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ANNUAL REPORT 2006–07

© Commonwealth of Australia 2007 Tree fern, south west Tasmania – Mark Mohell
ISSN 1441-9335 Hume Dam – TJ Ierino

This work is copyright. Apart from any use Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge –
as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, Australian Scenics
no part may be reproduced by any process Seven Mile Beach – Merran Williams
without prior written permission from the Emperor penguins – Australian Antarctic
Commonwealth, available from the Australian Division
Government Department of the Environment
Chapter page images:
and Water Resources.
Images used throughout are copyright
This set of annual reports comprises two
Department of the Environment and Water
volumes:
Resources and associated photographers unless
1. The annual report of the Department of the otherwise noted. See pages; iv, 18, 124, 125, 154,
Environment and Water Resources prepared 220, 237, 302 and 390.
in accordance with the Public Service Act Page 1: Flying white tern – Robert Thorn
1999 (this volume)
Page 19: Crepuscular rays at Pyengana –
2. Annual legislation reports about Acts the
department administers. Margaret Brown
Page 46: Craven Peak Reserve – Nick Rains
Enquiries
Page 47: Tobacco crop under irrigation –
Please address any requests and enquiries Trevor Ierino
(including feedback on this annual report and
Page 90: Whiskey Bay at Wilsons Promontory –
enquiries about reproduction or rights) to:
John Baker
Assistant Secretary
Page 91: The Coorong at Pelican Point –
Portfolio Policy and Advice Branch
John Baker
Department of the Environment and Water
Resources Page 155: Surfers Paradise on a sunny day –
GPO Box 787 Overseas Information Branch, DFAT
Canberra ACT 2601 Page 194: Antarctic ice fissures – Hosung Chung,
Australian Antarctic Division
Electronic copies
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Electronic copies of this annual report are
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available at www.environment.gov.au/about/
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Photo credits
Page 237: Green turtle on Raine Island –
Cover images (back to front): Arthur Mostead
Close up of Wee Jasper grevillea – JD Briggs Page 303: Tasmanian devils – Dave Watts
Mulga scrub killed by cattle, Mount Ebenezer, Page 380: Waterfall and Nothofagus in Tasmanian
NT – Allan Fox Wilderness – Steve Johnson
The Twelve Apostles – John Baker Page 381: Bushfire smoke at Lake Hume –
Wilsons Promontory – John Baker Trevor Ierino
Bilby, endangered species Page 391: Sand texture – Trevor Preston
Department of the
Environment and Water Resources
Volume 1

ANNUAL REPORT 2006–07

How to contact the department


Main office: John Gorton Building,
King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600
Post: GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: 02 6274 1111
Fax: 02 6274 1666
Internet: www.environment.gov.au

i
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister
I present the annual reports of the Department of the Environment and Water
Resources for the financial year ended 30 June 2007. This set of reports is in two
volumes.
The first volume contains the annual report of the department. The report was
prepared in accordance with the requirements set out in section 63 of the Public
Service Act 1999. Subsection 63(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 requires you to
lay a copy of this annual report before each House of the Parliament on or before
31 October 2007.
The second volume contains the legislation annual reports. It details the operation
of the seven Acts the department administers that we do not report on separately
to Parliament. This volume must be tabled in each House of the Parliament within
15 sitting days after the day on which you receive it.
In accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines, I am satisfied
that the department has prepared fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans,
and has in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting
and data collection procedures and processes that meet the specific needs of the
department and comply with those guidelines.

Yours sincerely

David Borthwick
Secretary
5 October 2007

ii Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Contents
Letter of transmittal .............................................................................................................................................. ii

Executive summary .............................................................................................................................................. 1


Secretary’s review .................................................................................................................................................. 2
Summary of main results .................................................................................................................................. 8
Organisation overview ...................................................................................................................................... 13
Outcomes and outputs..................................................................................................................................... 16
Financial summary............................................................................................................................................... 17

Outcome 1—Environment
Climate change ...................................................................................................................................................... 19
Land and inland waters .................................................................................................................................... 47
Coasts and oceans................................................................................................................................................ 91
Natural, Indigenous and historic heritage........................................................................................ 125
Human settlements ......................................................................................................................................... 155

Outcome 2—Antarctica ............................................................................................................................... 195

Cross-cutting activities ................................................................................................................................. 221

Managing the department ........................................................................................................................ 237


Corporate governance ................................................................................................................................... 238
Stakeholder relations ...................................................................................................................................... 248
External scrutiny ................................................................................................................................................ 252
Environmental sustainability ..................................................................................................................... 258
Human resources .............................................................................................................................................. 266
Finances ................................................................................................................................................................... 285

Financial statements ...................................................................................................................................... 303

Glossary ................................................................................................................................................................... 381

Indexes ..................................................................................................................................................................... 391


Compliance index ............................................................................................................................................. 392
Alphabetical index............................................................................................................................................. 398

iii
Executive summary

1
Executive summary

Secretary’s review
I am pleased to present the 2006–07 annual report
of the Department of the Environment and Water
Resources. This year has been an exciting and
challenging one for the department, with a number
of major new initiatives announced, expanded
responsibilities, and significant structural changes to
the portfolio.
This year the department implemented major
David Borthwick initiatives to deal with Australia’s environmental,
climate change, water and heritage challenges.
We are developing catchment-wide approaches to water resource management
and establishing a stronger, more coherent framework for climate change
mitigation and adaptation. We are rolling out bioregional plans for the whole of
the Commonwealth marine area, and implementing major amendments to the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to strengthen
and streamline environmental impact assessment. All of these measures mark a
move towards a more complete, landscape-scale approach to protection of the
environment and heritage and to sustainable natural resource management.
Increasingly, the department’s remit is to develop a cohesive and strategic set
of policies and programmes that deliver environmental, social and economic
outcomes. To this end, we place a high priority on working with other government
agencies and with industry and community stakeholders. We invest in scientific
and economic research to ensure that our policies and programmes are
underpinned by the best available information, and we endeavour to find the most
efficient and cost-effective approaches to addressing the issues under our charge.
I invite you to read on and learn more about the department’s achievements in
2006–07 and our challenges for the future.

New national water responsibilities


The continuing drought in 2006–07 over large areas of Australia put water security
firmly on the national policy agenda. In January 2007 the portfolio took carriage
of national water resource policy, including the Prime Minister’s National Plan for
Water Security. The National Water Commission moved into the portfolio from the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. A number of the government’s
other water programmes and statutory functions were also transferred into the
department, and the department’s name was changed to reflect its expanded
roles.

2 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
A key priority over the next 10 years is to implement the $10 billion National Plan
for Water Security. This includes major reforms to the management of the
Murray–Darling Basin to ensure its long-term health, while sustaining a viable
agricultural industry and thriving rural communities. The department has been
working since January 2007 to develop the key elements of the plan, including
negotiating with state governments and other stakeholders and putting in place
the necessary implementing legislation (which was passed by parliament on
17 August 2007 and received Royal Assent on 3 September 2007).
For the first time, the new legislation will enable the Australian Government
to develop a whole of Murray–Darling Basin plan, covering assessments of
the interaction between surface, groundwater and land-use practices that
significantly impact on water availability. An important objective will be to increase
environmental flows in many catchments. At the same time, we will be investing
heavily in improving the efficiency of irrigation systems to put agriculture on a
more sustainable long-term footing.
To help us deliver our new water functions a number of changes were made to the
department’s structure. Two new divisions, the Water Resources Division and the
Water Assets and Natural Resources Division, were created, and the department’s
land, coastal and marine biodiversity activities were consolidated into one division,
the Marine and Biodiversity Division.

New approaches to climate change


Public and business interest in international and domestic responses to climate
change captured more attention in the media than ever before.
Climate change issues are central to the department’s responsibilities but, because
the effects are so pervasive, many other agencies also have a large role to play.
The Prime Minister’s announcement that Australia will establish an emissions
trading system by 2012 is a major step forward in implementing an overarching
national framework to tackle climate change. The development of an emissions
trading system is a major undertaking. It will bring about major long-term
structural changes in the Australian economy and careful planning is required.
Close cooperation between governments and industry will be needed. However,
developing a world-leading emissions trading system is in Australia’s long-term
national interest, not least because it will be important to reduce emissions at
minimum cost to the community and the economy.
International cooperation is crucial to addressing the issue of climate change.
A senior executive in the department is co-chairing the United Nations’ two-year
dialogue on long-term cooperative action on climate change. This year, talks
increasingly focused on an effective global response after the Kyoto Protocol
targets expire in 2012.

3
Executive summary

Closer to home, the department continued to play a leading role in project


development and implementation in the Asia–Pacific Partnership on Clean
Development and Climate and through a range of other bilateral and plurilateral
partnerships. The department also played a central role in developing and
implementing the Global Initiative on Forests and Climate to support and
encourage practical action to help save the world’s forests and reduce
deforestation, presently the second largest source of global greenhouse gas
emissions.
In another key step in addressing climate change, the Council of Australian
Governments adopted a new National Climate Change Adaptation Framework and
the Australian Government committed $126 million to implement the framework
and to establish the Australian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation. The new
centre will commission science to increase our knowledge about the impacts
of climate change and adaptation response options, and will work closely with
relevant bodies to develop and implement practical adaptation response strategies.

Biodiversity and heritage protection


Australia is an ancient country with unique biodiversity and heritage, yet there
are many threats. The list of threatened species and of extinctions is a long one
over a short period. Arresting the decline in biodiversity requires the long-term
application of well targeted policies at a landscape scale.
In this context, the department continued to support the government’s efforts to
establish new marine protected areas in Commonwealth waters to protect vital
marine habitats and species. In June 2007 the South-east Commonwealth Marine
Reserve Network was proclaimed following a successful consultation process with
industry and other stakeholders. The network protects 226,000 square kilometres
of the marine environment in 13 separate reserves off Australia’s south-east coast.
This is a forerunner to developing networks covering the five major marine regions
around the continent. This will involve putting in place bioregional plans for entire
geographic marine regions, taking into account the biodiversity, economic, social
and heritage values of the region. The plans will ensure that a region’s ecological
assets are protected without compromising the viability of sustainable marine
industries.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 has gained
wide acceptance and achieved real results in protecting the environment during
its seven years of operation. Nevertheless, the government and the department
recognised that the legislation could be improved. Amendments to the Act, which
were passed by parliament in December 2006, were aimed at strengthening
environment and heritage protection, while streamlining administration and
cutting red tape. Action can now be taken on emerging environmental issues on a
regional basis, rather than case by case.

4 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
The department’s objective is to protect and foster an understanding of our
nation’s heritage, as that tells us about ‘the Australian story’. This requires
balanced assessments that build public confidence in the integrity of what
are often difficult judgements that the government has to make. Sometimes
this involves weighing the interests of nationally important industries against
environment and heritage objectives. Striking the right balance was integral to
the government’s decision to include Western Australia’s Dampier Archipelago
in the National Heritage List on 3 July 2007. After three years of assessment
and consultation with industry, it is very pleasing that the renowned rock art
of the archipelago, including the Burrup Peninsula, is now protected for future
generations.
The inscription of the Sydney Opera House on the UNESCO World Heritage List in
June 2007 recognised the Opera House’s outstanding and visionary architecture.
It now stands alongside such universally treasured places as the Taj Mahal, the
ancient pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China.
Two of the Australian Government’s flagship environmental initiatives—the
National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and phase 2 of the Natural
Heritage Trust—have already helped to protect over eight million hectares of
wetlands, have treated over 600,000 hectares of land to reduce salinity and erosion,
and have involved some 800,000 volunteers in on-ground conservation work.
These programmes have laid strong foundations for an additional $2 billion phase
of the Natural Heritage Trust (phase 3), continuing this programme for a further
five years from July 2008.
Through programmes such as these—increasingly undertaken at a landscape
scale—the department is pursuing national environmental and heritage objectives
in a sustainable development context.

State of the Environment report


The department recognises the importance of getting the best, most up-to-date
information to support decision-making and policy development. The State of
the Environment report, a five-yearly statutory obligation under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, is a major source of
independent information on the state of the Australian environment.
The third national State of the Environment report was published in
December 2006. The report identified many improvements made over the last
five to 10 years. For example, air quality is better than 10 years ago, land clearing
has decreased in many parts of the country, and there is greater protection for the
marine environment and Commonwealth-owned heritage assets. However, the
report also shows there is still work to be done to stop the decline in biodiversity,
respond to the impacts of increasing populations on the coastline, adapt to climate
change and manage water resources more effectively.

5
Executive summary

The State of the Environment report also highlighted the need for better quality
baseline information to assess changes to the environment over time to equip us
to measure progress identify priorities for action; make better investment choices;
and implement sustainable solutions. The department is taking steps to improve
Australia’s environmental information base. We are supporting research to compile
environmental baseline data and develop cost-effective and robust environmental
monitoring methods. For example, the department signed contracts this year with
seven multi-institutional research hubs under the Commonwealth Environment
Research Facilities programme. The hubs will significantly improve the information
base in such areas as taxonomy, and terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

Antarctic research and logistics


The department continues to advance Australia’s Antarctic interests including
by supporting and undertaking research to understand the role of Antarctica in
the global climate system, protecting the Antarctic environment and maintaining
Australia’s influence within the Antarctic Treaty System. As part of this work,
the Australian Antarctic Division is playing a key role in International Polar Year
activities, being held over 24 months from March 2007 to March 2009. Australia
is leading eight major international scientific projects, co-leading three, and
participating in 46 other projects.
The new Wilkins Runway near Casey station in Antarctica will greatly improve
access for scientists to conduct research on the continent. The runway was
completed during the Antarctic summer, sometimes in freezing temperatures of
around minus 40°C. Regular flights will begin next summer following a successful
trial flight in February 2007. The flight between Hobart and Antarctica will take just
under five hours, compared with more than a week by ship.

Workforce planning
The department moves into 2007–08 with a challenging agenda, with extra
responsibilities and major new programmes.
To deliver on the new responsibilities as well as our ongoing work, we will need
to ensure we have capable staff and the right tools and systems in place to deliver
on the government’s objectives. We are increasing our emphasis on workforce
planning to ensure we build an appropriate skills mix to meet our needs now
and in the future. In the coming year, we are aiming to recruit 70 high calibre
graduates, compared with 32 in 2006–07.
Developing capable leaders is a high priority for the department. A new leadership
development strategy began in 2007 with a series of dialogues to discuss our
expectations of leaders and leadership behaviour.

6 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
It is important to have regular health checks to see how we are doing as an
organisation, so this year we conducted the second broad-based staff survey.
The results showed the department is in pretty good shape, and has made
considerable improvements across the board compared to the last survey in 2004,
particularly in relation to our information technology systems. We will continue to
use staff comments and concerns from the survey to improve as an organisation.
The department places a high priority on good project management and this year
we developed a new project management framework with tools and templates
on the intranet to assist in all stages from planning through to implementation,
monitoring, evaluation and reporting. New project management software is being
trialled to support the project management framework.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the department’s staff for their hard
work and professionalism over the past year. The department has an enthusiastic
and high quality workforce that is well placed to deliver the government’s
environmental, heritage, climate change and water resource management
objectives.

David Borthwick

7
Executive summary

Summary of main results

Progress toward outcome 1: protecting the environment

Climate change
t 5IFEFQBSUNFnt played an important role in the Prime Minister’s task group on
emissions trading; the secretary of the department was a member of the group
and the department is leading development of a new national greenhouse and
energy reporting system, one of the key building blocks for emissions trading.
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUDPOUJOVFEUPQMBZBLFZSPMFJOJOUFSOBUJPOBMOFHPUJBUJPOTGPS
long-term cooperative action on climate change. A senior departmental officer is
co-chairing United Nations talks on global climate change action beyond 2012.
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUXBTBMFBEQMBZFSJO"VTUSBMJBTFTUBCMJTINFOUPGUIFOFX
Global Initiative on Forests and Climate which aims to reduce deforestation and
encourage sustainable management of forests.
t "VTUSBMJBXPSLFEXJUIQBSUOFSDPVOUSJFTJOFTUBCMJTIJOHQSPKFDUTVOEFSUIF
Asia–Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Bilateral climate
change partnerships were also advanced with China and other partners.
t 5IFMBUFTUBOOVBMFEJUJPOPG"VTUSBMJBT/BUJPOBM(SFFOIPVTF"DDPVOUTTIPXFE
Australia’s emissions projections were tracking slightly above the 108 per cent Kyoto
target. The government is considering further measures to help meet the target.
t 4JYMBSHFMPXFNJTTJPOTUFDIOPMPHZQSPKFDUT XIJDIXJMMMFWFSBHFNPSFUIBO
$2.5 billion worth of investment from the corporate sector, were selected
to receive $410 million of government funding under the $500 million Low
Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund.
t $PNNVOJUZFOHBHFNFOUDPOUJOVFEUPHSPX5IFEFQBSUNFOUIBTTFDVSFE
participation of 220 local governments covering 82 per cent of Australia’s
population in the Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia programme which
has just celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Land and inland waters


t 5IF/BUJPOBM3FTFSWF4ZTUFNQSPHSBNNFBcquired 588,141 hectares, bringing
the total to 7,533,288 hectares. Three more Indigenous Protected Areas were
declared covering 4,501,870 hectares, and bringing the total area to over
18.5 million hectares.
t "OJOEFQFOEFOUSFWJFXPGUIF*OEJHFOPVT1SPUFDUFE"SFBT1SPHSBNNFIBJMFEJU
a success for bringing significant bioregions into the National Reserve System
and providing significant social benefits to Indigenous Australians.

8 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
t 5Ie Australian Government approved 10 conservation covenanting
programmes for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and
entered into 322 perpetual covenants with landholders protecting 92,707
hectares of private land.
t 3FWPMWJOHGVOETFTUBCMJTIFEXJUI/BUVSBM)FSJUBHF5SVTUGVOEJOHBDRVJSFE
17 properties with high conservation value. The properties are in four states
and cover 98,408 hectares.
t %SBGUMFHJTMBUJPOXBTEFWFMPQFEUPHJWFFGGFDUUPLFZGFBUVSFTPGUIF/BUJPOBM
Plan for Water Security.
t $PNNVOJUZ8BUFS(SBOUTGVOEFE XBUFSTBWJOH SFDZDMJOHBOEUSFBUNFOU
projects. These projects will save around 10,369 megalitres of water each year
and treat water from a catchment area of 1.5 million hectares.
t  QSPEVDUTXFSFSFHJTUFSFEVOEFSUIF8BUFS&GmDJFODZ-BCFMMJOHBOE
Standards Scheme, bringing the number of registered products to 7,759 since
the scheme began in July 2005. The scheme enables consumers to choose the
most water efficient appliances and reduces water wastage.
t 5IF5BTNBOJBO.PMF$SFFL1SPHSBNNFQSPUFDUFEIFDUBSFTPGGPSFTUBOE
limestone karst on private land. The Tasmanian Forest Tourism initiative
invested $3 million to improve forest-based tourism including in the Tarkine
region. The Tasmanian Forest Conservation Fund commenced its first tender
round and attracted 236 landowner expressions of interest.

Coasts and oceans


t 5he South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network was proclaimed on
28 June 2007. The network covers an area of over 226,000 square kilometres
of marine environment off the coast of Tasmania, Victoria, eastern South
Australia and far south New South Wales, and makes a major contribution to the
protection of the marine environment in Australian waters.
t 5IF$PE(SPVOET$PNNPOXFBMUI.BSJOF3FTFSWFXBTEFDMBSFEPO
28 May 2007 to protect the critically endangered grey nurse shark. The reserve
covers an area of 300 hectares located off the coast of northern New South
Wales near Laurieton.
t 8BUFSRVBMJUZJNQSPWFNFOUQMBOTXFSFDPNQMFUFEGPSUIF.PTTNBOBOE
Daintree catchments in the Douglas Shire, Queensland, and the Derwent
Estuary, Tasmania. The plans will improve water quality and protect it from
land-based pollution.

9
Executive summary

Summary of main results

t 4JODFUIFEFQBSUNFOUIBTBTTFTTFEUIFFOWJSPONFOUBMQFSGPSNBODFPG
Commonwealth- and state-managed fisheries under the Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, resulting in the fishing industry taking a
range of measures to improve their environmental sustainability.
t "TPG+VOF  HSBOUTUPUBMMJOH$134.63 million had been approved
under the various elements of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park structural
adjustment package. These include 122 grants for fishing licence buy-outs and
810 grants to help affected businesses to restructure.

Heritage
t 0O+VOFUIF4ZEOFZ0QFra House was officially inscribed on the World
Heritage List. The Opera House has captured the imagination of people all over
the world and is an instantly recognisable icon of Sydney and Australia.
t 0O+VMZUIF%BNQJFS"SDIJQFMBHP JODMVEJOHUIF#VSSVQ1FOJOTVMB JO
Western Australia, was included in the National Heritage List. Conservation
agreements were negotiated with two companies to protect and conserve the
rock engravings and stone arrangements in or adjacent to their operations in
the archipelago.
t QMBDFTXFSFBEEFEUPUIF/BUJPOBM)FSJUBHF-JTUCSJOHJOHUIFOVNCFSPG
places in the list to 59 at 30 June 2007, including five national parks and
15 World Heritage listed places.
t 0OFQMBDF UIF5BTNBOJBO4FBNPVOUT
XBTBEEFEUPUIF$PNNPOXFBMUI
Heritage List which contained 340 places at 30 June 2007.

Human settlements
t 4JODF+VMZNPSFUIBO NBUUFSTPG national environmental significance
have been protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 through the referral, assessment and approval process,
with 276 of these matters protected in 2006–07.
t 0WFSUIFQBTUEFDBEFUIFMFWFMTPGNBKPSBJSQPMMVUBOUT TVDIBTOJUSPHFO
dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, in Australian cities have
declined as a result of collaborative efforts between governments and industry
to tackle air pollution at its source.
t "VTUSBMJBFYDFFEFEJUTPCMJHBUJPOTUPQIBTFPVUUIFVTFPGP[POFEFQMFUJOH
substances, with total imports of only 163 tonnes of these substances, a decrease
of over 80 per cent since 1999, when imports peaked at over 800 tonnes.

10 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
t *NQPSUBOUBEWBODFTXFSFNBEFJOJNQSPWJOHUIFTBGFNBOBHFNFOUPG
chemicals, including a new national implementation plan to manage the
world’s most dangerous persistent organic pollutants, a new voluntary
international agreement to ensure the safe management of chemicals
worldwide by 2020, new national principles for better management of
chemicals in the environment and an action plan for implementing the
national principles.
t 3FTFBSDI NPOJUPSJOHBOETVQFSWJTJPOJOEJDBUFUIBUUIFFOWJSPONFOUPGUIF
Alligator Rivers Region remains protected from the impacts of uranium mining.
t 5IFOVNCFSPGGVFMRVBMJUZTBNQMFTUFTUFEGPSDPNQMJBODFXJUIUIFFuel Quality
Standards Act 2000 more than doubled compared to 2005–06.
t 4JODFJUCFHBOJO UIF1SPEVDU4UFXBSETIJQGPS0JM1SPHSBNNFIBTGVOEFE
the installation of more than 950 waste oil collection units, with more than
40 extra units funded in 2006–07.

Progress toward outcome 2: advancing Australia’s Antarctic interests


t 5IFestablishment of an intercontinental air link between Australia and
Antarctica is progressing well, with flights scheduled to commence in the
2007–08 summer. A five-year lease for an Airbus A319 aircraft was signed and
the long range aircraft arrived in Australia on 20 February 2007. The blue-
ice runway foundation has been graded. Demonstration flights have been
conducted to test processes and procedures and confirm the suitability of the
runway’s navigation aids and support systems.
t 5IF"VTUSBMJBO"OUBSDUJD%JWJTJPOJTQMBZJOHBLFZSPMFJO*OUFSOBUJPOBM1PMBS:FBS
activities. The International Polar Year will be held over 24 months from
March 2007 to March 2009. Australia will lead eight scientific projects, co-lead
three, and participate in 46 other international projects.
t 5IF"VTUSBMJBO$FOUSFGPS"QQMJFE.BSJOF.BNNBM4DJFODFXBTFTUBCMJTIFEJO
2006 and is the first major national research centre focused on understanding,
protecting and conserving whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs in the
Australian region. The centre is based in the Australian Antarctic Division and
has an extensive network of science partners throughout Australia.
t 5IF"OUBSDUJDTDJFODFQSPHSBNNFTVQQPSUFEQSPKFDUT XIJDIMFEUP
393 publications including 154 peer-reviewed papers. A recent review of
publications output from the world’s Antarctic programmes shows that
Australia’s output ranks third, after the United States and the United Kingdom.

11
Executive summary

Summary of main results

Cross-cutting activities
t $POUSBDUTXPSUI$47.3 million were signed with seven multi-institutional
environmental research hubs or networks to conduct research and foster
professional partnerships between Australian researchers, end users and policy
makers. Research areas include environmental economics, taxonomy, marine
biodiversity, and land and water management.
t 5IFUIJSEJOEFQFOEFOU4UBUFPGUIF&OWJSPONFOUSFQPSUXBTUBCMFEJO
parliament in December 2006.

Managing the department


t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUXBTHJWFOOFXSFTQPOTJCJMJUJFTGPSUIF"VTUSBMJBO(PWFSONFOUT
water reform agenda following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a
National Plan for Water Security. The department’s name was changed to reflect
the new responsibilities.
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUSFWJFXFEJUTPVUDPNFTBOEPVUQVUTTUSVDUVSFBTTFUPVUJOUIF
portfolio budget statements, and increased the number of outcomes from two
to three, and the number of outputs from seven to nine, to reflect its expanded
responsibilities for the Australian Government’s water reform agenda.
t "OFXDPNQSFIFOTJWFUISFFZFBSDPMMFDUJWFBHSFFNFOUXBTOFHPUJBUFE BOEOFX
comprehensive Australian Workplace Agreements were developed for executive
level staff. Both came into effect in August 2006. New two-year Australian
Workplace Agreements for senior executive service employees came into effect
in July 2007.
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUDPOEVDUFEBCSPBECBTFETUBGGTVSWFZJOMBUF XIJDI
recorded an improvement in employee satisfaction since the last survey in
2004.

12 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
Organisation overview

Portfolio overview
As at 30 June 2007 the Australian Government’s environment and water resources
portfolio comprised:
t UIF%FQBSUNFOUPGUIF&OWJSPONFOUBOE8BUFS3FTPVSDFT GPSNFSMZUIF
Department of the Environment and Heritage
t GPVSQSFTDSJCFEBHFODJFTVOEFSUIFFinancial Management and
Accountability Act 1997—the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,
National Water Commission, Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator and the
Bureau of Meteorology
t UXP$PNNPOXFBMUITUBUVUPSZBVUIPSJUJFTVOEFSUIFCommonwealth
Authorities and Companies Act 1997—the Director of National Parks and
Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
This annual report only covers the performance of the Department of the
Environment and Water Resources. Portfolio agencies and Commonwealth
statutory authorities report separately to the parliament on their performance.

Portfolio minister and assistant minister


The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP was appointed Minister for the Environment and
Water Resources in January 2007 and the Hon John Cobb MP was appointed
Assistant Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. Prior to this,
Senator the Hon Ian Campbell, was Minister for the Environment and Heritage
from July 2004 to January 2007 and the Hon Greg Hunt MP was Parliamentary
Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage.

Departmental overview
The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Water Resources
develops and implements national policy, programmes and legislation to
ensure the protection, conservation and sustainable use of Australia’s natural
environment, water resources and cultural heritage.
As at 30 June 2007 the department was made up of 14 divisions. Each division’s
roles and responsibilities are described at the beginning of relevant chapters of the
report. The names and responsibilities of the department’s deputy secretaries and
first assistant secretaries are shown in the organisation chart on page 15.
The department has offices in Canberra, Hobart and Darwin.

13
Executive summary

Roles and functions of the department


The department addresses matters of national environmental significance, water
resource management and Australia’s Antarctic interests by:
t BEWJTJOHUIF"VTUSBMJBO(PWFSONFOUPOJUTQPMJDJFTBOEQSPHSBNNFTGPSUIF
protection, conservation and use of the environment, water resources and
heritage
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Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
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resource and heritage programmes including the $10 billion National Plan for
Water Security, $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust, and $3.4 billion package of
measures to respond to climate change
t XPSLJOHXJUIHPWFSONFOU JOEVTUSZ DPNNVOJUZTUBLFIPMEFSTBOEJOUFSOBUJPOBM
forums to protect and conserve the environment, improve the sustainable
management and efficient use of water resources, and implement an effective
response to climate change.

Approach
In its work the department looks for whole-of-government solutions that are
efficient, equitable and feasible based on:
t BDPNQSFIFOTJWFVOEFSTUBOEJOHPGUIFFOWJSPONFOUBM FDPOPNJDBOETPDJBM
dimensions of the issues being addressed, underpinned by high quality science
and information
t DBSSZJOHPVUUIF"VTUSBMJBO(PWFSONFOUTFOWJSPONFOU DMJNBUFDIBOHF XBUFS
resource and heritage policies and programmes to deliver outcomes consistent
with the government’s economic and social objectives
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effectively target problems
t DPPQFSBUJOHBDSPTTBMMMFWFMTPGHPWFSONFOU BOEXJUIJOEVTUSZ JOUFSOBUJPOBM
partners and the community.

