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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Consumption and the Environment

Environmental Economics Seminar Series
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 642 24878 8

Ecological footprints and challenging the assumption of growth


Barney Foran
CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology
PO Box 84, Lyneham, Canberra, ACT 2602
Phone 06-242 1710


Much of our current lifestyle debate is dominated by the tension between two conservative forces. On the alleged right of centre are the neo-classical economists who have enthused us to believe that all is right in Australia when there are good rates of economic growth (except when there is too much growth of course, and then inflation means that growth is bad). On the alleged left of centre are the conservative ecologists. In their view rampant growth causes a number of unfortunate side effects. Thus growth is something to be challenged (except when it is something that they wish to do, and then it is good and should be encouraged). Between these polarised views are government agencies and commercial companies who try to steer a medium course encouraged by something called technological optimism. This says growth is basically okay, and that the negative impacts of growth can be controlled with innovation, new technologies and political luck. A general objective of the moderate views is to encourage growth accommodating policies, since growth is an important paradigm central to our western industrialised cultures.

Trying somewhat unsuccessfully to counter the assumption of monetarist growth is the concept of ecological limits. Generally these beliefs have had a bad press and are sometimes characterised as Malthusian or used to explain the failure of the studies by The Club of Rome in the early 1970s.

The dire predictions of widespread famine and population collapses have not proven to be correct since humans and their technologies have proven to be very adaptable. There are however many indications that ecological function may be on a plateau and even declining. Some sectors of world food production have plateaued, some fisheries have collapsed, and deforestation is rampant in some tropical countries. Closer to home we find that the ability to assimilate waste effectively is declining. While there are many linked and interacting causes, in the Australian context a key limit seems to be our spending on public infrastructure. As a percentage of GDP, public and private investment has been declining since the late 1960's in Australia. Major cities such as Sydney face considerable technical and financial hurdles in meeting a rising public expectation of suitable standards in treating our waste and effluent streams.

Many social criteria within Australia are also showing signs of stress. While a 1994 Human Development Report from UNDP showed that Australia is still a good place to live (7th ranking in the world), we are also amongst the top rankings for income disparity, reported rapes, drug crimes and youth male suicide. At the same time rapid population growth, immigration and quality of life are being linked by both political and media processes of questioning and assessment. Many comments in the 1994 parliamentary inquiry into the human carrying capacity of Australia note the declining quality of life in Australia's cities and ponder whether that life can ever get better with more people. Attempts to link these dominant economic and ecological tensions in population-development-environment studies are starting to emerge. Rather than using the somewhat jaded concept of human carrying capacity, a related notion of ecological footprints can relate socio -economic levels and consumption patterns to food production and waste assimilation capacities of higher quality soils which surround our urban concentrations. Australia's ecological footprint is open to enumeration with this concept. Some of the components of Canberra's ecological footprint are presented in this paper. If the concept of Canberra's ecological footprint does touch the consciences of national decision makers, then changes in the national capital's lifestyle might be necessary as a prelude to converting Australia's consumption habits. Given the gulf that still exists between an ecological and an economic view of the future, any substantive changes in government policy and national mindset on consumption levels might be decades away.

The philosophy of growth forever

Considerable philosophical tension exists between two arch conservative forces, neo-classical economists and ecologists 1. At present the reign and power of the economic paradigm seems to be almost impossible to topple. A key economic concept which continues to separate economists and ecologists is that of substitution. For economists, the concept of a good, a service or a resources can always be replaced by another item in a free market. For an ecologist there are few substitutes for sparkling clean water, unpolluted air, or landscapes with a vigorous soil organic matter fraction. The importance of the concept of money, and therefore the importance of costing the environment still has a number of conceptual problems for some world views2. Rather than describe flows in money terms, both physicists and ecologists have used energy flows to describe the interactions between sectors of both natural and economic systems3. All economic activity can be expressed as energy flows, and all primary, secondary and tertiary industries can be assessed in terms of their energy efficiencies. The tourist industry for example is a very heavy user of energy once the linkages to the service sectors have been made4. If we seek to double our international tourist visitation, this could be expensive in energy terms, depending on which country's energy account the trip is debited.

