For the health of the nation Abbott must bring the two halves together
She'll be apples ... But not exactly "no worries" as we all head off to the polling booths knowing that we will almost certainly have a Coalition government by evening. I hope that our new PM will graciously accept his great office with a commitment to govern for all Australians.
I hope he sees the great need for us all to stick together, no matter how we voted and no matter where we have come from.
We all know the challenges ahead and they were very evident in Tasmania where I visited this week. And where the new government will likely pick up seats to ensure victory.
The old "Apple Isle", as we used to call it, knows all about modern economic challenges. It's been through it all and the apple industry itself is a microcosm of what we all face one way or another.
The first Tasmanian apple tree was planted by William Bligh on Bruny Island in 1788, and by 1860, 120 varieties of apple were under production. It became a booming export industry that peaked in the 1920s and '30s but fell dramatically when Britain joined the European Common Market in the 1970s.
Despite continuous and drastic restructuring, the industry has declined ever since and it's sad to report that 2012 was the first year in 130 years in which no apples were exported at all from Tasmania.
The high dollar has not helped and nor has the fact that there is no international freight terminal in Tasmania. Growers have been trying to contend with the alarming fact that the cost of shipping to the international freight terminals in Melbourne is $4500 a container while the cost from Australia to most Asian ports is just $3000 a container.
There are now about 60 families growing the marvellous fruit that may well keep the doctor away, but had no similar effect on the bank manager.
So while the Europeans stick together in their union supporting each other in so many ways, we have to be much more prepared to do the same thing for all Australians.
And there is some real hope emerging for Australian agriculture, with Woolworths' recent announcement that it will now buy all its fruit and veg in Australia. How good is that? And led by the CEO and former Tasmanian Grant O'Brien, who could return as king of the island tomorrow, except that they want to erect a statue of him in Shepparton and every other fruit-growing town in Australia.
Our country has been fractured and divided by this election and the period of political instability that preceded it. It's time for us to come together and stick together and not let old divisions get in the way of achieving the prosperity that can be our destiny.
In my corporate world, we were so often under attack by international behemoths which were assembled by the acquisition of many smaller companies. Frankly, the main reason that we could beat them at every turn was that our group stuck together while their network of companies remained divided.
Unity is power and if we want to be our best we need to be able to show the world that we work together as one.
And speaking of apples, a good place for the new government to start would be in the Big Apple. The Labor government recently appointed Steve Bracks as Australia's consul general to New York, but the word is around that Libs think that a Labor man shouldn't have the job and that his commission should be withdrawn to allow a Liberal supporter to look after Australia's interests in the world's biggest economy.
Well I make no apology for the fact that I am a friend of "Bracksy". And the main reason is that I have come to see that he always puts people ahead of party or any other sectional interest. Jeff Kennett was an incredible premier of Victoria but so was Bracks. We should let him use his skills in a new era of national unity that is led by a new government for all Australians.
Sticking together works.
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