14 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Environment and Water Resources portfolio
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP – Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
The Hon John Cobb MP – Assistant Minister

Department of the Environment and Water Resources Portfolio agencies and


David Borthwick – Secretary authorities

Howard Bamsey James Horne Anthea Tinney Gerard Early


Director of National
Deputy Secretary Deputy Secretary A/g Deputy Secretary Deputy Secretary A/g
Parks
Peter Cochrane
Director of National Parks
Australian Antarctic Water Assets and Corporate Strategies Marine and Biodiversity Executive Policy Advisor
Division Natural Resources Division Division Diana Wright Great Barrier Reef
Tony Press Division David Anderson Donna Petrachenko First Assistant Secretary Marine Park Authority
First Assistant Secretary Tony Slatyer First Assistant Secretary First Assistant Secretary The Hon Virginia
First Assistant Secretary Chadwick
Industry, Communities Policy Coordination Natural Resource
Chairman
and Energy Division 1 Water Resources Division Management
Barry Sterland Division Mark Tucker Programmes Division Sydney Harbour
First Assistant Secretary Malcolm Forbes First Assistant Secretary Kelly Pearce Federation Trust
First Assistant Secretary First Assistant Secretary A/g Geoff Bailey
Gerry Morvell Environment Quality
Executive Director
First Assistant Secretary A/g Division Parks Australia Division
Mary Harwood Peter Cochrane Office of the
International, Land and
First Assistant Secretary Director of National Parks Renewable Energy
Analysis Division 1
Regulator
Ian Carruthers Heritage Division Bruce Leaver
David Rossiter
First Assistant Secretary Peter Burnett First Assistant Secretary
Renewable Energy
First Assistant Secretary
Approvals and Wildlife Regulator
1 These divisions make up the Supervising Scientist Division
National Water
Australian Greenhouse Office Division Alex Rankin
Commission
Alan Hughes First Assistant Secretary A/g
Ken Matthews
First Assistant Secretary/
Chief Executive Officer
Supervising Scientist

15
Executive summary
Executive summary

Outcomes and outputs


The department’s outcomes and outputs structure as set out in the 2006–07
Portfolio Budget Statements is as follows:

Outcomes Outputs Sub-outputs

Outcome 1 1.1: Response to climate 1.1.1 International engagement


change
The environment, especially
those aspects that are matters 1.1.2 Emissions management
of national environmental
significance, is protected and 1.1.3 Understanding climate change
conserved

1.2: Conservation of the land 1.2.1 Land and water strategies


and inland waters
1.2.2 Land and water investments

1.2.3 Terrestrial parks and reserves

1.2.4 Tropical wetlands research

1.3: Conservation of the 1.3.1 Coastal strategies


coasts and oceans
1.3.2 Coastal investments

1.3.3 Marine conservation

1.4: Conservation of natural, Indigenous and historic heritage

1.5: Response to the impacts 1.5.1 Environmental assessments


of human settlements
1.5.2 Pollution prevention strategies

1.5.3 Supervision of uranium mines

1.5.4 Wildlife protection

Outcome 2 2.1: Antarctic policy


Australia’s interests in
Antarctica are advanced 2.2: Antarctic science

16 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Executive summary
Changes since the 2006–07 Budget
The department changed its outcomes and outputs structure during the year after
amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Order on 30 January 2007. The
department took responsibility for the Prime Minister’s National Plan for Water
Security, and incorporated new functions for water management transferred from
the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The department developed a new outcome (outcome 3) and two new outputs in
consultation with the minister and the Department of Finance and Administration
to encompass the new water functions. The new outcomes and outputs structure
was published in the 2007–08 Portfolio Budget Statements and the department will
report against it in 2008.

Financial summary
In 2006–07 the department administered a total expense budget of $1.035 billion.
The department performed well against this budget with minor variances in the
departmental accounts due to the removal of obsolete assets, and variances in
the administered accounts due to moving the budgets of some programmes to
2007–08.
The department’s appropriations increased in the 2007–08 Budget to deliver the
Australian Government’s ongoing environment programmes and new initiatives.

Budget 2006–07* Budget 2007–08**

Budget $ million Actual $ million Variation $ million Budget $ million

Departmental 415.268 421.101 (5.833) 570.217

Administered 619.301 594.280 25.021 965.746

Total 1,034.569 1,015.381 19.188 1,535.963

Outcome 1 906.303 886.311 19.992 1138.304

Outcome 2 128.266 129.070 (0.804) 130.689

Outcome 3*** 0.00 0.00 0.00 266.970

* After additional estimates


** Before additional estimates
*** The new water resources outcome

17
Outcome 1—Environment Climate change

19
Climate change
Outcome 1—Environment

The Department of the Environment and Water Resources, through its


Australian Greenhouse Office, leads the development and implementation of the
government’s major climate change strategies. The Australian Greenhouse Office
comprises the Industry, Communities and Energy Division and the International,
Land and Analysis Division.
Climate change

The department works closely with other departments, including the Department
of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Industry, Tourism and
Resources, to progress this work.

Main responsibilities for this output

International, Land and Analysis


t *OUFSOBUJPOBMFOHBHFNFOU Division
t $MJNBUFDIBOHFTDJFODF
t &NJTTJPOTNBOBHFNFOU Industry, Communities and
Energy Division

Objectives
International engagement
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climate change

Emissions management
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greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency
t -JNJU"VTUSBMJBTHSFFOIPVTFHBTFNJTTJPOTUPQFSDFOUPGMFWFMTCZ
2008–2012

Climate change science


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the capacity of regions, industries and communities to adapt to climate change
t %FMJWFSSPCVTUQSPKFDUJPOTPG"VTUSBMJBTQSPHSFTTJONFFUJOHJUTHSFFOIPVTFHBT
emissions target

20 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Results 2006–07

Outcome 1—Environment
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUQMBZFd an important role in the Prime Minister’s task
group on emissions trading; the secretary of the department was a
member of the group and the department is leading development of a
new national greenhouse and energy reporting system, one of the key
building blocks for emissions trading.

Climate change
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUDPOUJOVFEUPQMBZBLFZSPMFJOJOUFSOBUJPOBM
negotiations for long-term cooperative action on climate change.
A senior departmental officer is co-chairing United Nations talks on
global climate change action beyond 2012.
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUXBTBMFBEQMBZFSJO"VTUSBMJBTFTUBCMJTINFOUPGUIF
new Global Initiative on Forests and Climate which aims to reduce
deforestation and encourage sustainable management of forests.
t "VTUSBMJBXPSLFEXJUIQBSUOFSDPVOUSJFTJOFTUBCMJTIJOHQSPKFDUT
under the Asia–Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
Bilateral climate change partnerships also advanced with China and
other partners.
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of Australian Government’s adoption of the National Climate Change
Adaptation Framework. The department will implement the new
Australian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation.
t 5IF"VTUSBMJBO$MJNBUF$IBOHF4DJFODF1SPHSBNNFDPOUJOVFEUPTVQQPSU
cutting-edge research to improve understanding of climate change.
t 5IFMBUFTUBOOVBMFEJUJPOPG"VTUSBMJBT/BUJPOBM(SFFOIPVTF"DDPVOUT
showed Australia’s emissions projections were tracking slightly above
the 108 per cent Kyoto target. The government is considering further
measures to help meet the target.
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that $2.5 billion worth of investment from the corporate sector, were
selected to receive $410 million of government funding under the
$500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund.
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Solar Cities under this $75 million programme.
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extensions to rebates for solar panels in both urban and rural areas.
t $PNNVOJUZFOHBHFNFOUDPOUJOVFEUPHSPXMPDBMHPWFSONFOUT
covering 82 per cent of Australia’s population are now participating
in the Cities for Climate Protection Australia programme which has
celebrated its 10th anniversary.
t /FXFOFSHZFGmDJFODZNFBTVSFTGPSBQQMJBODFT FRVJQNFOUBOECVJMEJOHT
were announced.

21
Australia’s climate change strategy
Outcome 1—Environment

The Australian Government has a comprehensive strategy to respond to the


challenge of climate change in which it has already invested more than $3 billion.
The strategy’s major objectives are to:
t FOHBHFXJUIPUIFSDPVOUSJFTUPCVJMEBOFGGFDUJWFHMPCBMSFTQPOTFUPDMJNBUF
change that is environmentally effective, economically efficient and includes all
major emitters
Climate change

t SFEVDFHSFFOIPVTFFNJTTJPOTCZJNQSPWJOHFOFSHZFGmDJFODZJOWFTUJOHJOMPX
emissions technologies, such as renewable energy technologies and clean coal;
and investing in local and regional actions
t TVQQPSUTDJFOUJmDSFTFBSDIUPJNQSPWFVOEFSTUBOEJOHPGDMJNBUFDIBOHFBOE
its potential impacts, and assist industries and communities to adapt to the
unavoidable impacts.
In 2006–07 the Prime Minister announced emissions trading as a major new
component of the government’s climate change strategy. Emissions trading will
complement and build on past and present measures to tackle climate change
including the 2004 energy white paper, the 2004–05 Climate Change Strategy, and
the Measures for a Better Environment and Safeguarding the Future packages.
Recent developments in the international arena increased the impetus to develop
a more effective long-term global agreement that extends beyond 2012 when the
initial Kyoto Protocol targets expire. The need to take more effective global action
is being driven by advances in scientific understanding and increasing public
interest in the issue. A senior departmental officer is co-chairing United Nations
talks on global climate change action beyond 2012.

Emissions trading
Emissions trading will be the primary mechanism for achieving Australia’s
long-term goals for greenhouse emissions reduction. Australia will adopt a
domestic emissions trading system by 2012. The system will have a strong
economic foundation and will take into account global developments in
responding to climate change while preserving the international competitiveness
of Australia’s export industries that are emissions intensive. Through emissions
trading, the market will help Australia develop and implement cost effective
technologies for cutting greenhouse emissions.
The department played a key role in the development of the government’s
emissions trading strategy. The secretary, Mr David Borthwick, was a member of
the Prime Minister’s Emissions Trading Task Group, which provided detailed advice
on the nature and design of a workable global system in which Australia would be
able to participate. Departmental officers also provided technical advice to the task
group, including staff being seconded to the task group secretariat.

22 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


International engagement on climate change

Outcome 1—Environment
During 2006–07 Australia continued to pursue international action on climate
change by engaging with other countries through multilateral and bilateral forums.
The outcomes of these forums are discussed below.

United Nations climate change negotiations

Climate change
Australia is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change, the primary multilateral forum for addressing climate change.
The convention lays the basis for global action to protect the climate system for
present and future generations. The department played a major role as part of
the Australian delegation to the twice-yearly meetings of the convention, and
throughout 2006–07 the department’s representatives co-chaired several key
negotiations.
The head of the Australian Greenhouse Office, Mr Howard Bamsey, is currently
co-chairing the convention’s two-year Dialogue on Long-term Cooperative Action
to Address Climate Change. This dialogue is addressing issues such as developing
technology to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the unavoidable
impacts of climate change, and linking sustainable development and climate
change. These themes are also central to the work of the Asia–Pacific Partnership
on Clean Development and Climate, and the Group of Eight Plus (G8+) Dialogue
on climate change, clean energy and sustainable development. Australia is also
actively engaged in these forums.
In March 2007 Australia hosted a United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change workshop on reducing emissions from deforestation in
developing countries, and played a central role in driving progress on this
important issue.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an international panel of
scientists and researchers that is acknowledged by governments around the world,
including the Australian Government, for its authoritative advice on climate change
science. It was established by the World Meteorological Organization and the
United Nations Environment Programme in 1988. The main function of the panel
is to prepare comprehensive assessments of scientific and technical information
related to climate change. Its assessments and reports are based on published and
peer-reviewed scientific and technical literature.
In the first half of 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel published the first three
volumes of its Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007. These volumes

23
deal with the physical science basis of climate change; impacts, adaptation and
Outcome 1—Environment

vulnerability to climate change; and mitigation of climate change. The final


volume of the report, known as the Synthesis Report, consolidates key findings
from the other reports into an integrated form suitable for decision-makers from
government, business and industry. It will be released in November 2007.
The Fourth Assessment Report finds that warming of the climate system is
unequivocal, and confirms and strengthens the major conclusions detailed in the
Third Assessment Report, Climate Change 2001, on the impacts of climate change
Climate change

for Australia and the world.


The department is the Australian Government’s contact point with the
Intergovernmental Panel and played a key role in facilitating the government’s
review of the draft volumes of the Fourth Assessment Report. The department
was the lead Australian Government agency at the Intergovernmental Panel
meetings that approved the report, and negotiated the content of the summary
for policy makers for each volume. The department is currently leading the
Australian Government review of the draft Synthesis Report and the first draft of an
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Technical Paper on Climate Change
and Water, which will be released in April 2008.

Asia–Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate


In 2005 Australia was a key player in the establishment of the Asia–Pacific
Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, a regional initiative with the
United States, China, Japan, India and the Republic of Korea. The purpose of the
partnership is to develop, deploy and transfer technologies to address climate
change (see website at www.asiapacificpartnership.org). The partnership accounts
for almost half of the world’s population, gross domestic product, energy use and
greenhouse gas emissions.
At the inaugural ministerial meeting of the partnership in January 2006 the
Prime Minister announced an Australian Government commitment of $100 million
over five years to support practical projects; at least 25 per cent of the funding is
earmarked for renewable energy.
The partnership’s eight taskforces (on cleaner fossil energy, renewable energy and
distributed generation, power generation and transmission, aluminium, buildings
and appliances, cement, coal mining, and steel) have developed action plans which
were released by the Prime Minister in November 2006. At the same time the Prime
Minister announced the first $60 million of Australian Government funding for
42 of the initial cooperative projects. Since then, the government has announced
its support for an additional 21 projects, which fully commits project funding
under the $100 million initiative.

24 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Australia co-chairs the Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation Taskforce

Outcome 1—Environment
with the Republic of Korea. This taskforce has been particularly successful
in generating very strong industry engagement and support, including from
Australia’s renewable energy industry.
The department also has a lead role in the Buildings and Appliances Taskforce and
the Australian Government has approved funding of $6.2 million for seven projects
under this taskforce.

Climate change
Ministers from all partner countries will meet again in the latter half of 2007 to
review progress under the Asia–Pacific Partnership.

G8+ Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable


Development
The aim of the G8+ dialogue is to address the strategic challenge of transforming
existing energy systems to create a more secure and sustainable future. Members
representing more than 20 major greenhouse gas emitting countries have agreed
to work together on clean energy technologies. Other commitments include
devising a new model for cooperation between developed and developing
countries, and sharing experiences on adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Australia has participated in this important dialogue since its launch in 2005.

Global Initiative on Forests and Climate


On 29 March 2007 the Australian Government announced its $200 million Global
Initiative on Forests and Climate to support and encourage practical action
to help save the world’s forests and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
Deforestation is responsible for about 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas
emissions. Reducing deforestation, planting new forests and encouraging
sustainable forest management practices can quickly reduce global emissions.
For example, halving the rate of deforestation would reduce annual global
greenhouse gas emissions by around three billion tonnes.
The initiative will provide financial incentives to reduce deforestation, encourage
sustainable forest use and reforestation, support effective law enforcement,
build technical capacity, and develop and deploy the technology needed to help
developing countries monitor and produce robust assessments of their forest
resources.
The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources visited Indonesia and
the United States in April 2007 and both countries agreed to work with Australia
on this initiative. Officers from the department, AusAID and the Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry held discussions in Papua New Guinea and

25
Indonesia in May about potential projects. Follow-up discussions to develop
Outcome 1—Environment

projects in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other regional countries are
planned. Other countries including Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany
and New Zealand have welcomed the initiative. Australia hosted a major, high-level
meeting in Sydney in July 2007 that brought together countries and organisations
committed to reducing global deforestation.

Bilateral partnerships
Climate change

Australia continued to work with its bilateral climate change partners—China,


the United States, New Zealand, Japan, the European Union—and more recently
with South Africa. More than 60 cooperative projects responding to global climate
change are now under way through these partnerships. The partnerships also
provide a positive framework for high-level engagement on policy issues.
China: Further practical actions to address climate change were agreed under
the Australia–China Climate Change Partnership. In October 2006 ministers from
the two countries agreed on a statement of intent establishing the priority areas
for future project activity, and on 11 new joint projects in the areas of renewable
energy, energy efficiency, coal mine methane, and climate change science.
The then Minister for the Environment and Heritage used this opportunity to lead
a major renewable energy and energy efficiency business mission to China with the
involvement of over 36 Australian and more than 150 Chinese companies.
Early in 2007 the Australian Government announced the establishment of an
Australia–China joint coordination group on clean coal technology which will
complement work being undertaken through the bilateral partnership and the
Asia–Pacific Partnership.
United States: Five new bilateral climate change projects were agreed with the
United States in November 2006, bringing to 43 the total number of projects
agreed under the Australia–United States Climate Action Partnership. The projects
come under six themes: emissions measurement and accounting, climate change
science, stationary energy technology, engagement with business to create
economically efficient climate change solutions, forestry and agriculture, and
collaboration with developing countries to build their capacity to deal with climate
change.
New Zealand: Australia continued to work closely with New Zealand under the
Australia–New Zealand Climate Change Partnership to improve climate change
science and monitoring, and assist Pacific Island countries to address the regional
challenges posed by climate change. In March 2007 Australia and New Zealand
co-hosted a United Nations workshop to discuss policy approaches to reducing
emissions from deforestation in developing countries. Australia and New Zealand

26 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


continued their support for the Fiji Equipment Energy and Efficiency Programme

Outcome 1—Environment
to help Fiji implement a national energy efficiency standards and labelling scheme.
Japan: The Japan–Australia Practical Collaboration on Climate Change continued
to support useful exchanges of information and expertise between the two
countries, for example through the Asia–Pacific Seminar on Climate Change,
an annual network of climate change policy makers from the region, which is
primarily sponsored by Japan.

Climate change
European Union: In 2005 the department signed a memorandum of
understanding on end use energy efficiency programmes with the European
Commission’s Joint Research Centre. This agreement continues to promote energy
efficiency in Australia and the European Union through technical exchanges
including developing methodologies to assess the impact of energy efficiency
policies on buildings, mapping the potential to reduce the power consumption
of electronic appliances when on standby, and benchmarking the performance of
residential air conditioners.
South Africa: In May 2006 Australia announced a new bilateral climate change
partnership with South Africa. The partnership focuses on climate change
impacts and adaptation in the agriculture sector; climate change and biodiversity;
greenhouse gas emissions reporting and monitoring; and exchanging experiences
and lessons learned on climate change policies and measures, with particular
emphasis on clean coal technologies and regulatory and institutional frameworks.
In August 2006 South Africa hosted a delegation of Australian government,
industry and research organisation representatives under the partnership.
Three new bilateral projects are now being developed and implemented.

27
Greenhouse gas emissions management
Outcome 1—Environment

The Australian Government has implemented a range of policies and programmes


to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The programme’s aims are
to build partnerships with industry to improve energy efficiency, develop low
emissions technologies, and invest in local and regional actions to reduce
emissions.
Climate change

Some policies and programmes are focused on ensuring that Australia is meeting
its commitment to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to the levels
agreed during the 1997 Kyoto negotiations (108 per cent of the level of
1990 emissions by 2008–2012). Others are designed to support the development
of new technologies that will be required to make much larger cuts in Australia’s
emissions in the longer term.

Renewable and low emissions energy


The $75 million Solar Cities programme is demonstrating the costs and benefits
of solar power, energy efficiency, cost-reflective pricing and smart metering
technologies on a large scale. Successful Solar Cities sites announced during
2006–07 were Adelaide, Townsville, Blacktown and Alice Springs.
The Australian Government’s $500 million Low Emissions Technology
Demonstration Fund is operating from 2005–2020 to support the demonstration
of new low emission technologies with long-term greenhouse abatement potential.
The fund, which is managed jointly by the department and the Department of
Industry, Tourism and Resources, will leverage more than $2.5 billion worth of
investment from the corporate sector. Six projects were announced in 2006–07.
Three projects, totalling $1.5 billion including $225 million in government funding,
will be undertaken in Victoria. The government will contribute:
t $75 million for the construction of the world’s largest solar concentrator in the
Mildura region. This renewable energy power station will focus concentrated
sunlight onto high-efficiency photovoltaic cells to generate electricity
t $50 million for the Hazelwood 2030 project to retrofit brown coal drying
technology and incorporate a pilot carbon dioxide capture and underground
storage facility
t $100 million to build a 400 megawatt integrated drying gasification combined-
cycle power generation plant in the Latrobe Valley.
Two projects, totalling $643 million including $125 million in government funding,
will be undertaken in Queensland. The government will contribute:
t $75 million for a project to extract and burn methane from coal and inject and
store the carbon dioxide emissions underground

28 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


t $50 million for a world-first oxy-fuel demonstration project to retrofit the

Outcome 1—Environment
Callide power plant. This $188 million project involves burning coal in an
oxygen-rich environment to produce electricity. The resulting carbon dioxide
exhaust gases will be captured and stored underground.
A third project in Western Australia is receiving $60 million in funding.
The project will demonstrate liquefying of carbon dioxide from liquefied
natural gas processing, piping it to the injection site, injecting it 2.5 kilometres
underground into a geological structure and monitoring the stored carbon

Climate change
dioxide to ensure its safety.
The Low Emissions Technology and Abatement programme will reduce
greenhouse gas emissions over the longer term by supporting cost effective
abatement projects and the uptake of small scale, low emission technologies in
business, industry and local communities. The programme has three components
(geosequestration, strategic abatement and renewable energy), and is providing:
t $9 million to the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas
Technologies for the Otway Basin geological storage pilot project. The project
is monitoring the movement of carbon dioxide that has been geologically
stored. The first stage of the project is under way with a new injection well
drilled to a depth of 2,249 metres. The injection of carbon dioxide is expected
to take place in the second half of 2007.
t $3.5 million for 15 renewable energy projects. This component is also funding
development of a national wind code for the location of wind farms. The code
will provide consistency, certainty and transparency in public consultation and
approval processes.
t $1.75 million in grants to local communities for 22 strategic abatement projects
following assessment of 170 expressions of interest for grants.
The Wind Energy Forecasting Capability initiative will help increase the
value of wind energy in electricity markets by more accurately predicting wind
energy generation. An agreement was signed with the National Electricity Market
Management Company to implement software and systems. Under an international
tender process, a system provider was secured to implement the wind energy
forecasting system. Research to support system development is ongoing.
The department participates in selecting projects for funding under the
Renewable Energy Development Initiative. The initiative is administered
by AusIndustry and supports innovative renewable energy technologies
through grants for research and development, proof of concept and early stage
commercialisation. The initiative provides $100 million to industry from
2004–2011. So far over $51.9 million has been approved for 24 projects.
The Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies programme is funding five
projects worth more than $17.6 million to develop and demonstrate advanced

29
technologies for storing electricity generated through intermittent renewable
Outcome 1—Environment

sources, such as wind and solar. The projects commenced in June 2007 and will
run for three years. Further projects are being considered and more grants may be
approved later in 2007.
In August 2006 the Australian Government expanded the Renewable Remote
Power Generation Programme and extended it from June 2007 to June 2011.
This brings total Australian Government funding for the programme to over
$328.5 million.
Climate change

In 2006–07 $13.8 million was committed under the programme for around 400
grants to increase renewable energy generation in remote parts of Australia and to
reduce the amount of diesel used to generate electricity in areas not connected to
the main electricity grid. These grants brought the total number of projects funded
to over 4,000 and the total committed funding to $124 million. Projects cover all
mature renewable technologies including solar, wind and small hydroelectricity.
The Renewable Energy Commercialisation Programme ended in 2006–07.
Of the 49 projects funded, 34 were successfully completed. Of the remainder, nine
are being finalised and six have been terminated by mutual agreement. Promising
technologies funded included Origin Energy’s SLIVER solar cells, Solar Systems’
solar dishes, Oceanlinx’s wave powered generator, T3Energy’s Fusion6 solar
home heating system and Geodynamics’ hot rock energy project. High impact
demonstrations supported include the Solar Sailor solar-powered watercraft, a
building-integrated solar wall at Melbourne University, and solar panels on the roof
of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets.
The Renewable Energy Equity Fund continued to provide venture capital
to small, innovative renewable energy companies to help commercialise their
technologies. The government invested an additional $549,000 during 2006–07,
leveraging an additional $275,000 in private sector investment. These investments
involve three companies working on biofuels and marine energy.
The Photovoltaic Rebate Programme provides cash rebates for consumers
who install grid-connected or stand-alone photovoltaic systems. In 2006–07 the
programme provided over 1,200 rebates, representing more than $5.8 million
invested by the government in photovoltaic infrastructure. This brings the total
number of photovoltaic systems installed over the life of the programme to more
than 8,500. In the 2007 Budget the programme was expanded and the rebate
doubled.
The Mandatory Renewable Energy Target scheme aims to encourage
investment in renewable energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The scheme sets up a national renewable energy market based on a system of
tradable certificates. The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator administers the
scheme, although policy responsibility remains with the department.

30 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


The Australian Government committed to a mandatory renewable energy target of

Outcome 1—Environment
9,500 gigawatt hours by 2010 in the energy white paper Securing Australia’s Energy
Future. In 2006 the government made a number of legislative and regulatory
amendments to the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 to enhance market
transparency and improve business certainty, provide increased opportunities for
solar and bioenergy technologies, and improve the operational effectiveness and
efficiency of the legislation. The amendments were passed by parliament in June
2006 and came into effect on 11 September 2006.

Climate change
Action on energy efficiency
The department continued to support implementation of the National
Framework for Energy Efficiency. The framework delivers national energy
efficiency information and programmes. It focuses on increasing the energy
efficiency of residential and commercial buildings, appliances and equipment, and
energy use in the industrial and commercial sectors. It also covers training and
accreditation and increasing consumer awareness.
The department chairs and supports two committees under the framework.
The Building Energy Efficiency Committee is responsible for mandatory disclosure
of building energy performance data and developing energy performance
standards for inclusion in the Building Code of Australia. In 2006–07 the
committee completed a residential mandatory disclosure scoping study and issues
paper, and launched the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme website
(www.nathers.gov.au).
The National Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee implements
the national Minimum Energy Performance Standards and Labelling programme.
In 2006–07 the committee finalised strategies to reduce to a maximum of one watt
the standby power used by appliances and to phase out incandescent light bulbs. It
also increased its focus on enforcement with suppliers being held accountable for
misleading statements on energy efficiency where they cause a cost to consumers.

Building industry partnerships


Greenhouse Challenge Plus helps industry integrate greenhouse issues into
business decision-making, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the
uptake of energy efficiency measures. Greenhouse Challenge Plus has
720 business members Australia-wide, covering key industry sectors including
agriculture, electricity supply, oil and gas, aluminium, cement, mining and
manufacturing. These industries account for almost 50 per cent of Australia’s
industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Although member companies participate
in the programme voluntarily, since July 2006 companies receiving more than

31
$3 million per year of business fuel tax credits are required to join the programme
Outcome 1—Environment

to continue receiving these credits.


Greenhouse Challenge Plus has built the capacity of Australian business to
understand and address climate change and to report their greenhouse gas
emission levels more consistently. While the number of members has fluctuated
over the life of the programme, the coverage of emissions has increased. In
2006–07 this increase accounted for coverage of an additional 26 million tonnes of
Climate change

carbon dioxide equivalent per annum, or approximately 4 per cent of Australia’s


emissions. The total coverage of the programme is now more than 40 per cent of
Australia’s total emissions.
Greenhouse Friendly™ is part of Greenhouse Challenge Plus. Its focus is to
develop a credible, rigorous and independently verified voluntary greenhouse
gas abatement offset and carbon neutral certification scheme. Increasing public
awareness about climate change and growing business interest in the voluntary
offset market in Australia have resulted in a significant increase in interest in
Greenhouse Friendly™.
Greenhouse Friendly™ currently manages 17 carbon neutral certifications, with
a further 26 prospective carbon neutral certifications in the pipeline. In 2006–07,
Greenhouse Friendly™ abatement projects grew from 13 to 23 individually
approved projects. The programme is currently servicing 29 prospective
abatement providers seeking approval under the programme. Current total
abatement for the programme is now close to four million tonnes of carbon
dioxide equivalent, with nearly two million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
approved in 2006–07.
This year Greenhouse Friendly™ approved a variety of new abatement projects
and certified a number of greenhouse neutral services, products and organisations
including Virgin Airlines, Channel 7’s Sunrise, Mystique Printers and Renewtek IT
Services.
Examples of Greenhouse Friendly™ approved abatement projects include:
t .JOEJOHUIF$BSCPO4UPSF5IJTQSPKFDU PQFSBUFECZ5IF$BSCPO1PPM1UZ-UE 
offered financial inducement to landowners in Queensland for not clearing
remnant natural vegetation from land over which they have a valid tree-clearing
permit. Participating landowners vest carbon rights in The Carbon Pool Pty Ltd.
t -JHIUFO:PVS-PBE"VTUSBMJB5IJTQSPKFDU PQFSBUFECZ&BTZ#FJOH(SFFO TFFLT
to reduce household electricity consumption and associated greenhouse gas
emissions by facilitating the replacement of incandescent lights with more
efficient compact fluorescent lights.
The Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme provides funding for large-
scale projects that use low emissions technologies and practices including

32 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


energy efficiency, travel demand management, alternative fuels, coalmine

Outcome 1—Environment
gas technologies and fuel conversion. Twelve projects are on track to deliver
emissions reductions from 2008–2012. The most recent emissions projections
show that the programme will deliver a reduction of 4.74 million tonnes of
greenhouse gas emissions in 2010.
The department is working with major transport fleet operators to assess the
environmental and economic case for using compressed natural gas, liquefied

Climate change
natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in heavy vehicle fleet operations under
the Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme. This programme has shown
that alternative fuels make economic and environmental sense for some transport
tasks. The department will continue to work with transport operators, engine
manufacturers and fuel producers to explore practical options to improve the
efficiency of transport fuel usage.

Greenhouse and energy reporting


The department continued to deliver on the Australian Government’s 2004
energy white paper commitment to streamline greenhouse and energy reporting
by business. Streamlined reporting will reduce the burden placed on businesses
participating in greenhouse and energy programmes, and improve the quality of
the data reported.
The department continued to work with the states and territories to develop
a nationally consistent and streamlined framework for greenhouse and energy
reporting by business. In April 2007 the Council of Australian Governments agreed
to establish a national greenhouse gas emissions and energy reporting system, one
of the key building blocks for establishing an emissions trading scheme.

Local and regional action


The Australian Government helps local governments to reduce their greenhouse
gas emissions through the Local Greenhouse Action programme. The
programme includes Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia, which provides
assistance, information and incentives for local governments and communities to
understand and reduce the potential impacts of climate change.
In 2006–07 the department paid $400,000 in grants to support local council
activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Activities included education
initiatives for schools, businesses and the community; energy audits; energy
efficient products; and community greenhouse neutral and renewable energy
plans. Since the programme commenced in 1997 local councils have invested
$144 million, including $79 million for corporate measures and $65 million for
community measures, to reduce greenhouse emissions by about 8.8 million tonnes.

