Positive approach to the coming year 

Can we find positives out of 2013? If 2012 was a year that laid a foundation for underlying change, 2013 should be the year of implementing that change.

We have seen governments embark on cost-cutting in the name of getting their budgets back into surplus and the highest credit rating benefit.

Yes, we can concede that there is waste in government departments that can be cut, but we need to be sure the enthusiasm to prove these savings have to be made does not simply transfer legitimate government services to private or community services with the message you sort it out.

We haven't had a meaningful debate about what is now considered a government service, a community service, or private or individual service. Somehow, this shift in mindset and responsibility has happened but the legitimacy of the shift has not been adequately challenged or dissected.

What hasn't been revealed are the long-term beneficiaries of this shift from government to private and community responsibility.

We are being asked to trust politicians when they say this fiscal belt tightening will lead to long-term benefits because a strong economy will encourage business to invest, and therefore create jobs and ongoing economic benefit.

But is it a big ''ask'' for us to believe that our current batch of no-vision politicians will deliver what they promise. The current political players have only one goal and that is to get re-elected and stay in power.

Granted, there is talk of some major policy reforms across the levels of government, but there is little evidence of a long-term reform plan by either side of politics.

Certainly the policy reform is not the driver of government. The ultimate determinant is the proximity to an election so called ''tough'' decisions are made when elected, and the good news policies and decisions are trotted out before the election.

What we need in 2013 is some commitment by our political leaders to well explained policy proposals that capture the imagination of the voters.

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