The philosophical concepts developed in this century for both ecology and physics maintain that there are limits. Physics explains it in terms of the laws of thermodynamics5, while ecology has learned to explain its concepts of limits in terms of the loss of ecosystem function, rather the decline in absolute terms of natural resources. Thus a politician's view that growth goes on forever is difficult to accept, though difficult to disprove in a Popperian scientific sense. An ecologist would assume that the only growth that is not bound by limits is growth in financial debt. That it can go on forever is shown by Australia's external debt over the last 15 years as detailed in many economic texts6. Some implication from studies on ecological limits have led to dire predictions of widespread famine and population collapse7. However they have not been proven to be correct in the short term since humans and their technologies have proven to be very adaptable. There are, however, many indications that ecological function may be on a plateau and even declining8. Some sectors of world food production have plateaued, some fisheries have collapsed, and deforestation is rampant in some tropical countries. Social order in many stressed countries is increasingly brittle9.

To counter the concept of the growth paradigm, the concept of a steady state economy has been developed by some ecological economists10. To many traditional thinkers it is a rather outlandish concept evoking a return to the cave and the dark ages. It requires a relatively constant human population with even age classes to remove spikes in demand for pre-schools and retirement homes. It is based on relatively constant flows of energy and materials. It replaces the concept of growth with the concept of development. Achieving development (instead of growth) is seen through increasing the scope for human achievement and intellect, and reducing the inequalities between the rich and the poor11. This is in contrast to the current growth paradigm which measures achievement as throughput of materials, and expansions in the markets for readymix concrete and real estate.

Yet some parts of industry and commerce have already departed from the established growth paradigms12. The ideas imbedded in the concepts of industrial ecology13 are gaining support in many technologically competent countries at the moment. Whole markets and processes can be re-designed to avoid effluents and pollutants. Long life, minimum waste and the option of re-engineering to extend useful life, are a precursor to the steady state economy. While some industries in Australia are moving philosophically towards the concepts of industrial ecology, the nation as a whole seems still intent on using and then cleaning up, rather than re-engineering to achieve a minimum (or nil) waste output.

Economic, political and social trends

Population debates are obviously on the political agenda with the rhetoric of the Cairo World Population Conference still fresh in our ears. We now agree that immigration into Australia is the main way by which our human population grows. However the crystallisation of a population policy which is served by our immigration policy has eluded our national decision makers to date. Population growth is still thought to be good, or at least unavoidable. The 1994 parliamentary enquiry14 into Australia's long term carrying capacity sought to shift population policy to a higher political level of decision making. Demographic analysis show that a net inflow of 50,000 immigrants a year into Australia can provide a total population under 21 million people by 2030. Moderately higher fertility rates and immigration rates could see population at between 22 and 24 million in 2030. But what of environmental refugees? Some social analysts15 see that by the year 2100 Australia might have 100 million people living on northern and eastern coastlines. The 1980's has seen population growth and immigration is essentially a megacity phenomenon. A large proportion of immigrants in that period have gone to Sydney and Melbourne and stayed there. The high rate of urban expansion in these cities during the 1980s has exposed the parlous state of Australia's infrastructural deficit. From a peak in the late 1960's (as a percentage of GDP) infrastructural spending has slowly declined.

A number of indicators show that Australia has economic problems. Our external debt is still growing and our rates of personal saving rank us fifteenth out of 16 developed economies. However central government debt gives a better impression by world standards. We are lowly taxed in both personal and company terms and the cost of living is relatively cheap compared to other major cities in the world. However Australia's workforce compares poorly in productivity terms. In terms of total merchandise exports we are lowly ranked, but on a per capita basis our manufactured exports of US$2500 per person compares well with the $1800 per person for the USA and $2900 per person for Japan. The larger populations of those countries offer an attractive image which fuels the expansionary zeal of real estate agents, supermarkets, building suppliers and fast food chains. However if we believe in the globalisation of world trade, the importance of large internal markets has declined because of the various competitive and comparative trade advantages.

