Ok Canberra, we’ve been convicted, but we haven’t actually been sentenced yet so don’t panic too much.
For weeks we’ve been waiting to see the details of the Tony Shepherd Commission of Audit because the Treasurer indicated that he would draw inspiration from it to help him construct the budget.
The Commission of Audit was like the jury and Joe Hockey is the judge.
So we’ve been convicted of living beyond our means, gross overspending, spiralling into debt, blah, blah, blah, and now we await the actual sentence.
I wouldn’t be expecting leniency from this judge because he’s been talking tough in the media since before he was elected, but he’s not going to adopt of the recommendations of the C of A. To some extent this pre budget document give Mr Hockey the ability to create a ‘good cop/bad cop’ scenario whereby he is seen as being the man who saved us from a world of pain by trashing many of the dastardly recommendations.
The budget will be tough, but not half as tough as the Commission of Audit report. Nobody will have to give up their first born.
Public servants will lose their jobs. Spending on all services connected with Government activity will fall. It already has. A lot of businesses are doing it tough and they know it’s going get tougher. They have two choices. Lay down and die, or think further outside the square and latch on to new income streams. Now, I say ‘further’ outside the square because I’m sure they’ve already ventured outside it somewhat by now. Creativity is required. It could mean entering the world of social media marketing, it could mean revamping your product or creating a completely new one.
If these businesses can survive, and the good one’s will, they’ll emerge from this mini Canberra crisis with a much stronger business model. Diversification is extremely difficult and sometimes, only absolute necessity can make you do it.
By all means get angry with Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey for what we are about to receive, but I wouldn’t dwell on it too much. As a city, we have to just get on with it.
It’s up to all Canberrans and all Canberra business to start thinking a bit ‘small town’ and to look after each other. When making purchasing decisions, you must consider the Canberra based option every time.
Yes it’s going to be hard, but it won’t impossible.
Half of Canberra will spend most of their time whingeing about it all over the next 12 months. The other half will be rolling up their sleeves and making the most of every opportunity.