C18 - Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment

The Directorate continues to work closely with the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (the Commissioner) and the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (OSCE).

On 1 December 2012, the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development announced the appointment of Mr Robert Neil as Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment for the period 1 December 2012 to 30 November 2017. Mr Neil had been Acting Commissioner from 13 September 2011.

As discussed in section A2 of this report, ESDD also provides human resources, corporate and finance support to OCSE.

State of the environment reporting

State of the Environment reporting is a requirement of the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act 1993; the Commissioner undertakes a State of the Environment Report every four years.

In 2012–2013, the Directorate provided input on the conceptual framework for the 2015 ACT State of the Environment Report for future State of the Environment reporting at workshops organised by the OCSE on 19 April 2013 and 14 May 2013.

AP2 implementation status

In 2012–2013, the Directorate met regularly with the OCSE regarding the development of AP2. The Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment will, for the first time in 2014 (and subsequently in 2017 and 2020), publish periodic implementation status reports on the implementation of the ACT Government climate change policies.

Support for the Commissioner’s ongoing inquiries and investigations

The Directorate continues to support the Commissioner’s inquiries and investigations.

The Commissioner’s final report on the Investigation into the State of Watercourses and Catchments for Lake Burley Griffin was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday, 10 May 2012, and the government’s response tabled on 6 June 2013. All 17 recommendations were ‘agreed’, or ‘agreed in principle’.

Updates on status of recommendations

ESDD provides the Commissioner with updates on progress with the implementation of the Commissioner’s recommendations from completed reports and inquiries. These updates are incorporated into the Commissioner’s annual report.

Complaints

Two complaints were received and actioned in 2012–2013, one relating to biodiversity management and one to land management.