Additional information

This page provides information about topical issues which were published between August 2006 and the launch of SoE 2006 on 6 December 2006. The 2006 Australian State of the Environment Committee finalised the SoE 2006 report in August 2006.

November 2006: Water Account, Australia, ABS

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the Water Account, Australia on 28 November. The report presents information on the supply and use of water in the Australian economy in 2004-05. Water consumption in Australia decreased by nearly 3,000 Gigalitres, or 14 per cent between 2000-01 and 2004-05, largely due to drought.

November 2006: Climate Variability, Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) provides critical weather, climate, hydrological and oceanographic services. They also undertake research into science and environmental issues. Bureau information on climate trends and variability, at national and global levels, can be found on their web site.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Atmosphere (theme); Climate variability (issue).

November 2006: Shallow water corals killed by rainstorm, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

Due to a combination of moderate rainstorms and extremely low tides, large sections of shallow water corals around the Keppel Islands have died. Full media release available from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) web site.

AIMS conducts research on sustainable use and protection of the marine environment.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Coasts and Oceans (theme); Coral bleaching (issue).

November 2006: Will climate change cost us the earth?

Peter Cosier, from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, presented a paper on the economics of cutting carbon emissions to the Green Capital Conference, on 9th November 2006. The paper entitled Will climate change cost us the earth? can be found on the Wentworth Groups website at:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Atmosphere (theme); Climate change (issue)

October 2006: Review of the National Reserve System

An independent evaluation of the National Reserve System was conducted by the former Director-General of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Mr Brian Gilligan.

The evaluation found that the National Reserve System Programme is based on good science and appropriately targets ecosystems that are poorly protected.

September 2006: Characteristics of Australia's Irrigated Farms, ABS

On 27 September 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) published a survey of the characteristics of Australia's irrigated farms. The publication examines farm water use and management practices from 2000-01 to 2003-04 and includes analyses on selected irrigated activities. The paper may be downloaded from the ABS web site.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Land (theme); Irrigation (issue).

September 2006: NSW Wetland Recovery Plan

On 13 September, 2006, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced $13.4million worth of funding for the NSW Wetland Recovery Plan.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Inland Waters (theme); Wetlands (issue).

September 2006: AgForward

AgForward is a Queensland Government vegetation management program. The program aims to help land holders improve land management practices through the increased use of information resources and tools.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Land (theme); Vegetation management (issue).

September 2006: Reef Water Quality Protection Plan, DEH

The Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) and the Queensland Government have agreed to jointly develop a Reef Water Quality Protection Plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef from land based sources of pollution.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Coasts and Oceans (theme); Great Barrier Reef (issue).

September 2006: Farm Management Systems Framework, QFF

The Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) has developed a Farm Management Systems Framework (FMS) to help their members better manage their agricultural businesses. The FMS, as a tool, aims to encourage smart business management and development, and also hopes to promote and achieve more sustainable and profitable farming practices.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Land (theme); Land Management (issue).

September 2006: Land Manager's Monitoring Guide

The Land Manager's Monitoring Guide is a reference that provides natural resource monitoring information to assist land manages to monitor and implement sustainable management actions. The guide was created by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water and is available on their web site.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Land (theme); Land Management (issue).

August 2006: Sustainable Urban Development Program (SUDP)

The Sustainable Urban Development Program (SUPD) is a joint partnership between the Urban Development Institute of Australia, Queensland (UDIA) and the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The initiative aims to identify and promote innovative practices within the Queensland urban development industry. The program also aims to demonstrate that Sustainable Urban Development is good for both business and the environment. Information about the program can be found by searching for Sustainable Urban Development at the EPA web site.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Human Settlements (theme); Urban form and design (issue).

August 2006: Smart Housing

Smart Housing is a Queensland Government initiative that promotes socially, environmentally and economically sustainable solutions to housing design. 13 different Queensland Government agencies have joined together to sign the Smart Housing Partnership Agreement.

Information on the South East Queensland Residential Water Saver Scheme is also available in:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Human Settlements (theme); Smart housing (issue).

August 2006: Urban Ecology Australia

Urban Ecology Australia (UEA) is a non-profit, community based organisation that promotes people and nature friendly urban settlements.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Human Settlements (theme); Urban housing (issue)

August 2006: Scientific support for the effectiveness of the Natural Resource Management regional model

This seminar paper summarises the cost effective management principles used to administer the National Action Plan (NAP) and Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) programmes. The paper can be downloaded from the BRS web site.

