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Australian public policyProgressive ideas in the neo-liberal ascendency$
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Chris Miller and Lionel Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447312673

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447312673.001.0001

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International perspectives: low carbon urban Australia in a time of transition

International perspectives: low carbon urban Australia in a time of transition

(p.279) Sixteen International perspectives: low carbon urban Australia in a time of transition
Australian public policy

Ralph Horne

Colin Fudge

Policy Press

Australia is often regarded as a place of liveable cities and economic success. With a highly urbanised population distribution, the competitive advantage of cities has been long accentuated by colonial and post-colonial policy settings. However, widening wealth and health gaps combined with high dependency on yesterdays fossil-intensive technologies are making these cities increasingly vulnerable. Popular programs that have encouraged households and businesses to rush for solar power and energy efficiency are being abandoned. Exposed through an overreliance on coal exports and inefficient urban systems, Australian policy settings are falling rapidly behind in sustainability performance, including in responding to climate change. While its competitors gear up for a post-fossil future, public policy is following the line of least resistance and maximizing fossil fuel exploitation rather than reforming the economy. The resulting trajectory of uncertainty has implications for economic, social and environmental sustainability over the coming years.

Keywords:   sustainability, public policy, climate change policy, liveable cities

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