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CEO Insights: Post-budget/pre-election perspectives on sustainability

By Andrew Petersen

CEO | BCSD Australia

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg this week handed down the Morrison Government’s 2019/2020 Federal Budget. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten then delivered the Budget Reply later in the week. You've read the commentary - the winners and the losers, how many cappuccinos your tax cut will (or won't) buy, how many car parks really address the major capital cities congestion issue, etc.

Here is BCSD Australia's view: The Government's Budget doesn’t steer or target sustainable growth but continues to improvise and patch up the failures of a high fossil fuel, increasingly unfair and unhealthy, linear economy.

It also doesn’t take a systemic problem-solving approach to addressing the environmental, social and governance issues facing the Australian economy. In contrast the Opposition's Budget Reply articulated a purpose statement: health and education for the future, for all.

And there is recognition of addressing the environmental, social and even governance challenges ahead (demonstrated by bipartisan appointments to Infrastructure Australia) but there is little detailed plan about targets, outputs, outcomes and the plan for the resulting impact on realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

So that's why we've decided to track the commitments of the major parties (LNP and Labor), the Greens and One Nation (because they track in most major opinion polls about 'Other') in the lead-up to the Federal Election slated for May this year.

Also, because a number of commentators and economists have noted that Budget statements have become three parts political theatre/one part economics, BCSD Australia has decided to track the major Parties' spending announcements from the Budget through to the Election, cross-referenced against the Sustainable Development Goals.

Although a somewhat crude analysis, we think it will be revealing nonetheless about how our nation's policymakers view driving Australia's future sustainable development agenda out to 2030.

So look out from next week as we share our Australia's SDG/2019 Budget/Election Commitments Tracker.

All BCSD Australia members receive ongoing analysis of these and other topical sustainability issues through our weekly e-newsletter THE INSIDER.


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