The 2019 ACT State of the Environment report provides 35 formal recommendations to assist the ACT Government to make strategic and practical decisions, and undertake specific actions to improve environmental outcomes.
establish a sustainable funding model for the conservation of biodiversity, environmental protection, water management, the reduction of fire risks, and citizen science initiatives to assist in the planning, prioritisation and acquittal of programs and works.
establish data management architecture, especially for environmental issues, to address cross-portfolio communication needs.
establish a mechanism to ensure the alignment of ACT ministerial arrangements and the promotion of information sharing on the basis that environmental issues are the concern of ‘one government’ and across portfolios.
identify opportunities to improve collaboration with the NSW Government on cross-jurisdictional natural resource management. This should include participation in data collection programs and active management of natural resource management pressures.
ensure community participation in the design of all new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 strategic assessments and ensure that information flow about offsets, implementation plans, and programs is publicly accessible and understandable, regular, targeted, and subject to community and other consultation.
lead collaborative networks where regional policy and operational matters require cross-jurisdictional cooperation.
continue consultation with Ngunnawal people to:
- explore the potential of developing a unified Framework for Cultural Indicators in respect of cultural water and cultural burning
- explore the management potential of an Indigenous Seasonal Calendar
- consider the establishment of an Indigenous River Rangers program, and
- establish a specific category of Indigenous heritage grants.
Sustainability, leadership and citizen science
continue to explore the use of ‘deliberative democracy’ for environmental initiatives in accordance with the aspirations of the ACT Whole of Government Communications and Engagement Plan 2019 and in collaboration with the Climate Change Strategy 2019–25 Community Liaison Team.
specifically provide for the recognition of citizen science and community environmental action with a targeted awards program.
advance Action 1 of the Canberra’s Living Infrastructure Plan
continue to collaborate with other jurisdictions and research institutes to generate the evidence base for appropriate urban forest understorey and other plantings, having specific regard to climate change implications.
engage the community in consultation about and the design of the Social Cost of Carbon mechanism under consideration in the Climate Change Strategy 2019–25.
investigate opportunities to increase carbon uptake and storage in natural ecosystems and urban environments.
encourage and provide incentives for the development and uptake of distributed energy storage and microgrid technology in domestic, commercial, and government buildings and infrastructure.
advance its contribution to adopting a circular economy in accordance with the National Waste Strategy.
explore incentives to increase the uptake of public transport, car and ride sharing options, and active travel, including cycling amongst women and girls.
consider implementing innovative community engagement programs which encourage active travel, including the establishment of car-free streets and car-free dates as a part of the ACT festival calendar.
hasten the electrification of the ACT bus fleet.
promote the use of digital technology applications to streamline the uptake of public transport options.
build on the incentives to encourage the replacement of wood heaters, specifically targeting the Tuggeranong Valley.
increase the number of National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure compliance monitoring stations.
urgently undertake an assessment of air pollutant emissions from diffuse sources to update the National Pollutant Inventory data (1999).
in collaboration with health professionals, improve knowledge of the impacts of air pollution on human health and the associated costs to the health system and economy.
improve knowledge on land use change in the ACT. This could be achieved through the development of annual land accounts using the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting framework.
increase the protection of mature and hollow-bearing trees to maintain critical habitat and provide incentives for rural landholders to protect paddock trees.
expand its communication strategy in respect of biodiversity and environmental issues and encourage ACT Government employees to make biodiversity reports available to the community in innovative ways.
institute a State of the Canberra Lakes reporting initiative, commencing in 2020.
produce an annual recreational water quality report that includes monitoring results, investigations into the main sources of pollutants, recommended actions to improve water quality, and assessments of management effectiveness.
establish a government reporting framework for the assessment of aquatic ecosystem health and water quality. This should incorporate work undertaken for the Catchment Health Indicator Program and produce public reports at appropriate intervals to provide meaningful assessments.
ensure implementation plans are produced for the Molonglo River Reserve, Lower Cotter Catchment and Googong Foreshore management plans.
provide incentives to increase wastewater recycling and the use of non-potable water by the community.
identify opportunities to develop integrated water cycle management (as well as water-sensitive urban design) across new and existing urban areas, capturing and using stormwater and creating biodiversity habitat.
review codes which relate to flooding and finalise the 2016 flood strategy and associated flood mapping.
ensure tolerable fire intervals are considered in decision frameworks for prescribed burns.
regularly evaluate and report publicly on the commitment to ecological and cultural burning and the outcomes of these activities.