you want to help with these things doesn’t tell me much.
Mr Mull wants country roads to be fixed, and our health system re-vamped. Again, this is too vague to be useful. Well, the second half. He’s pretty clear on the country roads – they are a disgrace, apparently!
He wants more balance between the various streams of technical and higher education, which sounds fair enough, and he wants to fiercely protect our Constitution ‘which is our only real security of protection now and in the future.’ I’m sensing a bit of ‘Advance Australia’ here…
He wants to limit overseas aid to ‘food delivered to wharves and airports for overseas international aid agencies to distribute.’ I’m not sure this hands-off approach is the best one, to be honest, especially in developing countries which need infrastructure. And where are the overseas international aid agencies going to get the infrastructure to deliver things? Their budgets are rather smaller than ours.
And finally, he is quite passionate on defence:
We cannot run our economy on jobs from production of war machines. We should not be putting Australia up as a terrorist target. We should not repeat John Howard’s tragic Iraq disaster again. It seems that we are – we need to give returned servicemen and women the absolute support that they so desperately need.
I think he’s spot on here.
Overall, it’s hard to get a real read on Mr Mull. I suspect he is a bit conservative for my tastes, though he has pretty much avoided any discussion of my personal litmus test issues. I’m kind of neutral on this one.