Future Economy Group State Election 2014 Survey
State elections are important- the policies released and promises made set the direction that the state will take in the years ahead.
Since releasing our ground-breaking research reports in June the Future Economy Group has met with key political parties contesting the State election. We’ve also done more work on the policy solutions we think are needed to position Victoria at the forefront of a future economy which creates wealth and jobs for Victorians and restores and protects our natural assets.
In October 2014 we wrote to each of the 3 main political parties contesting the State election- the Coalition, Labor and Greens, outlining our proposed future economy policy agenda and inviting their response to our policy survey. The responses we received are published here in full and unedited.
The Economy of the Future
A strong and vibrant economy is fundamental to Victoria’s future and the well-being of all Victorians, and a strong economy depends on a healthy environment. This is something we intuitively know, but until now little research has been undertaken to understand the relationship between Victoria’s economy and the state of our natural environment.
The Future Economy Group, a new coalition of businesses and environmental leaders, has joined forces to research and advocate the importance of innovation and natural capital to Victoria’s economy.
We sponsored detailed research that shows that nature and economy are inextricably linked and quantifies the impact on the Victorian economy and jobs if our environment continues to decline. It shows that we can grow the economy and jobs by modernising Victoria’s economy into one that is built on innovation and values nature.
Based on this research, the Group then developed the Future Economy Plan, a roadmap to modernise Victoria’s economy. It provides a series of powerful ideas for change, and urges the government of Victoria to take action now to convert the state economy from ‘business-as-usual’ to one that can meet the challenges of the 21st-century.
Our Natural Capital
Natural assets such as rivers, oceans, land, climate, biodiversity and forests provide materials and services that underpin our businesses and the economy.
These natural assets and their ability to support humanity are called our natural capital. Like any asset, our natural capital can be depleted. And if we deplete nature beyond its capacity to restore, people and the economy suffer.
Key Findings for Victoria’s Environment and Economy
The research found that transforming our economy and improving the quality of natural assets will create jobs and increase the value added from eight key industry sectors to the economy. In contrast, unless we protect and restore Victoria’s natural capital Victoria could lose jobs and economic output.
- Victoria could create 225,000 jobs and increase the value added from 8 key industry sectors to the economy by 22 per cent (or $36 billion) by 2028 by restoring environmental assets.
- Improving the quality of natural assets would see the economy outperform current trend projections and become more resilient to future economic shocks.
- Victoria could lose up to half a million jobs and $78 billion dollars in industry value-add unless more is done to protect and restore Victoria’s natural capital.
Six powerful ideas
To transform our economy and improve the quality of our natural assets, the Future Economy Group urges Victoria’s decision-makers to adopt six powerful ideas:
Immediate Priorities for State Government Action
The Future Economy Plan also includes recommendations for the state government to work with business to implement in the next two years:
- Undertake detailed modelling to determine industries most at risk from declining natural capital
- Develop a clear plan for the future of the economy that drives employment and prosperity through reducing emissions and pollution, improves resource efficiency and prevents the loss of natural capital,
- Require the Treasurer to disclose economic costs to and values of the environment through budget papers
- Continue to measure natural capital through State of the Environment Report
These ideas are further outlined in the Future Economy Group Plan.