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1370.0.00.002 - Measures of Australia's Progress - Aspirations for our Nation: A Conversation with Australians about Progress , 2011-12  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2013   
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APPENDIX B - REGIONAL OFFICE WORKSHOP COMMENTS

Note: The material in this appendix reflects the views expressed at the regional workshops. It is included in the interests of transparency and does not necessarily represent the views of the ABS.

ASPIRATIONS FOR SOCIAL PROGRESS

Everyone has access to services, infrastructure and support
Everyone has (safe) access to good quality services (health, education, employment, support, transport, childcare and parenting support, retirement and elderly care services, technology)
Everyone has equal access to social infrastructure – such as sport, education, health
Everyone has access to the legal system/services, which do not discriminate against anyone
Service delivery is prioritised to those most in need and personalised
Our society provides support for carers of all kinds – parents, disability and elderly care
Smaller medical centres cater for smaller areas
Our infrastructure supports increasing population health (sewers, clean drinking water)
Everyone has access to affordable and appropriate housing
Our health system provides for those with unpreventable/incurable health problems

Our society addresses disadvantage
Our society improves conditions of people who are disadvantaged, marginalised or need help
We take into account the least well-off and vulnerable groups or regions when assessing national progress (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, low income, non-capital city residents)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy an equal quality of life - empowered to fully participate in society
Children are safe from all forms of abuse and not living in situations where they are vulnerable
Our society provides basic human needs for everyone (shelter, human rights)
The wealth gap is decreasing – both actually and in terms of social perceptions
No Australian is disadvantaged due to race, sexuality, gender, religion, culture, geography

Our society is equitable, inclusive and tolerant
In our society, social position does not determine wellbeing or education, and people have freedom, choice and the opportunity to move beyond the situation they were born into
Because not everyone starts out equal, we support people so society has equitable outcomes
Everybody has the opportunity to participate in society and reach their potential
Culture, inclusion, acceptance and tolerance are valued by our society
Society values and celebrates vibrant cultural diversity: it’s safe to practice your cultural practices
Our communities value individuals and their contributions
People enjoy the right to live their lives within reasonable boundaries in a tolerant society

Equity in education supports equity in society
Everyone has equal access to education, giving them the opportunity to achieve their desired level of education, and enabling them to live full and productive lives and meet societal needs
Everyone has the basic skills to communicate and participate in society (literacy and numeracy)
Our education system expands and fulfils people’s aspirations
Our education system highlights opportunities for, and finds ways to include, people who may not otherwise be encouraged to attend higher education
All children meet their education potential

People have feelings of wellbeing and the opportunity to enhance this
People are happy, content and satisfied with their lives, and have positive mental health
People understand how to achieve positive mental health and wellbeing (education)
People and communities are resilient, and are enabled to become resilient
People feel safe in public, at home, and in terms of national security
People have trust in social institutions
People have a good quality of life, work-life balance, free time for their interests and activities
We enjoy a rich and diverse cultural life
People are empowered to improve their lives, with welfare dependence minimised
People have confidence in the future

Our society encourages engagement, connectivity and creativity
Our society has a high level of social capital (trust, engagement, connectivity, cohesion)
There are effective connections between people within communities and across society
We have strong, effective and supported community centres
Our society is creative and resilient
Communities and services are planned with children’s safety and wellbeing in mind

Our society optimises the health of the population
Society embraces a holistic approach to health, optimising people’s wellbeing across mind (intellect, learning), body (health, mental health), heart (relationships) and soul (spirituality)
Our health system improves public health and prevents public health problems
Where possible, people are free from pain and disease, for increased wellbeing
We not only live longer but enjoy a greater quality of life
Both effective public services and individual actions lead to a healthier population
Australians live healthy lifestyles, and increasingly understand their health and how to optimise it
We are enabled (e.g. via information) to take action on possible future population health issues
People are able to get medical attention quickly when needed
Our society values and supports carers of all kinds – parents, disability and elderly carers

A healthy environment ensures a healthy population
We value the environment as it impacts on health, psychological, and societal wellbeing
Societal norms (standard of living/housing) are in keeping with sustainability imperatives

ASPIRATIONS FOR ECONOMIC PROGRESS

A stable and resilient economy
Our economy is secure, self-sustaining, robust in the context of international fluctuations
The economy is stable, focusing on smoothing peaks and troughs, not just growth and profit
Our economy is flexible/resilient, catering for unforeseen shocks/events e.g. disasters, drought
We have sufficient infrastructure to support our economic activity
Debt does not endanger the stability of the economy

A diverse and innovative economy
Our economy is diverse, with a broad-based workforce distributed across sectors and a mix of industries (not reliant on single industries such as mining)
Our economy is innovative across all sectors, focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, and high-end value-adding industries
We invest in research and development: innovation in new technologies supports the balancing of economic and environmental goals, especially in mining, agricultural, and energy production
Business confidence is high

