Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Big pictureSystems change

SDGs vital to Australia’s COVID-19 recovery


23 November 2020 at 5:45 pm
Luke Michael
Researchers say Australia’s COVID-19 response will determine the shape of our economies and lives for years to come      


Luke Michael | 23 November 2020 at 5:45 pm


1 Comments


 Print
SDGs vital to Australia’s COVID-19 recovery
23 November 2020 at 5:45 pm

Researchers say Australia’s COVID-19 response will determine the shape of our economies and lives for years to come      

Australia should model its COVID-19 recovery strategy on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) framework to help address the social fractures that have been exposed during the pandemic, a new report says. 

The Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) has measured the Australia performance against 56 economic, social and environmental factors linked to the SDGs, and found the nation is at risk of failing to meet the 2030 targets on all but 12 indicators.

While Australia is performing well in health and education, it has struggled to reduce CO2 emissions, waste and environmental degradation, and failed to properly remedy cost of living pressures and economic inequality.

The report said despite nearly 30 years of unbroken economic growth, middle-class wages and incomes have stagnated in recent years.

With Australia’s traditional sources of growth from trade, foreign investment and skilled migration set to be curtailed due to COVID, researchers said new drivers of economic prosperity were needed.

MSDI chair, Professor John Thwaites, said Australia has an opportunity to create an effective, collective response to the crisis that prioritises sustainable development.

“Governments are taking extraordinary measures to respond to the social and economic impacts of the crisis, which will determine the shape of our economies and lives for years to come,” Thwaites said. 

“While the impacts have been severe, there is a huge opportunity to design a recovery strategy that begins to substantially address climate change, strengthens our resilience to future shocks and ensures long-term, sustainable prosperity for Australia.”

The report notes that COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing social issues such as unemployment and poverty.

The pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on women, who are more likely to lose their jobs and suffer psychological distress. 

MSDI Professor Rod Glover said that COVID-19 has forced governments to more closely consider how they are supporting vulnerable people, such as those who are homeless, experiencing mental health issues or domestic violence.  

“There are a lot of social fractures in our society that have come to the fore during COVID and this has really exposed the underlying weaknesses in our social support model,” Glover told Pro Bono News.

Glover said many of these cracks were hidden below the surface and were obscured by Australia’s relative economic prosperity in recent decades. 

He said hopefully COVID-19 would allow policymakers and the community to reflect on the future we wanted, which is what the SDGs were all about.

“Business as usual is not going to get us there. So we’re going to need a slower and steadier conversation about the larger scale changes and shifts in our systems that are needed to get us to a position where we’d like to be,” he said.

Glover also noted there was a divide between those who want life to return back to normal post-COVID and those who want systemic change.

He said Australia’s future path needs to be an inclusive one that is accepted and embraced by the broader population.           

“The challenge for our political leaders, our public service leaders and our business leaders is making those adjustments, and not shirking the reforms [needed], but realising that we have to take people with us on the journey for it to be sustainable,” he said.

The full report can be seen here.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

One comment

  • Avatar Leigh says:

    What we need is a communist/fascist regime to overthrow the current system that we live in. Never mind the chrony capitalists that created this mess. Looking forward to increased taxes. That will help us achieve our SD goals

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Becoming an agent of systems change

David Ritter

Thursday, 25th March 2021 at 8:32 am

The funders of tomorrow unite for lasting change

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 5th March 2021 at 5:35 pm

Shifting our nation past the fossil fuel era

David Ritter

Wednesday, 10th February 2021 at 5:48 pm

When people work together we can achieve practically anything

David Ritter

Thursday, 10th December 2020 at 8:30 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×