A fly on the wall at the 2020 Summit

But the meeting’s facilitator, Insurance Australia Group’s Sam Mostyn, searching for solutions, not problems, replied: “Warwick, I’m looking for an idea.”

If parliament’s main committee room wasn’t carpeted, you could have heard a pin drop.

And McKibbin didn’t disappoint.

“The idea,” he replied, “is to build a framework.”

Soon everyone was piling onto the idea. After all, McKibbin wasn’t just proposing any old framework. It was, as Mostyn told the group, “a national framework, a big framework”.

But just as it seemed the room would erupt in some sort of national framework/co-ordinated policy/enabling institution fever, CSIRO economist Steve Hatfield-Dodds chipped in with a reality check.

“I think the idea we should have a co-ordinated approach to climate change does not qualify as big or new,” he proffered.

Before long, the nation’s best and brightest found themselves in a lengthy debate about what this thing might be called.

Yesterday afternoon they had their answer, as group leader Roger Beale revealed his panel’s first Big Idea: “a national, sustainability, population and climate change agenda”.

– John Breusch, “Getting to grips with the big one”, Australian Financial Review, 21 April, 2008.

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Published in: on 21 April, 2008 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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