An efficient and productive economy
Our economy is efficient and effective in meeting the needs of a growing population
The economy is increasingly productive and efficient, with wastage reducing (e.g. food, energy wastage)
We have thriving productive systems – market, non-market (caring) and natural (regeneration)
The tax system is efficient and modern, so no ‘churn’ taxes are returned to tax payers
Positive economic growth is maintained
Economic regulation is effective, without unnecessary levels of political interference

An economy able to cater for future needs
The economy caters for future needs, e.g. appropriately valuing and accounting for sustainable practices, environmental services and assets (e.g. the Great Barrier Reef), and loss/depletion of natural resources
Economic and environmental goals are balanced, with sustainable use of natural resources – economic growth is not at the expense of social or environmental flourishing
We have sustainable levels of imports and exports
The economy manages the detrimental effects of rapidly changing technology, e.g. by valuing products across their whole life cycle (including post obsolescence)
The job market is sustainable, e.g. through increasing manufacturing
We manage funds and resources to support an ageing population

An ethical economy
Our economy encourages ethical activity and high standards of quality and safety
There is effective regulation against unethical market activity
Governance of economic activity is ethical, ensuring people are not pushed to behave in ways counter to their needs or social health

An internationally integrated and competitive economy
The Australian economy is integrated with the world economy, contributing to global stability and increasing Australia’s economic resilience/reducing risk
Our economy is internationally competitive, and innovative developments stay in Australia e.g. solar
Our economy focuses on areas of comparative advantage relative to other countries
Import and export opportunities are enhanced

Our economy promotes quality of life, which in turn supports economic health
The economy supports quality of life and work/life balance, reducing overwork and underemployment (including reducing travel to work time)
We invest in health prevention/education rather than treatment for long term economic benefit
National economic policy reflects community aspirations
There is reducing personal debt supporting increased wellbeing
We recognise that increasing wealth is not the only path to increasing wellbeing

Our economy supports greater economic equity
The economy ensures a universal minimum standard of living and access to basic human needs (food, shelter/housing, security, healthcare, and social needs)
There is no poverty in our society and families at risk are targeted for economic support
Wealth, income, resources are distributed equitably and inequity in distribution is decreasing
The economy accounts for needs of all groups and provides a higher standard of living for all
Work is equally distributed
The economy operates for the common good
There is improving financial literacy among the population
Everyone has access to fresh food
Everyone has access to affordable housing, including associated living and transport costs
Regional and local economies flourish, focusing on ‘not falling behind’ rather than competing
Everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in, benefit from, and share costs of growth
There is a safety net for those who need economic support
There is a supported culture of philanthropy, both at the personal and industrial/business level
The contribution of different sectors to economic growth is fully understood and transparent

People have meaningful work and their skills meet the demands of the economy
People have the opportunity and capability to participate in quality, meaningful work (paid/unpaid)
People are employed in their area of expertise and/or interest
Australians have the education and skills/training to adequately supply our workforce
Our workforce is appropriately skilled and utilises human assets effectively
The economy enhances the stock of skills available in the population
Labour force participation is maximised
Skill supply and education flows are managed to match changing economic conditions

Social and public services are valued
Caring and educational services are valued more highly in the economy, with greater income equity across occupations and reducing the mismatch of income to social value in occupations
There is less reliance on volunteers, and on increasing volunteering, to cater for social needs
Our public services are supported by the economy
Our governments are financially sustainable
The economy values social assets and unpaid work

ASPIRATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRESS

People increasingly understand and value the environment
Australians value and protect the natural environment, recognising its connection to wellbeing
There is increasing public education about, and awareness of, the environment, human impact on the environment, and economic and other benefits of environmental initiatives and assets e.g. Great Barrier Reef
The natural environment is valued in its own right
We have credible information about the environment that is locally relevant
We take pride and value in our environment’s history and heritage, valuing heritage areas and protecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritages and other cultural environments
We treat animals ethically and humanely

People are able to connect to the natural environment
People feel connected to the environment (anthropocentric view) and take responsibility for it
We respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connection with the land, and incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental perspectives in to our practices, e.g. sacred land
Everyone has access to green/open spaces/parks/recreation areas/meeting places
Everyone has access to clean and health air and water and ecosystems – free of pollution
Our energy and environmental programs and initiatives are affordable and accessible for all

Built environments enhance social connectivity and wellbeing
Built environments enhance/nurture/support social connectivity, health and wellbeing
Urban environments are liveable, with more plants, trees and green spaces
We value the heritage and social benefits of existing built environments, civic spaces and businesses, using what we have efficiently rather than developing new environments

