The Commissioner highlights water quality at the Victoria-Jiangsu Forum

From the Commissioner
Image credit: David Paul at Museums Victoria

The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Dr Gillian Sparkes, gave an opening speech at the Victoria-Jiangsu Water Sensitive Cities and Sponge Cities Forum.

Victoria has enjoyed a special sister-state relationship with Jiangsu, China, that spans more than 35 years and which continues to grow from strength to strength. The province of Jiangsu sits along the eastern-central coast of China, slightly north of Shanghai.

These regular forums have a history of building on partnerships and relationships and finding ways for the two regions to collaborate against some wide-ranging  issues such as population growth, our ageing population and the impact of climate change.

Today the forum, hosted by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, focused on an exchange of ideas and insights and discussed opportunities for how the Victorian Government can collaborate with the Jiangsu Department of Housing and Urban Rural Development to realise Jiangsu’s vision of becoming a ‘sponge city’ – otherwise known as a water sensitive city.

The Commissioner used the opportunity to highlight the important role water sensitive design in urban areas has in reducing pollution in our bays and waterways. The Commissioner's recently released State of the Bays 2016 is an example of a baseline analysis on water quality and general health of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. The report found that the bays are generally good, despite their proximity to major urban centres and areas of development.

The report also identified knowledge gaps and recommended tools to encourage government agencies to keep progressing a marine monitoring regime in line with the increasing pressure on the bays. Good water quality is important to both Victoria and Jiangsu’s liveability and economy.

The full report is available at