Bureau of Rural Sciences Seminar Series, presented by Ian Prosser, Research Director, Water Resources, CSIRO Land and Water, August 2006.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Land (theme) Governance (issue)

August 2006: South East Queensland Health Waterways

Health Waterways is a water quality improvement programme run by the Moreton Bay Waterways & Catchments Partnership. Health Waterways is working with government, communities, industry, researchers and traditional owners to improve the health of South East Queensland waterways and catchments. More information can be found at:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Coasts and Oceans and Inland Waters (themes); Catchment management (issue)

August 2006: Gippsland Integrated Natural Resources Forum

The Gippsland Integrated Natural Resources Forum is a strategic collaboration between natural resource managers within the Gippsland region. Annual report cards on the regions catchment health can be found at:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Coasts and Oceans and Inland Waters (themes); Catchment management (issue)

August 2006: Australia's Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

Information on Australia's health response to potential biosecurity and emergency health threats can be found at the Department of Health and Ageing website.

The website provides information to the general public, and health professionals, about the preparations and measures in place throughout Australia to respond to bioterrorist incidents, as well as communicable disease emergencies.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Human settlements (theme); Communicable diseases (issue)

August 2006: Review of arrangements for regional delivery of Natural Resource Management Programmes

The Natural Heritage Ministerial Board commissioned a Ministerial Reference Group to provide independent advice on the future deliver of natural resource management (NRM) programmes. The Ministerial Reference Group was specifically asked to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current NRM programmes' regional delivery model, to look at possible ways of streamlining the process and to identify ways to enhance regional community engagement in NRM.

The full report of the Ministerial Reference Group for Future NRM Programme Delivery can be downloaded from:

The Natural Heritage Ministerial Board also agreed to conduction ten national evaluations on the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP). Information about these evaluations can be found at:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Environmental governance (theme); Natural resource management (issue)

August 2006: National Agricultural and Climate Change Action Plan

The National Agriculture and Climate Change Action Plan is an agreement by Australian governments to develop a coordinated framework for climate change policy in agriculture. It provides practical tools to develop effective and efficient policies to deal with climate change challenges.

The National Agricultural and Climate Change Action Plan can be downloaded at:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Atmosphere (theme); Climate change (issue)

August 2006: Conservation advice by Natural Resource Management (NRM) Region

The Department of Environment and Heritage provides online conservation advice by Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions. This advice includes information on key threats, priority local and regional conservation actions, threat abatement actions, and the need for recovery plans for listed species or ecological communities.

Conservation advice reports by NRM regions can be generate at:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Environmental governance (theme); Natural resource management (issue)

August 2006: Australian Government's Innovation Report 2005-2006

The Innovation Report 2005-06 provides a comprehensive overview of Australian Government science and innovation policies and programmes. The Report focuses on the National Research Priorities and the three key themes of Backing Australia's Ability: strengthening Australia's ability to undertake research, accelerating the commercial application of ideas,and developing and retaining Australian skills. 

The Innovation Report can be downloaded from:

Relevance to SoE 2006: Environmental governance (theme); Science & innovation (issue)

July 2006: Clearing the air on land clearing, Australian Farm Institute (AFI)

This article discusses some of the complex issues surrounding land clearing policies and the degree of which these issues are understood within the general public. The article was published in the July 2006 edition of 'Farm Institute Insights' and can be found on the AFI web site.

The Australian Farm Institute (AFI) is an agricultural research organisation that conducts research into Australian farming sector policy issues.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Land (theme) Clearing/Vegetation (issue)

July 2006: National Agricultural Monitoring System (NAMS)

NAMS is a joint project between Australian, State and Territory governments. The NAMS web site contains maps, graphs and reports detailing the climactic drivers and production situation for major Australian agricultural systems.

The NAMS web site can produce different reports at the National, State/Territory and Regional levels and an Exceptional Circumstances (EC) report, which provides regionally specific EC information.

Of specific interest is the NAMS Climate and Agricultural Update - National Report which is published monthly.

Relevance to SoE 2006: Atmosphere (theme); Variable Climate (issue).