People work together on environmental issues
Environmental efforts are coordinated nationally (local, regional, state, national)
We have conversations with traditional owners of the land and include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ perspectives.
There is increasing awareness of and collaboration on international environmental issues
Local, national and international environmental issues are addressed in a coherent way
Information about the environment is coherent (not contradictory)
We have clear environmental targets for people to work towards

The diversity of our environmental and local conditions is recognised
Environmental programs cater for local conditions/ecosystems and don’t impact local growth
Sentinel and unique areas are taken into account in our environmental choices and actions

Our activities are sustainable and do not impact negatively on the environment
Human activity and use of natural resources is sustainable and prioritised (across air, land, water, waste)
We increasingly use recycling (including composting) for waste, water and inorganics
No further loss of biodiversity and decreasing endangering/extinction of species
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ environmental perspective are incorporated into our practices e.g. sustainable land use
We have sustainable transport systems with a decreasing need for people to commute to work

Our environment is clean and healthy
We have a clean healthy atmosphere – pollution, greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 pollution) and waste reducing or minimised (zero waste)
Our waterways/oceans/ground water systems are healthy, support biodiversity and fish populations (e.g. we use aquaculture rather than native fish), provide environmental services and clean, high quality drinking/agricultural water, and are used efficiently
We have healthy resilient land/soil to support biodiversity and agriculture, with effective pest management, green belts/corridors/zero erosion

We repair damage to the natural environment
The environment is being rehabilitated and improved – past unsustainable changes remediated
We increasingly regenerate habitat and biodiversity and re-forest our land
Greenhouse gasses are reduced to pre-industrial levels
Soil quality is improving
The way in which we produce energy and develop is sustainable
Natural resources are used sustainably, with no energy debt into the future
We have sustainable populations, regional centres and agriculture
Our energy supply is efficient, affordable and sustainable, with increasing use of renewable energy, and decreasing dependence on non-sustainable resources such as fossil fuel
The built environment is developed sustainably and with a view to enhancing social connections
We have affordable, environmentally friendly, self-sustaining housing (for energy, water, food)

We are prepared for change in the natural environment
We have future security of natural resources – food, water, quality of air etc.
We can adapt to change in the natural environment because we have effective infrastructure, technology, education, innovation, governance, and community connectivity/response
We have adequate food and develop a self-sufficiency in relation to food production
We are able to respond to climate change and natural disasters

ASPIRATIONS FOR GOVERNANCE PROGRESS

Everyone is enabled to participate in decision-making processes
Citizens are supported to participate ‘beyond the ballot box’ in all levels of government, society and community, e.g. through education, opportunities/forums, and a culture of participation
Everyone has equitable access to decision-making processes and the mechanisms of government, and these are well understood
Government is inclusive/consultative – people and their views are represented well and equitably
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are able to vote for their own representatives with no hurdles to voting
Communities are able to shape their community and influence decisions that apply to them
We are a nation of independent thinkers, who are enabled to challenge government decisions

The different levels of government are clearly defined and work together
There is clarity around the roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government, with the scope of influence of each level agreed upon and defined to enable certainty and stability
Everyone understands the different roles/responsibilities of the three levels of government
There is collaboration and alignment between the three spheres of government
National and state government also functions at the local level, reflects the needs of local government areas, and supports community based programs
We have strong local government with wide decision-making powers in local issues, and with the capacity to implement the policies they are required to deliver

Human rights are understood and upheld
Human rights, remedies and obligations are better understood by both citizens and authorities, are incorporated in to Australian law and these rights protected
People feel protected – from lawlessness, exploitation, poverty
People enjoy the right to live their life within reasonable societal boundaries
Our governance recognises freedom of expression and we have a free press and media
There is an appropriate balance between protection of rights and government intrusion

Everyone is treated equally and equitably by our governance systems
Everyone is treated fairly and equitably – there is no disparity in the way people are treated
Everyone has equal access to the law and it applies to and protects all Australians equally
Fundamental human rights apply to everyone in our society
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and local government are recognised in the Australian constitution
There is equal access in planning and delivery government services
Multicultural populations and diversity is recognised at a local and other government levels

Governments and institutions are transparent, accountable and effective
Government, public institutions, civil and social institutions and companies are accountable
There is well founded trust/confidence in public and private institutions and economic players
Our government is sensible and hierarchical and manages programs efficiently and effectively
We have fair and free elections and a fair and transparent judiciary
A free press is balanced with accountability/diverse media ownership, for quality and balance
Clear separation of powers (government, industry, workers, judiciary) to avoid vested interest
All levels of government are modern and capable and have resources to function effectively
The authorities in our society are brave enough to search for the truth

Our governance mechanisms provide for our future
Government is forward looking and supports future planning despite a short election cycle
A long term view and leadership in governance of environmental issues, with environmental audits on all government policy, and decision-makers who value the environment
The constitution is dynamic, incorporating contemporary issues – our governance is adaptable
Australia is a responsible, modern international citizen and leader in the international arena


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