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Senate committee releases final report on achieving SDGs

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee has released its final report following its inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In December 2017, the Senate referred the matter of the SDGs in relation to awareness, opportunities, costs, performance and best practice to the committee for inquiry and report.

The Australian Water Association's (AWA) SDG Specialist Network made a submission to the inquiry on behalf of the AWA, detailing the key role water plays in making progress on the SDGs.

The committee held five public hearings in 2018 and has now released the final report, offering recommendations and detailing best practice examples for implementing and meeting the SDGs in Australia.

Of the 18 recommendations, some of the most applicable to the water sector are:

  • Recommendation 2, 7.16: The committee recommends that the Australian Government provide an indicator-based assessment to parliament at least every two years that tracks Australia's performance against the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Recommendation 10, 7.40: The committee recommends that the Australian Government work with state and territory governments to add the Sustainable Development Goals to Council of Australian Governments council agendas for regular discussion.
  • Recommendation 13, 7.48: The committee recommends that the Australian Government establish a representative, multi-sectoral reference group to advise the interdepartmental committee on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030.
  • Recommendation 14, 7.50: The committee recommends that the Australian Government continue to support civil society engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals, including by supporting events, summits and the development and dissemination of information resources.
  • Recommendation 15, 7.54: The committee recommends that the Australian Government partners with private and tertiary sector stakeholders to develop and disseminate Australian guidance on reporting against the Sustainable Development Goals in order to ensure consistent and transparent reporting and minimise the reporting burden for businesses.
  • Recommendation 18, 7.61: The committee recommends that the Australian Government continue to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the international development program and prioritise the commitment to leave no one behind.

To view the full report, click here. You can also join the AWA's Sustainable Development Goals Specialist Network to contribute to the discussion on meeting the SDGs in Australia.