Developing the Victorian state of the marine and coastal environment 2021 report

Mr Andrew Marshall1, Dr Scott Rawlings1, Dr Gillian Sparkes1

1Commissioner For Environmental Sustainability, Melbourne, Australia


Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (the Commissioner) provides independent scientific reporting on the state’s natural environment. The Commissioner does this by preparing a range of environmental reports and developing recommendations to Government with legislative authority requiring a Government response. The Commissioner’s suite of reporting products now includes a five-yearly State of the Marine and Coastal Environment (SMCE) Report. The inaugural SMCE Report will be published in 2021 as a precursor to the full SMCE report due around 2024. SMCE 2021 will build on the science and findings of the Commissioner in the State of the Bays 2016 Report, which focused on Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, and report on an expanded geographic scope of five marine and coastal regions.

The Commissioner’s cycle for environmental reporting aligns with the State of the Environment Report (SoE) and is prepared under the framework for the SoE, tabled in the Victorian Parliament and providing a strong authorising environment for the reports. SMCE 2021 will be developed under the SoE 2023 framework.

Since 2014, the Commissioner has introduced reforms in Victoria including better consideration of socio-economic values of natural capital using international frameworks: UN System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Applying the SDGs enables deeper understanding of the links between biophysical, social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes to help progress ecologically sustainable development.

The SMCE 2021 Report is being co-designed with the Victorian marine and coastal community, while reporting products are being tailored for Victoria’s diverse information needs.


Andrew Marshall joined the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability as a Science Writer in 2018. Andrew has completed degrees in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and Statistics at the University of Melbourne. He has a wealth of experience in both state policy, science and data analytics, having spent nine years at the Victorian Environment Protection Authority prior to joining the Commissioner’s team.

His expertise and experience makes him well-placed to write incisive and engaging narratives on marine, coastal and climate issues in the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report.