Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report

Prepared in partnership with the National Sustainable Development Council and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, this report provides a comprehensive, independent and data-driven assessment of Australia’s progress towards meeting the SDGs.

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The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a call to action to promote economic prosperity and a fair go for all, while safeguarding a thriving environment. By setting agreed targets for 2030, the SDGs aim to stimulate action by governments, businesses and the community for the long-term benefit of all of us.

The Goals provide targets that help focus on the big challenges Australia faces, such as booming population growth in our major cities, uncertainty over the future of work, climate change, environmental degradation, inequality and marginalisation, and the decline of trust in government and business. Underpinning the Goals is the belief that no one should be left behind, which is consistent with the Australian value of ‘a fair go for all’. The SDGs will help promote a fair go for all Australians and for future generations.

Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report, is a comprehensive independent report on Australia’s progress towards meeting the SDGs. It identifies where Australia is performing well and where it is not on track.

Prepared by the National Sustainable Development Council, in partnership with Monash Sustainable Development Institute and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Australia, New Zealand & Pacific, the report draws on many experts from across business, universities and the community sector.  It provides a trustworthy, data-driven evidence base to stimulate public conversation about Australia’s future. It was supported by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, HESTA, cbus, IFM and AustralianSuper.

The report examines progress on all 17 Goals, and specifically assesses 86 targets using 144 separate indicators. Where possible, the report seeks to identify whether Australia is on track to meet the targets by 2030. In some cases, it also compares Australia’s performance with that of other countries.

The findings of the report show that Australia’s progress on achieving the SDGs by 2030 was mixed. About one-third of the indicators were determined to be on track, more than one-third needed improvement or a breakthrough, and one-quarter are off-track or deteriorating. There is strong progress in the areas of health and education, but poor performance in addressing inequality, tackling climate change and housing affordability. The report also highlights key challenges in achieving Australia’s economic goals, with relatively low investment in research and development and innovation, increasing underemployment, and high levels of household debt.

The report is available as an interactive website at, with charts for each of the indicators, an assessment of progress on each Goal, and a whole lot more information. Everyone is invited (and encouraged) to log on and explore for themselves how Australia is going!

It is clear that Australia has a considerable way to go to achieving most of the SDGs, and that this will require a major change from business as usual. This report aims to assists all people and organisations to contribute to planning for and shaping a better and more sustainable Australia.