Advancing sustainability

Tuesday, 18 September, 2007

The House Environment Committee has tabled its report 'Sustainability for survival: creating a climate for change', recommending the establishment of a national Sustainability Commissioner, Commission and Charter. The report argues that strong Australian government leadership is required to advance sustainability.

The report examines issues surrounding the national governance framework for sustainability previously proposed by the Committee in its Sustainable Cities report (released August 2005).

The report's recommendations:

  • restate the need for a national Sustainability Commission headed by a Sustainability Commissioner, and the creation of a Sustainability Charter;
  • call for the use of a combination of aspirational statements and measurable targets to advance sustainability outcomes;
  • propose inclusion in the Charter of the following topics: built environment, water, energy, transport, ecological footprint, economics, waste, social equity and health and community engagement and education;
  • reiterate the need for Australian government leadership in advancing sustainability outcomes through means such as monetary and non-monetary incentives for governments, industry and the community; and by assessing existing and future policy against the proposed Sustainability Charter.

The Chair concedes that the recommended changes for sustainability come with financial cost, but the cost of inaction is perceived to be far greater.

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