National service call

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.