Tony Burke, Minister for the Environment, today announced the establishment of a National Sustainability Council for Australia.
Mr Burke said the council would provide independent advice to the government on sustainability issues and produce public reports against a set of sustainability indicators.
“It was clear from the Sustainable Population Strategy that we need better information about how our economy, environment and society interact to inform better planning and decision making,” Mr Burke said.
“That’s why the Government announced the Measuring Sustainability program in the 2011-12 Budget.
“This program will allow for the collection of data guided by a set of sustainability indicators that will measure our progress while delivering capacity for better planning and decision making.
“The indicators will help us take a longer-term view and consider how actions and decisions today affect the opportunities available to future generations.
“The National Sustainability Council will report against the sustainability indicators every two years, highlighting key trends and emerging issues for policy and decision makers and communities around Australia.”
“The Council will be chaired by Professor John Thwaites, chair of the Monash Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia,” Mr Burke said.provide information about our economic, natural, social and human capital. They will cover a broad range of issues including housing supply, broadband internet connections, water consumption, recycling rates, ecosystem protection, educational attainment, feelings of safety, under- and unemployment and mental health.
Professor Thwaites’ wealth of experience will be supported by members covering a breadth of disciplines and expertise.