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Australia needs new “philosophical underpinnings” for the major spending areas of health, education and retirement income, Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone has said……

Livingstone said the approach in health should change from one of “fixing people when they are sick” to enabling them to stay healthy as long as possible.

“Put bluntly, the focus needs to shift from the second 50 years of life to the first 50 years – that is, preventing the things that are preventable and preserving constrained resources for those which are not.”…..

In education the thinking must move away from the notion that work is something begun after a long period of study, to one where work is integrated with learning, she said.

“Here, the philosophic shift is to move from a system which has a rigid discontinuity between education and work, to one which is more of a continuum, enabling simultaneous engagement in education and work for all from year 11.”

Livingstone said the concept of retirement required rethinking.

It had moved from being seen as a brief interregnum between finishing work and dying, to a reward for a lifetime of hard work, to now being “often planned as an entitlement to an extended phase of life marked by a focus on leisure, and underwritten by access to the aged pension”.

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