History and purpose of the committee
The ESD Committee can undertake an inquiry into any matter relating to planning or the environment in Western Australia. The concept of ESD, which gave the Committee its title, was adopted as a goal by Australian governments, including Western Australia, in 1992 following the Earth Summit in Rio. ESD is a philosophy defined by the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development as "development which aims to meet the needs of Australians today while conserving our ecosystems for the benefit of future generations." Broadly speaking, the Committee aims to report on how well developments in Western Australia accord with this philosophy .
The Committee has been inquiring into environmental matters and their management for nearly four years. During that time the Committee's primary focus has been forest management. Other inquiries included a review of the western rock lobster fishery and Perth's water quality. The Committee currently has a number of inquiries in progress including uranium mining and the salinity crisis. A proposed topic for future consideration is the illegal trade in native flora and fauna.