Abstract: 1. The Australian rangelands occupy three-quarters of the Australian continent and are environmentally diverse. The rangelands’ economy and its communities are highly dependent on the use of natural resources. The rangelands provide substantial benefits to Australia in terms of vegetation, carbon, water and biodiversity. 2. Pronounced regional differences in rangelands' climate, soils, vegetation and management issues make delivery of ecologically and economically sustainable development highly dependent upon spatial information. 3. Pastoralism is critical to the ecological sustainability of the Australian rangelands because of the large area it occupies, its dependence on natural resources and its central role in land management. 4. Pastoralism in the rangelands is sustainable where economic resilience and stability can be achieved along with regional persistence of native species and the maintenance of other ecosystem services. 5. Open and flexible spatial multi-criteria analysis tools are required to analyse trends in the condition of natural resources in the rangelands and to evaluate competing demands and trade-offs. This capacity is essential for informed decision-making by government, regional groups and industry.