ambulance
Mikhail Nilov / PEXELS

“Go woke, go broke” is such a ubiquitous truth that the phrase is now part of our common parlance.

But what about when wokeness risks not just bankruptcy but human lives?

Last week, Nine’s The Today Show put Ambulance Victoria in the spotlight for precisely this reason. A recent report found that 33 Victorians have died waiting for ambulances that never showed up. While the ambulance crisis has been building for some time, the other fact highlighted on Today was the $760,000 the organisation recently announced it will spend on diversity jobs.

Five of the six “inclusivity monitors” will take home a pay packet of over $100,000 per year. The top “Director, Diversity & Inclusion” job is salaried at over $169,000.

Warped priorities

Separately, The Age has revealed that the 33 reported deaths can be directly linked to a funding crisis that has been building for years but has been repeatedly ignored by the Victorian government.

“It’s unforgivable that at least 10 extra call-takers could have been hired with the amount of money that the government spent on obscure theories about gender, power and race,” Bella d’Abrera, director of independent thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs, has said of the fiasco.

“Dan Andrews has known there’s a crisis,” d’Abrera told Today, aiming her criticism at the state premier. “He knew 10 years ago there’d be a shortfall yet pursued this woke agenda and is spending enormous amounts of money on useless roles that aren’t helping anybody.”

She said the Victorian government has “fully embraced the woke agenda to the detriment of Victorians’ lives”.

Discrimination

It was just earlier this year that woke critic Jordan Peterson took aim at “the appalling ideology of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity [that] is demolishing education and business” by making gender, sexuality and race “the most important qualification for study, research and employment”.

Peterson deliberately jumbled the acronym to create his preferred spelling: DIE.

If only the Victorian government had heeded his prophetic warning.

According to the damning report into Ambulance Victoria’s failings, some calls to triple-0 were queued for 10 or 15 minutes and even longer. Around 40 “adverse events” were linked to call-answer delays, in addition to the 33 deaths.

Dan Andrews has since apologised to the families whose loved ones died waiting for an ambulance. “I again want to take this opportunity not only to express our deepest sympathies and to offer our personal apology,” he said. “We apologise for a system that did not meet your needs.”

Weighing down that system is Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The cash-splash on diversity and inclusion jobs is a direct outcome of a review of Ambulance Victoria the commission released in March of this year.

That review decried “the stereotype of paramedics as white, male, of able-body and mind, confident, stoic and the family breadwinner,” and how this hampered others from advancing in the organisation.

What about paramedics who are proficient at their job, regardless of skin colour?

Wouldn’t Victorians’ hard-earned money be better spent on more paramedics and call-takers — rather than on more woke officers to ensure employees’ gender, race and opinions don’t offend? The sooner we see diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives die, the better, lest the popular phrase “go woke, go broke” is soon overtaken by “go woke, go to an early grave”.

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate...