Sustainability is a term that, like many other english words, is at risk of being both overused and mis-used. So are the words ecological and environmental!
Listening to people discuss sustainability, one would imagine they share a common understanding – not so.
The Local Government (Ecologically Sustainable Development)
Amendment Act 1997, which requires local Councils to integrate ESD into all
activities and decision making processes.
This means that they need to integrate 10 areas of sustainability within and across their structural boundaries. The ten areas of sustainability are focus, policies, organisational management, ESD performance, training, innovation, management of opportunities, management of risks, information and communication, and community NOT environment as most people expect.
Effectively the Ecology this will sustain is the ecology of the existing system with little recognition or acknowledgement of the cumulative impact of their decisions on residents or on the environment as councils are admonished to ‘get their own houses in order’ first.
This is a patently ridiculous situation however many residents who are fighting to save their local environments need to realise that they may be talking at cross purposes with legislation which remains appallingly skewed in favour of the reckless developer.
Sustainability is ONE of the Principles of Natural Systems we need to integrate if we are to sustain the human race as an integral part of the macro-ecosystem. ALL Principles need to be integrated simultaneously, not one at a time.