John Thwaites: A sustainable development goal for cities

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The John Cain Foundation’s series of policy lunches aim to promote informed discourse and strategic long term thinking on issues of public policy. Each series will focus on a defined policy area. The first series is Sustainable Cities.

HELD: WEDNESDAY JULY 1, 2015 | 12 NOON for 12.30PM | GRADUATE HOUSE MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY (220 Leicester St, Carlton)

A sustainable development goal for cities

New sustainable development goals are set to be agreed by countries at the United Nations this year. These goals will take over from the Millennium Development Goals and will apply to all countries including Australia from 1 January 2016. What does this mean for urban development in Australian cities?


John Thwaites

Professorial Fellow, Monash University

John Thwaites is a Monash Professorial Fellow and Chair of both ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainability Institute. He is a consultant at Maddocks Solicitors providing advice to the firm and its clients on climate change, water, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

John chairs the National Sustainability Council, the Australian Building Codes Board and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. He is also a director of the Australian Green Building Council. John is a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”) launched by the Secretary General of the UN to provide expert advice and support to various international processes working on the development of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2012, John was named one of the top 100 Global Sustainability Leaders by ABC Carbon and Sustainability Showcase Asia.

John chairs a project with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to develop policies to assist low-income Australians cope with the impact of climate change and chaired a joint Brotherhood of St Laurence/KPMG Report on a national energy efficiency program for low income households.

In 2008 -2009, John was a special adviser to the Timor-Leste Minister for Infrastructure and helped develop an Infrastructure plan for Timor-Leste. He has advised state and local governments on climate change and energy policy.

John was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he was Minister for Health, Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, Minister for Water, Minister for Victorian Communities and Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water.



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