Many social criteria are also showing signs of stress. While a 1994 Human Development Report16 from UNDP showed that Australia is still a good place to live (seventh ranking in the world), we are in the top rankings for income disparity, reported rapes, drug crimes and youth male suicides. Many people find it difficult to reconcile our assumed standard of living with the strangely alien places that many parts of our cities have become. Yet there is life in the urban sprawl after all. Some families who move to older established towns on the commuter edge of cities find the more wholesome community based life that eluded them in the city. The ability to maintain linkages with work depends on speedy and efficient commuter transport or good roads. In an environmental context, all of these improved technological approaches have energy and environmental costs. The technological optimists have much to say about the influence of telecommuting and constructing multi centred cities17. However this technological optimism is not always balanced by an understanding of how human communities wish to spend their working, family and recreational lives.

The philosophies and statistics detailed above are meant to elaborate some of the background that may prevent us from changing our consumption habits by law or by goodwill. In the population-development-environment project currently underway in the CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology, we have used the simple concept that Impact (on the environmental sectors) is a function of Population, Lifestyle, Organisation and Technology18. Much policy deliberation assumes that the O and T parts of the PLOT function will balance growth in the P and L components. Many specialists in the areas of air19 and water20 quality note that maintaining indices of environmental quality in the face of accelerated population growth and consumption growth is almost impossible. It is against this background that we present the concept of ecological footprints as an integrated measure that ties personal consumption and lifestyle back to some measure of biological reality, the areas of productive soils needed to provide our renewable resources and our waste assimilation capacity.

Ecological footprints: what are they?

The Canadian concept of ecological footprints21 or the European concept of ecological space22 refers to the amount of productive land required to support the lifestyle of an individual, a nation or an industry. The concept has been well developed and tested in a numerical sense and is defined as the area of productive soils needed to supply our food, forest products, urban areas and to assimilate the waste products generated by our consumption patterns (in particular the area need to assimilate our carbon dioxide). For the average Canadian lifestyle this approximates to four hectares per person. The concept can be further expanded by analysing the consumption patterns of different income groups in society and shows that family incomes of $100,000 per year in Canada have ecological footprints in excess of 12 hectares per person. When the ecological space concept is applied to The Netherlands, the report notes that Netherlands agriculture uses for consumption and export, an area seven times the area of cultivated land within its own borders. In order to reduce the ecological space appropriated by the consumption of The Netherlands population, per capita reductions of 50-80 per cent are needed in energy, freshwater, wood products, and arable land.

But why use this aggregated index of our per capita consumption as a communication tool? The simple reason is that it is easily comprehended by normal people as well as politicians. Numerous talks and seminars during 199423 proved that it offers considerable scope for interaction on environmental issues in a way that is attractive, and is also open to numeracy, testing and good graphical display. There are numerous criticisms that can be directed at a single aggregated index of human impact, but most can be answered or deflected e.g. every morning we wake to indices such as the All Ordinaries, the Dow Jones, the Nikkei and our exchange rates, and we do not question that they monitor the heart beat of our economic and social activity. Another criticism is that a footprint is an endgame in itself, and does not lead to adaptation and alternative management strategies. The Canadian footprint group now stress the good news stories in the concept, and by acknowledging our sustainability gap24 we start moving towards closing it. Another advantage in the footprint concept is that it allows us to bypass the 'carrying capacity' concept which has failed to trade past the concept of the supply of food and water requirements, and expects magical technologies to deal with our increasing waste assimilation problem. The recent parliamentary inquiry on Australia's carrying capacity effectively used this weakness to avoid any concrete recommendations on a population policy. If we accept the Canadian average lifestyle as needing four hectares to sustain it, then on the same basis the footprint of Australia's 17 to 18 million people potentially equals our 70 million hectares of good quality soils.

