Ecologically Sustainable Development (NSESD) in 1992, the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (IGAE) were widely agreed by all territories, in order to facilitate a national approach to improve environmental protections, reduce disputes between the state and territory governments, and define duties of each level of government (COAG 1992). Since the new principles and core objectives outlined in NSESD are overlapped with those issued in IGAE significantly, many state and Australian Government legislation authorities have adopted the new NSESD principles (Commonwealth of Australia, 1992). Another commonly cited Act, which contains similar sustainable development policies to those in the NSESD and IGAE, is called Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Whereas, this EPBC mainly focuses on ecological system, providing a legal framework for biodiversity conservation and national heritage and environmental protection. A policy decision regarding to sustainability nowadays concern a wide range of aspects in addition to environmental protection, including migration, population growth, and cultural conflicts, not only for major urban areas, but also for rural development. In fact, for much of the 20 th century, governments had started to regard spending on infrastructure, services and agricultural support schemes as an investment in a sustainable future for Australian rural regions (Taylor, 1991). An example of such policy in line with the above concept is the Sustainable Population Strategy, which ensures that ‘future population change is compatible with the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of Australia’ (DSEWPC, 2011). The Intergenerational Report, issued every five years by Australian government, as another good example, assess the long-term sustainability of current Government policies and how changes to Australia’s population size and age profile may impact on economic growth, workforce and public finances over the next 40 years (Hockey, 2015). In October 2012, the National Sustainability Council, as an independent and expert body, was established by the Australian Government, intended to provide advice on sustainability issues and to report biannually against a set of sustainability indicators for Australia. The indicators are to provide stock and flow information about social, human, natural and economic capital (DSEWPC, 2011). The most challenging issue of policy making nowadays, is to deliver net benefits to community. In essence, there are three critical practical steps needed to be taken into account of any policy making process regarding the sustainability in economics (Markulev and Long, 2013):
The efficiency of resource use Good understanding of ecological systems The ability to measure the capital stock These practical steps not only are crucial to understand the substitution between various types of capital under the weak sustainability concept, but also remind politicians of the importance of improving the efficiency of resource use to avoid capital deficit.