2020 Australia Summit
The Prime Minister of Australia convened an Australia
2020 Summit at Parliament House on 19 and 20 April to help shape a
long term strategy for the nation’s future.
The Summit brought together some of the best and brightest brains
from across the country to tackle the long term challenges confronting
Australia’s future –challenges which require long-term responses from
the nation beyond the usual three year electoral cycle.
To do this, the Government
brought together 1000 plus leading Australians to the national
Parliament to debate and develop long-term options for the nation across
10 critical areas:
- The Productivity Agenda – education, skills, training, science and
- The Future of the Australian Economy
- Population, sustainability, climate change and water
- Future directions for rural industries and rural communities
- A long-term national health strategy – including the challenges of
preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
- Strengthening communities, supporting families and social
- Options for the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and
- The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more
open government (including the role of the media), the structure of
the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
- Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing
region and world.
Participants were selected by a 10 member non-government Steering
Committee. The Summit was co-chaired by the Prime Minister and Professor
Glyn Davis, Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.
This Steering Committee selected up to 100 participants in each of
the Summit areas to attend in a voluntary capacity. The participants
were drawn from business, academia, community and industrial
organisations, the media and included a number of individual eminent
Australians. Summit participants were invited in their own right rather
than as institutional representatives from any particular organisation.
Each of the 10 Summit areas were co-chaired by a Federal Government
Minister and a member of the Steering Committee.
The Summit had the following objectives:
- To harness the best ideas across the nation
- To apply those ideas to the 10 core challenges that the Government
has identified for Australia – to secure our long-term future through
- To provide a forum for free and open public debate in which there
are no predetermined right or wrong answers
- For each of the Summit’s 10 areas to produce following the Summit
options for consideration by government
- For the Government to produce a public response to these options
papers by the end of 2008 with a view to shaping the nation’s
long-term direction from 2009 and beyond.
In providing this response, the Government in providing may accept
some options and reject others – but will provide its reasons for
embracing its course of action for the future.
The Government has no interest in a talkfest. The Government’s
interest is in harnessing and harvesting ideas from the community that
are capable of being shaped into concrete policy actions.
Government, irrespective of its political persuasion, does not have a
monopoly on policy wisdom. To thrive and prosper in the future we need
to draw on the range of talents, ideas and energy from across the
For too long Australian policymaking has been focused on short-term
outcomes dictated by the electoral cycle. If Australia is to effectively
confront the challenges of the future, we need to develop an agreed
national direction that looks at the next ten years and beyond.
For these reasons, the Government also invited the Leader of the
Federal Opposition to participate in the Summit, together with State
Premiers, Chief Ministers and their Opposition counterparts.
In addition to those participating in the Summit, all Australians
were invited to make submissions on each of the 10 future challenges.
These were submitted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
which acts as the secretariat for the Summit.
The Government believes Australians, whatever their political
views, can come together to build a modern Australia capable of meeting
the challenges of the 21st century.1
This site is for you the people to talk about what you want to happen
and how you think that the summit went.
1. Taken from http://www.australia2020.gov.au/about/index.cfm