The consumption parameters of the nation's capital: Canberra


At June 1992 Canberra's population stood at 293,42525 and current estimates for the December quarter of 1993 gave the population at 299,40026 Natural increase accounts for around 3,300 but net imports of people vary considerably. Rough settlement density figures for Canberra's main districts vary from 480 to 1200 persons per km . If these calculations are correct, density is about 50 per cent that of Sydney's and about 20 per cent that of a European average. Steady population growth to 400,000 by 2010 and 500,000 by 2025 seems to be implicit in most projections27 which target planning and waste management. More subtle manifestations of the continued growth paradigm can be found in agency statements such as Canberra the city replaced by Canberra the region28. Traditional planning attitudes such as these are logical and risk averse, given the absence of population management strategies at a federal or state level. The growth paradigm is thus well entrenched at all levels of government.

Water, energy and waste

There has been a marked reduction in total water consumption from 62,449 megalitres in 1989 to 50,160 megalitres in 1993, although low rainfall years such as 1991 do increase demand29. Per capita daily consumption has decreased from 680 litres/person/day in 1989 to 460 litres in 1993. Planned decreases in per capita consumption could take this to lower than 400 litres by 2020 as part of strategies being introduced to delay the construction of another catchment dam. By comparison, Sydney's per capita demand for the period 1980 to 1990 varied from 380 to 520 litres per person per day. Working on data from Sydney and Perth30, an average figure of 0.3 ha per capita appears to be the managed area needed for water catchment under current demand, pricing and reuse methods. If this assumption is correct, the current population of 300,000 needs well managed catchment areas of 90,000 hectares. These assumptions are borne out by the 110,000 hectares of effective area in the Cotter and Gugong catchments31 (0.36 hectares/person). Thus the water footprint for managed catchment to support Canberra's life style is about 0.3 hectares per person, and is similar to data from other Australian urban areas.

Total electricity consumption has grown from 2075.1 gigawatt hours in 1989 to 2347.6 gigawatt hours in 1993. Fossil fuelled generation would seem to contribute all of this increase, since hydro contributed a constant 670 gigawatt hours over the period 32. Consumption per consumer seems to be falling marginally, so that consumption might be attributable mainly to population growth over-riding moves to more efficient technologies. Use of natural gas totalled 4700 terrajoules in the 1993-94 financial year and projections indicate 5000 terrajoules will be used in the 1994-95 financial year33. Canberra as a community seems to mimic Australia's predilection for increasing energy usage, though this might come from population expansion, rather than rising per capita usage.

Total sewage has increased from 33,000 megalitres in 1989 to 34,765 megalitres in 1993, and sewage mains have increased from 2,535 to 2704 kilometers over the same period. Per capita sewage flows have decreased from 328 to 315 litres per person per day34, with a projected stabilisation at around 300 litres from now on35. Rough calculations of sewage treated to water used show that about 50 per cent of the water used, has in the past ended up in the effluent stream. In a 1992 environmental audit, consultants estimated that Canberra produced about 113,000 tonnes/year of solid domestic waste and 228,000 tonnes per year of builders spoil36. The per capita production of domestic waste at 400 kilograms per person per annum places Canberra as a middle order rubbish maker in world terms37. The recycling strategies now being implemented should increase the usefulness of this solid waste stream. In the 1992 audit, the builders spoil component of solid waste approximated 55 tonnes for each of the 4000 building approvals, or one tonne of builders spoil for each $3000 of building value approved38. The

data from these environmental audits did produce one happy ending. Because of the amount of builders spoil entering the landfills, charges were introduced for dumping. The amounts being dumped in official landfills have now been substantially reduced as a direct result of these charging policies, and the hope is that is that the remainder of the builders spoil is now being recycled onsite39.

