Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Government tables State of the Environment 2011 report

Media release
12 December 2011

The Gillard Government today released the latest report card on the nation’s environment, with the tabling of Australia State of the Environment 2011.

The report is the fourth in a series of independent assessments produced and presented to Parliament every five years on Australia’s environmental health.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the report provided an invaluable insight into the current condition of the environment and its outlook, and will be an important reference for decision-makers and communities.

“The report provides a big-picture view of what Australia’s doing right, what we could do better, and what more we need to know to target our management responses,” Mr Burke said.

“We are turning things around on some counts but, on others, we are still facing challenges with the legacy of centuries of over-consumption and pollution of our environmental resources.”

Australia State of the Environment 2011 covers the state of our atmosphere, land, biodiversity, inland waters, coast and marine environment, the Antarctic, heritage and built environment.

It also tackles the major drivers of environmental pressures: climate change and a growing economy and population.

The findings of the independent State of the Environment 2011 Committee, chaired by Dr Tom Hatton, builds on work towards a more sustainable Australia.

The breadth and depth of the Committee’s  work is reflected in the underpinning research, workshops and supplementary material commissioned to inform the report and feed into the Government’s broader strategy for improving the quality and coverage of Australia’s environmental  information. 

Their work will help policy makers better manage Australia’s environmental assets and the public better understand its natural and cultural inheritance.

Australia State of the Environment 2011 is available online at: