Page 223

THe Last Sentry at the Gate 1

Former President of Latvia, Veira Vike-Freiberga, Clive Palmer and former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga You must all look further than the fence at the bottom of the garden. You all must look in greater detail at the various sectors of life which you can participate in. Opportunity is there, whether you believe it or not, there are opportunities. Opportunity beckons you to come and I hope, as you study at this university, embark upon a development intellectually that these things over time will become evident to you. But the world is full of contradictions. Confusion seems to abound everywhere we look today, on what we should do, where we should go. Australia seems to have lost the clear, black and white clarity of simpler times when we went to war. It’s little wonder then that in this confusion we look back to the old days with nostalgia. It’s little wonder then that we desire in the country to go back to a time when our nation lived alone. This is an understandable effort to recover the past and a feeling of simplicity. Yet in world affairs, in business in commerce and in other aspects of our lives, the days of a quiet past have gone forever. Science and technology are irreversible. We cannot return to the day of the sailing schooner or the covered wagon, even if we wished. If Australia is to survive and succeed in the real world of today, we must acknowledge the realities of the world around us. We meet at this university, noted for its knowledge in business, law and technology, in a city noted for its progress in establishing such universities, in a state which always, up until now, has been noted for its economic strength. We stand in need of all three. We meet in an hour of change. Change in a decade of hope and fear in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds to us. Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this nation’s own scientific manpower is doubling every 14 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, believe it or not. Despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrips our collective comprehension. No man can fully grasp how far mankind has come and how fast we have come. In this century and the last we have moved at a breathtaking pace. Such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high rewards. So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But we cannot wait. Economies and opportunities in Asia and Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world beckons us and calls us to action. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 201


THe Last Sentry at the Gate 1
To see the actual publication please follow the link above