Sustainable population

Sustainable Population Strategy released
Sustainable Australia Sustainable Communities - A Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia was released on Friday 13 May 2011.

The Strategy will help to ensure that future population change is compatible with the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of Australia.

Measures

The 2011-12 Budget provided funding for four measures to support a sustainable population in Australia: Suburban Jobs; Sustainable Regional Development; Promoting Regional Living; and Measuring Sustainability.

These measures to support a sustainable population in Australia have strong links to other government initiatives, including changes to the Regional Sponsored Migrant Scheme, making it easier for skilled migrants to progress to permanent residency in regional Australia.

The $45 million Suburban Jobs initiative is intended to drive the development of more job opportunities within easy reach of where people live in the outer suburbs of Australia's major capital cities. It will support local and state governments to plan for and deliver employment opportunities in suburban locations.

The $29.2 million Sustainable Regional Development program will support better sustainability planning in regions that are experiencing high growth, through strategic assessments under national environmental law in up to seven additional regional and coastal growth areas.

The $10.1 million Measuring Sustainability program will deliver reliable, relevant and accessible information on the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability through a set of sustainability indicators for Australia. Public reports against the indicators, to be produced by an independent National Sustainability Council, will highlight key trends and emerging issues to support decision-making and planning by governments, business and communities across Australia.

In addition to these measures, the Government will provide a further $81.4 million in new investments to help cities become more productive, sustainable and liveable. These commitments include:

  • $60 million for managed motorways that allow more efficient use of our road infrastructure, bringing mums and dads home from work faster; and
  • $20 million for Urban Renewal (the Liveable Cities Program) to help improve planning and design of the outer suburbs and major regional centres that are experiencing population growth pressures and housing and transport affordability cost pressures.

The Promoting Regional Living Program was identified as a savings measure in the 2012-13 Budget. Savings from this measure are being utilised to support other Government priorities in regional Australia.

Public consultation

The Issues Paper, A Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia, was released on 16 December 2010. 380 submissions were received, reflecting a wide variety of views. Submissions helped to inform the government's development of the sustainable population strategy.