Summary Indicators

The first months of 2020 continued the extreme conditions of the previous year, but after good rains from February onwards there were signs of recovery. Overall environmental condition remained well below average.

 

Numbers represent the relative change from 2000-2019 average conditions. Such a change can be part of a long-term trend or be within normal variability. Details on each of the indicators shown are provided in this report.

 

The National Environmental Condition Score (ECS) improved 2.6 points out of ten to reach 3.2 points. Scores improved in all states and territories except Tasmania (TAS).

The Environmental Condition Score is a score between 0 and 10 expressing condition relative to previous years. It is calculated as the average rankings of component scores (from top to bottom in the bar graph): inundation, streamflow (blue), vegetation growth, leaf area, soil protection, tree cover (green) and the number of hot
days (orange).

National ECS and its components for 2000–2020
National ECS and its components for 2000–2020

The poorest conditions occurred in the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) due to continued dry conditions. The largest improvements occurred in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria (VIC) thanks to good rains, reaching above average conditions. Conditions in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) were affected by large fires in early 2020.

 

ECS by State and Territory and change from the previous year
ECS by State and Territory and change from the previous year