Neos Kosmos is reaching out to stakeholders in the Greek Australian community and citizens at large ahead of the 18 May Australian elections. We are posing questions as to what they would do in the top job.
Dr Christos Fifis is an academic and author. An active member of the Greek Australian community, his latest history book is titled ‘The First Greek Community of Australia, a history of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria 1897-2018.’ Born in Koskina, Agrinion, Dr Fifis migrated to Australia in 1965. He has published poetry in Greece and Australia and has taught Greek Studies at RMIT, Victoria College and La Trobe University for 30 years. His research work includes the collection, editing and publishing of the poems of the late poet Nikos Ninolakis, in 1986.
What would you do on your first day on the job?
The PM takes care to appoint good ministers (men and women) suitable to carry out their important tasks; organises meetings with the budget committee and other ministerial committees to assess the state of the economy and the impact of announced measures to be implemented. Time needs to be spent in making announcements, giving interviews and explaining the road map of the tasks ahead, the reasons for them and the expected outcomes.
I would propose legislation to ban political donations over $10,000. All donations over $1,000 have to be declared.
What are the issues you feel need to be addressed?
Measures for bridging the economic inequality which is also associated with the high cost of living. These will include a progressive increase up to 5 per cent of wages, salaries and pensions under $80,000 and the imposition of a 10 per cent increase of taxation to incomes after the sum of $150,000. Finding and closing tax loopholes.
Reforming the health system to enable better services and avoiding wastage.
Reforming the Education system to better serve the students and research tasks.
Taking drastic measures to reduce emissions, to improve conditions of climate change and securing a more healthy environment. Encouraging a power renewal industry with products manufactured in Australia.
Taking measures to promote a multicultural, cooperative and informed society. Enabling the teaching of English and community languages to all interested. Make multicultural and multilingual radio and television programs available to society.
What are some of the urgent issues for the Greek Australian community?
There is a need of bringing together the most influencial Greek-Australian organisations. Securing a harmonic cooperation with key organisations including the Community, Pronoia, Frontida and the Church – bringing people together, solving differences. Addressing social problems, problems of old age and pensioners.
There is a need of consultation – Developing forums discussing problems, ideas, cultural activities, educating members of the community.
Creating a large Greek Centre with meeting rooms and athletic facilities, offering opportunities for the participation of youth groups, women, professionals and aged people.
What is your campaign wish list?
Creating opportunities for consultation and discussion and involving the people in the preparation for the agenda.
HAVE YOUR SAY! What would you do as Prime Minister? Share your views on the key issues of the 18 May election campaign by answering the above four questions and sending your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org All views should be accompanied by an email address and telephone number.