Sustainability is a concept that has become increasingly widely used but often invokes different definitions. A widely accepted definition of sustainability is to " the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Brundtland Commission, 1987). Sustainability is also about achieving the right balance between the environmental, social and economic dimensions.

Livingstone Shire Council is keen to ensure the sustainability of the shire by addressing all elements of sustainability in its decision making practices. This is reflected in Livingstone Shire Council's Corporate Plan where "an environment which is valued and sustainable...for the benefit of current and future generations", a "sustainable local economy", a "sustainable community" and a "sustainable organisation" are integral.