I HAVE been working in the welfare sector in Australia for 32 years and I have seen campaigns against social ills like the drug problem and domestic violence (and of course there are others) come and go, with little impact.
At the moment, those two particular social ills are being highlighted because we have a federal election on the horizon.
I can say with absolute certainty that, nine times out of 10, these problems come out of disadvantage and lack of education.
They have not, up to now, been solved by heavy sanctions and penalties and they will not be solved in that way this time, either.
Ask the people who work trying to solve these problems and they will tell you that we need adequate housing, nutrition and education for disadvantaged people.
All human beings are born with the potential to lead a healthy, productive life.
It is when they see no future, do not have the resources to make their lives better and are keenly aware that they are seen as inferior that people despair. When they despair, they become anti-social.
More and more people, across the social spectrum, are beginning to feel this way.
There are other countries approaching these problems differently and having a lot more success than we are in Australia.
Can we put some more thought into this?