Australia is a signatory to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) The Commonwealth of Australia was one of the 193 countries that adopted the 2030 Agenda in September 2015.
Implementation of the agenda is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) with different federal government agencies responsible for each of the goals. Australia is not on-track to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
The 17 SDGs are, with their ‘responsible’ ministers:
(1) No Poverty, Anne Ruston. Clearly failing. In Australia, there are more than 3 million people or 13.2% of the population living below the poverty line. That includes 739,000 children or more than 1 in 6.
(2) Zero Hunger, Anne Ruston. Clearly failing. Refer (1) above
(3) Good Health and Well-being, Greg Hunt Anne Ruston? The country is in the grip of a wave of Covid deaths and infections, lingering but unaddressed “long-Covid”, no restrictions, all bull-dozed through by Scott Morrison.
(4) Quality Education, Alan Tudge Stuart Robert or Alan Tudge? If quality means private and expensive, terrific. Government funding for independent schools increased by $3,338 a student over a decade, compared with $703 more per student for public schools. Trying to dumb us all down.
(5) Gender Equality, Marise Payne. Really? We have a minister. One woman a week murdered in Australia, by an intimate partner. And yet an alleged rapist and an alleged physical abuser of a female partner seemingly deemed suitable to continue their government employ. We’re even paying damages to one of the victims, but he’s still employable?
(6) Clean Water and Sanitation, Keith Pitt. When Keith puts his mind to it, it will be ok. Between him and Barnaby Joyce, buying groundwater and favouring mining interests, building dams; not much hope for dry Australia.
(7) Affordable and Clean Energy, Angus Taylor. What to say. He hates wind, he went to Glasgow COP26 to spruik fossil fuels. This minister is seemingly working against our interests.
(8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, Stuart Robert. Casualisation of the workforce, and pressure on employers to keep wages low has led to a surge in corporate profitability, and stagnant wages. Removal of penalty rates was a shocker.
(9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Barnaby Joyce or Angus Taylor? With these two sharing the responsibility, about the best they can think of is keeping coal power stations emitting, and building dams. Handy – NOT.
(10) Reduced Inequality, No-one appointed. They all take perverted pleasure in keeping the poor poor. The Labor Party has just trashed the hopes of millions of poor Australians, by promising to not review the JobSeeker rate. So a pox on both your houses.
(11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, Paul Fletcher. Depends on where you live. If in Melbourne, bad luck. A marginal seat, Paul is your man. You might get a car-park, whether you need it or not.
(12) Responsible Consumption and Production, No-one appointed. Two examples: 1) VIP jet loaned to Matthias Cormann to fly around the world, seeking a job when he already had one, and 2) $5.5 billion wasted on cancelling our submarine contract. Replacement – a drawing of a future nuclear sub.
(13) Climate Action, Angus Taylor. Refer to (7)
(14) Life Below Water, Sussan Ley. The Great Barrier Reef is now considered to be over half dead. She and her ministerial colleagues, but mainly Angus Taylor, have colluded to ignore climate change. A massive fail, on every front.
(15) Life On Land, Sussan Ley. Sussan Ley has overseen the approval of massive land clearing, for coal mining operations, leading to the koala being moved from “vulnerable to endangered.” One of many unique species under severe threat. She also went to court to appeal an earlier ruling that she owed a duty of care to future generations. Terrific win, Sussan.
(16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Christian Porter Michaelia Cash. Still allowing ‘secret’ trials of whistleblowers, who alerted us that Australia had broken the law in East Timor. Still locking up kids as young as ten. Still stacking the AAT with political hacks.
(17) Partnerships for the Goals. Well, they are colluding to deliver the worst results to the Aussie pleb, while feathering their own nests. DFAT and PM&C are the partners.
Just to be perfectly clear, Australia is failing on ALL 17 goals. Australia is wealthy, and Australia has a government which employs Ministers of the Crown to achieve these goals. I know that because one (not sure which PM) of the recent prime ministers signed us up.
The first of these goals is “No poverty”. Source – Wikipedia
However, Australia has the 16th highest poverty rate out of the 34 wealthiest countries in the OECD – higher than the average for the OECD; higher than the UK, Germany and New Zealand.
People living in poverty in Australia often miss out on essentials such as food or a roof over their heads. Children living in poverty often miss out on items such as school excursions.
If “no poverty” is the goal, why are we prepared to look the other way? We know that poverty exists, we know how to fix it, and yet we tolerate keeping people down. Why?
Mark Buckley is a writer based in regional Victoria. He has a particular interest in politics, history and ethics in public life. He blogs at www.askbucko.com.
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