Lisa Short | Mind Shifter, Influencer, Change Strategist and Australian | Refusing to be Silent

POLITICAL GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP CULPABILITY

Today I will not be silenced nor afraid to speak out about Australia’s political and leadership culpability to the people and business of our Nation. I understand many may immediately jump to other nations and their equivalent culpability, but I am making this only about Australia. And whilst the evidence of this culpability is evolving now during the current crisis, this culpability to future proof our Nation through innovation, 21st Century capability, building the skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution, collaborative and diversified socio-economic markets and community are NOT new issues.
COVID-19 is not to blame for Australia’s political and leadership culpability to the people and business of our Nation. The catastrophic impact of that culpability [and flow on from the current impact of COVID-19] sits on the shoulders of a decade [and beyond] of a collective of grossly negligent elected and positioned decision makers who have shown deliberate, intentional and self gratuitous disregard to the people of Australia. If they were a Director of a Company, under the Corporations Act those responsible should be held up for a Public Examination for a misuse of money, lose their protection indemnity, be humiliated and lose their wealth, assets and reputation. This is apolitical. Each representative party are as bad as each other.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert

I quote:

“My bad, not realising the sheer scale of the decision on Sunday night by national leaders” …. “That literally saw hundreds and hundreds of thousands, maybe a million people, unemployed overnight.”

The culpability and total reckless disregard for our Nation with regard the abhorrent and catastrophic failure of MyGov and the technology infrastructure of Services Australia sits with Minister Stuart Robert and all those who contributed to his actions in the past 2 days and into the future.

To articulate that he failed to appreciate the scale of demand that would be placed on Centrelink’s website is culpable, negligent and unacceptable. There are NO excuses.

This is not a new problem. The same failures occur when there is any change that affects our Nation. When we tried to Vote, when we try to log on to the ATO, when we try to telephone Centrelink or any Government Service. This is NOT new. Do NOT blame COVID-19. The call waiting time as one example for Centrelink has been in hours for years. Do not try and attempt to bullshit the Australian people and suggest otherwise.

A Government took the livelihoods of over 1 million people away instantly overnight. Many had already been un or under employed for weeks. A Government closed businesses. A Government has crippled a country. A Government has crippled a country to anarchy without any infrastructure to do so. COVID-19 did not cause the failure. The anarchy is an outcome of culpable failure.

A Government has made decisions that have placed millions of Australian’s into complete and utter financial & wellbeing poverty and annihilation without any ability to deliver on any capacity to support that decision.

Let’s just state some basic facts:

The myGov website manages ALL government services for ALL 25million Australians including Centrelink, ATO and Medicare. That is payments, taxes and health.

Until this past weekend it had the capacity to manage 6,000 concurrent users.

Last weekend at the same time the government rebranded and changed to its flagship new brand Services Australia the Minister approved an upgrade to myGov to manage a capacity of 55,000 users.

The quote from Minister Stuart Robert was:

“We increased our tech over the weekend so 10x more Australians could use myGov at the same time, anticipating challenges Australians would have,” he said. “We’re working very hard to see if we can increase that concurrency to even higher numbers.”

My maths says 10 x 6000 = 60,000!!

But what of the remaining 24Million odd Australians? Or the known at least 1 Million instantly made unemployed?

COVID-19 is not the root cause of the problem. Culpability of infrastructure is.

Other Facts

  • There is no way to register “intent to claim” with myGov
  • The application process for “jobseekers” does NOT accomodate sole traders and self employed or those impacted by COVID-19.
  • Unless applicants can “upload” a myriad of useless documents — many that Centrelink already have multiple times, or are completely impossible to attain a person cannot Submit an application and cannot get any financial support.
  • The new Services Australia and myGov online platform have NO CAPACITY to email. ALL applicants MUST either phone, go ‘online’ to self serve or go ‘in person’ to a Centrelink Office.
  • The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have lied and continue lie to the Australian Nation and are falsely representing themselves and their public statements.

If a member of the public or a company Director lied to the Australian community and fraudulently presented themselves what would be the consequences?

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston

I quote:

“No-one [should be lining up] unless you don’t have a phone or you don’t have internet access — you can ring up or you can go online.” … We’d be seriously encouraging people to do that.”… “We actually don’t want people lining up. Social distancing would say we don’t want them in a group. So, if you can at all avoid going to Centrelink today, that would be great.”

The culpability and total reckless disregard for our Nation with regard the abhorrent and catastrophic failure of Services Australia and Centrelink sits with Minister Anne Ruston and all those who contributed to her actions in the past 2 days and into the future.

Minister Anne Ruston do you have a telephone? Have you recently spoken with Minister Stuart Robert? Maybe you don’t have internet access or don’t know how to utilise any form of communication device?

I am going to reiterate:

If either of these two Ministers were a Director of a Company, under the Corporations Act they should be held up for a Public Examination for a misuse of money, lose their protection indemnity, be humiliated and lose their wealth, assets and reputation.

Payments and Support Language

The term ‘welfare payment’ is a derogatory and non inclusive Government driven term that is an abhorrent use of vocabulary designed to humiliate the millions of people who have had their businesses and employment taken by dictated decision. These individuals and businesses are NOT Job Seekers or Welfare Recipients.

Any payment, facilitated by the Government, if they can ever be received by those affected are Salary, Wages, Employment Remuneration Payments or Business Income.

Accessing any Superannuation Savings will only affect those in most financial need and will predominantly be women and families, effectively ensuring they will have insufficient future savings as they age. This is unconscionable.

The culpable behaviour does not cease with lack of infrastructure or capacity to support Government decisions that are reacting, not responding to current circumstances.

Challenges not thought about!

Let’s for just a moment consider this very basic challenges with millions of Australian people now unemployed and business closed:

Essential expenses like Private Health Insurance will cease, immediately reducing the health and wellbeing of people

Essential expenses like Home, Contents and Business Insurances will cease, immediately exposing millions to risk and future hardship

Millions of people and business who have no income and no capacity to obtain it [see above and the culpability of Government] will have extreme difficulty in affording to pay for their Phones and Internet Access that everyone must have !!!

Millions of children and people are required to work , be educated, gain telehealth, access remote services digitally without capacity, because infrastructure has no capacity and without income who will pay for telephones and internet?

Telehealth

I have today a miraculous political ‘awakening’ of the need to expand Telehealth services in Australia. A Nation with EXTREME geographical challenges. I call BULLSHIT! This critical demand has been advocated for years. Myself and colleagues I have worked with for at least 6 years have continually beaten our heads against a brick wall dealing with political and leadership culpability who have refused to invest one cent into this critical need. Innovation has been mocked. People have been crucified, broken and destroyed in attempts to discredit the need for essential services.

Until last week, a telephone consultation with a GP could NOT be remitted via Medicare. Miraculously that is now an essential need!

21st Century and 4IR Skills and Capacity

Over the past week I have witnessed one of the greatest injustices the Australian population has been dealt. Contributing to that is our Nation’s gross negligence, and complete lack of preparedness and capacity for technical & digital infrastructure and 21C & 4IR skills. This has been a known problem for at least 10 years, a critical issue in the past 5 and a catastrophic one in the last year. It has seen Australia fall off the top education levels and completely close doors to innovation investment — both that facilitate resilience and diversified markets.

Educational institutions and infrastructure are and have been resistant to change for far too long dependent on the wealth of the Asian fee paying market, gauging of Government funding and total incompetence of Regulators such as ASQA. That is an entire argument on its own, suffice to say, now is far too little far too late!

Right now, I am literally working with devastated people, communities and businesses to positively and productively work and educate them to shift their capacities to digital environments not just for commercial security but for the health and well being of people. I am actively bringing together a global innovation community to deliver alternative ways of working , trading, engaging in new markets and opportunities and giving tangible solutions to real people and businesses — within the next 6 to 8 weeks. It is sobering thought that suicide will kill more people than COVID-19 through extreme stress, depression, hopelessness, poverty and lack of human engagement. The capacity to engage and have a future is made possible through good knowledge and use of digital skills. Australia has failed on this. I will not sit back and be voiceless and complacent.

Parliament Closing at such a time a critical as this? Why? Because our elected decision makers and leaders completely lack the capacity, or resist to learn and use, remote work and use digital workspaces or educate themselves on the use of engagement tools! The failure of “Social distancing” of politicians, unconscionable unnecessary costs by having to be in a building to raise a hand!! Culpable. Yet a nation who has not had 21C and 4IR education prioritised is blatantly directed to ‘step up to the plate’.

Telco’s, Utility, Insurance Companies & Credit Card Companies

At a time of critical need what are these giants being required to give back?

The silence is deafening.

Some immediate suggestions in the absence of leadership:

1. Premium Holidays of at least 6 months
2. Immediate payment on Crisis Cover & Business Interruption Clauses
3. Reductions or Payment Holidays for all people receiving any payment from the Federal Government for all Telco’s and Utilities and reductions for all others.

In September 2019, I was invited to educate 1300 youth on Areté Social Entrepreneurship at the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Mérida, Yucatán. I spoke about the path of areté and facing a fork where decisions greater than money and power will force you to make decisions. Today is one of them.

I am beyond angry. And I will not stay silent. Only people will have the potential, positivity and possibility to redirect our future.

LISA SHORT

Founder | Mind Shifter | Change Maker | Collaborator

International Keynote Presenter | Ambassador | Strategic Advisor

Transformation & Design Thinking, Frontier Technology & Blockchain, Social Impact, Inclusive Diversity, Women’s Leadership, Education & Business

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