Our Role

The Commissioner is an independent statutory position established by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act 1993. The Commissioner undertakes the following functions and activities:

  • Investigating complaints about  the management of the environment by the Territory or a territory authority; and issues relating to ecologically sustainable development in the ACT;
  • Conduct investigations as directed by the Minister;
  • Conduct on the Commissioner’s own initiative, investigations into actions of an agency where those actions would have a substantial impact on the environment of the ACT; and
  • Deliver state of the environment reports (SoER).

State of the environment reporting has been one of the main roles of the Commissioner. SoERs have been prepared every four years since 1993. 

The Commissioner must take in to account the objects of the Act, these are to:

  • ensure regular and consistent reporting on matters relating to the condition and management of the environment in the Territory; and
  • ensure regular reporting on progress towards ecologically sustainable development by the Territory and Territory authorities; and
  • encourage decision making that facilitates ecologically sustainable development; and
  • enhance knowledge and understanding of issues relating to ecologically sustainable development and the environment; and
  • encourage sound environmental practices and procedures to be adopted by the Territory and Territory authorities as a basis for ecologically sustainable development.

Who supports the Commissioner?

Alongside our full time Commissioner, there is a small team of professional and dedicated staff (employed by the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Directorate).

Our Vision

Living Sustainably

Our vision captures our commitment to help the community and government in ways that advance sustainability and good management of the environment. This is achieved through advocacy, independent scrutiny, reporting and advice.

Our Mission

Advancing sustainability through advocacy, independent scrutiny, reporting and advice.

Our Values

Our values guide our work; our behaviours; and the way we interact with each other and our stakeholders.

Our values are:

  • Independence - we empower through objectivity, transparent processes, honest delivery and appropriate confidentiality.
  • Caring – our high regard for the environment and our community sustains our efforts.
  • Innovation –we seek to use the best available knowledge to pursue solutions that may not be evident or even exist yet.
  • Empathy – we have realistic approaches in recognising the realities faced by the individuals and organisations we engage with.
  • Collaboration – we take an integrated and inclusive approach.

living sustainably

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