The Gillard Government's focus on a statement by the IMF today is in stark contrast to its silence on the ABS's alternative Measures of Australian Progress dashboard released today.
"Only when we start paying as much attention to how well we educate our children, how healthy we are, how happy we are and how clean our environment is as to our GDP numbers will we have an economy that serves people and nature, not the other way around," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne said today.
Senator Milne raised the ABS dashboard in her speech on the economy to the National Press Club last week, noting that efforts in Australia and around the world to develop alternatives to GDP had failed to gain any priority for government decision-making.
"The ABS's dashboard shows that, while we are improving our education and health, our indicators for productivity, biodiversity and atmosphere are going backwards and we've made no progress on housing.
"The ABS's dashboard is a good step in measuring our progress as a nation, although there is much more to be done to properly reflect the extent to which we're preparing our country and our people for the challenges the coming century will bring.
"But the real demonstration of how seriously we take these measures is that there has been deafening silence from the government and opposition.
"On a day when Labor and the Coalition are combining to help reach a political budget surplus target by pushing single parents closer to the poverty line, these measures of our progress as a nation should be at the heart of our political debate, not on the fringes."