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New South Wales State of the Environment
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The New South Wales State of the Environment Report is prepared every three years by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, in accordance with the requirements of the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991. This report provides an overview of the condition of the NSW environment using the latest and most credible scientific information available.

It is a challenge to assemble the breadth of information used in preparing the report and combining it into a consistent overview of the state of the NSW environment, while balancing the presentation of the information to achieve both clarity for the general community as well as scientific detail and rigour.

Preparation of the SoE Report relies on extensive support and cooperation from numerous sources of information and expertise, both within DECCW and across many other NSW departments and agencies. I would like to thank all of those concerned in providing information or advice for this report. In particular, I would like to express my appreciation for the efforts of the State of the Environment Advisory Council and a number of independent experts who have made an invaluable contribution to improving the quality of this report by providing a range of different perspectives and much helpful advice.

Over a period of 15 years I have been involved in the preparation of seven SoE Reports. Each time a report is compiled there has been an improvement in the quality and extent of information that is available. Each report has reflected a process of continual refinement in the use and presentation of this information. Future developments should make use of existing information technologies to streamline the delivery of data and enhance the connectivity of information sources to better reflect the complex relationships and dynamics that exist within the environment of NSW.

SoE Reports address three main streams of information:

  • the status or condition of the NSW environment
  • the pressures that affect the environment of NSW
  • the responses across NSW to the condition and pressures described.

Many of the indicators used in SoE 2009 have been revised and updated to enhance their efficacy and ensure their relevance, while maintaining continuity with past processes. In particular, we have worked to link the indicators to State Plan priorities. Priorities and targets from the recently released State Plan 2009 will be taken into account where appropriate in future SoE Reports.

This report will be a valuable resource to guide managers and decision-makers in determining future priorities and objectives and adjusting programs and actions to produce the best possible outcomes for the environment. As always, we welcome feedback on the format and content of this report to help us to continue to improve our environmental reporting processes and products.

Lisa Corbyn
Director General
Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water

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