Source: Ryan Colley


This section assesses the current condition and trends for a range of natural and sustainability themes in the ACT. Assessments are based on 26 indicators across 7 themes selected to address specific environmental issues. These indicators provide evidence on both the status of issues and the effectiveness of environmental management policies and activities.

For each indicator, a graded assessment is provided using a dashboard display containing snapshots of key information including condition, trend and data quality. The dashboards should be read in conjunction with the indicator content provided in each section. The graded assessment criteria are provided below:


Environmental condition is healthy across the ACT, OR pressure likely to have negligible impact on environmental condition/human health.

Environmental condition is neither positive or negative and may be variable across the ACT, OR pressure likely to have limited impact on environmental condition/human health.

Environmental condition is under significant stress, OR pressure likely to have significant impact on environmental condition/ human health.

Data is insufficient to make an assessment of status and trends.



Adequate high-quality evidence and high level of consensus.

Limited evidence or limited consensus.

Evidence and consensus too low to make an assessment.

Data availability, quality and comprehensiveness is a key limitation for indicator assessments. The data quality ratings provided in the indicator dashboards provide a measure of the level of confidence in the condition and trend assessments reported. If adequate high-quality data was available, confidence in the assessment is high. If data was limited, confidence is low. Where data was insufficient to enable an assessment, an unknown rating is applied.

Data availability issues are discussed for each theme reported, highlighting where more information is required to improve environmental knowledge and the capacity to respond to environmental challenges.

Where relevant, the influence of significant climate and other events on data trends are discussed for each indicator. It is important to note that such influences can have a significant impact on environmental condition regardless of management effectiveness. For more information see Environmental context for this report.

The Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act 1993 requires every State of the Environment Report to include an assessment of the ACT’s compliance with relevant NEPMs. The NEPMs assessed in this report are:

• Movement of Controlled Waste (see Human settlements)

• Used Packaging Materials (see Human settlements

• Ambient Air Quality (see Air

• National Pollutant Inventory (see Air

• Assessment of Site Contamination (see Land).