Australia State of the Environment Report 2001 (Theme Report)
Lead Author: Professor Peter W. Newton, CSIRO Building, Construction and Engineering, Authors
Published by CSIRO on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2001
ISBN 0 643 06747 7
This section reports on the following environmental indicators, which are defined in Newton et al. (1998).
|HS 2.6 | a | b |||Population serviced by treated wastewater|
|HS 3.1||Stock of heritage and cultural assets|
|HS 4.10||Perceived daytime density|
|HS 7.5||Proportion of population sensitive to pollutants|
|HS 7.14||Exposure to indoor air|
|HS 9.1||Exposure to traffic noise|
|HS 9.2||Exposure to aircraft noise|
|HS 9.7||Air traffic density|
A wide variety of urban activities produce what economists call 'negative externalities'. These are undesirable conditions, generally of an environmental nature, generated by local industry, traffic, neighbours or such like. Complaints about environmental concerns are commonly directed to state Environmental Protection Agencies or Authorities (EPAs) as well as local governments. Data presented in Figure 67 summarises the complaints per 1000 population received annually by each state EPA. Overall, the trend suggests an increase in the level of environmental complaints across Australia. It should be noted that noise complaints will also include many non-industrial situations, such as noise from residential properties; for example, police responded to 95 000 noise incidents among the 1.4 million non-urgent responses made in New South Wales in 1999 (P. Maganov, pers. comm. 2000).
Figure 67: Environmental complaints in Australian states, 1996-2000.
Sources: Personal communications from New South Wales, Victorian, Queensland and Western Australian EPAs; EPA SA (1999).
The spectrum of complaints appears to vary from state to state (Figure 68), although a significant proportion of this variation may be due to which agency records what and how (see comments in the Data Gaps section).
Figure 68: Environmental complaints in Victoria and Queensland, 1998-1999.A
AComplaints averaged over 1998 and 1999.
Source: Personal communications from Victorian and Queensland EPAs.