Delivering the 2018 Victorian State of the Environment Report

Dr Gillian Sparkes
Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victorian Government

Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability reports on the health of Victoria’s environment and is due to release Victoria’s five-yearly, State of the Environment (SoE) Report in early 2019. For the first time, the Commissioner has released an interim report to help frame and guide the delivery of the crucial five yearly SoE report.

The final SoE report will answer critical questions about Victoria’s natural environment. What has changed in five years? How does Victoria’s air and water quality measure up? What is the condition of our state’s unique flora and fauna? How healthy are our soils and waterways? How do we transition to a contemporary waste management and resource recovery system? What are the trends and future projections for Victoria’s changing climate?

This talk provides an opportunity for the Victorian public to hear Dr Gillian Sparkes present on the Interim SoE 2018 report and our progress towards answering those important questions in the final Victorian State of the Environment Report 2018 – the key policy and management issues, and the data and information challenges, for each of the twelve themes: air quality, climate, biodiversity, land health, forests, fire, water resources, water quality, coastal and marine environments, waste and resource recovery, energy and transport. Dr Sparkes will also address the emerging opportunity to adopt the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for monitoring Victoria’s progress against critical environmental targets over the next decade.

About the speaker:

Dr Gillian Sparkes has been Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability since 2014, appointed into the role by both sides of government. Her ‘State & Benefit’ framework for the Victorian SoE 2018 report, was tabled in the Victorian parliament in 2015. Since refreshing the science reporting function of the Office, the Commissioner has been assigned six new, independent reporting functions since 2015, for the first time since the role was established in 2003.

Dr Gillian Sparkes spent the first half of her career with BHP and achieved a PhD in chemistry before taking leadership roles in operations and environmental management with BHP. She has since held executive and board roles across the industrial, public and university sectors. Including as a Manager with Cleanaway, CEO of a Monash research centre for waste and resource recovery, non-executive director of South Gippsland Water, Deputy Secretary Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and Chair of the Board of Sustainability Victoria. As Commissioner, Dr Sparkes is an advocate for increased investment in environmental monitoring, community participation in environmental science and for government to better apply environmental economic accounting, data analytics and citizen science to protecting the environment and dealing with the challenges of population growth and climate change.

Dr Sparkes has a PhD in Applied Science, an MBA, is an AICD Fellow, a Victorian Fellow of IPAA, MEIANZ and MRACI. She is a member of the Victorian (DEDJTR) Investment Committee, Chair of the Western Port Integrated Water Management Forum and is a company director with a board portfolio across the economic, emergency management and NFP sectors.

A joint presentation between the RSV and the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.