Australia's natural environment is fundamental to the quality of life and wellbeing of Australians, as well as providing key inputs to the economy. Until recently there has been a tendency to take clean water, clean air and natural attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef for granted. However, increasing population and economic pressures have caused many people to be increasingly concerned about the state of both the Australian and wider global environment.
In this commentary, progress refers to a reduction in threats to the natural environment and improvements in the health of our ecosystems.
The headline dimensions that help Australians assess whether our environment has progressed include:
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