Announcing the initiative, the Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke said it was clear from the Sustainable Population Strategy that better information about how Australia’s economy, environment and society interacted to inform better planning and decision-making was needed.
"That's why the Government announced the Measuring Sustainability program in the 2011-12 Budget," Mr Burke said.
"This program will allow for the collection of data guided by a set of sustainability indicators that will measure our progress while delivering capacity for better planning and decision-making."
He said the indicators would help the Government take a longer-term view and consider how actions and decisions made in the present affected the opportunities available to future generations.
"The National Sustainability Council will report against the sustainability indicators every two years, highlighting key trends and emerging issues for policy and decision-makers and communities around Australia," Mr Burke said.
He said the Council would be chaired by the Chair of the Monash Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia, John Thwaites.