I was only 10 during Paul Keating's "the recession we had to have".
I still remember the carnage well.
Every second property near our holiday house on the NSW South Coast was up for sale.
Canberra's land valuations slashed overnight as the Commonwealth government reduced its workforce.
Everyone (other than my well-to-do great-grandmother whose savings paid her retirement) were complaining about the huge interest rates.
Whether it was the fact my father was bed bound for months (if not a year) with a fractured spine, or the financial implications of Mum and Dad being on a single wage, each day, I'd walk home from Lake Albert Public School keen to watch "News at Five" to make sense of the goings on.
At only 10 I didn't understand. I just developed a hatred of Labor and particularly Paul Keating.
And whether it was Dad's injury or the recession, that period shaped my interest in politics and economics.
Over the next 30 years, I studied economics and I became friends with a few of the federal politicians of the era.
I now realised the economic reforms Keating brazenly took on could only have been achieved via a Labor government to avoid massive strikes.
I came to learn many of his economic initiatives had Coalition support.
I have also realised wealth generated over the past 30 years can be directly attributed to Keating.
But today, with Australia $860 billion in debt, it concerns me to see all those who experienced this period of economic reform have gone into retirement.
The population doesn't seem to remember the pain caused by high interest, job losses and debt.
The pain to the household budgets and the national budget concurrently.
I also see we are entering an era of geopolitical reform and with that comes economic costs likely to challenge our economy.
As such, as we approach this election, I'm not particularly interested in announcements of space defence, I just want to hear Labor and the Coalition explain how their government will repay the debt before our next big recession.
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Drug addiction is a health issue, not a criminal issue.
Correspondents Keith Wheeler and Peter Casey need to realise this.
Placing drug addicts in jail, where they have access to drugs and their addiction becomes worse, is foolish.
By decriminalising drug use and putting in place programs to manage and/or end the addiction, we are protecting society from the ongoing cost of associated criminal activity and health support for the victims.
Decriminalisation is not about condoning drug use - it is about dealing with a problem that history shows will never be solved by making its victims criminals.
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