Keywords: sustainable development, performance indicators, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Australia
Growth, technological progress and sustainable development: preliminary evidence of Australia's sustainable development performance
In economic parlance, sustainable development is a case of non-declining economic welfare where economic welfare is the difference between the benefits and costs of economic activity. For various reasons, a measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) inadequately serves as an indicator of economic welfare and, therefore, of sustainable development. With the use of a linear throughput representation of the economic process, a range of alternative economic indicators is put forward to assess a nation's sustainable development performance. Calculation of these indicators for Australia for the period 1966-1967 to 1994-1995 suggests that Australia is failing to make the transition towards sustainable development - a consequence of Australia's inefficiency, its addiction to growth and its failure to embrace the notions of sufficiency, equity and natural capital maintenance.