The Sustainable Australia Report 2013: Conversations with the Future

The National Sustainability Council’s inaugural report, Sustainable Australia 2013: Conversations with the Future. This first report provides a picture of Australia – what we look like and who we are. It tells the story of how we have changed as a nation over the last 30 years. We have made great progress in many areas. Australians are living longer, our health and levels of educational attainment have improved. We have benefited from a strong economy, with low unemployment and increasing incomes. However, these gains have not been equally shared, and the health of our natural environment has been declining in some key areas.

The report also highlights a number of trends in Australia and the world that are set to have a significant impact on the next generation
of Australians. We need to plan for an ageing population, rising health costs, growing cities and changes in traditional work and family roles.
The growth of the middle class in Asia will continue to drive demand for our commodities, agricultural products and a range of services. New
technologies will be integrated into our daily lives, providing opportunities for innovation, new jobs, and medical breakthroughs but impacting on our
social relationships and family life. We will need to be more respectful of nature, more efficient in the use of resources and adapt to the
consequences of climate change.

The Council intends to use the report as a starting point for a national conversation about our future and the kind of future we want for our
children and grandchildren. The decisions we make today will determine whether our children and grandchildren are able to live lives that are
at least as good as ours. The Sustainable Australia Report, the first of its kind in Australia, provides the evidence base we need for this



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Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities : 2013