Letter of transmittal

Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Beeton RJS (Bob), Buckley Kristal I, Jones Gary J, Morgan Denise, Reichelt Russell E, Trewin Dennis
(2006 Australian State of the Environment Committee), 2006

Letter of transmittal

Dear Minister

It is with great pleasure that I, on behalf of the Australian State of the Environment Committee, submit the Australia State of the Environment 2006 report and all the supporting material to you as Minister for the Environment and Heritage and through you to the Parliament and people of Australia.

Prepared by an independent committee, the report is required to cover the environment as defined by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment Act 2003 to include:

(a) ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities

(b) natural and physical resources

(c) the qualities and characteristics of locations, places and areas

(d) heritage values of places, and

(e) the social, economic and cultural aspects of a thing mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

The legislation requires a report on Australia’s environment every five years.

Australia State of the Environment 2006 is published as a dynamic, web-based system that is designed to be continuously updated through an enduring environmental reporting system. The nation needs such a system, the environment deserves it and policy development and evaluation cannot occur without it. But only the foundation has been laid; much more needs to be done to make it an enduring system.

The future role of a state of the environment committee should be one of data interpretation and commentary, with ready access to up-to-date, relevant, national data. The Australia State of the Environment 2006 report should be the last one that is prepared from a Committee-initiated process of ad hoc data collection.

[signed]

Bob Beeton
Chairman
2006 Australian State of the Environment Committee