“Tonight, it’s not about me. It’s not even about the Liberal Party. Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first…”

Over the weekend Scott Morrison and his Coalition Government was re-elected in a surprise result confounding the polls and the pundits.

Peter Dutton channelled Paul Keating and called it the “sweetest victory of all,” leaving many of us scratching our heads wondering how the polls could have predicted it so wrong.

What happened?

On Saturday morning, as I lined up to demonstrate my democratic right, I was reminded of a familiar scene.

You know the one – you’re rushing to the local primary school with the mindset of ‘get in, get out’.

You’re holding out for that democracy sausage, politely running the gauntlet of tireless political warriors thrusting leaflets in your direction – in a last ditched attempt to sway votes.

And now, with clear air (and airwaves) that only a post-election dissection can bring, it raises an interesting question:

What motivates Australians to vote for a certain party? Is it policy-based – around personal values and preferences, the industries we work in, or how can our vote impact the nation as a whole?

From a Geelong business perspective, did you vote for what would be best for your business or what was good for your family, your community?

Federal elections are a very precise point in time for our country. They provide a very deep and detailed opportunity to tap into the psyche of our nation.

In this election, the people have confounded the political class and the pollsters by voting the Coalition Government back into power in a remarkable example of supporting the status quo. For all the sound and fury on Saturday, the end result shows that not much has changed from the last Federal election.

So who should politicians be listening to – the people, or the polls?

People have become disengaged with politics and the ‘Canberra bubble’ and these sentiments were picked up on by the Prime Minister and formed a key part of his campaign.

“Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first…”

What we do know is that a good policy and good government should be based on the voice of the community and putting people first.

And that is where the role of the Committee for Geelong comes in.

The Committee for Geelong acts as an independent voice to government and stakeholders outside of electoral cycles.

As a not for profit, member-based organisation, the Committee for Geelong is not funded by government and is informed by local organisations and people. Our members represent the political spectrum and a breadth of industry both by sector and size; from commercial businesses, to not-for-profits and statutory authorities.

The Committee has a significant understanding of how government works, takes a long-term, strategic view to research and planning and is able to act without self-interest and do what’s best for Geelong.

To paraphrase the Prime Minister, the Committee for Geelong is not about me or the Board – it’s about every single member who collaborates to make Geelong better place.

We have the power and need to make sure our voice continues to be heard – for all of Geelong.

Published via the Geelong Advertiser, 22/05/2019

Image via: Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine