Australian Government Releases New Sustainability Report

Friday 31st May 2013

A new report, released today by the National Sustainability Council, marks the start of a new, national conversation about sustainability, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“We applaud the work of the National Sustainability Council, and welcome Sustainable Australia 2013: Conversations with the Future, which underscores the fact that securing Australia’s sustainable future is in the best interests of all its citizens,” says the GBCA’s Executive Director of Advocacy, Robin Mellon.

“The report emphasises that sustainability is not simply a matter of ensuring we protect our natural environment. True sustainability means ensuring that future generations have at least the same quality of life as we have enjoyed.

“To secure a sustainable Australia, we must address a complex web of economic, social and environmental factors – from improving housing affordability, employment and education opportunities, to reducing car dependence and rates of obesity, as well as building resilience and adapting to climate change,” Mr Mellon says.

“To sustain the wellbeing of the Australian people over the long term, we must find new ways of supporting economic growth without degrading the environment. This means accelerating innovation, investing in research and embracing sustainable development,” Mr Mellon adds.

“We welcome the report’s findings that, with population growth in Australia expected to be largely accommodated in our cities, we can expect increased pressure on natural resources and added stress on existing infrastructure. In this context, we must focus our attention on policies and programs that support the design and delivery of more sustainable, productive and livable communities.

“The report is a timely reminder that decisions and actions we take now will determine whether the next generation of Australians can expect the same opportunities and quality of life that their parents and grandparents have enjoyed. We must work together to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the benefits of a strong economy, a prosperous and inclusive society and a healthy environment. This report should be read by every single Australian so that they understand their place in and their contribution to Australia’s sustainable future,” Mr Mellon concludes.

About the Green Building Council of Australia

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities. The GBCA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation of Australia’s built environment into one that is healthy, liveable, productive, resilient and sustainable. The GBCA works with industry and government to encourage policies and programs that support its mission. The Council educates thousands of people each year on how to design and deliver sustainable outcomes for Australia’s buildings and communities. And it operates Australia’s only national, voluntary, holistic rating system for sustainable buildings and communities – Green Star. Visit www.gbca.org.au

About the National Sustainability Council

The National Sustainability Council was established in October 2012 by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, as a source of independent, expert advice on sustainability issues. The GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, is a member of the Council; the Council’s Chair, John Thwaites, is a member of the GBCA’s Board of Directors. One of the Council’s primary roles is to produce a public report every two years identifying important developments that affect Australia’s sustainability, to provide information to citizens and decision makers at national and community levels. The Council’s reports draw on a set of Sustainability Indicators for Australia that were also established in 2012.

A new report, released today by the National Sustainability Council, marks the start of a new, national conversation about sustainability, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“We applaud the work of the National Sustainability Council, and welcome Sustainable Australia 2013: Conversations with the Future, which underscores the fact that securing Australia’s sustainable future is in the best interests of all its citizens,” says the GBCA’s Executive Director of Advocacy, Robin Mellon.

“The report emphasises that sustainability is not simply a matter of ensuring we protect our natural environment. True sustainability means ensuring that future generations have at least the same quality of life as we have enjoyed.

“To secure a sustainable Australia, we must address a complex web of economic, social and environmental factors – from improving housing affordability, employment and education opportunities, to reducing car dependence and rates of obesity, as well as building resilience and adapting to climate change,” Mr Mellon says.

“To sustain the wellbeing of the Australian people over the long term, we must find new ways of supporting economic growth without degrading the environment. This means accelerating innovation, investing in research and embracing sustainable development,” Mr Mellon adds.

“We welcome the report’s findings that, with population growth in Australia expected to be largely accommodated in our cities, we can expect increased pressure on natural resources and added stress on existing infrastructure. In this context, we must focus our attention on policies and programs that support the design and delivery of more sustainable, productive and livable communities.

“The report is a timely reminder that decisions and actions we take now will determine whether the next generation of Australians can expect the same opportunities and quality of life that their parents and grandparents have enjoyed. We must work together to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the benefits of a strong economy, a prosperous and inclusive society and a healthy environment. This report should be read by every single Australian so that they understand their place in and their contribution to Australia’s sustainable future,” Mr Mellon concludes.

About the Green Building Council of Australia

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities. The GBCA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation of Australia’s built environment into one that is healthy, liveable, productive, resilient and sustainable. The GBCA works with industry and government to encourage policies and programs that support its mission. The Council educates thousands of people each year on how to design and deliver sustainable outcomes for Australia’s buildings and communities. And it operates Australia’s only national, voluntary, holistic rating system for sustainable buildings and communities – Green Star. Visit www.gbca.org.au

About the National Sustainability Council

The National Sustainability Council was established in October 2012 by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, as a source of independent, expert advice on sustainability issues. The GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, is a member of the Council; the Council’s Chair, John Thwaites, is a member of the GBCA’s Board of Directors. One of the Council’s primary roles is to produce a public report every two years identifying important developments that affect Australia’s sustainability, to provide information to citizens and decision makers at national and community levels. The Council’s reports draw on a set of Sustainability Indicators for Australia that were also established in 2012.