Department of the Environment

About us | Contact us | Publications

header imagesheader imagesheader images

Publications archive - Ecologically Sustainable Development

Disclaimer

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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

Are We Sustaining Australia? Report Against Headline Sustainabilty Indicators

Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54771 8


Value 16: Locational equity

Rationale for inclusion of issue

While most of the traditional inequities within the community are associated with socio-economic disadvantage (as either a cause or a result), another potential source of inequity is locational disadvantage. Remote communities can suffer from limited (or non-existent) access to a range of sources of individual and community well-being such as educational facilities and other forms of government and community support, and even physical infrastructure such as reticulated water.

Indicator 18

Percentage difference in the year 12 completion rate between urban and remote locations in 1999

12%

Source: DETYA (unpublished).

Rationale for selection of indicator

Educational facilities are one of a range of services to which rural and remote communities have limited access compared to urban communities. The difference in year 12 completion rates between urban and remote locations is one indicator of locational equity for which data are readily available.

Explanatory and elaborative information

The indicator shows a 12% difference in year 12 completion rates between urban and remote areas and a 4% difference between urban and rural areas.

The difference has decreased slightly since 1994, from a 13% difference between urban and remote areas and a 7% difference between urban and rural areas.

The data also show that, across the board, girls have much higher completion rates than boys, ranging from a 11% difference in urban areas, to a 16% difference in rural areas, to a 24% difference in remote areas.

Year 12 estimated completion rates (per cent), by locality and gender - time series data

 

Urban

Rural

Remote

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

1994

66

76

71

57

71

64

51

65

58

63

74

68

1995

64

75

69

54

70

62

46

59

52

61

73

67

1996

62

72

67

54

71

62

45

64

54

60

72

65

1997a

61

71

66

54

70

62

43

62

51

58

71

64

1998b

62

73

67

55

71

63

48

61

54

60

72

66

1999

63

74

68

57

73

64

45

69

56

61

74

67

a Revised data. b Final data.

Source: DETYA (unpublished).

Time series data show that there has been a slight decline in year 12 completion rates for both boys and girls in urban areas since 1994. In rural areas there has been a slight increase in completion rates for girls since 1994 while boys' completion rates have declined then returned to where they were in 1994. In remote areas, there has been a 4% increase in girls' completion rates and a 6% drop in boys' completion rates. As noted above (see Indicator 16), the overall change in completion rates since 1994 has been a decline of 1%.


Core objective 3: protecting biodiversity and maintaining ecological processes and life support systems

Discussion

For the purposes of this report, the core issues relevant to protecting biological diversity and maintaining essential ecological processes are broadly considered to be:

Since most of the agreed headline indicators for these values have been developed very recently, there are no time series data on which to base an assessment of whether or not we are sustaining the ecological systems on which life depends. Obviously, since European settlement, there has been a decline from 100% of bio-geographic sub-regions with 100% of original vegetative cover, and from 100% of estuaries, rivers and catchments in pristine condition. However, in terms of what is happening now, these indicators provide baseline data only. The only indicators in this section for which time series data are available are "the number of extinct, endangered and vulnerable species" which appears to have increased by 37% since 1993, and "net greenhouse gas emissions",which shows that our net emissions are still increasing.

It should be noted, however, that any apparent increase in the number of species known to be endangered, vulnerable and extinct needs to be treated with caution. Trends in this indicator reflect the number of species which have been legally recognised as threatened or extinct and added to the list since 1993. These changes are therefore as likely to result from increased knowledge/understanding or changes in taxonomy rather than an actual increase in the number of threatened and extinct species.

In relation to greenhouse gas emissions, because Australian emissions are a relatively small contributor to global climate change, this indicator should be read in the context of global emissions, the proportion of these that Australian emissions represent, and any actual measured change in climate.