33
As of 30 June 2007 there were 220 local governments participating in the scheme,
Outcome 1—Environment

representing more than 82 per cent of the Australian population. The latest results
for 2005–06 show that local councils reduced their greenhouse emissions by
almost 2.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, a 43 per cent improvement
over 2004–05. The results for 2006–07 will be available in November 2007.

Results for Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia 2001–02 to 2006–07


Climate change

Year Emissions reduction (million tonnes Number of participating councils


carbon dioxide equivalent)

2001–02 Not available 170

2002–03 0.767 189

2003–04 1.0 203

2004–05 1.5 216

2005–06 2.9 218

2006–07 Available November 2007 220

Greenhouse Action to Enhance Sustainability in Regional Australia is a


$25 million programme funded to 2009. The programme works with partners to
trial new and improved agricultural and land management techniques, support
forest sink activities, and integrate greenhouse gas management with regional
resource management. Partnerships with rural research and development
corporations are increasing investment and ensuring practical outcomes that can
be adopted by industry.
In 2006–07 more than $7 million was invested in new projects, adding to the
$44 million previously invested by government and industry. The projects explored
ways to reduce methane emissions from livestock, studied emissions from
agricultural soils, and supported workshops for forest growers. The workshops
showed forest growers how to achieve carbon sequestration from forest sink
projects, and trained them to use the National Carbon Accounting Toolbox.
In April 2007 the Council of Australian Governments agreed to develop emissions
intensity benchmarking for agriculture. Industry views are contributing to
development of a framework for continuous improvement in both emissions
management and productivity.
The government announced a new measure in the 2007 Budget providing tax
deductions for investors who want to establish forests dedicated to removing
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This initiative is designed to stimulate
investment in this emerging type of greenhouse emissions abatement.
Work underpinning the initiative was carried out by the department and Treasury.

34 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


New householder and business initiatives

Outcome 1—Environment
Phase-out of inefficient light bulbs
The Australian Government, working with the states and territories, will gradually
phase out all inefficient incandescent light bulbs and is aiming for full enforcement
of new lighting standards and legislation by 2009–2010.
The transition to more efficient lights, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs,
which use just 20 to 25 per cent of the power of a comparable incandescent bulb

Climate change
and last four to 10 times longer, should reduce Australia’s annual greenhouse
gas emissions by four million tonnes from 2012. The reduction in emissions will
increase as the phase-out progresses and the annual average reduction between
2008 and 2012 is estimated at around 800,000 tonnes. Household lighting costs
could also be reduced by up to 66 per cent.

Small Business and Household Climate Change Action


The Australian Government will help households and small businesses become
more energy efficient through the Small Business and Household Climate Change
Action programme announced in March 2007. Under the programme, Australians
will be provided with information about climate change, how to become more
energy efficient, and how to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. Households
will also be given the opportunity to become ‘carbon neutral’ through the
Greenhouse Friendly™ initiative.

Greenhouse friendly refrigerants


The Australian Government is investing up to $2 million under the Greenhouse
Gas Abatement programme to increase the uptake of greenhouse friendly
refrigerants. The minister launched a pilot programme in February 2007 through
which the Natural Refrigerants Transition Board Ltd is trialling natural refrigerant
technologies in five supermarkets across Australia. The project has the potential
to be rolled out to an estimated 150 supermarkets across Australia and to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by more than 380,000 tonnes between 2008 and 2012.

35
Outcome 1—Environment

The Hawkesbury Forest Experiment


Climate change

Tree chambers cover growing eucalyptus saplings. Photo: Sally Tsoutas, University of Western Sydney

The department is providing $1.2 million to help fund the Hawkesbury


Forest Experiment being conducted at the Richmond campus of the
University of Western Sydney. The experiment is using whole tree chambers
to obtain information on how increased levels of atmospheric carbon
dioxide will affect the growth of eucalyptus trees and the amount of water
they use. This project will provide new information about the impacts of
climate change on rates of carbon sequestration.
The sealed chambers create a mini ecosystem. Some of the chambers have
carbon dioxide at the current level in the atmosphere, and others have
double that amount. The carbon dioxide levels and temperature can be
changed. Some of the trees will be well watered and others will be subjected
to drought conditions. The experiment will show how trees cope under
different conditions.
This information will help scientists make predictions about how Australia’s
eucalypt forests and woodlands will respond to rising carbon dioxide levels
over the next 50 years and what effect this will have on water availability
in catchments. For example, rising carbon dioxide may increase forest
productivity by accelerating the growth of the canopies and stems of trees.
Denser canopies may reduce the amount of rainfall reaching the soil, and
this in turn may reduce water flow into streams, rivers and groundwater
storage, resulting in less water available for industry and people.
The information will also help scientists work out the carbon storage
potential of forests and woodlands. For example, increased stem
productivity may lead to greater carbon storage in forests, thereby
decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, an important
factor for determining carbon credits.

36 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Understanding climate change

Outcome 1—Environment
The Australian Government’s response to climate change depends on having high
quality scientific knowledge about the contributing influences and mechanisms.
The government’s response also depends on the capacity to accurately measure
greenhouse gas emissions at a national and sectoral level, and the ability to identify
and respond to emerging issues.

Climate change
Australian Climate Change Science Programme
The Australian Climate Change Science Programme is supporting research into
the nature, causes, timing and implications of climate change for Australia. The
programme helps to maintain Australia’s world-class climate modelling capacity,
and is one of the main reasons Australia is recognised internationally for the quality
of its climate change science.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the
Bureau of Meteorology and a number of Australian universities are collaborating
to develop the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator with
support from the Australian Climate Change Science Programme. This simulator
is a major step forward in climate modelling that will allow Australia to keep pace
with emerging world’s best practice as the scope, sophistication and power of
climate modelling continues to grow.

National Climate Change Adaptation Programme


Some degree of climate change is inevitable due to the level of greenhouse gases
already in the atmosphere. The National Climate Change Adaptation Programme is
helping Australians manage the consequences of climate change.
In April 2007 the Prime Minister announced an intention to commit up to
$26 million to establish and manage the Australian Centre for Climate Change
Adaptation, and $100 million programme funding for the centre over five years.
The new centre will commission scientific work to develop practical responses to
climate change. The work will assist planning bodies, farmers, businesses and local
governments to understand the impacts of climate change and develop responses.
The centre will work closely with the states and relevant bodies to ensure the
National Climate Change Adaptation Framework, endorsed by the Council of
Australian Governments in April 2007, is adopted. The department played a
leadership role in developing the framework.
Other work under the programme in 2006–07 included:
t B$2 million partnership between the department and the Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park Authority to develop a climate change action plan for the reef,
which will be completed in 2007

37
t BQSFMJNJOBSZBTTFTTNFOUPGUIFSJTLDMJNBUFDIBOHFQPTFTUP"VTUSBMJBOXBUFS
Outcome 1—Environment

resources, and a partnership to study risks to Sydney’s water supply


t QSPHSFTTPOBOBUJPOBMBTTFTTNFOUPGUIFWVMOFSBCJMJUZPG"VTUSBMJBTDPBTUBM[POF
to the impacts of climate change, spanning risks to infrastructure, settlements
and ecosystems
t TDPQJOHTUVEJFTPGUIFJNQMJDBUJPOTPGDMJNBUFDIBOHFGPS"VTUSBMJBT8PSME
Heritage properties and National Reserve System.
Climate change

National Greenhouse Gas Inventory


In 2006–07 a new set of Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts was released.
The accounts were prepared in accordance with international guidelines under
the guidance of a national committee of federal, state and territory government
representatives. The accounts comprise:
t UIF/BUJPOBM(SFFOIPVTF(BT*OWFOUPSZ XIJDIJTFTUJNBUFEPOB,ZPUP
Protocol basis and is relevant for measuring progress towards the 108 per cent
target
t UIF4UBUFBOE5FSSJUPSZ(SFFOIPVTF(BT*OWFOUPSJFT XIJDIBSFBMTP
estimated on a Kyoto Protocol reporting basis
t UIF/BUJPOBM*OWFOUPSZCZ&DPOPNJD4FDUPS XIJDIJODMVEFTFTUJNBUFTPG
emissions by economic sector (e.g. residential) at both national and state levels
t UIF/BUJPOBM*OWFOUPSZ3FQPSU, which is Australia’s official submission to
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is prepared
according to the convention’s reporting provisions.
The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2005 was released in May 2007. The
inventory shows that national greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 were 2.2 per cent
higher than 1990 levels. This small increase in emissions is consistent with the
updated projections released in December 2006. The methods used to estimate
emissions, and the emission estimates, are available through the Australian
Greenhouse Emissions Information System at www.greenhouse.gov.au/inventory.

38 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Outcome 1—Environment
Sources of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 by sector
Megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent

300 50%

250

200

Climate change
150

16%
100 14%

50 6% 5% 6%
3%

0
Stationary Transport Fugitive Industrial Agriculture Land use, Waste
energy emissions processes land use change
and forestry

The National Inventory Report is subject to annual international expert review. The
draft review of the 2004 National Inventory Report recognised the completeness
and high quality of Australia’s inventory, and welcomed the refinements made to a
number of emissions estimation methodologies.
The review report will be published in the second half of 2007.

Greenhouse gas projections


The department prepares projections of Australia’s future greenhouse gas emissions.
The projections help the government to determine the extent to which its policies
and programmes have Australia on track to meet its international emissions target.
Updated projections, which follow accounting rules developed under the Kyoto
Protocol, were released in December 2006 in Tracking to the Kyoto Target 2006.
More information is available at www.greenhouse.gov.au/projections.
Tracking to the Kyoto Target 2006 forecasts Australia will reach 603 million tonnes
of greenhouse emissions (carbon dioxide equivalent) annually over 2008–2012,
which is 109 per cent of 1990 levels. The new projection is slightly higher than the
Kyoto Protocol target and reflects stronger growth of emissions from electricity
generation. Without the current measures emissions growth would have reached
125 per cent of the 1990 level by 2010. The Australian Government is considering
further measures to help meet the Kyoto Protocol target.
Current actions by all levels of government and by industry and households are
projected to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 87 million tonnes of
carbon dioxide equivalent by 2010—equal to eliminating all emissions from the
transport sector.

39
Outcome 1—Environment

Australia’s 2006 greenhouse gas emissions projections (1990–2020)

850
Megatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent

800

750

700

650
Climate change

600

550

500

450

400
1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020

with emissions reduction measures business as usual Kyoto Protocol target

National Carbon Accounting System


Australia’s ability to account for greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s
land systems is provided through the world-leading National Carbon Accounting
System, which uses computer-based land systems modelling and observations to
provide a national map of emissions at a sub-hectare scale.
This year many of the fundamental datasets, such as climate and remotely
sensed vegetation cover change, were updated to current time. Research and
development activities, largely jointly conducted with state and territory agencies,
the CSIRO, universities and private sector interests, also helped to improve the
system and expand its capability.
The National Carbon Accounting Toolbox released in March 2005 enables
landholders to examine the history of their properties through a time-series
archive of remotely sensed images, and to model the greenhouse gas implications
of agricultural and forestry activities. The toolbox is being widely adopted, and
training and support has become a major activity. Widespread use of the toolbox is
producing more consistent, robust data to underpin policy and market decisions.

40 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Results for performance indicators

Outcome 1—Environment
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

International engagement—influencing international climate change policy

Extent of influence in key international, Played a key role in developing 8 industry–government task force
regional and bilateral climate change action plans under the Asia–Pacific Partnership on Clean Development
processes on issues for which the and Climate

Climate change
department has lead responsibility
Announced 63 projects including developing renewable energy
technologies, clean fossil fuels, and increased energy efficiency worth
$100 million
Hosted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
workshop on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing
countries and provided 13 submissions to influence broader
international climate change policy
Oversaw the review of the draft volumes of the Fourth Assessment
Report, Climate Change 2007
Was the lead Australian Government agency at the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change and was instrumental in negotiating the
Summary for Policy Makers for each volume. Currently leading the
Australian Government review of the draft Synthesis Report and the
first draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change technical
paper on climate change and water
Implemented the Global Initiative on Forests and Climate announced
in March 2007 with $200 million project funding
Played a key role in several other international forums on post-2012
action on climate change and continued to develop and deliver both
bilateral and plurilateral climate change partnerships

Number of initiatives delivered Delivered almost 50 new initiatives, including 27 under the Asia–
through key international, regional and Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate;
bilateral processes 17 new cooperative climate change projects under Australia’s bilateral
partnerships with the United States, China, Japan, the European
Union, New Zealand and South Africa; and the new Global Initiative on
Forests and Climate

Effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Percentage of total emissions in 2005 (latest available figures, published May 2007): (i) stationary
Australia by sector (i) stationary energy energy 49.9% (ii) transport 14.4% (iii) fugitive emissions 5.6% (iv)
(ii) transport (iii) fugitive emissions (iv) industrial processes 5.3% (v) agriculture 15.7% (vi) land use change
industrial processes (v) agriculture (vi) and forestry 6% (vii) waste 3%
land use change and forestry and (vii)
waste

Actual and projected greenhouse Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors totalled
emissions in Australia (megatonnes of 559.1 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent in 2005 under the
carbon dioxide equivalents) from 1990 accounting provisions applying to Australia’s 108% emissions target.
base compared with business as usual This is a 2.2% increase over 1990 levels
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are currently projected to reach
109% of 1990 levels or 603 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents
over the period 2008–2012
In the absence of greenhouse measures, emissions would have
reached 125% of 1990 levels by 2010

41
Outcome 1—Environment

Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Emissions management

Effectiveness of support for Emissions management measures continued to receive a high level
greenhouse response within sectors of support from sectors. Greenhouse Challenge Plus has 720 business
members Australia-wide representing electricity supply, oil and gas,
aluminium, cement, mining and manufacturing sectors. The coverage
of emissions reported accounts for approximately 26 million tonnes
of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, or around 4% of Australia’s
Climate change

emissions. The key industry sectors covered by the programme


account for almost 50% of Australia’s industrial emissions
The most recent projections show the Greenhouse Gas Abatement
Programme will deliver a reduction of 4.74 million tonnes of carbon
dioxide equivalent by 2010
Greenhouse FriendlyTM achieved nearly 2 million tonnes of carbon
dioxide equivalent abatement
Cities for Climate ProtectionTM Australia’s membership has grown
to 220 local councils, representing more than 82% of Australia’s
population

Reported abatement activity including Reported in Tracking to the Kyoto Target 2006, released on
emissions reductions and energy 20 December 2006
savings
The combined effect of greenhouse gas abatement measures is
expected to cut annual emissions by 87 million tonnes of carbon
dioxide equivalent by 2010

Extent of engagement of key There is a high level of engagement with all major sectors and key
stakeholders stakeholders in greenhouse gas emissions management strategies.
(Refer to examples provided for ‘effectiveness of support for
greenhouse response within sectors’)

Extent of support for long-term low Six significant long-term low emissions technology projects,
emission technology uptake announced in 2006–07, are being supported under the $500 million
Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund with corporate
investment of more than $2.5 billion. State and territory governments
will be providing $130 million to support these projects

Estimated cost (government funds) of Based on 2006 projections of abatement from 2008–2012, and actual
greenhouse abatement ($ per tonne) and projected Australian Government funding for programmes,
the cost of abatement to the Australian Government in this period
averages $5.60 per tonne

42 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Outcome 1—Environment
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Emissions management (continued)

Reporting systems are appropriately The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory was reviewed independently
targeted for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
and, in addition to complying with requirements, was recognised for
its completeness, high quality inventory and emissions estimation
methodologies
Under Greenhouse Challenge Plus, 720 business members report

Climate change
annually and publicly about their progress towards reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. While the number of members has
fluctuated over the life of the programme, the coverage of emissions
increased by approximately 4% of Australia’s emissions in 2006–07
The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives reports
annually to the department on the progress of the Cities for Climate
Protection Australia programme, including greenhouse gas abatement
achieved by local governments and communities
Reporting systems for the Renewable Remote Power Generation
programme were established under partnership agreements between
the Australian Government and participating states and territories

Risks to programme delivery identified Comprehensive risk management plans are in place for each
and managed programme

Investment dollars (or contributory Under the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund alone,
funding) leveraged by projects and the Australian Government’s investment of $410 million is leveraging
programmes from other parties corporate investment of $2.5 billion

Understanding climate change

Investment dollars (or in-kind Over $7.3 million leveraged from other parties in 2006–07
contribution) leveraged from other parties
for climate change science priorities

Extent to which climate change policy The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) implemented the Plan
is integrated in national policies and for Collaborative Action on Climate Change to coordinate national
programmes and inter-jurisdictional climate change policy
processes
In April 2007 COAG agreed to develop and implement a national
mandatory greenhouse and energy reporting scheme to commence
in 2008
The Australian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation will work closely
with the states and relevant bodies to implement the National Climate
Change Adaptation Framework. COAG endorsed the framework in
April 2007
The Australian Climate Change Science Programme supports
collaboration with CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and Australian
universities in developing the Australian Community Climate and
Earth System Simulator
Climate change is included in the Environment Protection and
Heritage Council’s Strategic Plan 2006–2008
The Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council is responding
to climate change through 11 priority projects

43
Outcome 1—Environment

Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Understanding climate change (continued)

Trends in community responses to key Developmental research was undertaken during the year. Results have
policy issues yet to be finalised

Climate change publications that meet The department prepared more than 30 publications (reports,
targeted stakeholder needs guidelines etc) to meet the needs of industry, government and
non-government stakeholders and the public, and received a strong
Climate change

positive response from stakeholders


Newsletters, fact sheets and similar material were published, providing
up-to-date information about climate change activities to stakeholder
groups

Comprehensiveness and timeliness of Milestones in programme development and implementation were


monitoring and public reporting on announced publicly and in a timely fashion
the implementation of programmes

Development of consistent An ongoing programme of continuous improvement is in place to


measurement of abatement across project greenhouse gas emissions, measure abatement across sectors
programmes and programmes, and estimate overall abatement

Number of reports and submissions The National Greenhouse Account reports, methodology papers and
made in accordance with national and related products were published. There were 23 publications in total
international commitments and level
Updated projections in the sub-sectors of stationary energy, industrial
of user interest
processes, transport, fugitive emissions, waste, agriculture and
land use change were published. An update of Australia’s projected
emissions, Tracking to the Kyoto Target 2006, showed Australia is close
to meeting its Kyoto target

Output 1.1—Response to climate change

Policy advisor role: The minister Minister was satisfied with timeliness and quality of briefs. The
is satisfied with the timeliness and department has experienced challenges in responding to the
accuracy of briefs and draft ministerial unprecedented volume of correspondence now being received, but
correspondence provided by the procedural adjustments and new systems have improved timeliness
department

Provider role 1: Percentage of 100%


payments that are consistent with
the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Price See resources table below

1 Applies only to the administration of grants programmes funded entirely from departmental funding for this output. Any
grants programmes within this output that are wholly or partially funded through administered appropriations are separately
reported.

44 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Resources

Outcome 1—Environment
Elements of pricing Budget prices Actual expenses
$’000 $’000

Departmental outputs

Sub-output 1.1.1: International engagement 13,744 14,416


Sub-output 1.1.2: Emissions management 30,512 30,642

Climate change
Sub-output 1.1.3: Understanding climate change 17,749 17,752

Total Output 1.1 62,005 62,810

Administered items

Influencing international climate change policy 3,050 3,038


Solar Cities 3,000 3,000
Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies 500 500
Action on Energy Efficiency 850 850
Local Greenhouse Action 400 400
Low Emissions Technology and Abatement 6,769 6,736
Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme 17,912 17,721
Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme 2,358 2,354
Renewable Energy Commercialisation Programme 1,079 1,519
Renewable Energy Equity Fund 1,116 819
Photovoltaic Rebate Programme 6,245 6,242
Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme 14,120 13,837
Greenhouse Action to Enhance Sustainability in Regional Australia 3,853 3,854
Climate Change Science Programme 7,850 7,834

Total (Administered) 69,102 68,704

45
Outcome 1—Environment Land and inland waters

47
Land and inland waters
The department develops and implements Australian Government initiatives to
protect and conserve Australia’s terrestrial environments, biodiversity and inland
Outcome 1—Environment

waters. During the year, the department also became the lead department for
water resource issues across the Australian Government.

Main responsibilities for this output

t 5FSSFTUSJBMCJPEJWFSTJUZDPOTFSWBUJPO
t 5FSSFTUSJBMJOWBTJWFTQFDJFTQPMJDZBOEUISFBU
Land and inland waters

abatement plans
Marine and Biodiversity
t /BUVSBMSFTPVSDFTBOEOBUJWFWFHFUBUJPO
Division
policy
t &OWJSPONFOUBMBTQFDUTPGSFHJPOBMGPSFTU
agreements

t /BUJPOBM1MBOGPS8BUFS4FDVSJUZ
t /BUJPOBM8BUFS*OJUJBUJWF
t .VSSBZo%BSMJOH#BTJO Water Resources Division
t 8BUFSRVBMJUZNBOBHFNFOU Water Assets and Natural
t (SFBU"SUFTJBO#BTJOBOE-BLF&ZSF#BTJO Resources Division
t 8BUFSFGmDJFODZMBCFMMJOH
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t 4VQQPSUGPSUIF/BUJPOBM"DUJPO1MBOGPS Management Programmes
Salinity and Water Quality Division
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Parks Australia Division
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Supervising Scientist
inventory
Division
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48 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Objectives
Land strategies
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Outcome 1—Environment
their biodiversity, is ecologically sustainable and that impacts on terrestrial
biodiversity and ecosystem services, including habitat loss, invasive species and
climate change, are addressed
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and ecosystem services
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of market incentives

Land and inland waters


Water strategies
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t 8PSLXJUIHPWFSONFOUT JOEVTUSZBOEDPNNVOJUZTUBLFIPMEFSTUPBTTJTUUIFN
to achieve the more sustainable management of water resources, and to
increase the efficiency with which water resources are used
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international significance

Land and water investments


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Terrestrial parks and reserves


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and representative system of protected areas
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understanding of biodiversity

Tropical wetlands research


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Australia

49
Results 2006–07

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Outcome 1—Environment

bringing the total to over 7,533,288 hectares. Three more Indigenous


Protected Areas were declared covering 4,501,870 hectares, and bringing
the total area to over 18.5 million hectares.
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hailed it a success for bringing significant bioregions into the National
Reserve System and providing significant social benefits to Indigenous
Australians.
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Land and inland waters

programmes for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
and entered into 322 perpetual covenants with landholders protecting
92,707 hectares of private land.
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acquired 17 properties with high conservation value. The properties are
in four states and cover 98,408 hectares.
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National Plan for Water Security.
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treatment projects. These projects will save around 8,000 megalitres
of water each year and treat water from a catchment area of
1,505,254 hectares. Community groups are contributing 2,981,285
volunteer hours and $16,951,981 in leveraged funding.
t  QSPEVDUTXFSFSFHJTUFSFEVOEFSUIF8BUFS&GmDJFODZ-BCFMMJOHBOE
Standards Scheme, bringing the number of registered products to 7,759
since the scheme began in July 2005. The scheme enables consumers to
choose the most water efficient appliances and reduces water wastage.
t 5IF5BTNBOJBO.PMF$SFFL1SPHSBNNFQSPUFDUFEIFDUBSFTPG
forest and limestone karst on private land. The Tasmanian Forest
Tourism initiative invested $3 million to improve forest-based tourism
including in the Tarkine region. The Tasmanian Forest Conservation
Fund commenced its first tender round and attracted 236 landowner
expressions of interest.

50 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Land strategies
The department works with other Australian Government agencies, state and
territory governments, representative and research bodies, and internationally

Outcome 1—Environment
to implement a range of strategies to ensure the long-term protection and
ecologically sustainable management of Australia’s terrestrial environments.

National Biodiversity Strategy


The 1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity
(National Biodiversity Strategy)1 provides the framework for Australia’s biodiversity
policies. The strategy covered the 10 years to 2005 and fulfils Australia’s obligation

Land and inland waters


as a party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to have a
national biodiversity strategy in place.
In 2006–07 the department initiated a review of National Biodiversity Strategy and
policies following the 8th conference of the parties to the convention, which was
held in Brazil in March 2006. The review will draw on biodiversity conservation
work undertaken by all levels of government during the last five years.
The department is providing the secretariat to the review. In 2006–07 consultations
occurred with Indigenous stakeholders and with peak industry and environment
groups. The review is ongoing and its outcomes are expected to be considered by
the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council in November 2008.

International biodiversity activities


The department is responsible for Australia’s implementation of the United
Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, to which Australia is a party.
The department reviewed and revised Australia’s Clearing House Mechanism for
the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Australia’s Clearing House
Mechanism gives the public and parties to the convention easy access to a range
of technical and scientific information on Australia’s activities and capabilities
in biodiversity conservation. The mechanism supports technical and scientific
exchange between convention parties.
The Clearing House Mechanism is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/
biodiversity/international/clearing-house-mechanism/index.html.
The department is also responsible for Australia’s response to the United Nations
Convention to Combat Desertification, which provides a framework for Australia’s
technical assistance to developing countries combating the environmental, social
and economic consequences of land degradation and desertification. As part of

1 The National Biodiversity Strategy addresses terrestrial, aquatic and marine biodiversity.

51
Australia’s support for the 2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification,
the department produced a series of publications, created a new website on
desert knowledge and sponsored the 2006 Desert Knowledge symposium entitled
Global Desert Opportunities. The symposium, which was held in Alice Springs,
drew participants from around the world to explore innovative approaches to
Outcome 1—Environment

sustainable livelihoods and resources management in desert environments.

Pests, weeds and diseases


Pests, weeds and diseases threaten Australia’s terrestrial environments and their
biodiversity, and the department is working in a number of ways to reduce these
threats.
Land and inland waters

Threat abatement plans


Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,
the department develops and supports the implementation of threat abatement
plans. These plans set out the actions needed to reduce the impacts of listed key
threatening processes, such as pests and diseases, on affected native species or
ecological communities. Threat abatement plans are reviewed every five years.
To date there are nine threat abatement plans operating for the terrestrial key
threatening processes listed under the Act. Five of these plans are currently under
revision following a review. A threat abatement plan is also being developed
to protect Australian native species from predation by exotic rodents on small
offshore islands.

Status of terrestrial threat abatement plans at 30 June 2007

Title Approved Comment

Competition and land degradation by feral goats 1999 Under revision

Competition and land degradation by feral rabbits 1999 Under revision

Predation by the European red fox 1999 Under revision

Predation by feral cats 1999 Under revision

Dieback caused by the root-rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi 2001 Under revision

Beak and feather disease affecting endangered psittacine species 2005 Current

Predation, habitat degradation, competition and disease transmission by 2005 Current


feral pigs

Infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis 2006 Current

Reduction in impacts of tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories 2006 Current

Predation of Australian native species by exotic rodents on small offshore Under development
islands

52 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


The department collaborates with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry and other stakeholders including the states and territories, and private
landholders to develop and implement threat abatement plans and projects.

Invasive species threat abatement activities

Outcome 1—Environment
In 2006–07 the department invested $2.8 million from the Natural Heritage Trust
to reduce threats from terrestrial invasive species to native species and ecological
communities. Projects focused on research and development of new control
measures for invasive species (e.g. Phytophthora species and feral cats); identifying
the impacts of invasive species (e.g. the effects of translocated native fish and
ornamental fish in the wild); and researching wildlife diseases (e.g. emerging

Land and inland waters


amphibian diseases associated with chytridiomycosis).
The department continued to work with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries
and Forestry to enhance Australia’s biosecurity system for primary production
and the environment. Progress was made in drafting an intergovernmental
agreement to give effect to this work. The Natural Resources and Primary
Industries ministerial councils agreed to share the costs of responding to nationally
significant incursions of invasive species.
The department helped draft the Australian Pest Animal Strategy. The Natural
Resources and Primary Industries ministerial councils endorsed the strategy in
April 2007. The strategy will be a key component of the Australian biosecurity
system by preventing the introduction of feral animals and controlling established
species.

Weed management
The department jointly manages the Defeating the Weed Menace Programme
with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The programme
identifies Australia’s most threatening weeds and implements measures for their
management.
In 2006–07, $4.6 million was invested in research and development projects,
with an extra $3.8 million allocated for targeted on-ground weed control, to be
completed by June 2008.
Specific national projects funded to meet national weed policy objectives include:
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The department is responsible for implementing the Community and Industry
Engagement Plan, the major communications component of the programme.

53
The department coordinated the review of the 1997 National Weeds Strategy.
The revised Australian Weeds Strategy was approved by the Natural Resource
Management Ministerial Council in November 2006. It identifies priorities and
provides a consistent national framework for weed management across Australia.
Outcome 1—Environment

Sustainable firewood use


The unsustainable collection of firewood from native woodlands has been
identified as a threat to the ongoing viability of woodland species because fallen
and dead wood provides habitat and food for a wide range of species.
A revised Voluntary Code of Practice for Firewood Merchants was endorsed by the
Land and inland waters

Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council in 2005. The firewood industry


has formed the Firewood Association of Australia, whose members must comply
with the Voluntary Code of Practice. In 2006 the department provided Natural
Heritage Trust funding of $500,000 over two years to the Firewood Association of
Australia to assist it to build its membership and encourage the use of sustainably
sourced firewood.

Conservation incentives
With 77 per cent of Australian land in private ownership, the department is
continuing efforts to extend the protection of biodiversity on private land and to
enhance the mechanisms for providing this protection.

Maintaining Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots Programme


Biodiversity hotspots are areas that support largely intact natural ecosystems
where native species and communities are well represented and there is a high
diversity of species which are not found or are rarely found outside the hotspot. In
2003, the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, comprising Australia’s leading
scientific experts in this field, identified 15 hotspots across Australia.
The Australian Government is providing $36 million over 2004–2008 under the
Maintaining Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots Programme to promote active
conservation management and protect these and other hotspots. The programme
supports two activities:
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existing natural habitats with high conservation values on their land.
t *UQSPWJEFTQBZNFOUTUPDPOTFSWBUJPOHSPVQTUPQVSDIBTFMBOEUPCFNBOBHFE
for conservation in areas identified as biodiversity hotspots.
The programme has already invested some $12 million in a range of initiatives
and expects to invest a further $21 million over the next year in projects across
Australia. Projects funded in 2006–07 include:

54 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


t $1,650,000 for the Daintree Conservation Initiative to acquire two high
conservation value properties, employ a community conservation officer,
implement a weed management strategy and feral pig control programme
in partnership with Douglas Shire Council in Queensland, and undertake a
national media campaign to promote rainforest conservation

Outcome 1—Environment
t $203,500 for the Cassowary Conservation Project to acquire property
containing essential cassowary habitat, operate a cassowary hospital at Garner’s
Beach, and undertake various threat abatement activities. The project also
contributed to cassowary DNA research undertaken by CSIRO.
The Australian Government has now approved the investment of $12.7 million in
2007–08, including $5.2 million to acquire 736,674 hectares of private land, and

Land and inland waters


up to $7.5 million for targeted stewardship investments in Queensland, Western
Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.

Conservation covenants
Eligible landholders can access Natural Heritage Trust funding or Australian
Government taxation incentives in return for entering into formal conservation
agreements such as covenants.
Landowners entering into conservation covenants, either individually or with
eligible organisations under a conservation covenanting programme, can claim
income tax concessions subject to their incurring a loss of more than $5,000 in the
market value of their properties as a result of entering into the covenant.
There are currently 10 conservation covenanting programmes approved by the
Australian Government for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
In 2006–07 these covenanting programmes entered into 322 perpetual covenants
with landholders protecting 92,707 hectares of private land.

Revolving funds
Revolving funds are another conservation mechanism to establish conservation
covenants. The funds are used to purchase land with high conservation value
and to attach a conservation covenant to the title of the land to provide for
conservation management in perpetuity. The properties are then resold to buyers
who have indicated their interest in maintaining biodiversity values. The proceeds
from the sale of properties are used to buy more properties and to sell them with a
conservation covenant in place.
The Australian Government has provided funding under the Bush for Wildlife
initiative to five not-for-profit organisations to operate revolving funds. These are
the Trust for Nature in Victoria, the National Trust of Australia in Western Australia,
the Nature Foundation South Australia, the Queensland Trust for Nature and the
Nature Conservation Trust of New South Wales. In 2006–07 the revolving funds
acquired 17 properties with a total area of 98,408 hectares.

55
Environmental Stewardship Programme
In the 2007 Budget the Australian Government announced funding for the
establishment of a new Environmental Stewardship Programme. This programme
will commence in 2007–08 with a budget of $50 million in its first four years.
Outcome 1—Environment

The programme will provide market-based incentives for private land managers
to engage in the long-term protection and rehabilitation of matters of national
environmental significance as listed under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
These matters include nationally endangered or vulnerable species and ecological
communities, natural values associated with world heritage and national heritage
listed places, and migratory species and wetlands for which Australia has
Land and inland waters

international responsibilities.
Land managers will be selected by market-based mechanisms for participation in the
programme, and will be invited to enter into contracts of up to 15 years duration.

Native vegetation management


The National Framework for the Management and Monitoring of Australia’s
Native Vegetation is an agreement made in 2001 between federal, state and
territory governments for a coordinated national approach to native vegetation
management. Under the agreement, governments agreed to reverse the long-term
decline in the extent and quality of Australia’s native vegetation.
In 2005 the federal, state and territory governments began reviewing and revising
the national framework. The revised framework will identify national policy
priorities and directions for the management of native vegetation. The department
provides the secretariat to the review.
In 2006–07 consultations were held with jurisdictions on the revised framework,
and development continued of best practice mechanisms for management, data
collection, monitoring and evaluation. A revised framework is expected to be
completed in 2008.

Native vegetation information


The department continued work to improve the National Vegetation Information
System, comprising maps of Australia’s major vegetation types. The system
provides information to assist land managers, scientists and other decision-
makers involved in native vegetation management. The work is shared with the
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
In 2006–07 the department published Australia’s Native Vegetation: A Summary
of Australia’s Major Vegetation Groups. The report includes vegetation maps and
graphs detailing the impacts on native vegetation since European settlement in
Australia. The maps and graphs substantially improve the quality of information

56 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


available to natural resource managers, researchers and educators on the
distribution of native vegetation communities.
The report is available on the department’s website at
http://www.environment.gov.au/erin/nvis/index.html.

Outcome 1—Environment
Native vegetation assessment
The department continued to work with stakeholders to develop nationally agreed
indicators for monitoring and evaluating native vegetation. Work completed includes
baseline and change information on vegetation cover for the National Vegetation
Information System, interim national indicators for native vegetation condition,
and pilot studies to test the indicators in the Northern Territory and New South

Land and inland waters


Wales. Work is continuing through the Executive Steering Committee for Australian
Vegetation Information to finalise these indicators for reporting purposes.

Rangelands conservation
The Australian Collaborative Rangelands Information System (ACRIS) is a national
reporting system that brings together information about natural resources and
biodiversity in rangelands and how rangelands are changing over time. The
department chairs the ACRIS Management Committee, through which governments
and researchers are working together to improve the reporting system.
The committee continued to work with the National Land and Water Resources
Audit on a report about changes in rangelands. The report will cover a number of
themes with indicators for biodiversity, landscape and ecosystem change; climate
variability; and sustainable management. The information will help property and
natural resource managers and regional decision-makers to make management
decisions based on the best understanding of changes in environmental condition.
The report is expected to be published in late 2007.
In 2006–07 the department released a new series of best practice reports for
land managers and industry about how to manage biodiversity in rangelands.
Issues covered include total grazing pressure, fire management, financial and
environmental impacts of pastoral management decisions, and industry specific
guidelines for sustainability, biodiversity monitoring, and water and weed
management.
Copies of the reports can be obtained from the department. All reports can be
downloaded from the departmental website at
http://www.environment.gov.au/about/publications/index.html.

Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement


The Australian and Tasmanian governments are investing $250 million over
six years (2004–2010) through the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement to

57
enhance the protection of Tasmania’s forest environment and to promote growth
in the Tasmanian forest industry. In 2007 Tasmania released its revised permanent
forest estate policy under which native forest clearing and conversion to other land
uses will cease on public land by 2010 and on private land by 2015. These phase-
outs may be achieved earlier through voluntary action, as announced in June 2007
Outcome 1—Environment

by Forestry Tasmania and by Gunns Limited. Under the agreement, Tasmania


has also developed new statutory measures to prevent the clearing of rare and
threatened non-forest vegetation communities.
In 2006–07 the department began implementing the environmental aspects of
the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement including the Forest Conservation
Fund, Mole Creek Karst Forest Programme, Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative,
Land and inland waters

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Programme, and River Catchment Water Quality
Initiative.

Forest Conservation Fund


The Forest Conservation Fund aims to protect up to 45,600 hectares of forested
private land in reserves. The fund will target up to 25,000 hectares of old growth
forest and forest communities that are under-represented in reserves.
The first round seeking voluntary agreements with landowners to protect forest
on private land closed on 7 May 2007. The department received 236 requests from
landowners for site assessments. Applications are currently being assessed.
The Forest Conservation Fund includes $3.6 million to reserve up to 2,400 hectares
of forest in the Mole Creek area—an area of spectacular ‘karst’ or limestone cave
country. The department received registrations of interest from 30 landholders
who want to conserve karst landscapes on their property. Negotiations with
interested landowners are currently taking place.

Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative


The Australian Government is providing funds to support the development of
environmentally sensitive tourism and recreation in Tasmania’s forests, including
$1 million for the Tarkine Bushwalk Programme and $2 million for the Tasmanian
Forest Tourism Development Programme to improve visitor facilities in the new
reserves created under the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement. The two
programmes are administered as the Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative.
In 2006–07 the department conducted a funding round seeking suitable proposals
for environmentally sensitive tourism infrastructure in Tasmania. Twenty-three
proposals were received. Successful proposals will be announced in 2007–08.

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Programme


The Australian Government is providing $2 million over two years (2005–2007) to
accelerate research into a cure for the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease.

58 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


The impact of the facial tumour disease prompted the Tasmanian devil’s listing
in July 2006 as a vulnerable species under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. First detected in Tasmania in the mid-1990s,
the disease is a fatal cancer that has killed some 50 per cent of Tasmania’s wild
population of devils. The disease has been confirmed at 60 different locations

Outcome 1—Environment
across 59 per cent of the Tasmanian mainland.

Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease


The Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease Programme has made
significant progress in determining the disease’s cause and mode of

Land and inland waters


transmission as well as establishing insurance populations on mainland
Australia, with 47 devils placed in four breeding facilities. Disease
suppression trials are under way on the Forestier Peninsula in Tasmania
and genetic investigations, immune response and transmission trials are
seeking further insights into what makes the devils susceptible to this
cancer. Toxicological investigations are also under way to assess the level
of chemicals within the devils’ tissue. Mapping and monitoring of disease
within populations are improving understanding of the disease’s progress
across Tasmania.
The Devil Disease Project Team recently captured 31 wild Tasmanian
devils from the west coast in preparation for establishing a population on
an offshore island, subject to Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 consideration. The Australian Government
committed a further $1 million to continue efforts in 2007–08 to protect
the species in the wild and to work towards finding a cure.

River Catchment Water Quality Initiative

The River Catchment Water Quality Initiative is a joint funding agreement between
the Australian and Tasmanian governments. The initiative will provide $1 million
over two years (2006–2008) to audit and monitor the impact of forestry and
agricultural chemicals on water quality in Tasmania’s river catchments. The water
quality information will enable land managers to make informed decisions about
how, when and where particular chemicals can be safely used in Tasmania.
The initiative includes four projects: modification of the Commonwealth
Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Pesticide Impact Rating Index
risk assessment tool, a pesticide usage survey, analysis of historic water quality
monitoring data, and pesticide behaviour research trials. The first version of
the Pesticide Impact Rating Index modified for Tasmanian conditions has been
completed. Refinement of the index is continuing.

59
Water strategies
The department is leading the Australian Government’s national policies and
programmes to achieve the more sustainable management of Australia’s water
Outcome 1—Environment

resources. This follows the government’s administrative order of 30 January 2007


creating the Department of the Environment and Water Resources. The new
department consolidated the water resource management functions across
the government from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of the
Environment and Heritage.
Land and inland waters

National Plan for Water Security


In January 2007 the Prime Minister announced a National Plan for Water Security
to ensure rural water use is placed on a sustainable footing over the next decade.
The plan is a $10 billion package designed to improve water management across
the nation with a special focus on the Murray–Darling Basin, where the bulk of
Australian agricultural water use and production takes place.
The department supported the government in key meetings with the states and
territories that set the framework for negotiations to implement the plan. This
included summit meetings involving the Prime Minister, the premiers of New
South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia and the Chief Minister of
the Australian Capital Territory on 8 February 2007 and 23 February 2007, and a
series of subsequent meetings at minister and officials level, and with stakeholder
bodies.
Drawing on outcomes from these meetings, the department developed draft
legislation to give effect to key features of the plan.

Contingency planning for the southern Murray–Darling Basin


In response to the continuing widespread drought affecting most of southern
Australia, the Prime Minister convened a summit of relevant state premiers on
7 November 2006 to consider immediate actions to address water supplies in the
southern Murray–Darling Basin. The summit initiated contingency planning to
secure urban and town water supplies.
Since that time an intergovernmental senior officials group, chaired by the
department, provided progress reports to ministers in April and June 2007.
A number of recommendations were made to ensure critical water supplies in
the southern part of the basin. These included temporary changes to state water
sharing arrangements under the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement and water
saving measures, such as the temporary disconnection of artificially inundated
wetlands and changing river operations. These measures, implemented through
the Murray–Darling Basin Commission, secured critical water supplies for 2007–08.

60 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


National Water Initiative
In June 2004 the Council of Australian Governments agreed the National Water
Initiative, Australia’s blueprint to reform water management across the country.
The initiative sets out actions to be implemented over the next 10 years and

Outcome 1—Environment
includes commitments to:
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having important conservation value to ensure the systems are protected and
water levels are maintained
t FOTVSFXBUFSBMMPDBUFEUPNFFUFOWJSPONFOUBMBOEPUIFSQVCMJDCFOFmU
outcomes will be given at least the same degree of security as water allocated to
other users

Land and inland waters


t FOTVSFTBGFBOESFMJBCMFVSCBOXBUFSTVQQMJFTCZJODSFBTJOHFGmDJFODZBOE
encouraging recycling and innovation in water supply sourcing, treatment,
storage and discharge.
The department chairs and provides the secretariat for the intergovernmental
officials committees, which oversee the implementation of the National Water
Initiative. These committees report to the Natural Resource Management
Ministerial Council. Activities progressed during 2006–07 include water trading,
water metering and accounting, and water information.
Under the National Plan for Water Security, these reforms will be accelerated
by new funding to be administered by the department. In addition, legislation
developed by the department will provide the basis for a range of new institutional
and regulatory controls to further support water reforms.

National Water Quality Management Strategy


This year the department led work on the National Water Initiative’s key urban
water reforms, including the National Water Quality Management Strategy. This
strategy sets out national guidelines on various aspects of urban water use.
In November 2006 the Environment Protection and Heritage Council and the
Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council jointly released the National
Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks. The
guidelines are an authoritative reference for the supply, use and regulation of
recycled water and grey water schemes for non-drinking uses. The guidelines will
help project planners to better match water quality to intended uses in the safest
and most cost effective manner, and are expected to encourage increased water
recycling over the longer term.
In July 2007 the Environment Protection and Heritage Council released a draft of
the second phase of the National Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health
and Environmental Risks—‘Recycled Water for Drinking’. These guidelines are
subject to endorsement by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Additional guidelines on stormwater recycling and aquifer recharge are due to be
released at the end of 2007.

61
The department worked through the Natural Resource Management Ministerial
Council to release the National Guidelines for Residential Customers’ Water
Accounts, which are voluntary guidelines for water providers on how to inform
customers, as part of their water bills, on their water use relative to equivalent
households.
Outcome 1—Environment

Groundwater
The department worked closely with the National Water Commission and other
Australian Government agencies to implement the National Water Initiative
groundwater actions, including work on groundwater measurement and surface
and groundwater connectivity. In 2006–07 the minister wrote to his state and
territory counterparts proposing the development of national standards on
Land and inland waters

groundwater mapping and assessment to better ensure a comprehensive picture


of Australia’s groundwater resources. So far, there have been positive, in-principle
responses to the minister’s proposal from Western Australia, South Australia,
Queensland and Tasmania. A paper has been prepared in the interim outlining
proposed work plans to progress the proposal.

Murray–Darling Basin Commission


The Murray–Darling Basin covers one-seventh of the Australian continent and
generates about 40 per cent of the national income derived from agriculture and
grazing. The department worked through the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial
Council and the Murray–Darling Basin Commission to promote the sustainable
management of the basin’s natural resources, healthy river systems, viable rural
communities and profitable, competitive and sustainable industries.
The department contributed $10.9 million to the operation and works of the
Murray–Darling Basin Commission to boost capital works in the basin. This was in
addition to $500 million provided by the Australian Government in June 2006 that
has allowed the commission to:
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2005–2010 business plan, including items previously deferred because of
budget shortfalls
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Measures Programme to optimise environmental outcomes from recovered water
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The Living Murray Initiative


Water storage and regulation in the Murray–Darling Basin have affected the
natural flow cycles of its rivers and groundwater. The Australian Government
has committed $200 million over five years (2004–2009) to The Living Murray

62 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Initiative ‘first step’ agreement which aims to recover up to an annual average
of 500 gigalitres of water by June 2009 for six icon sites in the Murray–Darling
Basin: Barmah–Millewa Forest, Gunbower–Koondrook Pericoota Forests, Hattah
Lakes, Chowilla Floodplain (including Lindsay–Wallpolla), the Murray Mouth

Outcome 1—Environment
Coorong and Lower Lakes, and the River Murray Channel. Five of these sites
include Ramsar-listed wetlands. The department chairs the Murray–Darling Basin
Committee responsible for advising on environmental watering priorities across
these sites.
The department also made progress on The Living Murray water recovery
measures including:

Land and inland waters


t DPOUSJCVUJOH$12.678 million to the Goulburn–Murray Water Recovery Package
as part of the Australian Government’s $37.2 million investment in the package.
The package will recover 145 gigalitres of water
t DPNNJUUJOH$5.57 million for the purchase of water under the South Australian
project Securing Government Held Water for Environmental Use. The project
will recover 13 gigalitres of water
t DPNNJUUJOH$10.286 million for the purchase of water under the
Murray–Darling Basin Commission’s pilot market purchase project.
The project will aim to purchase up to 20 gigalitres of water through
brokers from willing sellers at market prices
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production for The Living Murray icon sites, and assessing a package of
preferred tenders that will potentially recover 450 megalitres of water for an
investment of up to $765,000.

Joint Government Enterprise—Water for Rivers


The Joint Government Enterprise (trading as Water for Rivers) is a public company
established by the Australian, Victorian and New South Wales governments
to recover water through efficiency savings for environmental releases in the
River Murray and the Snowy River. The company was incorporated in 2003 in
accordance with the 2002 Snowy Waters Inquiry Outcomes Implementation Deed,
and comprises a board of independent directors. The Australian Government’s
interests in the enterprise are administered by the department.
In 2006–07, 14.2 gigalitres of water were recovered for environmental flows in
the River Murray and 37.2 gigalitres were recovered for environmental flows in
the Snowy River. Since the enterprise was established in 2003, the volume of
water transferred to the environmental entitlement is 64.7 gigalitres. The water
recovered for the River Murray will be used consistent with the objectives of The
Living Murray Initiative.

63
Great Artesian Basin
The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the
world. It underlies approximately one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath arid
and semi-arid regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the
Outcome 1—Environment

Northern Territory. Traditionally, artesian water from the basin that came to the
surface under natural pressure was allowed to flow uncontrolled into open drains
and creeks for distribution to stock. These uncontrolled flows are wasteful—up
to 95 per cent of water can be lost through evaporation and seepage—and they
threaten the health of important groundwater-dependent ecosystems. The wasted
water is causing land and water salinisation, spread of pest plants and animals, and
reduced pressure in some naturally occurring artesian springs.
Land and inland waters

The Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative aims to repair uncontrolled


artesian bores and replace open earthen bore drains in the Great Artesian Basin
with piped water reticulation systems. The initiative is being delivered through
state agencies. The department makes its contributions, on behalf of the Australian
Government, jointly with other key stakeholders, state governments and pastoral
bore owners.
The Australian Government provided $10.2 million to relevant states under
phase 2 of the initiative to cap and pipe uncontrolled bores to aid pressure
recovery. Some of these rehabilitation works fell behind schedule in 2006–07
because of problems in obtaining drillers and materials due to the mining boom
and international demand, and a reduction in landholders’ financial capacity due
to the drought.
The department participates in the Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee,
an advisory committee providing advice on the sustainable management of the
basin as a whole. In 2006–07 the committee focused on developing a companion
document to the Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan to set out areas
for particular focus for the next five years.
A mid-term review of phase 2 of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative
commenced in June 2007. The review’s terms of reference include analysing the
extent to which stakeholder awareness and support for the sustainable use of
the basin, promoted under phase 2, have translated to improved management
practices. To inform the review the department commissioned the Bureau of Rural
Sciences to undertake a pilot project to assess whether landscape condition had
improved as a result of capping and piping.
Under the National Plan for Water Security, phase 3 of the initiative was
announced, requiring the establishment of proper entitlements, pricing regimes,
water use metering and reporting for all Great Artesian Basin bores. Phase 3 will be
administered by the department.

64 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement
In 2006–07 the department supported a review of the agreement, which is
assessing the results of the agreement’s first five years. The recommendations
from the review will be considered by the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum later

Outcome 1—Environment
in 2007.
The department also supported the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment Project
which will be completed by the end of 2007. The project is examining the
condition of the Lake Eyre catchment and potential impacts of future water
development activities.

Land and inland waters


Water Resources Assessment and Research Grants
The Water Resources Assessment and Research Grants programme provides
grants for research into the sustainable use and management of water resources,
particularly for sustainable irrigation. The department measures the performance
of this programme by the number of publications produced, and by the usefulness
of the research in policy advice and development.
The department sponsored the Australian Water Association Ozwater 2007
conference which attracted over 400 abstracts and over 1,200 participants. The
department presented papers at the conference on the processes and benefits of
recycling water. The department also funded an Australian Bureau of Agriculture
and Resource Economics report entitled Water Scarcity in Australia—An Economic
Assessment of Commercialisation Options. This report will be used to inform
water reform policy decision-making.
With support from this grants programme, the Bureau of Rural Sciences developed
promotional material for the Connected Water website and toolbox, which aim to
progress a coordinated approach to managing surface and groundwater resources
in Australia. The toolbox was promoted at the Rivercare Facilitators workshop,
Getting to Know Groundwater training course, and the Groundwater for Decision
Makers workshop, reaching approximately
120 facilitators, catchment managers and representatives of water authorities.
The department is providing support to the Northern Australia Irrigation Futures
Project to investigate the potential for expanding irrigation in northern Australia.
The project will gather information about northern Australia’s river catchments
and existing irrigation. The information will be made available to decision-makers
to ensure that any new irrigation development is sustainable and managed in the
context of the entire catchment. The role and expected outputs of the project
were discussed at the 2006 Australian National Committee on Irrigation and
Drainage conference, attended by more than 300 participants. The project was
also presented to the Riversymposium attended by approximately 1,000 water and
environmental experts.

65
Water efficiency labelling
On 18 February 2005 the parliament passed the Water Efficiency Labelling and
Standards Act 2005, which establishes the national Water Efficiency Labelling and
Standards (WELS) Scheme. The scheme came into operation on 1 July 2005 on a
Outcome 1—Environment

voluntary basis and became compulsory on 1 July 2006.


The scheme encourages industry to produce water efficient appliances in order to
conserve national water supplies particularly in urban areas. The scheme requires
six products (WELS products) to be rated and labelled for their water efficiency.
These are showers, tap equipment, dishwashers, washing machines, lavatory
equipment and urinal equipment. Registration of flow controllers is optional.
All new WELS products manufactured in Australia or imported must now be
Land and inland waters

registered and labelled before they can be sold. Consumers will be able to save
water by selecting appliances based on their water efficiency rating.
The department administers the Act and manages all aspects of the scheme
including product registrations, monitoring and compliance. In 2006–07,
4161 products were registered, bringing the total number registered to 7,759
since the scheme began in July 2005.
In March 2005, Environment Protection and Heritage Council ministers signed
an agreement with state and territory governments outlining their roles and
responsibilities for the implementation of WELS. Since then, each state and
territory government has submitted legislation to its parliament to form part of the
scheme, in order to ensure that the scheme applies consistently within Australia.
This process was completed in April 2007 when legislation was passed by Western
Australia and the Northern Territory.
More information on the operation of the Water Efficiency Labelling and
Standards Act 2005 is in the second volume of this set of annual reports.

Wetlands of national and international importance


The department promotes the conservation, repair and wise use of wetlands
across Australia and internationally. The department is responsible for
implementation of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ramsar Convention) and for coordinating
Australia’s whole-of-government responses in collaboration with state
governments, Ramsar site managers and other relevant stakeholders. The Ramsar
Convention’s broad aims are to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to
conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain. The department
also administers the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999 provisions for Ramsar-listed wetlands.
Australia has 64 wetlands of international importance listed under the Ramsar
Convention covering more than 7.3 million hectares. All Ramsar sites in

66 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Commonwealth areas are required to have management plans. To date, 55 of the
64 listed Australian Ramsar wetlands have management plans or draft plans.
The department continued to provide advice and assistance to implement the
Ramsar Convention, and initiated two major projects to help Australia meet its

Outcome 1—Environment
responsibilities under the convention and the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. One project was a snapshot review of the
current status and management of Ramsar-listed wetlands, to help identify longer
term management priorities. The other project was the development of the
Australian National Guidelines for Ramsar Wetlands–Implementing the Ramsar
Convention in Australia. These guidelines will provide a framework for Ramsar
implementation in Australia, including the processes for Ramsar site listings,
describing their ecological character and management planning.

Land and inland waters


The first module of these national guidelines, Mapping Specifications for Australian
Ramsar Wetlands, was completed in October 2006. The module provides guidance
on how to adequately map and describe the boundaries of Ramsar wetlands. This
will help implement responsibilities under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The second module, the National Framework and Guidance for Describing the
Ecological Character of Australia’s Ramsar Wetlands, is due for completion at the
end of 2007. The module will provide a national standard method for describing
the ecological character of Ramsar wetlands, and the baseline condition of
wetlands at the time of listing, to enable assessment of change and determine
monitoring needs.

International activities
The department supported and participated in multilateral and bilateral forums
related to water including:
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United States.
The department worked with the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources on a
water entitlement and trading project under the China–Australia memorandum
of understanding on water management. In 2006–07 the project established a
framework for managing water entitlements in China.
The department also engaged with the Ramsar Convention and its secretariat.
Australia was represented at the convention’s standing committee meeting
in Geneva in February 2007, and participated in processes for selecting the
convention’s new secretary-general.

67
Land and water investments
The department invests in conserving Australia’s land and inland water resources
through the Natural Heritage Trust and the Community Water Grants Programme.
Outcome 1—Environment

The Department of the Environment and Water Resources receives the annual
appropriation for the Natural Heritage Trust. The department has a cross-portfolio
arrangement with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for
the administration of the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan
for Salinity and Water Quality. The arrangement enables both departments
to deliver the Natural Heritage Trust through a joint Australian Government
Natural Resource Management Team. A board made up of the Minister for the
Land and inland waters

Environment and Water Resources and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry administers the Natural Heritage Trust. The two departments also jointly
administer the Community Water Grants Programme.

Administration of the Natural Heritage Trust


The $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust was established by the Australian Government in
1997 to invest in activities that help to restore and conserve Australia’s environment and
natural resources. Activities are undertaken at regional, national, and local scales.
Actions at the regional scale are the largest component of Natural Heritage Trust
investment. Communities in 56 regions across Australia develop regional plans and
investment strategies that identify priorities for funding under both the Natural
Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. Federal,
state and territory governments are working together to fund these plans. As
at 30 June 2007 Australian Government ministers had accredited 55 integrated
natural resource management regional plans, approved a regional strategic
directions plan, and had agreed to investment strategies for the 56 regions
covering the entire continent as the basis for government investment.
Actions at the national scale are the second largest component of Natural Heritage
Trust investment. This component supports projects that will have a national
outcome, as opposed to a regional or local outcome, including projects carried out
by industry and non-government organisations, and state and territory governments.
Actions at the local scale are the third component of Natural Heritage Trust
investment. Community groups can address local environmental problems
through grants of up to $50,000 under the Australian Government Envirofund.
Since Envirofund was launched in 2002 it has funded nearly 7,000 local projects at
a cost of more than $110 million.
In 2006–07 the Department of the Environment and Water Resources provided
$7.3 million to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under

68 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


a purchaser-provider arrangement to fund administration costs incurred in
implementing the Natural Heritage Trust.
Detailed results of Natural Heritage Trust investment are provided in the annual
reports of the Natural Heritage Trust and the annual regional programme reports

Outcome 1—Environment
available at www.nrm.gov.au/publications/#annreps.

Bushcare, Landcare, Rivercare and Coastcare


Natural Heritage Trust investments are also categorised according to
environmental outcome with four main themes:
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Land and inland waters


degradation and promoting sustainable agriculture.
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restoring habitat for native flora and fauna.
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water quality and environmental flows in river systems and wetlands.
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coastal catchments, ecosystems and the marine environment.
Funding for these programmes in 2006–07 was: Bushcare ($123 million;
39 per cent), Landcare ($82 million; 26 per cent), Rivercare ($48 million;
16 per cent) and Coastcare ($53 million; 19 per cent).
More information on Coastcare is in the chapter on coasts and oceans.

Reviews of the Natural Heritage Trust


Two evaluations of the Natural Heritage Trust were completed in 2006–07.
They addressed the effectiveness of regional investment in protecting coastal
and marine environments and the impact of the national facilitator network on
regional outcomes. This brings the number of independent evaluations of the
Natural Heritage Trust to 10. The evaluations all supported the continuation of
the national, regional and local level delivery of the Natural Heritage Trust. In
particular, the regional component jointly delivered with the National Action
Plan for Salinity and Water Quality was found to have promoted a strategic and
integrated approach to natural resource management across Australia.
The recommendations from these evaluations are informing the Australian
Government’s development of the next phase of the Natural Heritage Trust, which
commences on 1 July 2008. Current arrangements under the National Action
Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the Natural Heritage Trust will lapse in
June 2008.
In the next phase, the Natural Heritage Trust will be combined with the National
Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality under one programme.

69
New framework for natural resource management programmes
In late 2006 the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council endorsed for
public release a Framework for Future Natural Resource Management Programmes
as the basis for the further development of programme arrangements by the
Outcome 1—Environment

Australian Government and the states and territories. The Australian Government
and state and territory governments are negotiating bilateral agreements to govern
the new Natural Heritage Trust programme.
In 2007 the Australian Government announced a total of almost $2 billion
funding over five years from 2008–09 to replace the current funding
arrangements for the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the
Land and inland waters

Natural Heritage Trust.


The objectives of the Natural Heritage Trust—biodiversity conservation,
sustainable use of natural resources, community capacity building and institutional
change—were retained in the new framework.

Support for the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality
The Australian Government has committed $700 million over eight years
(2000–2008) to implement the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality,
building on related work under the Natural Heritage Trust.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is responsible for
administering the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. The
Department of the Environment and Water Resources provides administrative
support to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under a purchaser-
provider arrangement associated with a joint Australian Government Natural
Resource Management Team, which also manages the Natural Heritage Trust.
In 2006–07 the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry provided
$0.87 million to the Department of the Environment and Water Resources.
Through the joint team the two departments are helping people in 56 regions
across Australia to develop integrated natural resource management plans for both
the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the Natural Heritage
Trust. The plans include priorities for controlling salinity and protecting water
quality. Under the National Action Plan 36 natural resource management regions
have been identified for investment.
Detailed results of National Action Plan investment are in the annual report of the
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at
www.nrm.gov.au/publications/#books.
Projects that have been funded by the Natural Heritage Trust and the National
Action Plan are listed at http://www.nrm.gov.au/.

70 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Community Water Grants
Community Water Grants are part of the Australian Government’s $2 billion
Australian Government Water Fund. Community Water Grants fund practical,
on-ground projects to save water. Along with Envirofund, they form part of the

Outcome 1—Environment
department’s work to help the community address local environmental issues.
Community groups, schools, local governments, catchment management
authorities, environmental groups and non-government organisations as well as
individuals and businesses are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 each. Larger
grants between $100,000 and $250,000 are available subject to strict eligibility
criteria including a contribution of matching cash funding. To be successful,
applicants must be able to demonstrate very high public benefit.

Land and inland waters


In 2006–07, a total of $73.3 million was paid for 1,759 projects. This comprised
272 round one projects totalling $9.6 million and 1,487 round two projects
totalling $63.7 million.
As a result of round two projects, communities across Australia will save a total
of 10,369 megalitres of water each year and improve the health of water from
a combined catchment area of 1.5 million hectares. Volunteers will contribute
565,000 hours to ensure the success of their projects. Communities have raised
$57.7 million in cash and in-kind contributions for their projects.
The department is at the forefront of automated programme management with
Community Water Grants. Applications are assessed and ranked in a database
against the programme’s merit criteria, which include level of community
engagement, value for money and amount of water saved. Any projects with a
potential risk to human health or the environment are independently reviewed by
experts. Advances in electronic processing have allowed round two to be assessed
in three months compared to five months taken to assess round one.
For more information on Community Water Grants see
www.australia.gov.au/communitywatergrants.

Miscellaneous programmes
Scouts 100 Year Anniversary Rainwater Tank Grant
On 4 May 2007 the Prime Minister announced that the government was to provide
$17.7 million to Scouts Australia to install rainwater tanks at scout facilities.
The grant commemorates 100 years of scouting world wide. Australia, one of the
first countries to adopt scouting, will mark its centenary in 2008.
The funding will assist the Scouts across Australia to generate significant water
savings. There is sufficient funding to cover all suitable scout halls in the nation.
Any remaining funds will be used at scout camps.
Scout state branches will handle subcontracting and arrange for installation,
which is expected to start in October 2007.

71
A Scouts Australia webpage explains how the water tank grant is to be
implemented (see http://www.scouts.com.au/main.asp?iStoryID=12103690).

Strengthening Tasmania—Tamar River pylons


Outcome 1—Environment

During 2006–07 the department managed a $750,000 programme to install pylons


at the edge of the North Esk River, a tributary of the Tamar River near Launceston,
Tasmania. The project will replace 100-year-old rotting timber pylons with new
ones and rebuild and stabilise an unsafe levee. The work will help improve river
health, boost flood protection and increase recreational opportunities on the
North Esk River. The work is expected to be completed by 30 June 2008.

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary


Land and inland waters

The Australian Government provided $1.8 million for the purchase of land adjacent
to the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Melbourne, to protect and extend the Blackburn
Lake Sanctuary area. Blackburn Lake Sanctuary consists of a lake and surrounding
remnant bushland in the suburb of Blackburn, located approximately 17 kilometres
east of the centre of Melbourne. The sanctuary has significant local environmental
and recreational values. The funding is conditional on matching funding from both
the Victorian Government and the City of Whitehorse, and the Victorian Government
publicly releasing the valuation of the site. At 30 June 2007 a tripartite agreement was
with the Victorian Premier’s Department awaiting approval.

72 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Terrestrial parks and reserves
The Director of National Parks is a corporation established under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Director is responsible,

Outcome 1—Environment
amongst other things, for the administration, management and control of
Commonwealth reserves and for the protection, conservation and management
of biodiversity and heritage in those reserves. The Director is supported by staff of
the Department of the Environment and Water Resources.

Protected area management

Land and inland waters


Commonwealth reserves for which the Director of National Parks is responsible
include remote national parks, marine parks and botanical gardens. Kakadu,
Uluru–Kata Tjuta and Booderee national parks are jointly managed with their
Indigenous traditional owners.
In 2006–07 the Australian Government also provided $7.3 million over four years
to rehabilitate old uranium mines and related sites and to securely contain mine
wastes in what is now the Gunlom Aboriginal Land Trust area in the south of
Kakadu National Park. These sites include Guratba or Coronation Hill, one of
northern Australia’s most sacred Aboriginal sites. Mine shafts, pits, old tracks and
some hazardous material were left in this area as the result of uranium mining
between 1956 and 1964. Limited rehabilitation of these areas has been undertaken
in the past.
Detailed information about management outcomes for 2006–07 appears in the
annual report of the Director of National Parks (see www.environment.gov.au/
parks/publications).

National Reserve System Programme


In partnership with major philanthropic organisations, government, the private
sector and community groups, the Natural Heritage Trust’s National Reserve
System Programme supports the purchasing and covenanting of properties to add
to the National Reserve System.
In 2006–07 the programme contributed nearly $5.4 million to help buy or covenant
10 properties covering 588,141 hectares. It also supported two private land covenanting
projects in Tasmania and Queensland with a contribution of $524,545. To date the
National Reserve System Programme has assisted the acquisition of 277 properties
comprising over 7,533,288 hectares. Projects supported this year include:
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(see case study)

73
t  IFDUBSFT at Scottsdale, New South Wales. This protected area includes
important parts of the Murrumbidgee River and helps build the corridor of
protected areas linking habitats from Mount Kosciuszko to the coast. Habitats
on the property include remnant temperate grasslands, grassy woodlands, box
gum woodlands and environments containing swamps, bogs and springs.
Outcome 1—Environment

Until now only one of these four critical ecological communities was sufficiently
protected in the region. The Australian Government through the Natural
Heritage Trust contributed $407,000 to the project. Bush Heritage Australia
made a commitment for $1.17 million
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Tasmania. Tasmania’s highly successful voluntary Protected Areas on Private
Land project commenced in 2000 and to date has added approximately
Land and inland waters

4,390 hectares to the National Reserve System.


A key finding of a recent independent evaluation of the programme was that
the National Reserve System Programme makes an important and cost effective
contribution to the conservation of biodiversity in Australia (The National Reserve
System Programme—2006 Evaluation by Brian Gilligan).
The World Wildlife Fund–Australia’s report Building Nature’s Safety Net–A Review
of Australia’s Terrestrial Protected Area System, 1991–2004 released in 2006
noted the substantial expansion of the National Reserve System occurring over
the review period and commended the programme’s ability to build effective
partnerships between government, the private sector and individual donors.
The Australian Government invested $644,727 implementing Directions for the
National Reserve System–A Partnership Approach. The approach, agreed by the
Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council in 2005, is a commitment from
all Australian governments to develop and manage the National Reserve System.
Three projects drawing on national and international expertise were begun to:
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and to lay the groundwork for modifying its development and management to
better conserve biodiversity. This project is jointly funded by the department
and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
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for protected area management. This is an Australian Research Council linkage
project between the New South Wales, Victorian and Australian governments,
the University of Queensland and the Director of National Parks
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economic benefits protected areas provide in remote and rural communities.
Australia’s National Reserve System now protects over 88 million hectares in nearly
9,000 protected areas. This is over 11 per cent of Australia’s land area.
For more information refer to the annual reports of the Director of National Parks
at www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications.

74 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Wongalara Sanctuary
In November 2006 the Australian Wildlife
Conservancy purchased the Wongalara

Outcome 1—Environment
property with the assistance of the
National Reserve System Programme.
The Wongalara Sanctuary is the 270th
property purchased with the support of
the programme.
Wongalara lies within the Gulf Fall and
Uplands bioregion, about 120 kilometres

Land and inland waters


south-east of Kakadu National Park. It
covers over 191,000 hectares and features
threatened and poorly protected wetlands,
sandstone communities and patches of
monsoon rainforest. Rugged escarpments
rising above tall rainforest patches and
tropical woodlands are dissected by a
network of tropical streams. The Wilton
River gives rise to rich riverside vegetation
Gouldian finch. Photo: Steve Murphy, and provides habitat for a variety of fish,
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
turtles and the freshwater crocodile.
Wongalara also provides habitat for
nationally threatened species such as the
red goshawk, Gouldian finch, the crested
shrike-tit and the northern quoll, as well
as species endemic to the Arnhem region
such as the hooded parrot and the Kakadu
dunnart.
Prior to its protection within the National
Reserve System, Wongalara’s natural
values were threatened by cattle grazing,
by building new roads and fences, and
Northern quoll. Photo: Bruce Thomson, by clearing woodlands and adding new
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
watering points.
The National Reserve System Programme provided a grant of $2.1 million
towards the purchase and establishment of the new protected area.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy contributed $1.93 million to the
acquisition of Wongalara and is making a significant commitment to
managing the land in perpetuity.

75
Indigenous Protected Areas Programme
Indigenous protected areas are non-statutory protected areas that form part of
the National Reserve System. The Indigenous Protected Areas Programme helps
Indigenous landowners establish and manage Indigenous Protected Areas on their
Outcome 1—Environment

lands through contractual arrangements with the Australian Government. The


programme also promotes the integration of Indigenous ecological and cultural
knowledge into the management of these areas.
In 2006–07 the Natural Heritage Trust provided $3.119 million for the programme.
Three Indigenous Protected Areas were declared covering 4,501,870 hectares.
These were:
Land and inland waters

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MPDBUFEJOOPSUIFBTU
Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
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MPDBUFEJOUIF:BMHPP
region 350 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia
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MPDBUFEJO
the northern Tanami Desert at Lajamanu community, 900 kilometres south of
Darwin, Northern Territory.
These declarations bring the total number of Indigenous Protected Areas to 23,
covering 18.5 million hectares.
An independent evaluation of the Indigenous Protected Areas Programme released
in November 2006 hailed the success of the programme in bringing Indigenous-
owned lands of significant high conservation value into the National Reserve
System. The evaluation identified the programme’s cost effectiveness and broader
social benefits and made recommendations for growing and strengthening the
programme.

76 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area
The Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area was declared in April 2007.
The area covers 40,000 square kilometres of the Tanami Desert. It is managed

Outcome 1—Environment
by the Lajamanu community, and is located 900 kilometres south of Darwin.
The area encompasses a
dramatic array of landscapes
including alluvial sandplains,
broad paleodrainage channels,
sandstone outcrops, laterite

Land and inland waters


plateaus, escarpments and black
soil plains. The land supports
many threatened plant species,
and vulnerable fauna including
Wilson’s Creek. Photo: Central Land Council
the greater bilby, the great
desert skink and the endangered
Gouldian finch. During the
monsoonal rains the arid
zone wetlands teem with life,
supporting wallabies and emus
and providing breeding habitats
for migratory waterbirds and
waders.
Managing the area provides
Male crimson finch. Photo: Central Land Council employment and training
opportunities for local
communities. For instance, the
Wulaign Rangers, set up by the
Central Land Council and the
Wulaign Outstation Resource
Centre, use traditional and
contemporary methods to manage
the land.
The rangers monitor and control
weeds and feral animals, use
Wulaign people. Photo:Central Land Council
controlled burning to reduce the
impact of wildfire on ecologically
and culturally important areas, and erect fencing to protect habitats and
areas of cultural significance and prevent property damage.

77
Indigenous protected areas (IPA) promote Indigenous welfare
The IPA is helping create good jobs, like rangers to take care of country. It
is giving young people opportunities day by day. Young people really enjoy
Outcome 1—Environment

working on the IPA, and old people enjoy going out with them. Women
really enjoy taking children out for stories.
Billy Bunter, Gurindji man

The independent review of the Indigenous Protected Areas Programme by


the former Director-General of the New South Wales National Parks and
Wildlife Service, Mr Brian Gilligan, found that:
Land and inland waters

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participation and development benefits from involvement with the
programme
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early school engagement
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activities make a positive contribution to the reduction of substance
abuse
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work contributes to more functional families by restoring relationships
and reinforcing family and community structures
t QFSDFOUSFQPSUQPTJUJWFPVUDPNFTGPSFBSMZDIJMEIPPEEFWFMPQNFOU
from their Indigenous Protected Area activities.

78 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Genetic resources management
In October 2002 the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council endorsed
an intergovernmental agreement—the Nationally Consistent Approach for Access
to and the Utilisation of Australia’s Native Genetic and Biochemical Resources—to

Outcome 1—Environment
establish a common approach to genetic resource management in Australia.
The department, under an agreement with Biotechnology Australia, is administering
$2 million over the period 2004–2008 to assist states and territories to develop
nationally consistent legal frameworks for accessing and using genetic resources.
The Northern Territory introduced consistent legislation which came into force in
February 2007. The Australian, Queensland and Northern Territory governments

Land and inland waters


now have legislation in place to implement the intergovernmental agreement.

Australian Biological Resources Study


The Australian Biological Resources Study funds research and training in the fields
of taxonomy and biogeography. The programme aims to describe and document
Australia’s plants, animals and other organisms, and where they occur, so as to
build the knowledge needed for the conservation and sustainable use of Australia’s
biodiversity.
Administrative funds expenditure under the programme in 2006–07 was
$1.875 million. Funding supported taxonomic research and publications. This work
contributes to the Flora of Australia Online, Species Bank and the Australian Faunal
Directory (www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs) which hold data on 75,000
species, and a range of other specialist publications.
Taxonomic research investigated and described organisms that might poison
cattle, parasites that infect coral reef fish and a mayfly family which is an important
indicator of water quality. Other projects relate to identification of native thrips to
assist the recognition of newly introduced, potential pest species for quarantine
purposes, and research on spider mites that will also strengthen Australia’s ability
to detect new exotic species by better identifying native species.
Work continued on the development of the Australian Biodiversity Information
Facility data portal with funding from the Natural Heritage Trust. The portal
will provide access to biodiversity data held and maintained by individuals and
institutions throughout Australia. The Australian Biodiversity Information Facility
website has been updated and is at www.abif.org.

79
Outcome 1—Environment
Land and inland waters

Australian Biological Resources Study publications.

80 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Tropical wetlands research
The department’s Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist
carries out research on the management of tropical rivers and their extensive
associated wetlands in northern Australia, with a focus on sustainability. It is a

Outcome 1—Environment
partner in the National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research, and a member of the
newly established Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge research consortium.

Ecological inventory and risk assessment of tropical rivers


Australia’s northern river systems are poorly understood but are often cited as
offering development potential, chiefly for agriculture, horticulture and mining.

Land and inland waters


The department is investing in Australia’s Tropical Rivers Programme to increase
knowledge about the environmental characteristics of these tropical river systems.
In 2006–07 the department invested $30,000 from the Natural Heritage Trust to
fund the completion of the Tropical Rivers Inventory and Assessment Project,
which was administered by Land and Water Australia’s Tropical Rivers Programme.
The three-year $1.05 million project examined 51 catchments across northern
Australia, from Broome in the west of the continent to the top of the western tip of
Cape York, covering some 1,192,000 square kilometres. The study assessed three
catchments in more detail—the Fitzroy River in Western Australia, the Daly River in
the Northern Territory, and the Flinders River in Queensland—representing each
state or territory within the study region.
The aims of the project were to compile an information base for assessing the
ecological status of the tropical rivers, and to develop and apply an assessment
framework to predict the ecological risks of major pressures on the rivers.
Two projects (inventory and mapping, and risk assessment of pressures) were
completed in 2006–07. The projects will inform and support holistic approaches
for management of tropical rivers and wetlands in the region. All reports and
relevant project information are available at www.environment.gov.au/ssd/tropical-
rivers/.
The outputs and outcomes of the Tropical Rivers Inventory and Assessment Project
will be formally integrated into the research programme of the recently established
Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge research hub, which is partly funded under
the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities
programme.

81
Results for performance indicators
Performance indicator 2006–07 results
Outcome 1—Environment

Key threats to terrestrial biodiversity

Number of threat abatement plans (i) being (i) 5 plans being revised and 1 being developed
prepared or revised and (ii) in operation
(ii) 9 plans in operation

Of those listed key threatening processes 90%


on the land that require a threat abatement
plan, the percentage that have threat
abatement plans in operation
Land and inland waters

Native vegetation (including forests)

Percentage change in native vegetation Estimated to be less than 1%. The National Carbon Accounting
cover, using the National Carbon System shows there has been a general reduction in annual
Accounting System deforestation since the 1980s and early 1990s. The most recent
snap-shot is for 2004. Deforestation for that year is estimated to
be around 400,000 hectares across Australia

Protecting Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots (administered item)

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of interventions to protect (See below)


identified hotspots

Number of projects funded (See below). The Australian Government has also approved
investment of $5.2 million for private land acquisitions and up to
$7.5 million to deliver 9 stewardship investments in 2007–08

Protecting Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots (Daintree Conservation Initiative) 1

Extent to which recovery of the cassowary As at June 2007, 143 hectares (on 14 properties) had been
and protection of Daintree lowlands is acquired under the Daintree Conservation Initiative; 4 areas were
improved secured for cassowary recovery and management and 59 hectares
of cassowary habitat were acquired and proposed for a nature
refuge

Number of cassowary conservation 1 property supporting cassowary habitat was acquired for
activities funded $280,000; $215,000 was spent for community stewardship
programmes including $75,000 for a feral pig trapping
programme and $140,000 for a cassowary recovery facility

Number of rainforest conservation $3,822,000 was spent to acquire 14 high conservation value
activities funded properties. $410,000 was spent on community stewardship
programmes; $150,000 for project officers and community liaison;
$85,000 for the Daintree feral pig trapping programme; $125,000
for weed action and $120,000 for a national media campaign

1 This is an administered item under output 1.4 in the 2006–07 Portfolio Budget Statements.

82 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Performance indicator 2006–07 results

A sustainable future for Tasmania (administered item)

Proportion of Forest Conservation Fund The programme is yet to formally reserve any areas of private
reservation target met forest. Round 1 of the programme commenced to secure formal

Outcome 1—Environment
reservation of targeted private forests

Improved access to forest areas for tourists Not applicable

Level of landholder involvement in 236 requests for Forest Conservation Fund site assessments were
voluntary forest reservation programme received from landholders for round 1
30 expressions of interest were received from landholders for the
Mole Creek Karst Forest Programme. 66 hectares of forested land
in the Mole Creek area has been approved for purchase

Land and inland waters


Area of private land reserved under the The programme is yet to formally reserve any areas of private
Forest Conservation Fund forest

Protected wetlands

Area of Ramsar-listed wetlands Australia has 64 wetlands of international importance listed under
the Ramsar Convention covering more than 7.3 million hectares

Percentage of Ramsar-listed wetlands with 86% or 55 of the 64 listed Australian Ramsar wetlands have
management plans in operation management plans or draft plans in place

Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (administered item) 1

Extent of stakeholder engagement in the A mid-term-review of the initiative has commenced to assess
Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative the extent to which stakeholder awareness and support for
that results in improved management of the sustainable use of the basin has translated into improved
groundwater resources in the basin management practices. The review is due later in 2007
The department commissioned the Bureau of Rural Sciences to
assess whether landscape condition has improved as a result
of capping and piping works based on remote sensing and
vegetation condition tools. The results are due later in 2007

Progress towards target pressure recovery The department provided $10.2 million to the participating states
in priority areas in the Great Artesian Basin for capping and piping uncontrolled bores which will aid pressure
and the Carnarvon Artesian Basin recovery. Some rehabilitation work was delayed due to a lack of
available drillers and materials, and to the continuing effect of the
drought on landholders’ financial capacity

The Living Murray Initiative (administered item) 1

The extent to which the Australian 34.8 gigalitres of water entitlements were recovered under The
Government’s policy outcomes and Living Murray Environmental Watering Plan; 23 gigalitres were
priorities in addressing the over-allocation made available for watering icon sites, resulting in significant
of water in the Murray–Darling Basin are environmental benefits
reflected in the implementation of The
Living Murray Initiative

1 Performance indicators are from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2006–07 Portfolio Budget Statements.
The programmes became the responsibility of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources in January 2007.

83
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Joint Government Enterprise—Murray Environmental Flows (administered item) 1

Contribution of Joint Government The Joint Government Enterprise recovered 14.2 gigalitres of
Enterprise (trading as Water for Rivers) water for River Murray environmental flows and 37.2 gigalitres for
Outcome 1—Environment

activities and investments to the Australian the Snowy River. The cumulative volume of water transferred to
Government’s environmental flow priorities the environmental entitlement was 64.7 gigalitres
for the River Murray

Murray–Darling Basin Commission (administered item) 1

Contribution of commission activities The department participated in the Murray–Darling Basin


and investments to the sustainable and Commission and supported the minister’s involvement in the
equitable use of natural resources in the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council on the sustainable
Murray–Darling Basin, including the shared management of the basin’s natural resources for healthy river
Land and inland waters

water resources of the River Murray systems, viable rural communities and profitable, competitive and
sustainable industries

Provision of efficient and effective services The department contributed to the efficient and effective
to the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial delivery of Murray–Darling Basin Commission business through
Council and delivery of council decisions supporting participation of the portfolio and the minister in
within agreed timeframes commission and council meetings

Murray–Darling Basin Commission—Boosting Capital Works (administered item) 1

The extent to which additional funding The department contributed $10.9 million to the Murray–Darling
contributions from the Australian Basin Commission to boost capital works in the basin. This was in
Government accelerate and achieve agreed addition to $500 million provided by the Australian Government
objectives and activities consistent with in May 2006 that has allowed the Murray-Darling Basin
Scenario 2 of the Murray–Darling Basin Commission to:
Commission Strategic Plan 2005–2010
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programme for the 2005–2010 business plan, including items
previously deferred because of budget shortfalls
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environmental outcomes
t JOWFTUJOJUTPXOSJHIUJO-JWJOH.VSSBZ*OJUJBUJWFXBUFSSFDPWFSZ
projects

Murray–Darling Basin Commission—Contribution to salinity mitigation (administered item) 1

The contribution of Murray–Darling Basin The department contributed $3.6 million for basin salinity
Commission activities and investments to management, in addition to the Australian Government’s extra
removing salt and meeting river salinity $500 million injection into the Murray–Darling Basin Commission
targets, including agreed targets at in 2005–06. This is expected to reduce salinity at Morgan by 70
Morgan, South Australia electrical conductivity units by 2010

1 Performance indicators are from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2006–07 Portfolio Budget Statements.
The programmes became the responsibility of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources in January 2007.

84 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Water Resources Assessment and Research—grants (administered item) 1

Extent to which water resources The programme supported:

Outcome 1—Environment
assessment and research grants promote
t UIF"VTUSBMJBO8BUFS"TTPDJBUJPO0[XBUFS$POGFSFODF 
the sustainable use and management of
which attracted over 400 abstracts and over 1,200 attendees
water resources; in particular the uptake of
recycled water and sustainable irrigation t UIF"VTUSBMJBO#VSFBVPG"HSJDVMUVSFBOE3FTPVSDF&DPOPNJDT
practices report entitled Water Scarcity in Australia—An Economic
Assessment of Commercialisation Options
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Promotion of the toolbox at workshops reached approximately
120 facilitators, catchment managers and representatives of

Land and inland waters


water authorities
t UIF/PSUIFSO"VTUSBMJB*SSJHBUJPO'VUVSFT1SPKFDU XIJDIXJMM
improve decision-making for existing irrigation in northern
Australia, and ensure any new irrigation is sustainable. Over
1,300 stakeholders have been informed of the project at
conferences

Tasmanian Water Infrastructure (administered item) 1

Australian Government funding towards $2.1 million was provided to the Tasmanian Government,
the construction of dams on the Meander under the $3.2 million Australian and Tasmanian governments’
and Macquarie rivers is provided upon agreement for the construction of a dam on the Meander River
demonstrable achievement of performance
milestones by the Tasmanian Government

Australian Government’s Community Water Grants Programme (administered item)

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 1,759

1 Performance indicators are from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2006–07 Portfolio Budget Statements.
The programmes became the responsibility of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources in January 2007.

85
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Administration of the Natural Heritage Trust 1 (purchased output)

All investments approved by ministers in Investments approved in 2006–07 were delivered through
Outcome 1—Environment

2006–07 are delivered through appropriate appropriate financial agreements in accordance with Natural
financial agreements and provided with Heritage Trust accountability and acquittal procedures
funding in accordance with Natural
Heritage Trust accountability and acquittal
procedures, to meet the trust’s objectives

Monitoring and evaluation arrangements Monitoring and evaluation arrangements are in place for all
are in place for each level of the Natural Natural Heritage Trust levels and reporting requirements show
Heritage Trust and reports show progress progress against targets
against targets
Land and inland waters

The number of investment strategies that 56


are prepared, evaluated and for which
funding is agreed and specified in financial
agreements

The number of individuals/community 1,108


groups supported through Australian
Government Envirofund grants

Investment strategies address nationally All investment strategies meet these requirements
agreed natural resource management
priorities and issues

Bushcare, Landcare, Rivercare, Coastcare 1 (administered item—Natural Heritage Trust)

Percentage of natural resource management 98%


regions that have an accredited natural
resource management plan

Percentage of natural resource 100%


management regions that have an
approved investment strategy

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded. 2,645

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Melbourne (administered item)

Funding is provided on budget once The $1.8 million for purchase of land adjacent to the Blackburn
arrangements are finalised between Lake Sanctuary was a special budget appropriation in 2006–07
governments, supported by a sound and is not part of the Natural Heritage Trust. It has now been
management plan to protect the identified reappropriated to 2007–08 due to delays with finalising the
conservation value tripartite agreement between the Australian Government,
Victorian Government and the Whitehorse City Council

Strengthening Tasmania—Tamar River pylons (administered item)

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%).

1 Detailed performance results are in annual reports on the operation of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997.

86 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Administration of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (service provided by the Department
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) 1

The number of investment strategies that 36

Outcome 1—Environment
are prepared, evaluated and for which
funding is agreed and specified in financial
agreements.

Investment strategies address nationally All investment strategies address nationally agreed natural
agreed natural resource management resource management priorities and identified issues
priorities and issues

All investments approved by ministers in Investments approved in 2006–07 were delivered though
2006–07 are delivered through appropriate appropriate financial agreements in accordance with National

Land and inland waters


financial agreements and provided with Action Plan accountability and acquittal procedures
funding, in accordance with National
Action Plan accountability and acquittal
procedures, to meet the National Action
Plan objectives.

Monitoring and evaluation arrangements Monitoring and evaluation arrangements are in place for all
are in place for each level of the National National Action Plan levels and reporting requirements show
Action Plan and reports show progress progress against targets
against targets.

Australian national parks and other terrestrial protected areas 2

Area of land protected and managed 588,141 hectares were added to the National Reserve System,
through the National Reserve System bringing the total to 7.5 million hectares
Programme, including area of declared
4,501,870 hectares were added to Indigenous Protected Areas,
Indigenous Protected Areas
bringing the total to 18.5 million hectares

Percentage of protected areas (other than 84%. This percentage is for properties acquired up to the end
Indigenous Protected Areas) that have of 2004–05. The figure does not include information for the last
CFFOHB[FUUFE 2 financial years, because under the National Reserve System
Programme funding agreement, a proponent may take up to 2
ZFBSTUPöOBMJTFHB[FUUBMPGBQSPUFDUFEBSFB

Australian Biological Resources Study Participatory Grants Programme (administered item)

Number of taxa revised or newly described 1,625


under the programme.

Number of peer reviewed taxonomic 79


information products produced or funded
by the programme.

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%).

Number of projects funded 58 taxonomic research projects

1 Detailed performance results are in annual reports on the operation of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997.
2 Detailed performance results for Commonwealth reserves are in the annual report of the Director of National Parks.

87
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Output 1.2—Conservation of the land and inland waters

Policy advisor role: The minister Minister was satisfied with timeliness and quality of briefs. The
Outcome 1—Environment

is satisfied with the timeliness and department has experienced challenges in responding to the
accuracy of briefs and draft ministerial unprecedented volume of correspondence now being received,
correspondence provided by the but procedural adjustments and new systems have improved
department timeliness

Provider role 1: Percentage of payments 100%


that are consistent with the terms and
conditions of funding (Target: 100%)

Regulator role 2: Percentage of statutory A report on the compliance with statutory timeframes triggered
Land and inland waters

timeframes triggered that are met (Target: under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
>90%) Act 1999 is provided in the second volume of this set of annual
reports

Price See resources table below

1 Applies only to the administration of grants programmes funded entirely from Departmental funding for this output. Any
grants programmes within this output that are wholly or partially funded through Administered appropriations are separately
reported.
2 Includes explicit reporting timeframes triggered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

88 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Resources
Elements of pricing Budget prices Actual expenses
$’000 $’000

Outcome 1—Environment
Departmental outputs

Sub-output: 1.2.1 Land and water strategies 16,149 14,869


Sub-output: 1.2.2 Land and water investments 19,465 19,196
Sub-output: 1.2.3 Terrestrial parks and reserves 52,553 53,164
Sub-output: 1.2.4 Tropical wetlands research 453 469
Water resources 2,628 2,592

Land and inland waters


Total Output 1.2 91,248 90,290

Administered items

Australian Biological Resources Study 1,875 1,873


Protecting Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots 0 33
Natural Heritage Trust (Landcare, Bushcare and Rivercare Programmes) 259,944 259,944
Australian Government’s Community Water Grants 68,510 68,509
Scout Hall Water Saving Infrastructure Programme 5,885 5,885
Strengthening Tasmania – Tamar River Pylons 750 750
Murray–Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) 600 600
MDBC Contribution to Salinity Mitigation 2,017 2,017
Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative, Department of Agriculture 16 3
Fisheries and Forestry section 32 transfer
16,053 10,478
Living Murray Initiative
5,466 5,466
Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative
79 35
Water Resources Assessment and Research Grants

Total (Administered) 361,195 355,593

89
Outcome 1—Environment Coasts and oceans

91
Coasts and oceans
The Department of the Environment and Water Resources develops and
implements Australian Government initiatives to protect and conserve Australia’s
coasts and oceans and to ensure their management is ecologically sustainable.

Main responsibilities for this output


Outcome 1—Environment

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Water Resources Division
protection
and Water Assets and Natural
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Resources Division
Beach and Sisters Beach

Natural Resource Management


t $PBTUDBSF
Coasts and oceans

Programmes Division

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t 'JTIFSJFTBTTFTTNFOU Marine and Biodiversity
t .BSJOFQFTUTNBOBHFNFOU Division
t *OUFSOBUJPOBMNBSJOFDPOTFSWBUJPO
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package
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protection

Objectives
Coastal strategies
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t 1SPUFDUBOEJNQSPWFDPBTUBMXBUFSRVBMJUZ JODMVEJOHUIFXBUFSRVBMJUZPGUIF
Great Barrier Reef and other coastal catchments
t 1SPUFDUUIFXFUMBOETUIBUmMUFSTFEJNFOUBOEOVUSJFOUTGSPNXBUFSFOUFSJOHUIF
Great Barrier Reef

92 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Coastal investments
t %FMJWFSDPBTUBMDPOTFSWBUJPOJOWFTUNFOUTUPDPNNVOJUJFT

Marine conservation
t *ODSFBTFVOEFSTUBOEJOHBOEDPOTFSWBUJPOPGNBSJOFCJPEJWFSTJUZ
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Outcome 1—Environment
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Results 2006–07

Coasts and oceans


t 5IF4PVUIFBTU$PNNPOXFBMUI.BSJOF3FTFSWF/FUXPSLXBT
proclaimed on 28 June 2007. The network covers an area of over
226,000 square kilometres of marine environment off the coast of
Tasmania, Victoria, eastern South Australia and far south New South
Wales, and makes a major contribution to the protection of the marine
environment in Australian waters.
t 5IF$PE(SPVOET$PNNPOXFBMUI.BSJOF3FTFSWFXBTEFDMBSFEPO
28 May 2007 to protect the critically endangered grey nurse shark. The
reserve covers an area of 300 hectares located off the coast of northern
New South Wales near Laurieton.
t 8BUFSRVBMJUZJNQSPWFNFOUQMBOTXFSFDPNQMFUFEGPSUIF.PTTNBO
and Daintree catchments in the Douglas Shire, Queensland, and the
Derwent Estuary, Tasmania. The plans will improve water quality and
protect it from land-based pollution.
t 4JODFUIFEFQBSUNFOUIBTBTTFTTFEUIFFOWJSPONFOUBMQFSGPSNBODF
of 122 Commonwealth- and state-managed fisheries under the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,
resulting in the fishing industry taking a range of measures to improve
their environmental sustainability.
t "TPG+VOF HSBOUTUPUBMMJOH$134.63 million had been
approved under the various elements of the Great Barrier Reef Marine
Park structural adjustment package. These include 122 grants for
fishing licence buy-outs and 810 grants to help affected businesses to
restructure.

93
Coastal strategies
The department is working with state agencies, regional bodies and local
authorities to address nationally important coastal issues.

Integrated coastal zone management


The Framework for a National Cooperative Approach to Integrated Coastal Zone
Outcome 1—Environment

Management is a national agreement between Australian, state and territory


governments on how to deal with coastal problems in an integrated way.
The 10-year agreement aims to protect the coastal environment and to safeguard
coastal industries and communities by focusing on five coastal issues requiring
national collaboration. These are land- and marine-based sources of pollution
(including acid sulfate soils), managing climate change, introduced pest plants and
animals, planning for population change and capacity building.
Coasts and oceans

An implementation plan for the framework was jointly developed by all coastal
jurisdictions and agreed in May 2006. The plan sets objectives and actions required
to address key coastal issues identified in the framework. The plan is available at
www.environment.gov.au/coasts/publications/framework/index.html.

Planning for population change


Development pressure associated with rapid population growth is a major issue
confronting sustainable management of the coastal zone. Intensified use of, and
demand for, coastal resources pose a threat to sensitive coastal environments and
have profound social implications. Key to managing the environmental, social
and economic impacts of population change in coastal areas is to obtain data on
people moving into and out of coastal areas including numbers, characteristics and
reasons for the move.
In January 2007 the department, in collaboration with the Victorian Government,
worked with demographers and planners from federal, state and local government
agencies, non-government organisations and research organisations to identify
specific information relating to population change and demographic trends
required for planning.

Climate change
The coastal zone of Australia has been recognised as highly vulnerable to the impacts
of climate change in the government’s report Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability,
and most recently within the Council of Australian Governments’ National Climate
Change Adaptation Framework. This vulnerability is primarily due to the concentration
of Australia’s population on the coastal fringe. The potential impacts include coastal
inundation from sea level rise and storm surge in low lying areas, flooding from more
intense rainfall events, and damage to coastal assets from storm events.

94 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


To identify areas of high priority for management, the department is conducting
a coastal vulnerability assessment to support decision-makers in managing
for the potential impacts of climate change. This project was endorsed by the
Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council in November 2006, and is to be
substantially progressed by June 2008 under the National Climate Change Adaptation
Framework. Following the initial assessment, a more targeted assessment will be
undertaken to provide detailed information and tools for decision-makers.

Acid sulfate soils

Outcome 1—Environment
Acid sulfate soils occur naturally along large areas of Australia’s coastline where the
majority of Australians live. Left undisturbed these soils are harmless, but when
excavated or drained for development the sulfides in the soil react with oxygen in
the air and form sulfuric acid. This acid can kill plants and animals, contaminate
drinking water and food such as oysters, and cause considerable damage to
buildings, infrastructure and estuarine ecosystems.

Coasts and oceans


In 2006–07 the department, with Natural Heritage Trust funding, commissioned
detailed acid sulfate soil maps of hotspots within five priority areas across the
country. These were Far North Queensland and Mackay–Whitsunday natural
resource management regions adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, the Gippsland
coast from Corner Inlet to Lake Tyers in Victoria, the Northern Territory coastal
zone from Bynoe Harbour to Cape Hotham, and the Perth Metropolitan and Peel
Region on the Swan coastal plain in Western Australia. The maps will assist policy
and planning recommendations.
The department continued to work with some of Australia’s top soil scientists to
raise awareness of acid sulfate soils through the development of a National Atlas of
Acid Sulfate Soils, and a national information service that includes the publication
of a quarterly newsletter (ASSAY) and a national website.
The national atlas contains a map and database showing the distribution of acid
sulfate soils in Australia. The atlas is an important tool for land managers who need
to identify areas where development is best avoided or areas that will need special
management if disturbed. The atlas is available online at www.asris.csiro.au.

Coastal water quality and wetlands protection


The Framework for Marine and Estuarine Water Quality Protection aims to protect
marine and estuarine water from the effects of pollution from the land. The two
main sources of this pollution are agriculture and urban development, which result
in nutrients and sediment being washed into the sea.
The framework covers the sources of coastal pollution through the Coastal
Catchments Initiative and Reef Water Quality Protection Plan.
The department manages these programmes, which fund state agencies, regional
bodies and local authorities to help them tackle water quality issues including

95
through the preparation of water quality improvement plans. These plans are
prepared in accordance with the framework’s requirements.

Coastal Catchments Initiative


The Coastal Catchments Initiative aims to protect and improve water quality
in coastal hotspots where water quality is threatened by land-based pollution,
including urban and agricultural sources (see map). It does this by preparing
water quality improvement plans for coastal hotpots and funding interim projects
Outcome 1—Environment

needed to prepare the plans. The first two water quality improvement plans
completed under the initiative were finalised in 2006–07. These were for the
Mossman and Daintree catchments in the Douglas Shire, Queensland, and the
Derwent Estuary, Tasmania.
The current status of all water quality improvement plans and the amount spent
on plans and interim projects in 2006–07 are shown in the table below.
Coasts and oceans

A priority for the Australian Government is to protect the Great Barrier Reef
and Queensland’s coastal wetlands from pollution in runoff water entering the
Great Barrier Reef lagoon. In 2006–07 the department initiated water quality
improvement plans and related interim projects in two Great Barrier Reef
catchments—the Fitzroy and Barron River catchments—and in three other
hotspots—Botany Bay, Gippsland and Adelaide coastal waters.
In 2006–07, the Australian Government provided $7.164 million from the Natural
Heritage Trust for this work, with $3.873 million of this for the Great Barrier Reef
component.

Coastal Catchments Initiative—hotspots

1. Swan–Canning estuary 20
2. Peel Inlet and Harvey estuary
19
3. Vasse–Wonnerup and Geographe Bay
4. Port Adelaide waterways 17
18 16
5. Adelaide coastal waters
14
6. Port Phillip Bay and Western Port
13
7. Derwent estuary
15 12
8. Gippsland Lakes and Corner Inlet
9. Botany Bay 11
10. Myall and Wallis lakes
11. Moreton Bay
12. Burnett River Basin 1
13. Fitzroy River Basin 2 4
14. Mackay–Whitsunday catchments 10
3 5
15. Burdekin River Basin 9
16. Ross and Black river basins 6
17. Tully River Basin
18. Barron River Basin 8
19. Mossman–Daintree catchments
20. Darwin Harbour
7

96 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Current status of water quality improvement plans

Hotspot Progress Expected $ spent


completion 2006–07

Mossman and Daintree catchments, Great Barrier Reef Completed April 2007 100,000

Derwent estuary, Tasmania Completed April 2007 27,273

Peel Inlet and Harvey estuary, Western Australia Public consultation Mid 2007 90,000
draft in preparation

Outcome 1—Environment
Port Adelaide waterways (Barker Inlet and Port River) Public consultation Mid 2007 31,818
draft in preparation

Adelaide’s coastal waters Initiated Late 2008 300,000

Moreton Bay, Queensland Planning under way Late 2007 285,000

Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, Victoria Planning under way Mid 2008 705,434

Gippsland Lakes and Corner Inlet Water quality planning Mid 2008 330,000
projects initiated

Coasts and oceans


Myall and Wallis lakes, New South Wales Planning under way Mid 2008 455,636

Botany Bay Water quality planning Mid 2008 220,000


projects initiated

Swan–Canning estuary, Western Australia Initiated Mid 2009 1,343,100

Vasse–Wonnerup Estuary and Geographe Bay, Western Initiated Mid 2009 108,000
Australia

Darwin Harbour Initiated Mid 2009 0

Great Barrier Reef coastal catchments (including Tully, Planning under way, Late 2007 to 2,060,670
#BSSPO 3PTT #MBDL#VSEFLJO 'JU[SPZBOE#VSOFUU various stages mid 2009
basins and Mackay–Whitsunday catchments)

Reef Water Quality Protection Plan


The Reef Water Quality Protection Plan aims to halt and reverse the decline in the
quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef by 2013. The department shares
responsibility for implementing the plan with other government agencies and the
community.
The department funds activities under the plan partly from the Natural Heritage
Trust and partly from the Queensland Wetlands Programme (see Queensland
Wetlands Programme in this chapter). Water quality improvement plans prepared
under the Great Barrier Reef component of the Coastal Catchments Initiative are
the primary mechanism for delivering the plan’s objectives.
Major projects supporting the plan during 2006–07 included:
t $630,000 for acid sulfate soil mapping and management planning in the Far North
Queensland and Mackay–Whitsunday natural resource management regions
t $600,000 to systematically implement nutrient and sediment source controls
on enterprise scale demonstration farms in the wet and dry tropics

97
t $80,000 to undertake a gap analysis and review of water quality modelling for
the Great Barrier Reef.
Water quality improvement planning involves addressing scientific, social and
economic uncertainties. This includes understanding scientific error associated
with systems modelling and ecosystem response, the effectiveness of on-ground
interventions to achieve water quality targets, and the likelihood of a suitable level
of uptake of those interventions to achieve the plan’s targets. Scientific uncertainty
Outcome 1—Environment

is addressed by incorporating a ‘margin of safety’ into pollutant load targets


and load allocations. This is combined with socio-economic uncertainties in a
‘reasonable assurance statement’, which demonstrates that the plan will achieve its
objectives.
To provide guidance to planning agencies, the department has initiated a project
to prepare protocols for addressing ‘margin of safety’ and ‘reasonable assurance’,
which is to be completed mid-2008. The department also supported the creation
Coasts and oceans

of a partnership between the Australian and Queensland governments and the


regional natural resource management bodies adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef,
and worked with these partners on research and extension programmes aimed at
managing nutrient and sediment pollution from agriculture.

Queensland Wetlands Programme


The Queensland Wetlands Programme is a joint initiative of the Australian and
Queensland governments to support measures that will result in long-term
benefits to the sustainable use, management, conservation and protection of
Queensland wetlands. The programme is funded through two sub-programmes:
t /BUVSBM)FSJUBHF5SVTU8FUMBOET1SPHSBNNF
t (SFBU#BSSJFS3FFG$PBTUBM8FUMBOET1SPUFDUJPO1SPHSBNNF
This year the Natural Heritage Trust Wetlands Programme supported a number of
projects, including:
t NBQQJOHBOEDMBTTJmDBUJPOPGUIF(SFBU#BSSJFS3FFGDBUDINFOUTXFUMBOET
A map of wetlands from the Wet Tropics to Wide Bay was released in
December 2006. The work continues and will be completed for the whole of
Queensland by the end of 2007
t B8FUMBOE*OGPXFCTJUFGPSXFUMBOEJOGPSNBUJPOJO2VFFOTMBOE%FWFMPQNFOUPG
the website is well under way and will be completed later in 2007
t BOVNCFSPGQSPKFDUTEFTJHOFEUPTVQQPSUXFUMBOETSFHVMBUPSZGSBNFXPSLT
including critical wetland support guidelines, wetland definition guidelines, a
framework for wetland inventory, and a scoping study for monitoring the extent
and condition of wetlands.

98 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


The Great Barrier Reef Coastal Wetlands Protection Programme protects and
restores wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area. These wetlands protect
water quality in the Great Barrier Reef and have significant value as wildlife habitat.
A number of projects were completed and others begun. These included:
t BUSJBMPGBEFDJTJPOTVQQPSUUPPMUPBTTJTUUIFQSJPSJUJTBUJPOPGXFUMBOETJOUIF
Great Barrier Reef catchment (completed)
t FEVDBUJPOBMNBUFSJBMPOXFUMBOETJODMVEJOHBTDIPPMDVSSJDVMVNQBDLBHF
(completed)

Outcome 1—Environment
t QMBOTGPSQSJPSJUZDBUDINFOUTUPHVJEFGVUVSFGVOEJOHPGXFUMBOESFIBCJMJUBUJPO
and protection works (begun)
t HVJEFMJOFTGPSSFIBCJMJUBUJOHXFUMBOETJOUIF(SFBU#BSSJFS3FFGDBUDINFOU CFHVO
.

National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine


Environment from Land-based Activities

Coasts and oceans


The Australian Government, as a party to the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea, has a responsibility to protect its marine environment from
land-based activities. In this context Australia is a strong supporter of the United
Nations’ non-binding Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the
Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. The global programme of action
is designed to be a source of conceptual and practical guidance for national and
regional authorities to devise and implement sustained action to prevent, reduce,
control and eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities. It translates
the global programme of action to the national level.
The then Minister for the Environment and Heritage launched Australia’s National
Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-
based Activities to international delegates at the 2nd Intergovernmental Review of
the Global Programme of Action in Beijing in October 2006.
The national programme of action builds on the National Cooperative Approach to
Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the Framework for Marine and Estuarine
Water Quality Protection (see section on integrated coastal zone management in
this chapter). It sets out the specific activities to address land-based sources of
pollution; and emphasises the connections between catchments, river systems,
coastal estuaries and the marine environment, and the importance of these
ecosystems to Australian society.

99
Coastal investments
Australian Government investments in coastal conservation activities are
delivered by a joint arrangement between the department and the Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Coastcare
Outcome 1—Environment

Coastcare is the Natural Heritage Trust’s programme for protecting coastal


catchments, ecosystems and the marine environment. Total expenditure under
Coastcare in 2006–07 was $53 million. Since 1997 more than 60,000 Coastcare
volunteers have been active in monitoring and rehabilitating the health of about
1.3 million hectares of coastal land.
Details of Coastcare investments are reported in the annual reports of the Natural
Heritage Trust and the annual regional programme reports available at
Coasts and oceans

http://www.nrm.gov.au/publications/#annreps.

Sewerage schemes for Boat Harbour Beach and Sisters Beach


Through the Australian Government’s $0.2 million sewerage schemes for Boat
Harbour Beach and Sisters Beach, the department is supporting the Waratah–
Wynyard Council in Tasmania to develop reticulated sewerage systems with
wastewater treatment plants to improve the water quality. Improved urban
planning and wastewater treatment compliance measures, including construction
of sewerage and wastewater treatment infrastructure and stormwater management
improvements, have been undertaken in both areas. Work funded under this
programme will secure long-term water quality benefits for the communities of
Boat Harbour Beach and Sisters Beach.

100 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Marine conservation
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Australia has rights
and responsibilities over one of the world’s largest marine jurisdictions—more
than 14 million square kilometres of ocean.
The Australian Government uses the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 to protect and manage threatened, migratory and marine
species, to assess fisheries, to establish marine protected areas and to develop

Outcome 1—Environment
marine bioregional plans for Australian waters. Threatened species are listed under
the Act.
The department also works with other countries through international treaties,
agreements and conventions to protect and conserve the marine environment
beyond the national jurisdiction.

Coasts and oceans


Marine bioregional planning
Under section 176 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act 1999, the Australian Government is preparing marine bioregional plans and
establishing networks of marine protected areas in Commonwealth waters as
part of the Commonwealth’s contribution to the National Representative System
of Marine Protected Areas. Commonwealth waters are waters generally between
three and 200 nautical miles from the coast (Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone).
The department has been allocated $37.75 million over four years (2006–2010) to
develop these marine bioregional plans.
The department is working with state governments, research institutes and others
to develop marine bioregional plans for five major marine regions around the
continent: the South-west, South-east, East, North-west and North.

101
Outcome 1—Environment
Coasts and oceans

Marine bioregional planning regions

Marine bioregional planning process


Marine bioregional planning is being undertaken to better protect marine
environments and conserve biodiversity, to deliver greater certainty to industry
about conservation priorities in the Commonwealth marine area and to provide
better information to decision-makers and the wider community.
Marine bioregional plans will provide a foundation for future decision-making in
the marine environment. They will identify conservation priorities, the measures
needed to address them and the statutory obligations under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that apply within a region.
Marine bioregional planning is also the process by which the Australian
Government is identifying marine protected areas within its jurisdiction for
inclusion in the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas.
The first step in the marine bioregional planning process is the development of a
regional profile. Regional profiles provide the information base upon which the
draft and final marine bioregional plans are developed. Regional profiles describe
a region’s ecology, conservation values, current and predicted future use patterns
and the process by which marine protected areas in each marine region will be
identified.

102 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
South-west Marine Bioregional Plan
The South-west Marine Region is the first Australian marine region to undergo
planning under the recently strengthened Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The South-west Marine Bioregional Plan will
cover Commonwealth waters from the eastern end of Kangaroo Island, South
Australia, to the waters offshore from Shark Bay in Western Australia.
As at 30 June 2007 the regional profile for the South-west Marine Region was

Outcome 1—Environment
well advanced. The department invested $184,950 to gather information on the
region’s current and predicted future use patterns, key ecological features, and
conservation values. The profile will provide the information required to develop
the South-west Marine Bioregional Plan, expected to be completed around
mid-2009.
The department signed a memorandum of understanding with the Western
Australian Government to facilitate marine bioregional planning in the south-west.

Coasts and oceans


The South-west Regional Profile and its approach to the marine bioregional
planning process will be used as a blueprint for regional profiles and bioregional
plans in all the other marine regions.

South-east Marine Bioregional Plan


The South-east Marine Region covers more than 1.6 million square kilometres of
water off Victoria, Tasmania (including Macquarie Island), southern New South
Wales up to the town of Bermagui, and eastern South Australia from the South
Australian–Victorian border to Victor Harbor.
The plan for the South-east Marine Region was completed in 2004 under the
previous non-statutory regional marine planning process. A new South-east Marine
Bioregional Plan is expected to be developed towards the end of the four-year
planning process to bring the approach in the South-east under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. A key component of the
previous planning process was the development of a network of marine protected
areas within the region (see South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
in this chapter).

East Marine Bioregional Plan


The East Marine Region covers more than 2.4 million square kilometres of water
off the east coast of Queensland and New South Wales (including Lord Howe
Island and Norfolk Island), from the town of Bermagui to the tip of Cape York.
The region includes waters between three nautical miles from the coastline to
the edge of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, but does not include the Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is managed separately by the Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park Authority.

103
The department began developing the regional profile for the East Marine
Region in 2006–07 by commissioning several reports from leading providers of
scientific and socio-economic information, investing $170,000 to obtain data and
expert services. The regional profile will include up-to-date information on both
biodiversity and economic uses of the region and will be underpinned by extensive
data on oceanography and geomorphology. The profile will help to identify the
conservation priorities for the region.

North-west Marine Bioregional Plan


Outcome 1—Environment

The North-west Marine Bioregional Plan will cover Commonwealth waters from
Kalbarri in Western Australia to the Northern Territory–Western Australian border.
The department concluded a memorandum of understanding in 2006–07 with
three Western Australian Government agencies to facilitate a cooperative approach
to marine planning in the north-west.
The department invested $154,000 to gather information on the ecology, key
Coasts and oceans

species and habitats of the region, and on its socio-economic characteristics,


potential future developments and how people are currently using its resources.
The information is being used to develop a regional profile describing the region’s
conservation values, social and economic characteristics, and the process by which
marine protected areas will be identified in the north-west.
The department entered into a financial agreement with the University of Western
Australia through which the Western Australian Marine Science Institution is
undertaking an inventory of marine and coastal research for the North-west region.
Western Australian Government agencies and private sector companies are co-investing
in the inventory and research; tertiary education institutions are also involved.

North Marine Bioregional Plan


Marine planning for the waters between the Goulburn Islands and Torres Strait
has been under way since 2002. In June 2006 the boundaries of the North Marine
Region were extended westward to approximate a seawards extension of the
border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
During 2006–07 the department focused on consolidating the information base
for the North Marine Region and on filling in the information gaps created by
the western extension of the boundary. A number of consultancies to collect and
collate data on the environmental, social and economic values of the region were
finalised, and a workshop was held to bring together scientists with particular
expertise in the species and ecosystems of the region to characterise the marine
environment.
With consolidation of the available information base for the extended region and a
report structure agreed, work commenced on drafting the regional profile for the
North Marine Bioregional Plan. The regional profile is expected to be completed in
late 2007.

104 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Marine protected areas
The department, on behalf of the Director of National Parks, manages an estate of
marine protected areas that are Commonwealth reserves under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
During 2006–07, $4,628,548 from the national component of the Natural
Heritage Trust supported the declaration of new marine protected areas and the
management of the existing marine protected area network. This figure does not

Outcome 1—Environment
include funding for Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve which is
managed by the Australian Antarctic Division.
The management budget covered key functions such as research and monitoring,
structural adjustment, and compliance and enforcement. Some management
functions for existing marine protected areas were delivered by state agencies
under service level agreements with the department. Detailed results are set out
in the annual report of the Director of National Parks at www.environment.gov.au/

Coasts and oceans


about/annual-report.

Current marine protected areas

Ashmore Reef Cartier Island


Marine Reserve Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
National Nature
(managed by GBRMPA)
Reserve
Coringa–Herald National
Nature Reserve

Mermaid Reef Marine


National Nature Reserve Lihou Reef
National Nature
Reserve

Solitary Islands
Ningaloo Marine Park Marine Reserve
(Commonwealth (Commonwealth
Waters) Waters)
Elizabeth and
Middleton Reefs
Marine National
Exclusive Economic
Nature Reserve
Zone limit
Great Australian Bight
Marine Park Lord Howe Island
(Commonwealth Marine Park
Waters) (Commonwealth Waters)
Cod Grounds
Heard Island and
Commonwealth
McDonald Islands
Marine Reserve
Marine Reserve
South-east
Commonwealth Macquarie Island
Marine Reserve Marine Park
Network

© COPYRIGHT Commonwealth of Australia


Antarctica

105
Proclamation of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
Australia’s South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network was proclaimed on
28 June 2007 and came into effect in September 2007. The network covers 226,458
square kilometres and comprises 13 marine protected areas stretching from the
far south coast of New South Wales, around Tasmania and Victoria and west to
Kangaroo Island off South Australia. It is the first temperate deep sea network of
marine reserves in the world.
Outcome 1—Environment

The network will protect typical examples of the marine environment of the
South-east Marine Region. Some reserves contain examples of striking features
of the region, such as submerged mountains and canyons, whilst others include
typical examples of the sea floor, such as muddy bottoms and vast undulating
plains. The network ensures that examples of all the habitats and the life they
support in the South-east Marine Region are represented in the marine protected
area network.
Coasts and oceans

The department invited public comment on the establishment of the South-east


Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network in late 2006 and received
127 submissions. There was general support for the network from commercial and
recreational fishers and the mining industry, with a more critical response from
scientists and the conservation sector. Support was expressed for the department’s
consultative approach. Subsequent consultation with the commercial fishing
industry and petroleum industry led to agreement on interim management
arrangements for the network.
The interim management arrangements commence when the network comes
into effect on 3 September 2007. They will ensure that the important values of
the reserves are protected until the statutory management plan for the network is
developed in 2007–08.
The department published a user’s guide for commercial fisheries and material to
inform the general public of the network’s values and compliance requirements.
The department negotiated with state and Australian Government agencies to
obtain compliance services in the new reserves. Compliance management systems
are being improved through the development of a new marine incident database.

Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve


The Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve was declared on 28 May 2007
to protect the critically endangered grey nurse shark. The Cod Grounds reserve
covers an area of 300 hectares located off the coast of northern New South Wales
near Laurieton.
The decline in the grey nurse shark population has been attributed to its
low reproduction rate as well as fishing-related mortality. The department’s
Threatened Species Recovery Plan for the Grey Nurse Shark recommended the

106 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Cod Grounds be declared
a sanctuary zone because
it provides critical habitat
for the shark to feed and
reproduce. All commercial
and recreational fishing
is now prohibited in the
area.

Outcome 1—Environment
The department has
made arrangements
with the New South
Wales Department of
Primary Industries to
Grey nurse shark. Photo: David Harasti
carry out compliance and
enforcement activities

Coasts and oceans


within the reserve.
A structural adjustment process for affected commercial fishing businesses is being
implemented under the Australian Government’s Marine Protected Areas and
Displaced Fishing Policy.

Migratory and threatened marine species protection


The department is working to prevent threatened species in the marine
environment from becoming extinct and to recover their populations. This
work is guided by recovery plans made under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 which set out the actions needed to maximise
the chances of long-term survival of threatened species in the wild.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 also
provides protection for migratory species. These include species listed in
the appendices to the Bonn Convention (Convention on the Conservation
of Migratory Species of Wild Animals) under which Australia is a range state,
the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of
the Peoples’ Republic of China for the Protection of Migratory Birds and their
Environment (CAMBA) and the Agreement between the Government of Japan
and the Government of Australia for the Protection of Migratory Birds and Birds
in Danger of Extinction and their Environment (JAMBA) (see international marine
conservation in this chapter).

Recovery plans for listed threatened marine species


Under amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 the minister must decide whether to have a recovery
plan for a species within 90 days of it becoming listed as a threatened species.

107
For already listed marine species, recovery plans are in place for:
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t NBSJOFUVSUMFT
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t GPVSIBOEmTITQFDJFT
The recovery plans for the great white shark and grey nurse shark are due for
Outcome 1—Environment

review in 2007. A recovery plan is under development for the Australian sea-lion.
A multiple species recovery plan is under development for freshwater sawfish
(Pristis microdon), speartooth shark (Glyphis sp. A) and northern river shark
(Glyphis sp. C).

Marine debris
‘Injury and fatality to vertebrate marine life caused by ingestion of, or
Coasts and oceans

entanglement in, harmful marine debris’ was listed as a key threatening process
under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in
August 2003. Harmful marine debris impacts on a range of marine life, including
protected species of birds, sharks, turtles and marine mammals. More than 20
listed threatened marine species are known to be affected.
In order to address these threats, the department is preparing a threat abatement
plan for marine debris. To date, background papers have been prepared and
reviewed. National agreement will be sought on the plan, which is expected to be
finalised in 2008.
The department is coordinating several projects related to marine debris that
will be used to inform policy development. The department worked with the
Dhimurru Aboriginal Land Corporation on joint projects to quantify the impact
of debris on turtle survival. Wind patterns and ocean currents across northern
Australia are being investigated to determine the movement of debris in Australian
waters and onto the coast. Nationally consistent protocols for collecting data on
marine debris are being developed, drawing on international experience.

108 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Ghost net project wins a Banksia Award
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have either been lost or discarded at sea.
For decades, these nets have killed thousands of turtles, dolphins, dugongs
and other marine life.
The Australian Government contributed about $2 million, through the
Natural Heritage Trust, for the Carpentaria Ghost Net Programme. This

Outcome 1—Environment
programme won the marine category of the Banksia Awards in July 2007.
The programme is helping Indigenous communities all around the Gulf
of Carpentaria work together to rid the coastline of ghost nets and other
marine debris.
Indigenous communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory have
so far cleaned up tonnes of fishing nets that have accumulated on the
coastline. The removal of the nets from the coastline will ensure that they

Coasts and oceans


do not wash back into the water and pose a further risk to marine life.

New migratory species listings


Following the inclusion of the basking shark on the appendices to the Convention
on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the species has been
included in the list of migratory species under the Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The roseate tern will be included in
the migratory species list in 2007, once the treaty making process to amend the
annexes to the Japan–Australia Migratory Birds Agreement (JAMBA) and China–
Australia Migratory Birds Agreement (CAMBA) is completed.

Migratory shorebird conservation


The first wildlife conservation plan made under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory
Shorebirds, is ensuring greater protection and conservation of migratory birds.
In 2006–07 the Australian Government provided $494,000 from the Natural
Heritage Trust to implement the plan, and to promote international cooperation
to conserve migratory waterbirds through the Partnership for the Conservation of
Migratory Waterbirds and the Sustainable Use of their Habitats in the East Asian–
Australasian Flyway. The flyway encompasses 22 countries; 10 of these have so far
joined the partnership.

109
Whale and dolphin protection
The department is responsible for carrying out the Australian Government’s
whale protection policies, including through international forums such as the
International Whaling Commission.
The Australian Government has made whale and dolphin conservation and
protection a priority. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act 1999 established the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Commonwealth waters
Outcome 1—Environment

(see case study). The Act also regulates how people should behave around whales
and dolphins.
The department hosted the 5th National Disentanglement Workshop in Hobart in
April 2007 in conjunction with the Tasmanian Department for Primary Industries
and Water. The workshop promoted the use of best practice methods for
disentangling whales from fishing gear and shark nets, and the importance of
Coasts and oceans

having highly trained personnel around the country to respond to entanglement


incidents. The workshop trained Australian and state government employees
to disentangle whales safely from fishing gear and marine debris. International
experts and observers from the Pacific region also participated.
In order to keep track of entangled whales that cannot be disentangled
immediately, all states now have satellite telemetry buoys which can be attached
to entanglement gear. The department supplied most of the buoys. The Australian
disentanglement network is gaining a worldwide reputation for its better practice
training methods and successful, safe disentanglement procedures. The network
is now being invited to extend its methods to Pacific countries, South Africa and
some European countries.
The department funded a number of research projects relating to the conservation
and management of three threatened whale species, the blue, southern right and
humpback whale. Recent data from research funded through the Natural Heritage
Trust indicates that populations of two out of the five threatened species of large
whales found near Australia’s coastline are increasing. While still much lower than
pre-whaling numbers, the Australian populations of southern right whales and
humpback whales on the east coast continue to increase at around 7 per cent and
10.5 per cent a year respectively. Comparable figures for the west coast are not
available; however it is assumed that the recovery rate is similar. Currently there
are around 2,400 southern right whales and 33,000 humpback whales. Blue whale
studies are continuing, but there are still insufficient data to estimate population
size or indicate whether recovery is occurring. There are no current estimates for
the abundance of the other three threatened species of large whales: the blue, fin
and sei whales.

110 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The new Australian Centre for Applied Marine Mammal Science in the
department’s Australian Antarctic Division began a number of research projects
worth over $400,000 to improve knowledge of the distribution, abundance and
habitat requirements of whales and dolphins. This information will assist in
conserving these species.
To mark the United Nations’ 2007 International Year of the Dolphin the
department launched a website (www.environment.gov.au/coasts/species/
cetaceans/dolphin-year-2007) and developed a teachers’ toolkit to help teachers

Outcome 1—Environment
to organise dolphin related activities for school children. The toolkit prompts
discussion about the threats facing dolphins and highlights positive steps teachers
can take with their students to help protect these creatures.
The then Minister for the Environment and Heritage launched the Save Our
Whales public education campaign in 2006 which includes an educational
interactive website for children, information materials about whales, current

Coasts and oceans


research projects, whale-watching guidelines and whale rescue information
(www.saveourwhales.gov.au).
For more information on Australia’s efforts in the International Whaling
Commission see the section on international marine conservation in this chapter.

111
The Australian Whale Sanctuary
Australian waters are home to
a large number of unique and
magnificent marine mammals,
including 45 species of whales,
dolphins and porpoises. Some
of these species are permanent
Outcome 1—Environment

residents in Australian waters,


whilst others are occasional visitors,
migrating from their summer
feeding grounds in the Antarctic to
Humpback whale (Megaptera the warmer waters of the Australian
novaeangliae). Photo: Dave Paton coast during the winter.
Australians have long recognised the importance of whales, dolphins and
Coasts and oceans

porpoises to our unique marine ecosystems, and believe that it is essential


to ensure the survival of these mammals. The Australian Government has
made whale, dolphin and porpoise conservation a priority.

Christmas
The Australian Whale Sanctuary
Island
protects whales, dolphins and
Cocos
(Keeling)
Islands porpoises in the Commonwealth
marine area beyond Australia’s coastal
Exclusive
Economic Zone
limit
waters. It includes all of Australia’s
Exclusive Economic Zone which
Australian Whale Sanctuary
generally extends to 200 nautical miles
(approximately 370 kilometres) from
Heard Island Macquarie
and McDonald
Islands
Island
the coast, but extends further in some
© COPYRIGHT Commonwealth of Australia

areas to cover offshore territorial


waters and islands.
All coastal states and territories
provide similar protection for whales.
State and territory governments are
responsible for protecting whales
and dolphins in waters within
three nautical miles of the coastline.
Activities in the Australian Whale
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).
Photo: Ian Anderson Sanctuary that may impact on
whales, dolphins and porpoises
may require a permit. Permits may only be issued after consideration of all
the impacts of the activity have been taken into account. Permits cannot be
issued to kill a whale, dolphin or porpoise or to take one for live display.

112 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Sustainable fisheries assessments
The department is responsible for assessing the environmental performance of
fisheries under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999. All fisheries whose products are exported, and all Commonwealth-managed
fisheries, must be assessed.
The Guidelines for the Ecologically Sustainable Management of Fisheries outline
how the department assesses each fishery. Following the department’s assessment,

Outcome 1—Environment
the minister may approve the continued export of the product if he is satisfied
with the operation of the fishery.
The department completed assessments of two Commonwealth-managed fisheries
and 13 state-managed fisheries in 2006–07. All fisheries assessed received export
approval. See the second volume of this set of annual reports for a full list of the
assessed fisheries.

Coasts and oceans


Since 2000, when the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act 1999 came into force, the minister has declared 122 fisheries as either exempt
from the export provisions of the Act for five years, or as approved wildlife trade
operations for periods of up to three years.

Fisheries assessed (2000–present)


Cumulative number of fisheries assessed

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0
2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Year

113
Since 2000 the Australian Government has used the assessment process to drive
improvements in fisheries management by identifying what extra environmental
protection measures need to be put in place. As a result, fishery management
agencies have agreed on a range of measures to improve their environmental
performance and sustainability.

Marine pest management framework


Outcome 1—Environment

The Australian Government is working with state and territory governments to


establish a national system for the prevention and management of marine pest
incursions. The national system has three major components: preventing new
populations of marine pests establishing in Australia; a coordinated emergency
response to new incursions and translocations; and the ongoing control and
management of existing populations of marine pests. The department contributes
to all aspects of the national system, but takes a coordinating role in the ongoing
control and management of existing populations.
Coasts and oceans

The Australian Government committed $6 million over four years (2004–2008)


from the national component of the Natural Heritage Trust for research and
development and other activities necessary to implement the national system.
Project expenditure during 2006–07 was $254,000. Projects funded by the
department include:
t NBOBHJOHFTUBCMJTIFENBSJOFQFTUTUISPVHIEFWFMPQJOHDPOUSPMQMBOTGPSTJY
introduced marine species
t JEFOUJGZJOH"TJBONVTTFM Musculista Senhousia), European fan worm (Sabella
spallanzanii) and European clam (Varicorbula gibba) through genetic testing
t EFWFMPQNFOUPGBOJOUFSOBUJPOBMDPOTPSUJVNGPSNBSJOFCJPTFDVSJUZFEVDBUJPO
to assist the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation nations to address the risk of
invasive marine species
t QSFTFSWBUJPOBOEJEFOUJmDBUJPOPGHFOFUJDNBUFSJBMGSPNQPSUTVSWFZT
undertaken in Australia since 1996 to provide additional data and information
for pest management.

International marine conservation


The seas and seabed beyond the national jurisdiction of individual countries—the
‘high seas’—contain significant biodiversity, much of it new to science, diverse,
unique and fragile. The department works with other countries to promote marine
biodiversity conservation, including on the high seas.

International activities for listed threatened and migratory species


The department continued to build regional and international conservation
partnerships to ensure that Australia’s domestic protection measures for listed
threatened and migratory species are complemented internationally.

114 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department is Australia’s focal point for the Convention on the Conservation
of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, an intergovernmental convention of 92
countries to which Australia is a signatory. The department also supports the
Australian Government’s obligations under the Japan–Australia Migratory Birds
Agreement (JAMBA) and the China–Australia Migratory Birds Agreement (CAMBA).
An update to the names used to describe the birds in the annex to both
agreements was agreed with Japan and China. The roseate tern was included in
the annexes to both agreements following banding research which demonstrated

Outcome 1—Environment
migration between Swain Reef in Queensland and Japan and China. The Australian
painted snipe was removed from the annex to CAMBA following research which
showed that this species does not migrate to China.
The department finalised a bilateral migratory bird agreement with the Republic of
Korea. The agreement was signed by the Australian and Korean foreign ministers
in December 2006 and is currently in the final stages of treaty making. It will enter

Coasts and oceans


into force in 2007.
The department led the finalisation and launch in November 2006 of the
Partnership for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and the Sustainable Use
of their Habitats in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. The partnership will provide
a framework for international cooperation to conserve migratory waterbirds and
their habitat across their range. Australia has been invited to chair the partnership
for the first two years.

United Nations
In December 2006 Australia co-sponsored a strong resolution adopted at the
61st United Nations General Assembly which contains measures to strengthen
management of fishing practices on the high seas. Specifically, the resolution
requires regional fisheries management organisations to develop and implement
interim measures by the end of 2007 to regulate bottom trawling, to ensure these
activities do not adversely affect vulnerable marine ecosystems. If interim measures
are not adopted by 31 December 2007, the regional fisheries management
organisations must take measures to ensure bottom fishing activities cease.

Asia–Pacific
The department is continuing to work closely with Pacific Island countries and
territories to advance a number of whale and dolphin conservation initiatives
in the region. Australia was actively involved in the development of the 2006
Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their
Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region under the auspices of the Convention on the
Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. The department is working
with the secretariat of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme
(SPREP) on developing the 2007–2012 SPREP Whale and Dolphin Action Plan.

115
In March 2007 Australia hosted a workshop in Samoa on whale and fishery
interactions in the Pacific and the complexity of the ocean food web.
The workshop highlighted the negligible impact large whales have on fish
stocks as their diet consists mainly of krill.
The department was involved in the development of the 2007–2012 SPREP
marine turtle and dugong action plans, and provided funding to implement
priority actions for capacity building in Pacific Island countries. In 2007–08 several
Pacific Islanders will join Australian researchers and Indigenous Australians to
Outcome 1—Environment

share knowledge about turtle and dugong management, and about research and
monitoring activities.
Australia is assisting regional marine conservation and management through
the Arafura and Timor Seas Expert Forum. The forum is one of Australia’s major
partnership initiatives arising from the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on
Sustainable Development. It facilitates cooperative research and better information
Coasts and oceans

sharing between governments, scientific bodies and non-government interests


in Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Its aim is to improve the sustainable
management of living marine resources in the Arafura and Timor seas region.
In 2006 forum partners developed a bid for funding to support Indonesia
and Timor-Leste to participate in the Arafura and Timor Seas Expert Forum to
2014. The bid was submitted to the Global Environment Facility Council for
consideration in June 2007. The department is also progressing regional marine
conservation and collective actions on high priority issues including marine debris
through the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia.
Australia is helping to improve the management and sustainability of the oceans
and marine resources within the Asia–Pacific region through the Asia–Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. In 2006–07 Australia promoted and
supported activities covering marine debris, the potential of marine protected
areas to alleviate poverty, marine invasive species and illegal fishing.
The department hosted the 20th annual meeting of the APEC Marine Resources
Conservation Working Group in April 2007 and joint meetings of the conservation and
fisheries working groups. The department will use 2007–08 to promote ecosystem-
based management and marine protected areas, and to increase understanding of the
economic consequences of marine debris in the Asia–Pacific region.

International Whaling Commission


The Australian Government continued its strong opposition to ‘scientific’ and
commercial whaling and presented strong arguments at this year’s International
Whaling Commission meeting to put a stop to whaling. At the 59th meeting held in
May 2007, the simple majority was regained by pro-conservation countries, and the
ban on commercial whaling remained in place. Several resolutions were passed by
the majority of countries condemning ‘scientific’ whaling in Antarctica, reaffirming

116 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
the primacy of the commission on cetacean matters and recognising the value of
non-lethal uses of whale resources.
The government is working closely with other pro-conservation countries to
ensure they stay firm in their opposition to any form of commercial and ‘scientific’
whaling, and to bring greater focus to the economic benefits of non-consumptive
use of whales. The government will call for the adoption of non-lethal techniques
in researching the status of whales and their habitats.

Outcome 1—Environment
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park structural adjustment package
On 1 July 2004 rezoning in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park increased the area of
‘no fishing’ zones in the park from 4.5 per cent to 33.3 per cent. The government
has since been providing assistance to businesses and individuals affected by the
rezoning through a structural adjustment package. The package has an approved
budget of $170.773 million, including $84.033 million in 2006–07, but the final

Coasts and oceans


amount of assistance provided is yet to be determined.
As of 30 June 2007, 1700 grants totalling $134.63 million had been approved
under the various elements of the package. The largest elements of the package
comprise 122 grants for licence buy-outs totalling nearly $33 million, 314 grants for
Full Business Restructuring Assistance totalling $86.44 million and 496 grants for
Simplified Business Restructuring Assistance amounting to $11.31 million.

Marine science
Scientific research is an important component of the Australian Government’s
marine conservation strategy. The department works in partnership with
other government agencies and scientists to increase understanding of marine
ecosystems and biodiversity.

Marine surveys
In 2006–07 the department co-sponsored surveys of seabed biodiversity in
two of the Commonwealth marine reserves that make up the new South-east
Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network (i.e. Huon and Tasman Fracture)
and funded analyses of information from a previous survey of the Zeehan
Commonwealth Marine Reserve. The department contributed about
$1.1 million or 48 per cent of the cost of the surveys. The surveys are providing
the first baseline inventories of biodiversity and habitat in the reserves and
helping to better define the reserves’ conservation values. The work will also
help achieve the objectives articulated in the management plan for the former
Tasmanian Seamounts Marine Reserve (now incorporated into the larger Huon
Commonwealth Marine Reserve), and will inform the management plan for the
entire South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network.

117
South-east marine survey
The department, in collaboration with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric
Research, conducted surveys of the Huon and Tasman Fracture
Commonwealth marine reserves in the South-east Commonwealth Marine
Reserve Network. The surveys were undertaken from the national facility
vessel RV Southern Surveyor in waters between 100 and 1,800 metres deep.
Outcome 1—Environment
Coasts and oceans

A cluster of seamount pinnacles in the Huon marine protected area. The image on
the left shows information prior to the survey and the image on the right shows the
high resolution map of the same area produced from the survey. Photo: CSIRO Marine and
Atmospheric Research.

Scientists conducted acoustic


swath mapping to obtain
high quality maps of the
seabed and took images of
benthic fauna using state-
of-the-art video and still
photographic techniques.
These techniques are
being developed to
provide a quantitative
and non-destructive way
of monitoring sensitive
This image taken from a submerged camera
environments such as those
shows a seamount biodiversity hotspot—a rich
garden of corals, sponges and sea stars on that exist on seamounts.
stony coral substratum. Photo: CSIRO Marine and
Atmospheric Research
Scientists collected several
hundred marine species
for biodiversity inventories. These species will be identified by specialist
museum taxonomists. It is expected that many of the species will be new
to science. Information from this project will inform the management of
protected areas in the South-east Marine Region.

118 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Oceans Portal
The department, working with Australian Government marine science agencies,
completed the transfer of the Oceans Portal, an online marine database, to the
CSIRO. The Oceans Portal allows users to bring together information from a
number of participating Australian Government science and information agencies
and museums, and to create a product, such as a map. The Oceans Portal will hold
data from the department as well as the Australian Institute of Marine Science,
Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Royal Australian Navy and

Outcome 1—Environment
CSIRO. Access to the Oceans Portal will become available late in 2007.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System


The department continued its involvement in the Ocean Biogeographic
Information System (OBIS) in partnership with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric
Research by supporting projects that add to knowledge about the diversity of
life in Australia’s oceans. New information was provided to OBIS on marine

Coasts and oceans


invertebrates, larval fish, zooplankton, Antarctic fauna and flora, cetaceans,
seabirds, fish, seals and penguins.
To date over 400,000 records are available through OBIS. When all projects are
completed, more than 500,000 records are expected to be available. The system
will encourage sharing of marine data by academics, museums, universities and
industry research bodies. OBIS can be accessed at www.obis.org.au.

119
Results for performance indicators
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Estuaries and coastal waters

Number of water quality improvement 2 plans were completed and 4 initiated


plans and associated interim projects
completed or under development
Outcome 1—Environment

Number of Australian Government 1 action for which the department has direct responsibility has
obligations under the Great Barrier Reef been completed and 9 actions are in progress
Water Quality Protection Plan either
completed or in progress

Development of sewerage schemes for Boat Harbour Beach and Sisters Beach, Tasmania (Administered item)

Extent to which the project will achieve High—project objectives have been and will continue to be met
government objectives through the construction of a wastewater treatment plant at
Shelter Point and new sewerage infrastructure at Boat Harbour
Coasts and oceans

Beach to improve coastal water quality. Sewerage infrastructure


and a wastewater treatment plant have been completed for the
Sisters Beach and Lake Llewellyn communities

Number of milestones achieved compared Boat Harbour Beach—all contract milestones completed
with those specified in the contract
Sisters Beach—all contract milestones completed
The Sisters Beach Waterways Improvement Strategy–Stormwater
Management Improvement Programme contract was due to
be completed in April 2007. While most of the work has been
completed, there are still a few elements to be finalised

Natural Heritage Trust (Coastcare)

(See indicators for the Natural Heritage Results are reported in land and inland waters
Trust in land and inland waters chapter)

Recovery of threatened marine wildlife

Number of recovery plans (i) being (i) 2 recovery plans are being prepared–1 for the Australian
prepared and (ii) in operation sea-lion and a multiple species plan for Pristis microdon,
Glyphis sp. A and Glyphis sp. C
(ii) 7 plans are in operation covering 25 species

Percentage of listed threatened marine 86% (25 of 29) of species have recovery plans in operation
species and ecological communities with
recovery plans in operation

Key threats to marine biodiversity

Number of threat abatement plans (i) 1 threat abatement plan is being prepared for marine debris
(i) being prepared or revised and
(ii) 1 plan is in operation for incidental bycatch of seabirds during
(ii) in operation
oceanic longline fishing

Of those listed key threatening processes 50%


in the oceans that require a threat
abatement plan, the percentage that have
threat abatement plans in operation

120 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Fisheries

Percentage of environmental Over 1,000 recommendations for improvement in fisheries


recommendations implemented under management across Australia have been made. The majority
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity are ongoing and require adaptive management. The progress
Conservation Act 1999 assessments of and adequacy of implementation is considered within the
fisheries management reassessment process

Marine protected areas 1

Outcome 1—Environment
Area of Commonwealth reserves and 27,245,678 hectares (including Heard Island and McDonald
DPOTFSWBUJPO[POFTNBOBHFECZUIF Islands Marine Reserve)
Department of the Environment and Water
Resources for the Director of National Parks

Percentage of protected areas managed by 86% (12 of 14) marine protected areas have management plans in
the Department of the Environment and operation (inclusive of Heard and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve)
Water Resources for the Director of National
Interim management arrangements are in place for the newly
Parks with management plans in operation
declared Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve until

Coasts and oceans


the management plan is put into effect. Mermaid Reef National
Nature Reserve is currently being managed in a way consistent
with Australian management principles for IUCN (World
Conservation Union) category 1A until the 2nd management plan
comes into effect (expected in late 2007)

Marine bioregional plans 2

Number of marine bioregional plans and (i) 4 marine bioregional plans are being developed: the South-
profiles (i) being prepared or revised and (ii) west, North-west, North and East marine regions
in operation
(ii) None

International whaling 3

The degree to which Australia’s policy Pro-conservation countries regained a simple majority at the
interests are advanced, including through 59th International Whaling Commission meeting to continue the
the International Whaling Commission ban on commercial whaling
A proposal for small-species coastal whaling was defeated
Resolutions were passed reaffirming the primacy of the
commission on cetaceans, condemning ‘scientific’ whaling, and
recognising the value of non-lethal use of whales
Moves by pro-whaling countries to review the listing of whale
species on the Appendices to CITES, which could have led to the
opening of trade in some species of large whales, were defeated
at the CITES meeting in June 2007
CITES acknowledged the primacy of the International Whaling
Commission in the management of all whales and confirmed the
ban on trade will remain whilst the moratorium is in place
A memoranda of understanding on the Conservation of Cetaceans
and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region came into effect in
September 2006 and has 11 signatories including Australia

1 Detailed performance results for Commonwealth reserves are in the annual report of the Director of National Parks.
2 This performance indicator is from the 2007–08 Portfolio Budget Statements.
3 This performance indicator appears under outcome 2 in the 2006–07 Portfolio Budget Statements, but responsibility is now
with outcome 1.

121
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Output 1.3—Conservation of the coasts and oceans

Policy advisor role: The minister is satisfied Minister was satisfied with timeliness and quality of briefs. The
with the timeliness and accuracy of briefs department has experienced challenges in responding to the
and draft ministerial correspondence unprecedented volume of correspondence now being received,
provided by the department but procedural adjustments and new systems have improved
timeliness

Provider role 1: Percentage of payments 100%


Outcome 1—Environment

that are consistent with the terms and


conditions of funding (Target: 100%)

Regulator role 2: Percentage of statutory A report on the compliance with statutory timeframes triggered
timeframes triggered that are met (Target: under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
>90%) Act 1999 is provided in the second volume of this set of annual
reports

Price Refer to the resources table below


Coasts and oceans

1 Applies only to the administration of grants programmes funded entirely from departmental funding for this output.
Any grants programmes within this output that are wholly or partially funded through administered appropriations are
separately reported.
2 Includes explicit reporting timeframes triggered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

122 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Resources
Elements of pricing Budget prices Actual expenses
$’000 $’000

Departmental outputs

Sub-output: 1.3.1 Coastal strategies 5,525 5,499


Sub-output: 1.3.2 Coastal investment 2,008 1,951

Outcome 1—Environment
Sub-output: 1.3.3 Marine conservation 23,457 23,932

Total Output 1.3 30,990 31,382

Administered items

Great Barrier Reef—Representative Areas Programme Structural


Adjustment Package 82,154 65,887

Coasts and oceans


Natural Heritage Trust (Coastcare Programme) 52,556 52,556
Development of sewerage schemes for Boat Harbour Beach and
Sisters Beach, Tasmania 200 190

Total (Administered) 134,910 118,633

123
Outcome 1—Environment Natural, Indigenous and historic heritage

125
Heritage
The Department of the Environment and Water Resources identifies, protects
and conserves Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, including Indigenous and
historic heritage.

Main responsibilities for this output

t *EFOUJGZBOEBTTFTTQMBDFTGPSQPTTJCMFJODMVTJPO
on the World Heritage List, National Heritage
List, and Commonwealth Heritage List
t "EWJTFPODPOTFSWBUJPOBOENBOBHFNFOU
Outcome 1—Environment

of heritage places with Indigenous, natural


or historic values under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act 1999 Heritage Division
t "ENJOJTUFSUIF$PNNPOXFBMUITPCMJHBUJPOT
under the Convention for the Protection of
the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972,
Heritage

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage


Protection Act 1984, Protection of Movable
Cultural Heritage Act 1986 and Historic
Shipwrecks Act 1976

Objectives
Natural, Indigenous and historic heritage
t *EFOUJGZ QSPUFDU DPOTFSWFBOEDFMFCSBUF"VTUSBMJBTOBUVSBM *OEJHFOPVTBOE
historic heritage places that are of national and world significance
t *EFOUJGZ QSPUFDUBOEDPOTFSWFIFSJUBHFQMBDFTUIBUBSF$PNNPOXFBMUIPXOFE
or leased
t $POUSJCVUFUPQSPUFDUJPOPGOBUVSBMBOEDVMUVSBMIFSJUBHFJOUIF4PVUI&BTU
Asia–Pacific region
t *ODSFBTFLOPXMFEHFBOEFOKPZNFOUPG"VTUSBMJBTNBSJUJNFIFSJUBHFXIJMF
protecting shipwrecks and associated relics
t 1SFWFOU"VTUSBMJBTDVMUVSBMIFSJUBHFGSPNCFJOHTJHOJmDBOUMZEJNJOJTIFEEVF
to the export of heritage objects

126 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Results 2006–07

t 0O+VOFUIF4ZEOFZ0QFSB)PVTFXBTJOTDSJCFEPOUIF8PSME
Heritage List. The Opera House has captured the imagination of people
all over the world and is an instantly recognisable icon of Sydney and
Australia.
t 5IF%BNQJFS"SDIJQFMBHP JODMVEJOHUIF#VSSVQ1FOJOTVMB JO
Western Australia was assessed for the national heritage values of its
rock engravings and stone arrangements. On 3 July 2007, Dampier
Archipelago was included in the National Heritage List. Conservation
agreements were negotiated with two companies to protect and

Outcome 1—Environment
conserve national heritage values in or adjacent to their operations.
The listing will ensure protection of Indigenous heritage without
compromising the viability of nationally important industries.
t QMBDFTXFSFBEEFEUPUIF/BUJPOBM)FSJUBHF-JTUCSJOHJOHUIFOVNCFS
of places in the list to 59, including five national parks and 15 World
Heritage listed places.
t 0OFQMBDF UIF5BTNBOJBO4FBNPVOUT XBTBEEFEUPUIF$PNNPOXFBMUI

Heritage
Heritage List bringing the total to 340 places.
t .PSFUIBOQSPKFDUTXFSFGVOEFEVOEFSUIF*OEJHFOPVT)FSJUBHF
Programme to identify, conserve and promote Indigenous heritage.
t "NFOENFOUTUPUIFEnvironment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 and the Australian Heritage Council Act
2003 came into effect on 19 February 2007. The amendments include
provisions to improve the nomination and assessment processes for
listing national heritage and Commonwealth heritage places. They
establish the List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance to Australia,
and allow places in the World Heritage List to be added to the National
Heritage List without assessment.
t 1BSMJBNFOUQBTTFEBNFOENFOUTUPUIF Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 in 2006. The amendments clarify
the status of declarations made under the Act and when they can be
used as legislative instruments, repeal provisions in the Act preventing
Victoria from passing its own legislation to protect Indigenous heritage,
and enable the export of objects where a certificate has been issued
under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.

127
World, national and Commonwealth heritage
Australia’s world, national and Commonwealth heritage places may be of natural,
Indigenous or historic significance or any combination of these. Heritage places
are important to Australia’s sense of national identity and shared values. Protecting
them benefits future generations as well as the present community.
The Australian Government’s main legislation for protecting heritage places is the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Act protects the heritage values of places that are included in the following lists:
t 8PSME)FSJUBHF-JTUMJTUFEQMBDFTBSFPGHMPCBMTJHOJmDBODFSFDPHOJTFEVOEFS
the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural
Outcome 1—Environment

Heritage (usually referred to as the World Heritage Convention)


t /BUJPOBM)FSJUBHF-JTUMJTUFEQMBDFTBSFPGPVUTUBOEJOHIFSJUBHFWBMVFUPUIF
nation
t $PNNPOXFBMUI)FSJUBHF-JTUMJTUFEQMBDFTBSFPGTJHOJmDBOUIFSJUBHFWBMVFBOE
are owned or leased by the Australian Government.
In late 2006, the Australian Parliament passed the Environment and Heritage
Heritage

Legislation Amendment Act (No.1) 2006 which included significant amendments


to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the
Australia Council Act 2003. The amendments:
t TFUPVUUIFBSSBOHFNFOUTGPSUIFOPNJOBUJPOBOEBTTFTTNFOUQSPDFTTFTGPS
the National Heritage List and Commonwealth Heritage List. The minister will
call for public nominations once every year, and may establish a theme for
nominations to the national list. The minister, after advice from the Australian
Heritage Council, will finalise a list of priorities for assessment, which will be
publicly announced. The council will assess the places on the priority list
t TUSFBNMJOFUIFQSPDFTTGPS/BUJPOBM)FSJUBHFBOE$PNNPOXFBMUI)FSJUBHF
emergency listing. These processes are available where the minister is satisfied
that there is a likely and imminent threat of a significant adverse impact upon
the heritage values of a place
t FTUBCMJTIUIF-JTUPG0WFSTFBT1MBDFTPG)JTUPSJD4JHOJmDBODFUP"VTUSBMJB5IFMJTU
will enable symbolic recognition of overseas places. The National Heritage List
will no longer be open to places outside Australian jurisdiction
t BMMPX8PSME)FSJUBHFMJTUFEQMBDFTUPCFQMBDFEJOUIF/BUJPOBM)FSJUBHF-JTUGPS
their world heritage values without assessment through the standard processes
t GSFF[FUIF3FHJTUFSPGUIF/BUJPOBM&TUBUFBOESFNPWFJUTTUBUVUPSZCBTJTBGUFS
five years. The transition period will allow the Australian Government, states
and territories to complete the task of transferring places to state, territory and
local heritage registers. The register will be maintained after this period as a
non-statutory archive.

128 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department manages the processes set up by the Act, provides heritage
listing advice to the government, and advises property managers on their heritage
management plans and strategies. The department supports the Australian
Heritage Council in its assessment, advice and public information and awareness
activities. The department’s heritage activities are largely funded through the
Distinctively Australian Programme ($52.1 million from 2003–2007) and the
National Heritage Investment Initiative ($10.5 million from 2005–2009).

World heritage listings


Australia has 17 world heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Nominations are made by national governments and assessed for inclusion on the

Outcome 1—Environment
list by the World Heritage Committee.
On 28 June 2007 the Sydney Opera House was officially inscribed on the World
Heritage List as a masterpiece of human creative genius. The Opera House
is an extraordinary building in a stunning harbour setting. Since its opening,
it has captured the imagination of people all over the world and become an
internationally recognised icon of both Sydney and Australia as a whole.

Heritage
Extensive work was undertaken on a new World Heritage nomination covering
Australian Convict Sites. The department, with state and territory officials, has
overseen preparation of the nomination, revision of management plans and
community consultation. The nomination is scheduled to be submitted in late 2007.

Australian World Heritage Tentative List


The Australian Government has responsibility under the Operational Guidelines
for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (2005) to prepare
an Australian World Heritage Tentative List. A tentative list is an inventory of
properties on its territory which a party considers suitable for inscription on the
World Heritage List. At its 2 June 2007 meeting the Environment Protection and
Heritage Council agreed to support preparation of a new Australian World Heritage
Tentative List for consideration over the next 10 years. This was in light of thematic
reports by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the
World Conservation Union (IUCN) identifying gaps in the World Heritage List, and
considering the tentative lists of other parties. The department will work with all
states and territories to discuss possible nominations and themes for the list in the
latter part of 2007.
A National Heritage Protocol agreed by the Environment Protection and Heritage
Council in April 2004 states that, as a general principle, future nominations for the
World Heritage List, and by extension submissions to Australia’s tentative list, will
be drawn from the National Heritage List.

