THE director of the United Nations Information Centre for Australia says a Newcastle council waste service exemplifies the initiatives needed to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals.
Christopher Woodthorpe, who was a keynote speaker at an SDGs Symposium at City Hall on Tuesday, inspected the council’s bin positioner service in Hamilton South.
Part of the Waste Management team, the bin positioner role is dedicated to removing and replacing the bins of registered residents who have mobility issues.
The worker drives ahead of council’s garbage trucks to help about 200 people with mobility challenges.
“This incorporation by the city is a really great example of good practice on the goals,” Mr Woodthorpe said on Tuesday.
“What we focus on in this agenda is that we don’t leave anyone behind.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure everybody is brought along and this really illustrates that.”
Mr Woodthorpe said driving local awareness and interest in the goals was vital to their success.
“I’m talking about this great big global agenda but it’s not going to get done without local people getting behind,” he said.
“In fact, we reckon that about 65 per cent of what needs to be done is going to be done locally.”
Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes added: “The SDGs explicitly include disability and persons with disabilities 11 times, so I'm delighted to show Mr Woodthorpe how the City of Newcastle is changing our processes and practices to align with them while improving services to our community.”
The bin positioner role emerged from the Newcastle City Council’s social strategy.