Cars, transport and emissions

Canberra had 160,721 vehicles at 1990-1991, or 562 vehicles per 1000 population. When passenger cars alone were considered, there were 482 per 1000 population, which was similar to other OECD countries and less than the United States which had 560 cars per 1000 of population in the same period. Data from an emission inventory in 1985 indicated that 5948 vehicle kilometres were travelled per person, which was less than Melbourne (6961) or Sydney (6469), and much less than a 1990 figure for USA of 9700 km per capita. Contemporary calculations based on ACT petrol and diesel excise give a figure of 9477km per capita for the 1993-94 financial year. The consumption of automotive fuels has increased markedly in the last decade. In the 1985 emissions survey40 Canberra used 218 million litres of petrol, diesel and LPG or 797 litres per person. Calculations based on 1993-94 excise data reveal the apparent consumption of 348 million litres, or 1161 litres per person.

Looming global conventions on global climate change might produce political and trade advantages for countries which reduce their total and per capita emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. If taxes and rewards become part of national or international agreements, regions might gain credits by fixing carbon for a medium term in plantation forests. Through Australia's use of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels, cement making, land clearing etc. Australia produced 572 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 199041. If this is apportioned on a population pro rata basis, with adjustments for 29 per cent of electricity produced by hydro, Canberra produced 3.67 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or approximately one million tonnes of elemental carbon (conversion factor CO2/3.664). While a fast growing eucalyptus forest can fix or sequester 10 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year, recent global estimates have downgraded average estimates of carbon fixing for forestry to between one and two tonnes per hectare per year. For this range Canberra might need between 500,000 and 1,000,000 hectares to sequester its current rates of carbon dioxide emissions. The total area of the ACT is 236,746 hectares and there are currently 18,100 hectares of managed forest plantations. Thus if Canberrans seek to assimilate the carbon emissions originating from their personal consumption habits, they might need a carbon assimilation footprint of between 1.6 and 3.3 hectares per person to achieve that. At the end of a forestry rotation period of 50-70 years, much of that carbon would again be liberated emphasising that this waste assimilation strategy provides a medium term option at best.

Feedbacks and quandaries

This discussion of Canberra's consumption habits and some of the footprints needed to support those habits show that each person might require two to four hectares of managed land of reasonable quality to support their lifestyle. Studies in progress aim to produce the full analysis used by the original Canadian work.

Much is made of community attempts at recycling of domestic waste. We are entreated to purchase less packaged articles, separate our solid waste streams and buy green labelled products. In the Canberra landfill sites, builders spoil represented twice as much volume and weight as domestic refuse in the audit year of 1992. While the policy of charging for dumping reduced the amount dumped, it nevertheless indicated that building activity and urban expansion can produce more solid waste than our average consumptive lifestyles. There is a reasonable expectation that the amount of spoil will decrease as Canberra reaches a mature and more stable form. Most politicians and planners develop growth accommodating rather than growth limiting policies. Under this scenario, urban expansion in Canberra will probably continue.

Feedbacks and interactions in the urban system are interesting. The technologically advanced water treatment plant that serves Canberra produces 22 tonnes/day of an ash high in calcium carbonate and silica. One third is sold to local farmers as fertiliser and the remainder dumped at the West Belconnen landfill (5300 tonnes/year). According to the environmental audit of the landfill, less than optimal mixing and incorporation procedures allied with windy weather can produce local dust storms and a potential respiratory hazard for the landfill operators. The problem has been solved by pelletising the dust. The sewage treatment plant has an exemplary record for compliance, although biological feedbacks have caused its potential for nitrogen removal to be reined in. Low nitrogen in the treated waters (or specifically a low nitrogen to phosphorus ratio) enhanced blue green algae blooms in the downstream river and Lake Burrinjuck in the years 1979 through 198242. Higher ratios of nitrogen to phosphorus in the effluent have removed the blue green algae problem. However the audit team further noted that nutrient discharges leading to environmental problems remain near the upper limits, and that ceilings of 30 kilograms per day for phosphorus and 1800 kilograms per day for nitrogen might need to be implemented. Thus the influence of effluent quality on downstream amenity value will continue, if the fishing column in the weekly newspapers is acknowledged and believed.

