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THIS IS NOT FINE – an open letter to the PM

I write this letter in earnest, despite what the lyrics of our song may suggest.

Over the past six months we have had the chance to see the very best of you as our PM.

In the moment you decided to work together with State Premiers on co-ordinated lockdowns and began to convene National Cabinet day in day out.

When your Government worked closely with Unions to bring in a Jobs Guarantee, saving millions of jobs in the process.

In the decisions to immediately double Newstart payments, lifting tens of thousands of Australians out of poverty and preventing hundreds of thousands more entering it – albeit temporarily.

At these times you were at your very best.

You listened to the needs of the community and worked with others in an attempt to meet those needs quickly and effectively.

But too many times over the past 12 months I found myself with my heart in my mouth, or face in my hands; crying.

Crying in despair because I can not turn away from my fellow citizens in the face of catastrophe.

Crying with fury at the lack of leadership amidst crisis after crisis.

THIS IS NOT FINE, Mr Prime Minister.

If I were PM I could not pack my bags and set off for Hawaii amidst a national bushfire crisis.

I would not be out drinking, smiling and waving my scarf at the footie on the week low-income Australian’s are forcibly locked up in public housing towers amidst a coronavirus outbreak.

You would not catch me dead playing political football with aged care or quarantine.

This is not the time for political point scoring.

In times like these Australians’ expect our leaders and political representatives to co-operate and get things done, and to leave the ‘politics’ out of it.

This year and the ones to follow immediately after are not like any we have known before.

These times require a new and co-operative politics which prioritises human health and the protection and rejuvenation of our natural environment above all else.

I pray you and our other political representatives will step up to this task.

Our lives and livelihoods lay in the balance.

Solidarity,

Luke Skinner

*please note, the image associated with this post is used with permission from KC Green.