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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State and territory governments hold responsibility for a range of important services and programs supporting Australian life. Their strategic plans provide a blueprint for government and for advancing state progress, and often summarise views and priorities of constituents. State and territory plans tend to be articulated in terms of ‘goals’, ‘visions’, ‘ambitions’, ‘objectives’ and ‘strategic themes’.They often identify measures for assessing whether goals are being achieved, and may provide data to report on government performance or to inform adjustments to programs. Some aim to align programs, for example, to ensure the activities of one department are not affecting the activities of another. They are of interest when considering aspirations for national progress.

A range of recent state and territory government planning documents (ordered by date of original publication) are summarised below with the aim of highlighting broad themes within the reports and commonalities across them. Some of these documents aim to chart the long-term course of the particular state (for example, ‘Tasmania together’).While other plans focus on shorter time spans and aim to act as immediate priority goal setting documents (for example, the Queensland Government action plan).These distinct types of plans are presented here together for the purpose of providing a snap shot of current planning that relates to the progress of states and territories.

The key ideas articulated in each report have been presented in a format that allows comparison with the MAP framework. That is, they have been grouped into the four MAP domain areas: society; economy; environment; and governance. A selection of quotes have been included (where available) to provide a feeling for the aspirational nature of the initiatives. However the aspirations included here are examples only and do not reflect the breadth of each individual project.

Indicator based state planning documents – Summary table

Plan titleOwnerPublishedKey themes

Tasmania Together Tasmania Together Progress Board Statutory Authority2011First published 2001 Biannually updatedStandard of Living, Communities, Education, Health, Arts and Culture, Aboriginal Culture, Democracy, Work, Business, Natural Heritage, Natural Resources
South Australia’s Strategic Plan Department of the Premier and Cabinet Government2011 First published in 2004 Update 2007Community, Prosperity, Environment, Health, Education, Ideas and Governance
The Canberra PlanDepartment of the Chief MinisterGovernment2008First published 2004Health, Safe Communities, Education and Skills, Economy, Vibrant Cities, Sustainable future, High Quality Services
NSW 2021 Baseline reportNSW Premier and CabinetGovernmentDec 2011 Supersedes previous NSW state Plan Economy, Quality Services, Infrastructure, Environment and Communities and Accountability

Note: At the time of publication, the governments of Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory did not have current state plans. The Queensland Government has an action plan that sets the direction for the recently elected government’s first 100 days in office and this is included below.

Tasmania Together

Tasmania is an island community, unique for its natural and cultural environment, where people enjoy a prosperous lifestyle based on quality, creativity and opportunity.’ – Tasmania together.

Tasmania together’ has been the principal body through which state plans have been developed in Tasmania since 2001. It is implemented by a Statutory Authority, is legislated under the Tasmania Together Progress Board Act 2001, and is overseen by the Tasmania Together Progress Board. Every five years, the board conducts a consultation to identify contemporary social, environmental and economic issues of importance to Tasmanians. The board also monitors progress towards the achievement of the goals and benchmarks identified.

An update of the plan, released in 2011, aims to support Tasmanians in achieving long-term social, economic and environmental goals. It provides a system of community goal setting and progress measurement, currently comprising 12 goals and 155 benchmarks that reflect the priorities expressed during extensive community consultation processes (held in 2000, 2005 and 2011). The 12 goals identified are:


Standard of living

Aboriginal culture

Safe communities

Arts and culture


Vibrant communities

Business and industry

Work opportunities
Natural resources

Built and natural heritage

Note: grouping into society, economy, environment and governance is to allow for comparisons with MAP only.

South Australian Strategic Plan

This Plan reflects the input of communities throughout the state, and their aspirations for how we can best continue to grow and prosper; how we can most effectively balance our economic, social and environmental aspirations in a way that improves our overall well-being, and creates even greater opportunities.’ – SA strategic plan.

The ‘South Australian strategic plan’ was developed with direct input from the South Australian community and includes submissions and work from over 9,200 South Australians. The strategic plan is managed by the SA Cabinet Office which drives implementation of the Plan.

