March 24, 2023

EveryGen Hosting the Future Generations Commissioner

Imagine if governments had a duty to protect the interests of future generations.

Convened by Griffith University’s Policy Hub’s Professor Susan Harris Rimmer, the EveryGen coalition is calling for a law reform agenda which holds decision makers accountable for Australia’s long-term interests.

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act was first adopted in Wales where Ms Sophie Howe served six years as the first ever Commissioner for Future Generations.

The act embedded the protection of future generations into legislation, making sustainable development the organising principle of government.

EveryGen is excited to partner with the Centre for Policy Development to welcome Ms Howe’s visit to Australia, who will deliver the 2023 Menadue Oration and ignite public discourse about the potential of a Future Generations Act in Australia.

Amplifying the voices of current and future generations, EveryGen is a collaboration of multidisciplinary policy experts working to address intergenerational challenges, create an equitable, just and transformative path towards intergenerational justice.

“Australia needs a Future Generations Act and a Future Generations Commissioner, and we want parties to take this promise to the next election,” said Professor Harris Rimmer.

“Australia’s democratic system inherently prioritizes short term agenda to satisfy the majority rule in the current generation because of short electoral cycles.

“We must not compromise the wellbeing of future generations in the decisions we make today – climate, housing, aged care, skills, any aspect of policy.”

“The Act would empower organisations and public bodies to look beyond indicators like GDP which doesn’t account for well-being of citizen or protecting the environment.

The EveryGen project also wants to build the capabilities and leadership of public servants. Griffith Honours College Student Ms Kate McGuire said the Future Generations Act would impel public bodies to address the needs of future generations in all decisions and be accountable for their actions.

“It is our mission to amplify the voices of current and future generations and begin to discuss the long-term impacts of today’s policy decisions,” Ms McGuire said.

“Youth are struggling to feel positive about their future and we want to empower young people and build opportunities for future generations to exercise their agency.”