18 June 2014
The Australian Financial Review
Copyright 2014. Fairfax Media Management Pty Limited.
Venture capitalist Mark Carnegie has called for compulsory national service – but "without military uniforms" – to restore civic participation in society.
Mr Carnegie said a compulsory national service was the "maintenance program" the country needed.
"I believe Australia needs a form of compulsory national service but without the military uniform," Mr Carnegie said.
"And it needs to be able to call everyone to do what is asked of them if their number comes up."
However, he pushed back against the idea of a civic service, which fell disproportionately on the young.
"We should spread the ballot principle over the whole community, recognising that the old and the young are in [a] position to contribute more time than those in employment or people with a young family," he said.
Delivering the inaugural Di Gribble Argument at the Wheeler Centre on Tuesday night, Mr Carnegie proposed making people work for charities, mentor sessions between the young and old and form citizen juries.
The proposal followed comments from Palmer United Party Senator-elect Jacqui Lambie, who said on the ABC in April that military service should be made compulsory to combat youth unemployment.