Soil moisture availability declined due to dry conditions in the middle of the year but average soil surface condition improved.

National average moisture availability in the top 6m of soil fell by 23 mm or 6% compared to 2022 values but still 3% above the 2000–2022 average.
Soil moisture declined across most of Australia, with the greatest declines along the East coast and in southwest WA.  Increases in average soil water availability occurred in the northern NT.
Nationally, soil moisture remained high during the first months of 2023, then declined steadily until November, when it stabilised and increased again. Similar developments occurred across all states and territories except Tasmania.
National average soil moisture content
Percent woody canopy cover change from 2022 to 2023 by local government area
National average soil protection by vegetation and leaf litter improved for the fourth year in a row and was the best since 2016. Soil protection improved by 8% compared to the previous year and was 10% better than the 2000–2022 average. Near- or above-average soil surface protection was observed across most of Australia. The best conditions since at least 2000 were measured in parts of Northern Australia and inland southeast Australia, where soil conditions improved for the fourth year in a row. 
Soil surface conditions were well-below average and declined for the third year in a row in inland southern WA.
National average soil moisture content
Rank of 2023 average soil exposure by Bioregion