Assignment On Australian Government Environmental Policies


Added on  2019-09-26

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IntroductionThe Australian Government has for long promulgated a wide spectrum of environmental policiesin order to minimize the impact of government operations in the environment. There are anumber of agency measures as well as targets for carbon-emissions, waste and resourceutilization based on the set of mandatory environmental standards for incorporating sustainabilityin government procurements (Cuthill, 2002). Sustainable development forms a significant part of the next wave of the modernenvironmentalism and embarks on a journey towards tackling environmental issues. It was wellargued by the environmentalists and policy makers that the exponential growth of thepopulations and industrial activities would fail to sustain without seriously depleting theresources of the planet (Davidovits, 2008). The Australian federal and state governments,therefore, have been following the international trends, introduced clean air Acts, clean waterActs and legislation that have formed regulatory agencies for controlling pollution and managingwaste disposal (Folke et al., 2002).This report tries to explore different sustainability along with the deregulation of publicuniversities. It essentially highlights the increased number of social workers and NGOs that havebeen realizing the impacts of degradation of environment and its consequences on thesustainability of the environment. Eco-Social WorkThe economies and societies of the present day require effective and efficient regulations inorder to support growth, investment, innovation and market liberty at the same time. While, apoor regulatory framework undermines competitiveness and, so, the trust on the policies of thegovernment gets reduced (Bueren, 2012). A number of governments did not recognize theimportance of environmental issues, which is why the local communities kept mounting pressureon the governance regarding pollution control and environmental sustainability (Byron, n.d.).The issues that have been primarily highlighted by different social work group and NGOs are asfollows:Extensive utilization of energyGreenhouse gas emissions and ozone depleting compoundsSuppliers, products and wide use of materialsIndustrial waste, office waste, building waste and resource recovery procedures.Wide use of water and waste water treatment Non-compliance with the legal obligationsReluctance to minimize pollutionConspicuous lack of systematic environmental approach, which should be consistentwith the international standards.

Waste of Resources – Recovery and ChallengesThe recovery of the waste resources cuts across the simple elements of reduce, reuse or recycle.The Australian municipal bodies, environmental entities as well as governmental agencies arefacing a number of challenges as to how aptly and efficiently should the waste be minimized, butalso to make sure that their stakeholders see the inherent profit potential in the waste materials(Hunter, 1997). Therefore, by utilizing the resource recovery facilities, the water recycling plantsand waste to energy entities have been able to act along the municipal bodies in order to makeefficient recovery of the waste materials.Waste to Energy: There are a number of dedicated waste to energy facilities in variousregions in which the putrescible waste is collected from different areas in different states,and methane thus generated from the decomposing waste is being used a fuel forelectricity generation. So, such residual waste by processing through bio-energytechnologies, has been helping to create viable source of energy (Florin, Maddocks,Wood, & Harris, 2009).Water Recycling: It is a crucial aspect of water resource management that certainlyboosts the overall water availability by providing an alternative and additional watersupply. In Australia, the successful implementation of water recycling facilities alsoprovides a big boost to the irrigation in agriculture. Material Recovery Plants: The material recovery facilities being established in differentparts of Australia are uniquely specialized in sorting and collection of recyclablematerials. In the next step, they are forwarded to a number of recyclers who transformthese materials back into useful products (Cui & Zhang, 2008).Higher Education and SustainabilityThe policy makers as well as environmentalists in Australia felt a compelling need for the highereducation sector to contribute towards the creation of more robust and sustainable societies.However, the recent developments in the sector have showed that these positive changes willtake time in which the higher educational institutions will re-structure their approaches to bringsustainability (Shephard, 2008). There is a much needed rethinking in the re-alignment oforganizational principles and cultural practices. The Australian Government can be given the credit of playing a pivotal role in making efforts totransform the higher education system towards the adoption of sustainability. In relation to thisthe government had started a number of policies such as Living Sustainability: The AustralianGovernment’s National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability as well as NationalVocational Education and Training Sector Sustainability Policy and Action Plan (2009-2012).These policies have been instrumental in developing and motivating to enhance the efforts in thissector (Tilbury, 2004).

There have been a number of networks that were crucial in supporting the re-orientation processacross the Australian higher education system. The institutions such as Australian Campusestowards Sustainability (ACTS) has been instrumental in bringing together the universities andindividuals that have been putting efforts to make sure that the higher education system inAustralia along with New Zealand become sustainable. There have been a number ofacademicians, administrators, campus managers and sustainability officers who enabled thisuniversity communication (Scott, 2012). Therefore, the bodies like ACTS have done acommendable job in supporting the sustainability champions in recent years and celebrated goodpractice in a wide spectrum of activities, especially campus greening.Eco-Social Work through Sustainability in Universities The numerous initiatives that have enhanced sustainability in the Australian higher educationsystem are characterized by addressing sustainability in the curriculum and also include theresearch efforts of the institutions. These social and community engagements are within andoutside of the institutions. As per the latest data of the education sector, the ageing academicpopulation in the Australian higher education indicate that maximum academicians had beguntheir academic careers even before the concerns regarding the sustainability were in the publicdomain (Isaias & Issa, 2013). Which is why, the sustainability, being interdisciplinary in naturethat is ever complex and dynamic in nature, becomes an issue that, many academicians feel, areinadequately prepared to be addressed.Australia has also invested considerably in the scientific and technological research in order toidentify sustainable solutions to effectively address the current issues. There are impressiveresearch centers such as Sustainability Policy Institute at Curtin University along withSustainable Futures Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney that have profoundlyundertook the social research for sustainability (Rankin, 2009).In Australian higher educational institutions, the greening of operations and managementframeworks has gained a wide recognition and appreciation. In this regard, the AustralianNational University pioneered in setting up of a Green Office, and by watching this trend, mostof the universities have followed suit (Lozano, Lukman, Lozano, Huisingh, & Lambrechts,2013). The development of ecologically sustainable buildings in the higher education was thenext big step.By the collaboration of United Nations Conferences and NGOs during the decade of 1990s, anoutline was emerging in which the consequences and effects of sustainability were explained. Inthese conferences the representatives of different governments created a series of globalunderstandings including Agenda 21. In this regard, the global understandings developed withthe US government set different policy directions for sustainable future (Bekessy, Samson, &Clarkson, 2007).

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