Ballarat’s First State Of Environment Report Released

The City of Ballarat has released the municipality’s first State of the Environment Report.

The State of the Environment Report is a brief snapshot of Ballarat’s environmental conditions for the two-year period from 2022 to 2023.

The report measures the environmental performance of Ballarat across eight themes – climate and atmosphere, sustainable transport, clean energy, waste and circular economy, sustainable water use, land and biodiversity, waterways and wetlands, and sustainable development.

It found positive outcomes in the past two years include, but are not limited to:

  • Ballarat neighbourhoods are more connected to services, such as medical, family services and convenience stores, which are more accessible through walking or riding

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity decreased due to increasing levels of renewable energy available in the Victorian electricity grid, while Ballarat homes and businesses also used less electricity and gas, and

  • The introduction of new planning controls designed to create more sustainable future homes and subdivisions.

It found challenges in the past two years include, but are not limited to:

  • Contamination of household and commercial waste on the rise – which impacts the ability to sort and reuse recyclable material, as well as resulting in good recyclables being incorrectly sent to landfill

  • Inefficient use of rainwater tanks installed at existing homes and newly built homes, and

  • The extent of rural wetlands continued to decline due to drying climate and agricultural practices.

The report will serve as a long-term reporting tool to provide the City of Ballarat, community and collaborators with an insight into how the municipality is tracking towards a more sustainable future.

‘An environmentally sustainable future’ is Goal One of the Council Plan 2021-2025 and is a key priority for the City of Ballarat and our community.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the State of the Environment Report is an important tool for gauging and reporting on successes and challenges for the municipality, while also providing an evidence-base to support targeted advocacy and project funding.

“There are many in our community doing incredible work to contribute to a better environment and the State of the Environment Report helps to highlight those achievements that contribute to better environmental outcomes,” he said.

“The report also outlines areas where we must improve and address challenges in environmental sustainability or identify areas where more detailed analysis is needed.

“Importantly, the State of the Environment Report is an environmental report card that will enable us to understand if we are tracking towards the goal of a more sustainable future.”

The City of Ballarat prepared the State of the Environment Report with assistance from the Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat and the information and data of about 50 sources, including government and scientific agencies, industry groups and community groups.

The City of Ballarat will seek community feedback on its first State of the Environment Report later this year, with plans to produce an updated report every two years.

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