Australia’s population is growing fast. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it will increase to more than 28 million people by 2031. And in that year, as a nation we will be investing $377 billion annually in infrastructure to support this growth (up from $187 billion in 2011).
Australian universities are facing the increasingly harsh reality of students, academics and staff expecting more services, technologies and information from them than ever before. Yet decreasing funding from government and an intense competitive environment are making it difficult to meet new demands.
According to the Department of the Treasury, the average age of Australia’s population is increasing steadily. The Australian Government’s Intergenerational Report predicts that the proportion of Australians aged over 65 years will double within the next 40 years to make up approximately one quarter of the total population. As a result of this demographic shift, the Department of Health anticipates that by 2041 the number of people using aged care services will increase by around 250 per cent. Disability services will experience a corresponding rise in cost and importance, amounting to 14.5 percent of Australia’s GDP by 2030.
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