If 2020 was a year that defined what kind of country we are – what we value, what we expect of our governments and how we help each other – 2021 will surely be a year that defines what kind of country we'll be in the future.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, we've entered 2021in a much better place than many of us would have imagined six months ago. But that doesn't mean the year ahead will be easy. We face big choices that will determine the shape of Australia through the remainder of the 21st century.
Governments across the country will need to determine how they support the next phase of economic recovery. This will involve important decisions about how we support people who have lost their jobs, the role of government in providing affordable housing, and the future of our health and aged care systems.
In the next few months, our parliament will need to decide who should bear the consequences of unsafe lending, with the government proposing to wind back laws introduced to protect borrowers after the global financial crisis. This will determine whether we learn the lessons from the banking royal commission and hold large institutions accountable for poor conduct, or go back to the bad old days of buyer – or in this case borrower – beware.
We face big choices that will determine the shape of Australia through the remainder of the 21st century
And as the year rolls on, we expect similar fights in other areas, as large businesses see opportunities to weaken consumer rights in the name of economic recovery.
All of these are issues that require an independent consumer voice at the table. Business lobby groups will have strong opinions. Whether those opinions are right or wrong, there'll be no doubt about whose interests they serve – and it won't be yours.
We face these challenges with the energy and excitement of knowing that we're supported by more than 185,000 CHOICE members like you. Some of you have been with us since the beginning, while others have joined in more recent times.You help us by being members, supporting our campaigns, and sharing our work with your friends and family. In recent months, many of you have also responded to our invitation to make a donation to CHOICE. If you'd like to do more to power independent consumer advocacy in 2021, you can make a donation at choice.com.au/donate.
However you support our work, know that it makes a difference –not just for you, but for people across Australia who need us to speak up for them.