Australia’s Salary Cap

Sport holds a special place in the Australian community. We celebrate the victories of our favourite team (particularly when they beat reigning AFL Premiers Geelong as the Carlton Football Club has just done) and lament their losses. Our national pride is strengthened with every Australian team victory and every failing is discussed around the office water cooler.

Australians are encouraged to participate in sport from a very early age. Team sports are especially valued in our culture and develop strength of character in every participant.

At every level, sport is undertaken according to a set of formal rules but also according to a set of principles which teams are expected to abide by. These principles go to the heart of the game and are often described as sportsmanship.

These are the qualities we want to see our children develop through organised sport. A sense of fair play, winning modestly and losing stoically are qualities that develop good character traits in the next generation.

Our children learn these qualities from their coaches, their peers and also their heroes.

That is why the breach of trust by the Melbourne Storm Rugby League club strikes at the very heart of our sporting identity. A professional club has been caught deliberately breaching the code’s rules in order to achieve success on the field.

It seems like a wonderful strategy until reality bites and your team is exposed as liars and cheats. You lose the respect of your fans and your colleagues and there is always at least one person that loses their job.
Politics isn’t that different. The respective teams have their fans, some of whom are one eyed in their support. However, even the most parochial of supporters often lose heart when their team is exposed as being less than honest.

The Rudd Government is undergoing such a moment. Their rhetoric and promises are now being shown as misleading, deceptive or downright false. The fact that after two years of denial, the government is now being forced to own up to their failings suggests that an election is imminent.

By doing so, the government hopes you will forget about the billions of your dollars they have squandered, the failed programs and the broken promises before they call the next election. They will now claim to have a new set of priorities and politically plausible excuses to justify their endemic failings.

In doing so they are betraying your trust. Just as the NRL handed out a severe penalty to the Melbourne Storm for defrauding the league and their fans; so too the Rudd Government should suffer a severe penalty.

The list of broken promises and failed programs is long. The wasted money is historic in its excesses and the consequences are just beginning to be felt.

Interest rates are rising and cost of living pressures are building. These can be linked directly to the lack of control the Rudd Government has had in adhering to the ‘salary cap’ that is in the best interests of the Australian people – maintaining a balanced budget.

Of course the penalty imposed can only be decided by you. Rest assured the day for rendering that judgement is near at hand.

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