State of the environment

Section 428A of the Local Government Act 1993 requires local councils, as part of the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) Framework, to produce a comprehensive State of Environment report (SoE) every four years. A supplementary report is no longer required by the Act, however, Council has agreed to continue collecting data and to report on an annual basis.

Each year  Council works in collaboration with Central West Local Land Services, Central Tablelands Local Land Services and 17 neighbouring councils to collect data and to report. A Dubbo SoE report is created, as well as a Regional SoE report for the Greater Central West area covering the local government areas of Bathurst, Blayney, Bogan, Bourke, Cabonne, Coonamble, Cowra, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Lachlan, Mid-Western, Narromine, Oberon, Orange, Warren, Warrumbungle and Wellington. The SoE reports address five environmental themes including Land, Biodiversity, Water and Waterways, People and Communities, and Towards Sustainability.

What is a State of the Environment Report?

An SoE report provides a summary of the environment within a local government area and the human impacts on that environment. It provides an annual and comparable record of the local activities or responses of local government, industry and community groups in the protection, restoration and enhancement of the local environment. The SoE is therefore a useful tool in measuring, and a mechanism for reporting on, Council and community progress towards a sustainable future. Comparing SoE reports from year to year enables Council to gauge improvements in different sectors of the environment and also identify those areas that will need attention in the future.

The purpose of SoE reporting is to:

  • Provide the public, government and other decision makers with regular, scientifically sound information about the condition of the environment
  • Report on the effectiveness of policies and programs developed in response to environmental change
  • Assess progress towards achieving environmental standards and targets    
  • Identify current and emerging environmental issues and important gaps in knowledge and data collection
  • Raise community awareness and understanding of their local environment.

State of the Environment Reports

More information

If you have any questions regarding the SoE report or process, please contact Council’s Sustainability Coordinator on (02) 6801 4000 or email

Last Edited: 15 Mar 2021

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