Reporting on the State of the Environment
Please note that as the local government elections have been postponed due to COVID19, SoE reporting will be due in 2021.
With the introduction of the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework, the requirements for council’s reporting on the State of the Environment (SoE) changed to make it part of the corporate planning and reporting process.
Local government environmental reporting requirements
The minimum requirement is to measure and report on the progress of the environmental goals in Council’s Community Strategic Plan (CSP). Council’s End of Term report also reports on progress against those environmental goals, and all of the other goals in the CSP. The SoE reporting requirements could be met by attaching the environment section from the End of Term report to the Annual Report in the year of an ordinary election. The content and format of SoE reports is up to councils.
Some councils choose to do more comprehensive environmental reporting. This may be because:
- Operational decisions are based on the evaluation of environmental monitoring, therefore more detailed/robust information is required;
- It fosters regional cooperation (in the case of regional reporting);
- It provides opportunities for grant funding; and/or
- There is a community expectation of more comprehensive reporting.
The NSW State of the Environment Report on the EPA website provides an example of content and format.