Ecological footprints in the policy context

As Australia's population grows, and its status as a mainly urbanised nation is maintained, the linkage between the land and its people will become more tenuous. The concept of ecological footprints aims to provide an aggregated index of consumption which is linked back to the land, its ability to grow food and fibre, its function as water catchment, the forest products it provides, and its ability to assimilate waste. While the image of an ecological footprint is useful in evoking the linkage of distant landscapes which sustain urban areas, the determination of an ecological footprint will not itself change consumption policies. As an isolated ecological index, it does not fit into a national framework of decision making in the way economic indices such as GDP, exchange rates and interest rates connect directly to markets and government. Many social indices are open to similar criticism43. However it may be used to compare strategies for urban transport44, urban planning45 and modes of food production46 . As such it can offer an ecological index with which to audit management strategies presented on more traditional rationales such as the need for growth and increasing cost efficiency.

Whether Australia should change its consumption patterns is a question too tender for most political parties, although most would agree we should reduce the amount of harmful pollutants. The linkage between consumption patterns and less toxic emissions such as carbon dioxide are fairly obvious, although not often expressed in that way.

The challenge is usually left to the Organisation and Technology parts of our PLOT function, rather than to the Population and the Lifestyle components. Yet to ignore the broader implications of changes in consumption patterns, is to ignore opportunity as much as it invites a less functional environment in ecological terms. The concept of ecological footprints offers an explanatory bridge between our lifestyle and the landscapes which sustain us. As such they are an important part of the population-development-environment debate which is attempting to chart our economic, social and ecological futures.


1 Rees, W.E. (1994). Achieving sustainability: reform or transformation? Discussion draft, University of British Columbia, Vancouver November 1994, 36pp.

2 Beder, S. (unpublished manuscript). Charging the earth: The promotion of economic instruments for pollution control. University of Wollongong, December 1994, 29pp

3 Slesser M. et al. (1994). UKECCO: Evaluation of capital creation options. Centre for Human Ecology Edinburgh 74pp Uni of edinburgh UKECCO

4 Peet, J. (1994). Energy for a sustainable New Zealand: Setting out some policy pegs. Conference paper for a Sustainable Energy Conference held in Hamilton, New Zealand in April 1994.

5 Perrings, C. (1995). Ecology, economics and ecological economics. Ambio 24,1,60-64

6 Kriesler, P. (1995). The Australian economy: The essential guide. Allen and Unwin, St. Leonards, NSW 242pp

7 Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L. and Randers, J. (1992). Beyond the limits: Global collapse or a sustainable future. Earthscan Publications, London, 300pp.

8 Vital Signs 1994-1995. See next reference.

9 Brown, L.R., Kane, H. and Roodman, D.M. (1994). Vital signs 1994-1995: The trends that are shaping our future. Worldwatch Institute, Earthscan Publications, London 160pp

10 Daly, H.E. (1993). The perils of free trade. Resurgence 163,10-14. Reprinted from Scientific American

11 Jacobs, M. (1993). The green economy: Environment, sustainable development and the politics of the future. UBC Press, Vancouver, Canada 312pp

12 Hawken, P. (1993). The ecology of commerce. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 250pp

13 Allenby, B.R. and Richards, D.J. eds. (1994). The greening of industrial systems. National Academy of Engineering, National Academy Press, Washington DC

14 House of Representatives Committee on Long Term Strategies (1994) Australia's Population 'Carrying Capacity': One Nation Two Ecologies

15 Ruthven, P. (1995). Ibis Consulting Services, Sydney. quoted in media interview at Bureau of Immigration, Ethnic Affairs and Population Research Conference held in Adelaide in February 1995. The Age, Melbourne 23rd. February 1995

16 UNDP (1994). Human Development Report 1994 . Oxford University Press, oxford and New York, 226pp

17 Brotchie, J.(1992). The changing structure of cities. Urban Futures Special Issue No. 5 p13-26.

Also: Newman, P., Kenworthy, J. and Vintila, P. (1994). Build better cities? Physical planning in the age of urban cynicism. Urban Futures Journal 3,2,17-24.