The 2011 plan is the second update since its original release in 2004 (the first update was in 2007). It is a blueprint for developing South Australia’s prosperity and well-being, and aims to continue improvements. It contains a total of 100 targets categorised across fourteen broad areas. The fourteen areas and targets identified in the plan are:


Our communities are vibrant places to live, work, play and visit

Everyone has a place to call home

Strong families help build communities

We are safe in our homes, community and at work

We are connected to our communities and give everyone a fair go

We are active in looking after our health

South Australians are the best teachers and learners

South Australians are creative; we innovate to overcome environmental, economic, and social challenges
A strong, sustainable economy that builds on our strengths

We have a skilled and sustainable workforce

South Australia plans and delivers the right infrastructure
South Australians think globally, act locally and are international leaders in addressing climate change

We look after our natural environment

We value and protect our water resources

Note: grouping into society, economy, environment and governance is to allow for comparisons with MAP only.

The Canberra Plan

[T]his document will be a launching pad for serious and thorough community conversations about issues that go to the heart of who we are as a city—conversations about future urban form and sustainable transport, conversations about reducing our ecological footprint, and conversations about the implications of our shifting demographic.’ – The Canberra plan.

The 2008 ‘Canberra plan’ sets out goals and describes a vision for the future directions of the national capital. It guides growth and development for the current generation and beyond, setting out a strategy that responds to challenges facing the city. The Plan reflects Canberrans’ views, and is formulated via ongoing Australian Capital Territory Government consultation with stakeholders and the community on a wide range of issues. For example, the business community and tertiary sectors were consulted about the main economic and regional issues facing the ACT. Fourteen strategic themes are identified in the plan for ACT Government priority:


A vibrant city and great neighbourhoods
A fair and safe community

Excellent education, quality teaching and skills development

Quality health care

High-quality services
A strong, dynamic economy, which meets future needs

A resilient economy
Maintain growth that promotes sustainability
A sustainable future

A sustainable city and region

Protection of natural assets

Climate change management
Canberra and region is well maintained and its assets protected

The community participates in decisions that affect them

Note: grouping into society, economy, environment and governance is to allow for comparisons with MAP only.

NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one

NSW 2021 is driving our agenda for change in NSW to: restore economic growth; return quality health, transport, education, police, justice and community services, putting customer service at the heart of service design; build infrastructure that drives our economy and improves people’s lives; strengthen our local environments, devolve decision making and return planning powers to the community; and restore accountability and transparency to government, and give the community a say in decisions affecting their lives.’ – NSW 2021.

NSW 2021: a plan to make NSW number one’ was released in 2011. The report identifies the priorities for government action that the New South Wales Government intends to achieve over the next decade. The document also guides resource allocation and brings together important documents for local and regional areas. The plan was developed through a consultation process with communities across NSW. Progress is measured against five strategies linked to 32 goals, 186 targets and 281 measures. The five areas identified are:


Return quality services

Renovate infrastructure
Rebuild the economyStrengthen our local environment and communitiesRestore accountability to government

Note: grouping into society, economy, environment and governance is to allow for comparisons with MAP only.

Queensland Government Action Plan: Getting Queensland Back on Track

This plan sets out the priorities and deliverables for the next six months and will be the next yardstick used to measure our progress in returning prosperity, accountability and opportunity to this state.’ – Queensland Government action plan.

Though not a long-term state plan, the recently elected Queensland Government action plan articulates a vision for a strong, healthy and fair state. The report is an immediate priority plan that aims to set the course of the government’s first 100 days in office. It supersedes the ‘Towards Q2: tomorrow’s Queensland’ plan developed by the former government. The action plan focuses on key goals for the first year of government. It contains five broad pledges that act as both a map and a report card, outlining the work the Queensland Government is undertaking in the short term in the areas of infrastructure and front-line services. The areas and targets prioritised in the plan are: revitalising front-line services; growing the four pillar economy; lowering the cost of living for families; delivering better infrastructure and planning; and restoring accountability in government.