Rudd: I think engaging the public service with something like the 2020 summit is a good thing because you have people who are mutually engaged, against not a completely free-ranging discussion, because we’ve set a policy objective for the nation which we intend to work towards. We’ve said here are the questions that we would like answers to but in terms of the menu of answers and recommendations we are completely open-minded about that. As I’ve said consistently, we’ll accept or reject what’s put forward. But the idea is to shake the tree both within government and beyond government to get people into a much more open engagement about the country’s future. I think that’s healthy.
Q: What’s the mechanism for accepting or rejecting ideas?
Rudd: We, the elected government, will do that. But what is put forward by the 2020 Summit will be their agreed recommendations, each of these ten working groups. And what we’ve indicated is by year’s end, that is within a six-month frame we will develop a formal response to what has been put forward by way of acceptance or rejection and the reasons why. I think that is a fair way to go.
In other words, the Summit is the start of a debate. After that one weekend in April it’s up to us — yeah, us Australians — to convince the government they’re worthwhile ideas (or not).