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New South Wales State of the Environment
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Preface

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), which incorporates the statutory Environment Protection Authority, is responsible for preparing the New South Wales State of the Environment (SoE) report every three years, as required by the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991. It is a challenging task to pull together information from many different sources to paint a picture of the status and trends in our environment in a way that is scientifically sound and accessible to the wider community.

DEC has relied on the information and expertise held, not only within this Department, but also by other government agencies, and I appreciate the extensive cooperation and advice they have offered in compiling this sixth report, NSW State of the Environment 2006. As in previous years, the report has also been strengthened by the independent advice from the State of the Environment Advisory Council and I thank members for their time and energy in reviewing our approach and providing many valuable suggestions to improve this report.

The report�s three strands present:

  • an evaluation of the condition of the NSW environment and the trends since the last report of 2003
  • the pressures which can affect the health of our environment
  • the responses, both government and non-government, to those conditions, trends and pressures.

NSW State of the Environment 2006 continues to use the core indicators from SoE 2000 and SoE 2003. This brings continuity in the analysis of each environmental issue. We have developed further the indicator summary approach used in 2003 by including a brief assessment of each indicator�s condition and any discernable trend since 2003. We have also passed comment on the suitability of the available data for making these judgements.

During preparation of the 2006 report, the NSW Government adopted a set of 13 statewide targets for natural resource management, based on recommendations by the Natural Resources Commission. We have coordinated our efforts with this work and intend to link closely with the natural resources management reporting into the future. The next SoE report in 2009 will also report on progress in meeting these targets through the integrated NSW Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Strategy for natural resources.

As with previous efforts, this latest SoE report will undoubtedly become a well-used resource to assist environmental managers and policymakers adapt and target their decisions and actions. We have new opportunities to improve information management and its accessibility with new electronic tools into the future. I welcome feedback on the report and its accessibility, as this will help us develop and improve our environmental reporting in years to come.

Lisa Corbyn

Director General
Department of Environment and Conservation NSW

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