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About the report

On 9 May 2013 The National Sustainability Council presented Sustainable Australia Report 2013 to Minister Burke.

The 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, inequality has increased and the health of our natural environment has continued to decline in some key areas.

The report provides an evidence base for decision-making and planning about the future. It 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 National Sustainability Council intends to use the report, the first of its kind in Australia, as a starting point for a national conversation about our future.

Get involved

To get involved the conversation, you can contact the council via email [email protected]


Summary report

  • Summary of the Sustainable Australia Report 2013 (PDF – 1.2MB)

Full report

  • Sustainable Australia Report 2013 (PDF – 23.8 MB)

Key sections of the full report are also available as separate files:

  • Sections 4-12: Key issues and challenges (PDF 2.9 MB)
  • Section 13: Social indicators (PDF – 5.2 MB)
  • Section 14: Environmental indicators (PDF – 5.0 MB)
  • Section 15: Economic indicators (PDF – 3.3 MB)
  • Section 16: Contextual indicators (PDF – 1.3 MB)