Summary Indicators


A change from La Niña to El Niño conditions halfway through 2023 brought a change from wet to dry and relatively warm weather and a decline in environmental indicators, but overall conditions remained well above average.

The National Environmental Condition Score (ECS) fell by 1.2 points out of ten to reach 7.5 points, which is still the second-highest score since 2011 after the high score in 2022.
ECS scores declined everywhere except in the Northern Territory, where it increased by 5.3 points to reach 8.8, the highest value of all states and territories after a very low score in 2021. The largest decline of -4.0 occurred in NSW, where extremely high scores occurred the previous year. The lowest value overall was 5.5, recorded in WA where environmental scores declined for a second year.
ECS by State and Territory and change from the previous year
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 2000–2023
Numbers represent the relative change from 2000-2022 average conditions. Such a change can be part of a long-term trend or be within normal variability.


Watch the 2023 report in-brief video