Do not elect Mathias Cormann to OECD!

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Mathias Cormann is not a suitable candidate for the prestigious position of Secretary General of the OECD.

Angel Gurría has admirably fulfilled this role for many years.   The 2020 Strategic Orientation of the Secretary General is Designing, Developing and Delivering Policies for Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable Growth (https://www.oecd.org/about/secretary-general/C(2020)31-REV2.en.pdf).  Regardless of Mathias Cormann's role as politician or as finance minister, he has represented a government which has shown almost no regard for the mitigation of Climate Change, an issue that the OECD takes very seriously (https://www.oecd.org/env/cc/), nor for the environment.  He represents a government that in particular, has not been inclusive of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders nor refugees.  Additionally, he represents a government that refuses to consider the installation of an Independent Commission against Corruption, and the same government that has been accused of corruption on many, many fronts (https://www.michaelwest.com.au/the-case-for-a-federal-icac/).

Mathias Cormann, as finance minister was instrumental in designing the most recent budget for the Liberal National Party.  In this budget the government has 

  • proposed tax cuts for the most wealthy, while small tax cuts for others,
  • committed $270 billion for defence spending, while, during a year in which domestic and family violence rates have skyrocketed, the Morrison government has slashed more than a million dollars from its anti-domestic violence education program in Australian schools.
  • committed no money toward renewable energy projects, however continues to subsidise the fossil fuel industry to the tune of more than $40 billion per year (https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/what-cost-morrisons-other-stimulus).
  • cut $8 billion from education spending. In particular, they have doubled the cost of humanities and law degrees, and cut the fees to more vocational degrees.

Mathias Cormann retired from the Senate earlier this month, and will be receiving very generous retirement benefits.  However, he is travelling around Europe on a Royal Australian Air Force Falcon as part of his campaign to be elected as Secretary General of the OECD, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.  The Prime Minister of Australia has allowed him to use the Defence Force jet, at taxpayers expense, to promote his candidacy.  The cost to the unwitting taxpayers is estimated to be about $4300 per hour.

We believe there are so many reasons why Mathias Cormann should not be considered for this role.  However, should he be elected, it would appear to give credence to this government’s activities and policies over the last few years.  We believe this would be disastrous and would belittle the important role of Secretary General to the OECD.