Sustainable Australia Report 2013: conversations with the future 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 was established in October 2012 as an independent, expert body to provide advice on sustainability issues. The Council produced the Sustainable Australia Report 2013: Conversations with the future in May 2013. The Council’s core functions were absorbed by the Department of Environment in November 2013.