In 2003, the Victorian Government appointed the first Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability after the creation of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Act 2003 (CES Act).
Dr Gillian Sparkes AM is our current Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, she was appointed in 2014.
An important part of the Commissioner’s role is to ‘prepare and submit to the Minister a periodical Report on the State of the Environment of Victoria prepared at intervals not exceeding five years’.
Victorian State of the Environment Reports are released every 5 years. They’re a comprehensive document providing a scientific baseline on the state of Victoria’s environment. They provide an important analysis of the available science on Victoria’s environment. They also look at the pressures and challenges ahead.
In 2018, Dr Sparkes released the Victorian State of the Environment 2018 Report. The latest SoE Report (SoE 2023) is the second Dr Sparkes has released as Commissioner. Because Dr Sparkes has served as Commissioner over two reporting periods, she has been able to adopt continuity in reporting methodology. This means that, for the first time ever in Victoria, we can compare our current SoE report to our previous one. This helps create a clearer picture of Victoria’s environmental condition and where it’s heading.
The scientific assessments in every SoE Report rely on publicly available scientific data. These are sourced from reports, journal articles, submissions to parliamentary and other government inquiries, citizen science projects and interviews. Our science team assess and synthesise the data. It’s then peer reviewed by subject-area experts.
We use our scientific assessments to develop an evidence-based evaluation of Victoria’s environmental health and to assess progress on environmental sustainability. We summarise these findings through the 139 indicators in the report.
Each SoE Report plays a crucial role in improving Victoria’s environmental outcomes. The Scientific Assessments within each report provide us with the evidence to make recommendations to the state government. You can find these recommendations within the full SoE 2023 Report. Our recommendations are an important part of every SoE report. We provide them to the Victorian Government where they influence actions, focus, effort and investment over the next decade and beyond.
What’s on this website?
The website you’re now on is an ‘interpretive’ site for the SoE 2023 Report. This means the information here represents what you’ll find in the complete report, but has been summarised for simplicity and brevity. Wherever you find yourself looking for additional information, you can refer to the full report.
You’ll find a list of key topics that you can explore on the site. These represent the key findings from the chapters within the full report. Each key topic page contains a background briefing as well as an overview of the findings from the report. You’ll be able to find the relevant indicators from the SoE 2023 Report for that topic under the Report card sub-heading.
Each report card indicator includes the 2023 and 2018 summary. Where there was no data for the 2018 reporting period, the field is blank.
Each report card indicator breaks down the:
status of the indicator (good, fair, poor or unknown)
overall trend (improving, stable, deteriorating, unclear)
confidence in the data (high, moderate, low, insufficient)
region covered by the indicator (statewide or a specific region)
If you would like to see all the indicators together, you can find them on The Report page.