The ACT’s State of the Environment 2019 report responds to the statutory requirement to provide the ACT community and Government with commentary and analysis about the environment in the territory. The reporting period for this report is from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2019, with a data cut-off date of 30 June 2019. Formal recommendations are made, key actions are provided to assist with ongoing management, and data gaps and policy challenges are outlined.
Drivers of environmental challenges and change continue to be climate change, our ecological footprint, population growth and development pressures.
State of the environment reports routinely consider government policy responses to the environmental challenges associated with drivers of change including climate change and human settlements.
There has been considerable policy renewal in this reporting period. In the ACT, the government assumes local and sub-national responsibilities. Being landlocked, the ACT needs to work with NSW on environmental matters. Cross-jurisdictional operations such as the Container Deposit Scheme illustrate the potential, but illegal waste transfers and biodiversity risk factors, such as feral horses in national parks, continue to test resolve and the capacity to respond.
Innovation and leadership are critical in times of change. The ACT Government accepts the fact that we are living through a climate emergency. The Government is a recognised leader in driving research and development in energy policy. Other jurisdictions have adopted the ACT’s reverse auction mechanism for advancing renewable energy projects. Business is an advocate of ACT policy in this regard. Early adopters are beneficiaries of leadership.