A Sustainable Future
If Western Australians are to enjoy a sustainable future, then we must rethink how we live and work.
A sustainability strategy was necessary because WA was already experiencing warning signs that threatened standards of living in the future.
Those challenges include:
- Climate change: Rainfall has declined considerably since the mid-1970s, with the flow into Perth's major dams halved (Water Corporation);
- Oil vulnerability: Oil production is peaking as consumption outstrips discoveries by nine to one (Les Magoon, US Geological Survey);
- Public transport: Perth has the highest car use of all cities in Australia - 20 per cent higher per person than Sydney (Newman and Kenworthy 1999, Sustainable Cities); and
- Salinity: 1.8 million hectares in the South-West agricultural region are already affected by salinity to some extent. Up to $400 million per year will be lost in agricultural production by 2050. (State Salinity Council).
A sustainability strategy will address:
- A more integrated transport system to ease the pressure on our roads and air quality;
- Improving urban design of neighbourhoods, including 'solar orientation' of streets and houses and water efficient gardens, which will reduce the cost to consumers and the impact on our water and energy supplies;
- Improved energy efficiency, including the use of sustainable energy technologies such as wind farms, solar arrays and hydrogen fuel cells, that reduces consumer costs and environmental impacts; and
- A waste reduction strategy that focuses not just on recycling of waste but also on how to reduce the amount created in the first place.
The principles of sustainable development need to be placed at the centre of government - into all decisions, policies and the way we operate. Sustainability is a challenge that provides new opportunities for all Western Australians.
Image of modern city.