18 The I = f (P,L,O,T) function which is a re-statement of the equation developed a decade ago by Paul Erhlich and Barry Commoner and detailed in The Third Revolution by Paul Harrison 1992, Penguin Books, London 377pp

19 Johnson, G.M. (1992). Air pollution and western Sydney, Australian Planner, July 1992, p112-114.

20 Sydney Water Board (1994). Choices for clean waterways. March 1994, 56pp.

21 Wackernagel, M. et al. (1993). How big is our ecological footprint?:a handbook for estimating a community's appropriated carrying capacity. University of British Columbia, Canada 106pp

22 Veening W. et al. (1994). The Netherlands and the world ecology. Netherlands Com. of IUCN, Amsterdam 116pp

23 For example the DEST seminar on Consumption and The Environment held in Sydney on 17.11.94 produced many phone calls and requests for references. Numerous interactions with politicians, agency bureaucrats, academics, members of the general public introduced a concept that was intuitively correct.

24 Rees, W.E. (1994). Sustainability, growth and employment: Towards and ecologically stable, economically secure and socially satisfying future. Paper prepared for HSD employment and sustainable development project. June 1994

25 Australian Bureau of Statistics (1993). Canberrra statistical area summary 1993. ABS Catalogue No 1313.8 23rd. December 1993, 44pp.

26 Australian Bureau of Statistics personal communication September 1994.

27 SCM (1992). Environmental and process audit of the Lower Molongo Water Quality Control Centre, Canberra, ACT. Report ot the ACT Government, May 1992.

28 ACTEW (1994). ACT future water supply strategy: our water our future. ACT Electricity and Water, June 1994, 34pp.

29 ACTEW (1993). ACT Electricity and Water Annual Report 1992-1993. 36pp.

30 Kalma, J.D. and Fleming P.M. (1994). The resource needs of our cities and the population debate. Paper presented at the Australian Academy of Science Population Symposium, Canberra, April 1994.

31 Mick Fleming CSIRO Division Of Water Research, personal communication August 1994.

32 See reference 29 above.

33 Natural gas company personal communication, August 1994.

34 See reference 29 above

35 SCM (1992). Environmental and process audit of the Lower Molongo Water Quality Control Centre, Canberra, ACT. Report to the ACT Government, May 1992.

36 Sinclair Knight (1992). Environmental audit of the West Belconnen landfill. Report to the ACT Department of Urban Services, June 1992. Also: Environmental audit of Mugga Lane landfill same reference and date.

37 The Economist (1994). Pocket world in figures. Economist Books, London 206pp.

38 Authors conclusion from data in References 25 and 36 above.

39 Personal communication in a question from the floor when these data were presented by the author at a planning conference held in Canberra in September 1994.

40 Australian Environment Council (1995). Air emission inventories (1985) for the Australian capital cities. AEC Report No. 22, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

41 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Committee (1994). National greenhouse gas inventory 1988 and 1990 . Department of Environment, Sport and Territories, 1994.

42 See reference 35 above.

43 Personal communication Janette Heycox, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, March 1995.

44. Wackenagel, M., McIntosh, J., Rees, W.E. and Woollard, R. (1993). How big is our ecological footprint? A handbook for estimating a communities appropriated carrying capacity. Task Force on Planning Healthy and Sustainable Communities. University of British Columbia, 106pp.

45 Walker, L.A. (1994). Estimating the influence of housing choice and density on a household's appropriated carrying capacity: A calculation procedure. Internal document prepared for the Task Force on Planning Healthy and Sustainable Communities, University of British Columbia, October 10, 1994.

46 Wackernagel, M. and Rees, W.E. (1994). Possibilities for integrating the ecological footprint concept into Earth Council's Earth Report and People's Earth Monitoring Systems. Contract proposal, University of British Columbia, November 8, 1994.

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