It might not of been the most articulate clump of words to ever come out of a politicians mouth, but it seemed pretty reasonable.
I'm not sure exactly what google and co are doing to earn your ire but if its to do with them trying to document and index everything then I don't see why it ties you in knots, indexing is fair use, without indexes how do you find things?
I think the context she was referring to was artists getting paid, as opposed to middle men.
You might not of heard anyone clamoring for anything, but why would you have? She's a minister dealing with these issues, and I'm sure 'the public' can make their voices heard by say emailing or posting her office. I'm sorry 'the public' aren't beating a path to your door with their copyright complaints or compliments, but you chose not to be a public representative, and that doesn't give you a strong position to talk about 'the public'.
I don't know what studies you are referring to, but as you say, people do feel that copyright should be enforced, and quite possibly they are referring to the clause stating that after a period of 28 years works become public domain, shocking no? That or they support the consistent extension of copyright beyond its original purpose and believe no individual should be allowed to own their works based on the fact that the middle men need more money, again shocking, no?
Without the study there isn't a chance I can agree or disagree with you. All I can say is I haven't read a single study that supports criminal punishments for individuals breaching copyright laws for personal use, something that your post gives me the impression you support.
Your complete rework of the punish and withhold vs recognise and reward bit is daft. So there's a legal requirement to pay for merchandise before you leave the store. Punish and withhold in that sense would be increase punishment for non payment and restrict use of goods to scenarios approved by the merchant - ie you need milk? Buy it or shoplift it and face 30 years jail and/or $1,000 per mL fine, oh and to use the milk you need a merchant milk pouring system that meters milk out at 250ml per hour and requires the milk you purchase to come from an approved list of regions for the pouring system.
A recognise and reward system may possibly work as a farmers market where the farmer is offered a far more reasonable return per liter and the punters get to buy the milk in any arrangement of quantities they can sort with the stall owner.
Funnily enough I was going to say I was being hyperbolic with the punishment and restrictions side of it, but it turns out that was based on the system for dvd's, where you're forced through screens of bullshit in order to watch a movie, all region'ised for no good reason. The fines too are a leaf out of the music industries book.
And hey the milk scenario is actual theft, where merchants are being physically deprived of goods without payment, vs a dvd, where even modifying your own equipment to skip their bullshit on a disc you supposedly own is illegal.
While I believe copyright should exist as a mechanism to ensure an artist is rewarded, I believe the middlemen shouldn't be rewarded for the work of others. Compensated yes, but only based on the risk they took with the artist and not particularly further. In all instances copyright should only for a general release period, 14 years even seems rather long in this consumer culture but that would be fine. You can renew it if its still a valuable work. This should apply to patents too, for good measure. If you only have one idea in your life you'll get at best 28 years from it, sounds more than reasonable.
Oh and lastly, thanks to this copyright idea, there exists a duty on all CD/DVD media I can buy in Australia. Essentially I'm being called a copyright non conformist every time I buy media, and this duty is supposed to reward the artists who are having their works unjustly copied. So why do I need to pay them via any other means? Of course its the middle men pocketing the loot and using that to pay their way to get more agreements to further protect their business.