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14    Foreign Affairs— Water and sanitation programs

Senator Fierravanti-Wells, also on behalf of Senators Moore and Rice, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 578—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes that:

                                     (i)       on 19 November 2017, the world will observe World Toilet Day, an opportunity to reflect on the importance of safe sanitation for everyone,

                                    (ii)       in Australia, access to safe and hygienic toilets that discreetly manage human waste is a given, yet 2.3 billion people around the world lack access to even basic sanitation services,

                                  (iii)       providing universal access to safe sanitation is an ongoing challenge, with nearly 900 million of the world’s poorest people still practising open defecation,

                                  (iv)       poor sanitation undermines advances in education and healthcare and diminishes the dignity of those already disadvantaged and vulnerable,

                                   (v)       poor sanitation is a particular problem for women and girls - the Australian Government commissioned research in the Pacific which confirmed that lack of access to safe and functional toilets, as well as other aspects of menstrual hygiene, including washing facilities and products, such as pads, contribute to absenteeism at school and at work,

                                  (vi)       findings also show that women and girls can be subject to social stigma during menstruation, which leads to further shame and isolation,

                                (vii)       the theme of this year’s World Toilet Day is wastewater - driven by population growth, urbanisation and a changing climate, water scarcity is rapidly emerging as a global issue, and wastewater is increasingly seen as a valuable resource rather than a waste product,

                               (viii)       wastewater poses many challenges - all over the world communities are grappling with the day-to-day dangers of polluted water, degraded environments and communities living alongside untreated or poorly treated sewage,

                                  (ix)       Australians play an important role in addressing the global sanitation problem - the Australian Government’s Civil Society Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund is projected to provide improved sanitation to over 2.8 million people in 19 countries over the years 2013 to 2018, 60% more than originally estimated,

                                   (x)       Australians will continue to support global action to address sanitation - the new Water for Women Fund will deliver community water and sanitation projects in poor countries with a focus on projects that directly benefit women and girls, and

                                  (xi)       the Prime Minister is a member of the High Level Panel on Water with ten other world leaders, which has a core focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6), ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; and

               (b)       recognises:

                                     (i)       universal access to safe sanitation is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 by 2030,

                                    (ii)       Australia has much to offer in this space - ours is the driest inhabited continent and we have a long history of sound, evidence-based water management and far-sighted reform, and

                                  (iii)       the strong commitment from the non-government sector, including WaterAid and Plan International, in their advocacy for safe sanitation.

Question put and passed.