Measuring what matters

Is Australia getting better or worse? The economy is growing but our greenhouse gas emissions are rising. More money is being spent on health and education but are we healthier and wiser because of it? The Australia Institute wants to develop a new series of indicators of Australia’s social, environmental and genuine economic wellbeing. We call the project ‘Measuring what matters’. While we won’t be able to measure everything, we want to develop a range of indicators to cover the diverse range of issues that really affect our lives. Traffic jams, public transport that runs late, doctors that won’t bulk bill and long work hours all detract from our wellbeing. We are overwhelmed with information on the size of the economy and the value of the stock market, but how meaningful is that to our day-to-day lives? We want to know about the kinds of issues you think are the most important, the ways that you think we might measure those things and, importantly, whether you might consider financially supporting the development of such indicators. If we can find just 1,000 people to make a tax deductible donation of only $20 a month, we will have all the resources we need to collect, analyse and publicise the information that the policy debate in Australia so badly needs.

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