129
World Heritage 25th anniversary communications strategy
October 2006 marked the 25th anniversary of the inscription of the first three
Australian sites in the World Heritage List in 1981. The sites were the Willandra
Lakes Region, the Great Barrier Reef, and Kakadu National Park. In 1982, they were
joined by the Tasmanian Wilderness and Lord Howe Island.
The department developed a comprehensive strategy to promote the 25th
anniversary year, from October 2006 to October 2007. The strategy is designed to:
t DFMFCSBUFZFBSTPG8PSME)FSJUBHFJO"VTUSBMJB
t FOTVSF"VTUSBMJBNFFUTJUTPCMJHBUJPOTVOEFSUIF8PSME)FSJUBHF$POWFOUJPO
(Articles 4 and 5) to present and transmit world heritage values to present and
Outcome 1—Environment

future generations
t JODSFBTFDPNNVOJUZVOEFSTUBOEJOHPG BOETVQQPSUGPS "VTUSBMJBTXPSME
heritage properties, policies and strategies
t SBJTFNFEJBBOEDPNNVOJUZBXBSFOFTTPGUIFWBMVFPG"VTUSBMJBTXPSMEIFSJUBHF
properties
t SBJTFBXBSFOFTTPGUIF"VTUSBMJBO(PWFSONFOUTDPNNJUNFOUUPFOTVSJOHUIF
conservation and preservation of Australia’s world heritage properties.
Heritage

The strategy includes a 25th anniversary calendar, a book on current Australian


world heritage sites, newspaper supplements, a travelling photographic exhibition,
a postcard series, and anniversary plaques for the 17 sites. The travelling
photographic exhibition has already been seen by over 200,000 people as of
30 June 2007 and has been booked up until January 2008. A calendar, postcards
and a brochure were produced and distributed.

National and Commonwealth heritage listings


Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,
the minister is responsible for including places in the national or Commonwealth
heritage lists. In 2006–07 the minister received 58 public nominations for the
National Heritage List. The minister added 28 places to the list, including 15 world
heritage places (see map), and added one place to the Commonwealth
Heritage List.
After the third full year of operation of the national and Commonwealth heritage
provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999, Australia had 59 national heritage places (including places from each state
and territory) and 340 places in the Commonwealth list.
Unless operating under the emergency provisions, before listing a place the
minister must first consider an assessment of its heritage values by the Australian
Heritage Council, an independent body appointed to provide the government with
advice on a range of heritage matters.

130 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The council also maintains the Register of the National Estate. The minister must
take the register into account when making decisions under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Amendments passed in 2006
provided that no additional places be included in the register and introduced a
five-year transition period after which the register will no longer have a statutory
basis. It will, however, be available as an information source.

Location of national heritage places listed in 2006–07

1. Glasshouse Mountains National Landscape

Outcome 1—Environment
2. Rippon Lea House and Gardens
3. Flemington Racecourse
4. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Lion Island
22 20
and Spectacle Island Nature Reserves 18
5. Warrumbungle National Park 21
6. Royal National Park and Garawarra
State Conservation Area
7. Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) 27
19
8. Stirling Range National Park 23 1
9. Yee Fiora Fossil Site
10. Ediaoara Fossil Site – Nilpena 5 14

Heritage
11. Sydney Harbour Bridge 10 13
15 16
12. Echuca Wharf 8
13. Lord Howe Island Group 4, 6, 11
12
14. Gondwana Rainforests 17 7
15. Willandra Lakes Region
16. The Greater Blue Mountains Area 2, 3, 9
17. Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Narracoorte) 25
18. Great Barrier Reef
19. Fraser Island
20. Wet Tropics of Queensland
21. Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh)
22. Purnululu National Park
23. Shark Bay
24. Macquarie Island
13
25. Tasmanian Wilderness
26. Kakadu National Park
27. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
28. Heard and McDonald Islands
28 24

131
Emergency listings
The minister can decide to emergency list a place that may have national or
Commonwealth heritage values that are under threat. Emergency listing is a
temporary measure as the Australian Heritage Council must follow up emergency
listing with a detailed assessment.
Amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999 passed in 2006 streamline the process and make it clear that the minister
must believe that the threat is both likely and imminent in deciding to emergency
list a place.
In 2006–07 the minister received requests to emergency list six places in the
National Heritage List. Of these, the minister rejected two because he was
Outcome 1—Environment

not satisfied that national heritage values existed or were under threat, or he
considered that other considerations outweighed minimal risk to heritage values.
The minister later included one of these places, Dampier Archipelago, in the
National Heritage List (on 3 July 2007). The applicants did not proceed with the
other four requests.
Details of the reasons for the minister’s decisions are available from the heritage
notices website at www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/epbc/heritage_ap.pl.
Heritage

World heritage management


The Australian Government provided $8 million in 2006–07 from the Natural
Heritage Trust to assist the states to manage world heritage properties to ensure
their protection and promotion is consistent with undertakings under the World
Heritage Convention. Activities funded include agreed on-ground priority projects
and strategic management support projects including community consultation and
coordination.
On 23 November 2006, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council resolved
to implement a more strategic and cooperative national approach to world
heritage management and to reinvigorate the council’s existing role as the national
forum for world heritage issues. At its April 2007 meeting the Council of Australian
Governments (COAG) agreed to abolish nine of the 10 property- or jurisdiction-
specific world heritage area ministerial councils. The department will consult with
world heritage area advisory committees and will develop, under the council’s
leadership, more streamlined reporting, management planning and funding
arrangements for Australia’s world heritage areas.

132 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Managing world heritage areas
Macquarie Island,
a 13,000 hectare
subantarctic
island managed
by Tasmania, was
placed on the
World Heritage
List in 1997 for its
geomorphological

Outcome 1—Environment
and aesthetic
(including wildlife)
values. In recent
years the numbers of
Macquarie Island. Photo: Mike Preece introduced mammals,
particularly rabbits
and rodents, have increased to the extent that there is concern that the

Heritage
listed world heritage values are being significantly affected.
Following detailed negotiations with the Tasmanian Government, the
minister announced joint funding with Tasmania of a $24.6 million plan to
eradicate rabbits and rodents from the island.
The seven-year plan will involve a major baiting programme. Follow-up
shooting will be undertaken to eliminate any remaining rabbits. This project
will be the most ambitious island vertebrate pest eradication programme
attempted anywhere in the world. Its success would be of global
significance for world heritage management and pest eradication.

National and Commonwealth heritage management


The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 provides
for the preparation of a management plan for each place included in the National
Heritage List. For places in the national list not wholly owned or controlled by
the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth must use its best endeavours to ensure
a plan is prepared and implemented in cooperation with the relevant state or
territory. For national heritage places wholly within a Commonwealth area, the Act
requires the minister to make a written management plan for each place as soon
as practicable after listing or when the place comes under Commonwealth control.
These management plans must comply with the Regulations under the Act,
including consistency with the national heritage management principles.

133
In 2006–07 the minister approved a priority list for the development of
management plans for national heritage places. Funding or part-funding for
the development of management plans consistent with the national heritage
management principles of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 was provided for five places on this priority list and
one place to its priority listing. Management plans are also in preparation for
three historic national listed places wholly in Commonwealth ownership. The
department provided comments on two management plans for national listed
places and several management plans for places in the Commonwealth Heritage
List. The department also provided input to several management plans being
prepared for the serial nomination of convict sites to the World Heritage List.
The Act also requires each Australian Government agency that owns or controls a
Outcome 1—Environment

place with acknowledged or potential Commonwealth heritage values to prepare a


written heritage strategy for managing the place to protect and conserve its values.
Twelve Australian Government agencies have completed their heritage strategies
and the department expects a further 14 to complete them during 2007–08.
The department has reminded all other Australian Government agencies of
their obligations. Agencies with completed strategies have started to undertake
Heritage

identification and assessment programmes and to prepare management plans.

Productivity Commission inquiry


On 6 April 2005 the minister and the Treasurer announced a Productivity
Commission inquiry into the policy framework and incentives for the conservation
of Australia’s historic heritage places. The Productivity Commission tabled the final
report of its inquiry in the parliament in July 2006.
The report makes 14 recommendations to improve state, territory, local and
(to a lesser extent) Australian Government heritage frameworks by making both
costs and benefits explicit, and by improving the clarity and accountability of the
heritage listing system, particularly at the local government level. The report’s key
recommendation is that private owners should be able to appeal heritage listing of
their properties on the basis of unreasonable cost.
The report represents the most comprehensive review of the three-tiered heritage
framework ever undertaken in Australia. The report demonstrates the great
significance of built heritage and the fact that it is clearly valued as a critical part of
Australia’s social capital.
In preparing the Australian Government’s response, the department consulted
with other departments with a policy interest in the response, and those that
are managers of heritage listed properties. State and territory heritage agencies
were also consulted in the early planning stages of the response, in order to work
towards a government response that is consistent with the state and territory
frameworks.

134 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The Australian Government response to the report was tabled in the House of
Representatives on 22 May 2007 and in the Senate on 12 June 2007.
The response refers some issues requiring a nationally coordinated approach to
the Environment Protection and Heritage Council for further discussion.

Cooperative National Heritage Agenda


In May 2006, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to develop
an integrated national heritage policy agenda for natural, Indigenous and historic
heritage. The department’s Heritage Division has responsibility under the
Environment Protection and Heritage Council’s Cooperative National Heritage
Agenda for two priority projects, one to develop consistent national heritage

Outcome 1—Environment
assessment criteria and thresholds, and the other to develop a comprehensive
national heritage inventory and information portal.
Under the first priority project a publication is being developed with the states and
territories to explain the Australian three-tier system of heritage listing, including
assessment criteria and thresholds. It is expected that this project will conclude with a
presentation to the Environment Protection and Heritage Council later in 2007.

Heritage
For the latter project the department commissioned a scoping study to upgrade the
web-based database—the Australian Heritage Places Inventory. The upgrade will
simplify and improve the database so users can readily access information online
from statutory heritage inventories across Australia. The scoping study will be
assessed by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council.

135
Indigenous heritage
The department works with other government agencies and the community to
protect the cultural heritage of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.
This work includes providing advice on proposals referred under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, supporting projects for the
identification, conservation or promotion of Indigenous heritage, and providing
emergency protection to areas and objects of cultural and traditional significance
in Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage protection


Outcome 1—Environment

Under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 the
minister can protect places and objects of traditional significance to Aboriginal
people and Torres Strait Islanders from threats of injury or desecration. This is ‘last
resort’ protection that may only be given when there is no effective protection
under state or territory laws.
In 2006–07 the department provided advice to the minister on four applications to
protect Indigenous heritage places and objects under the Aboriginal and Torres
Heritage

Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984. Two applications were for matters
continuing from previous years, and two were for new matters.
One new matter was an application for emergency and longer-term protection
for parts of Perth Airport. After considering the application, the minister decided
not to make an emergency declaration, and found that the application for longer-
term protection was not valid. The other new matter related to an application
for emergency protection for an area within the Burrup Peninsula, which was
subsequently withdrawn by the applicants.
The matters continuing from previous years related to applications for longer-term
protection for Marool Camp and Cockburn Sound in Western Australia. After considering
the applications, the minister decided not to make a longer-term declaration for Cockburn
Sound and is still considering the application for Marool Camp.
The department also continued to monitor compliance with a 20-year declaration
(expiring in 2012) under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
Protection Act 1984 for Junction Waterhole in Alice Springs.

Amendments to the Heritage Protection Act


In 2006 the Australian Parliament passed amendments to the Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984. The amendments make three
specific changes to the Act. They:
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preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria to come into effect
t DMBSJGZUIFTUBUVTPGEFDMBSBUJPOTNBEFVOEFSUIF"DUBOEXIFOUIFZDBOCF
used as legislative instruments under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003

136 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
t FOTVSFUIFFYQPSUPGPCKFDUTXJMMOPUCFQSFWFOUFEJGUIFSFJTBDFSUJmDBUFJO
force issued under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.
Part IIA of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act
1984 established a scheme for the preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage
in Victoria, the only state to have its Aboriginal cultural heritage protected by
Commonwealth legislation. In 2006 Victoria passed its new Aboriginal heritage laws
and the Victorian and Australian governments agreed to coordinate the transfer of
responsibilities to Victoria. Part IIA was repealed by proclamation on 28 May 2007,
and in Victoria the new state legislation was proclaimed on the same day, without
any gap in the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria.
Section 12 of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 enables
a person who wants to import an Australian protected object for a temporary

Outcome 1—Environment
purpose to apply to the minister for a certificate authorising the object’s
subsequent export. The provisions allow Australian museums and other cultural
institutions to obtain objects under contractual and other loan arrangements for
temporary exhibition in Australia. Prior to the amendments, a declaration made under
the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 was able to
override section 12 of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.
The changes improve access for Australians to overseas-owned Australian cultural

Heritage
materials and also protect the overseas lending institutions’ right to have their
Australian protected objects returned to them.

Reforms to Commonwealth legislation to protect Indigenous heritage


In late 2006 the minister initiated a consultative process for comprehensive reform
of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984. These
reforms will establish a national framework providing for the best contemporary
standards of protection while maintaining the states’ and territories’ primary
responsibility for the protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
In 2006–07 the department formed a taskforce to progress these reforms and to
undertake comprehensive public consultations, targeting Indigenous people, industry
and governments affected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage protection
laws. A discussion paper outlining options for the reforms is planned to be released
for public consultation in 2007–08, with new legislation introduced in 2008–09.

Indigenous Heritage Programme


The department administers the Australian Government’s Indigenous Heritage
Programme. The programme supports the identification, conservation, and
promotion (where appropriate) of the Indigenous heritage values of places
important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The programme also helps identify places likely to have outstanding Indigenous
heritage value to Australia; that is, places of national heritage significance suitable
for inclusion in the National Heritage List.

137
The department received 122 applications seeking a total of approximately
$11 million in funding for the $3.7 million available in 2006–07. The minister
approved funding for more than 60 projects, including identification of Indigenous
heritage, conservation of Indigenous heritage sites, heritage planning, construction
of places for keeping Indigenous heritage items and sharing Australian Indigenous
heritage. These diverse projects have been initiated by local communities across
the country, and display Australia’s commitment to identifying and sharing the
nation’s rich Indigenous heritage.
Projects funded through the Indigenous Heritage Programme in 2006–07 include:
t $100,000 to connect Koori people with traditional heritage places through
identifying and recording Indigenous heritage places and values in Victoria
t $90,000 for high resolution, three dimensional laser scanning of Aboriginal
Outcome 1—Environment

engraving and painting sites along the north-west and west coasts of Tasmania
t $98,850 to develop the Ngarrindjeri environment and heritage management
strategy to implement research, planning and interpretation of cultural heritage
on Ngarrindjeri Ruwe (lands and islands) in South Australia
t $90,596 for a cultural mapping project to record and film significant Aboriginal
cultural sites in the Yindjibarnde traditional country, Western Australia
t $80,150 for the Wilsons River Experience Walk, which will research and link
Heritage

Indigenous history and cultural sites along the banks of the Wilsons River,
New South Wales
t $98,800 for cultural mapping and management planning for rock art sites on
Jawoyn lands in the Northern Territory
t $87,500 to facilitate teaching traditional Badtjala knowledge and culture for
future generations at Maryborough in Queensland.
Indigenous heritage projects are also supported under the Indigenous Heritage
Programme through shared responsibility agreements with Indigenous
communities. These are agreements for the provision of services to Indigenous
communities under the Australian Government’s whole-of-government
arrangements for Indigenous affairs, and involve both government and community
contributions to achieve improved outcomes.
Contributions from the Indigenous Heritage Programme to shared responsibility
agreements in 2006–07 included:
t $37,000 for heritage interpretation and tourism at the Wave Hill Walk Off sites at
Kalkaringi in the Northern Territory
t $45,000 for heritage management and interpretation of the Combarngo Humpy
and an interpretive shelter on the Balonne Riverscape in Surat, Queensland
t $160,000 for the restoration of the historic church at Raukkan (Port McLeay),
South Australia
t $40,000 for survey and protection of a significant early mission site on Bruny
Island, Tasmania
t $25,000 for natural and cultural resource management by MaMu traditional
owners in the Innisfail region, Queensland.

138 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Asia–Pacific Focal Point for World Heritage
The Asia–Pacific Focal Point is a regional network for world heritage managers
established to assist countries in the Asia–Pacific region to adopt and implement
the World Heritage Convention. Through the network, world heritage managers
share information and experience, respond to specific requests, promote best
practice in heritage management and identify and secure funding for world
heritage activities.
The department provides the secretariat for the Asia–Pacific Focal Point. In
2006–07 the department improved the network’s website by upgrading the format,
adding a secure page for lodgement of documents, and updating and adding new

Outcome 1—Environment
information, photos, and links (see www.heritage.gov.au/apfp).
The department also supports activities and projects in the Asia–Pacific region through
the network. In 2006–07 the department supported the following four projects:
t UIF3PJ.BUB%PNBJO$VMUVSBM.BOBHFS4ZTUFN1SPKFDUJO7BOVBUV5IJTQSPKFDU
included the second stage of the development of a digitised database to
strengthen the Roi Mata Domain world heritage nomination
t BXPSLTIPQBU5POHBSJSP/BUJPOBM1BSL /FX;FBMBOEUPEFWFMPQB1BDJmD

Heritage
position paper for the World Heritage Committee and to build capacity within
the Pacific to develop world heritage nominations. The workshop was attended
by delegates from across the South Pacific
t BTTJTUBODFUP1BQVB/FX(VJOFBUPVOEFSUBLFDPNNVOJUZMJBJTPOBOE
associated mapping projects as part of the world heritage nomination of the
Kuk Early Agricultural Site
t BTIPSUUFSNGFMMPXTIJQGPSBZPVOHLBSTU MJNFTUPOFDBWF
QSPGFTTJPOBMPS
scientist from China to further develop their professional capability.

Regional Natural Heritage Programme


The four-year $10 million Regional Natural Heritage Programme began in
February 2004. The programme provides grants to non-government organisations
and other relevant agencies to protect outstanding biodiversity in hotspot areas of
South-East Asia and the Pacific.
There were 78 applications for the fourth and final round of the programme in
2006–07. The minister approved seven ongoing and 14 new projects. Combined
grant funding was $2.9 million. The programme concluded on 30 June 2007.
Projects funded include:
t $202,950 to the Conservation International Foundation to conserve key
biodiversity areas and threatened lowland rainforest species in the Sierra Madre
Mountain Range, Luzon Island, Philippines
t $250,000 to the Nature Conservancy of Indonesia to protect the heart of the
Coral Triangle and to strengthen marine protected areas in eastern Indonesia

139
t $273,240 to the World Conservation Union–Birdlife International to strengthen
protected area networks and management in the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations region—Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines,
Singapore and Vietnam
t $59,040 to the Indonesia Programme of the Wildlife Conservation Society to
save southern Sumatra’s last elephants
t $20,860 to the Wantok Environment Centre for operating Save the Coconut
Crab 2006—a community initiative to conserve rapidly declining stocks of
coconut crab in Sanma Province, Vanuatu.
Outcome 1—Environment
Heritage

140 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Australia’s maritime heritage
Australia’s coastal and maritime heritage was the 2006 theme selected by the
minister to mark the 400th anniversary of the first documented European contact
with Australia. This was in 1606 when Willem Janszoon and his crew on the Dutch
ship Duyfken mapped 350 kilometres of Australia’s coastline on the west side of
Cape York.
To commemorate the anniversary, the Australian Government sponsored part of
the voyage of the 1606–2006 Duyfken replica built in Fremantle in 1999. During
the voyage of the Duyfken from May 2006 to January 2007 the replica stopped
in 25 ports and was visited by over 80,000 people. The voyage provided a rare

Outcome 1—Environment
opportunity for Australians to experience life as it would have been on a late 16th
century vessel and to learn more about Australia’s important maritime heritage.

Historic shipwrecks
The department administers the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 and the Historic
Shipwrecks Programme. In 2006–07 the department provided $426,000 to the

Heritage
states, the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island as delegates under the Act, and
also to the Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology to administer the Act,
and for projects to protect, preserve and monitor historic shipwrecks. Projects
included:
t MPDBUJOHUIFTJUFTPGUISFFXPPEFOWFTTFMTDBSSZJOH$IJOFTFHPMEEJHHFST UIF
Phaeton, Sultana and Koning Willem II, which were lost off the coast of Robe,
South Australia, in 1857
t FYDBWBUJOHUIFDBNQCVJMUCZTVSWJWPSTPGUIFTIJQXSFDLPGUIFSydney Cove
t NBLJOHTIJQXSFDLUSBJMTBDDFTTJCMFPOUIFXFCBOEBUUIF.VTFVNPG5SPQJDBM
Queensland
t QSPWJEJOHBDDVSBUFEBUBPOUIFQPTJUJPOPGTIJQXSFDLTXIJDIDBOCFVTFEGPS
site management, research, and outreach purposes, and to assist private and
commercial parties to meet their obligations under the Historic Shipwrecks
Act 1976.
In 2006–07 the minister declared two important shipwrecks from the Second
World War, the SS Iron Knight and an M24 Japanese midget submarine, as historic
shipwrecks with protective zones around the two sites. The SS Iron Knight was
discovered by a team of specialist divers south of Montague Island in southern
New South Wales’ coastal waters, and declared a historic shipwreck in August 2006.
The SS Iron Knight, an Australian cargo steamer, was en route from Whyalla to
Newcastle with a load of iron ore when it was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese
submarine in the early hours of 8 February 1943.

141
The Japanese midget submarine M24 was discovered off the coast of Sydney
by a group of amateur divers; a protected zone around it was declared in
December 2006. The M24 Japanese midget submarine was involved in the attack
on Sydney on the evening of 31 May 1942. It penetrated a boom defence at
10:40 pm and after searching for the main target—the heavy cruiser USS
Chicago—launched two torpedos. One exploded against the seawall, sinking the
depot ship HMAS Kuttabul and killing 19 Royal Australian Navy and two Royal Navy
sailors. It was last reported leaving the harbour at 1:58 am on 1 June 1942 and was
not seen again until its discovery in late 2006. The department is working with
the Royal Australian Navy, New South Wales Heritage Office, the Embassy of Japan
and other stakeholders to ensure that the wreck is managed to conserve it for
future generations. The department has provided $54,000 to the New South Wales
Outcome 1—Environment

Government to assist in the purchase of a sonar buoy for ongoing monitoring of


the M24.
Heritage

142 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Cultural heritage
Protection of movable cultural heritage
The department administers the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act
1986. The Act aims to protect Australia’s cultural heritage from being significantly
diminished by the export of heritage objects and to protect the cultural heritage
of other countries by preventing the illegal import of significant objects. The Act
supports collecting institutions such as museums through the National Cultural
Heritage Account.
This year the National Cultural Heritage Account supported a number of
organisations including:

Outcome 1—Environment
t 1PXFSIPVTF.VTFVNGPSUXPQVSDIBTFTBDEPVCMFCBTTNBEFCZ+PIO
Devereaux, Australia’s first professional maker of stringed, bowed instruments
and the Australian Jockey Club’s 1950 gold Sydney Cup
t 4PVUI"VTUSBMJan Museum for the
purchase of a rare 19th century Wokali
bark shield from the Adelaide Plains

Heritage
t .VTFVN7JDUPSJBGPSUIFQVSDIBTFPG
two c.1890 drawings by Tommy McRae
t /PSGPML*TMBOE.VTFVNGPSUIFQVSDIBTF
of a c.1900 roll top desk with strong
associations with the whaling and
communications operations on Norfolk
Island.
In December 2006 an illegally imported
Asmat skull recovered under the Act was
returned to the Indonesian Government.
The Asmat people in Papua preserved the
skulls of their ancestors and kept them in
Asmat skull. Photo: Mark Mohell sacred areas. The skull was painted with
ochre, and decorated with a braided head
band of feathers, a large ornament similar
to ‘boar’s tusks’ and other ornamentation
including seeds and beads.
In June 2007 sixteen incised decorated
skulls also recovered under the Act were
returned to the Government of Malaysia.
These skulls were identified as Dyak skulls,
Decorated Malaysian skull.
decorated with traditional designs of the
Photo: Mark Mohell Iban people. The patterns were carved

143
into the skulls, and covered with a resin. The skulls were handed down from one
generation to the next and were regarded as having sacred and spiritual qualities.
Detailed results on the operation of the Act in 2006–07 are in the second volume
of this set of annual reports. The report lists objects acquired with assistance from
the National Cultural Heritage Account, objects assessed, and heritage objects
from other countries that were returned to their countries of origin.

Cultural heritage projects


The department provides funding to third parties to conserve Australia’s
significant cultural heritage objects and places. This funding is used to restore and
Outcome 1—Environment

conserve historic heritage places, purchase historic and heritage objects, and raise
awareness and appreciation of Australia’s cultural heritage.

National Heritage Investment Initiative


The initiative is providing $10.5 million over four years (2005–2009) for grants to
help restore and conserve Australia’s most important historic heritage places.
To be eligible for funding, places must be in the National Heritage List or on a state
Heritage

or territory government statutory heritage register. Priority is given to places in the


National Heritage List.
In 2006–07 the department received 363 expressions of interest for the second round
of funding. Eighteen expressions of interest were short-listed for detailed assessment.
From these, the minister approved 12 grants worth a total of $2.7 million. These
included six places in the National Heritage List. Four of the approved projects are:
t $298,028 for restoration of the award winning Zig Zag Railway at Lithgow
t $20,000 to prepare a conservation management plan for the Lennox Bridge and
Mitchell’s Pass sites in New South Wales
t $454,445 for restoration work on a prison building at the national heritage
listed Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania
t $500,000 for structural stabilisation works to the national heritage listed Echuca
Wharf.

Point Nepean Community Trust grant


The Point Nepean Defence Sites and Quarantine Station Area at the entrance
to Port Phillip Bay in Victoria were entered in the National Heritage List on
16 June 2006. The Point Nepean Community Trust manages the Quarantine Station
on behalf of the Commonwealth.
In June 2006 the Australian Government provided $27 million to the Point Nepean
Community Trust to conserve heritage assets at the Quarantine Station, undertake
infrastructure and building works, and provide for public access and interpretation

144 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
works. The trust is also working with the Victorian Government to develop a
management plan to protect the heritage values of all of Point Nepean.

Special Purpose Grants for Cathedrals and Churches


Special purpose grant funding of $7.5 million was provided to St Patrick’s
Cathedral (Bunbury, Western Australia), St Mary’s Cathedral (Perth, Western
Australia) and Saints Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral (Goulburn, New South Wales).
St Patrick’s Cathedral received $5 million to help rebuild the cathedral and parish
centre which were extensively damaged by a tornado in 2005. St Mary’s Cathedral
received $1 million to assist with a major restoration and extension project,
supplementing a $3 million grant for this purpose approved in 2005–06. Saints
Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral received $1.5 million to help restore and conserve

Outcome 1—Environment
elements of this important greenstone cathedral.

National Trust Partnership Programme


This programme supports activities of the National Trust to increase public
awareness, understanding and appreciation of Australia’s cultural heritage,
to enhance and promote its conservation. The department paid $848,000 to
Australia’s nine National Trusts in 2006–07. Payments supported:

Heritage
t BDPPSEJOBUFESFTQPOTFCZUIFWPMVOUBSZTFDUPSUPUIF1SPEVDUJWJUZ
Commission’s report on the policy framework and incentives for the
conservation of Australia’s historic heritage places
t DPNQMFUJPOPGBDPNQSFIFOTJWFEBUBCBTFPGFOEBOHFSFEQMBDFTBOEMBVODIPGB
new programme, Our heritage @ risk
t MFBEJOHUIF*OUFSOBUJPnal Trust movement to support emerging trusts in Asia
t SFTFBSDIJOUPFDPOPNJDJTTVFTSFMBUJOHUPIFSJUBHFQSPUFDUJPO
t SBJTJOHBXBSFOFTTUISPugh publication of the National Trust magazine
t IFSJUBHFFEVDBUJPOQSPHSBNNFTBOEDPOGFSFODFTPOUIFJNQBDUPGDIBOHFJO
heritage areas.

Sharing Australia’s Stories


This programme supports activities that showcase Australia’s distinctive national
character and identity, especially those which show how local stories have
contributed to the great events and themes that have shaped the nation.
The minister allocated funding in the final two years (2005–2007) of the programme,
primarily to support telling stories around Australia’s coastal and maritime heritage.
A key example is the previously described voyage of the Duyfken replica.

Gifts to the Nation


This element of the Sharing Australia’s Stories programme provides one-off funding
for promoting national heritage stories and places newly added to the National
Heritage List. Gifts this year included $60,000 for a schools’ essay competition on

145
Captain Cook, $34,000 for a competition to design a monument to Captain Cook at
Kurnell Peninsula, and $30,000 for interpretation and signage at Glenrowan.
Other projects include:
t $5,000 to Ku-ring-gai National Park, the Royal National Park and Garawarra State
Conservation Area in New South Wales for web-based virtual tours
t $40,000 to upgrade visitor information and road signs at Stirling Range National
Park in Western Australia
t $47,500 to update displays in the Warrumbungle National Park visitor centre in
New South Wales
t $10,000 for interpretive displays in the new Grampians National Park visitor
centre at Gariwerd in Victoria
t $20,000 for a management plan for the Ediacara fossil site in South Australia,
Outcome 1—Environment

which is a joint project between the Australian Government and the property
leaseholder.
Gifts were made to two Tasmanian places which form part of the proposed Australian
Convict Sites World Heritage nomination: $20,000 to the Woolmers Foundation to
update an existing management plan for the Woolmers Estate and $15,000 to
Mr and Mrs Richard Archer to prepare an oral history of Brickendon Estate.
Heritage

Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons


The programme funds projects that commemorate people, events and places of
national historic significance such as erecting monuments, plaques and statues;
exhibitions; surveys of historic sites; and curatorial work. In 2006–07 the minister
approved funding totalling $20,000 for three projects:
t $5,000 to the Maitland City Council for a memorial to Francis Greenway,
colonial architect
t $2,030 to the Blue Mountains City Council to upgrade the grave of
Sir Henry Parkes, the Father of Federation
t $12,970 to the John McDouall Stuart Society Inc to maintain and restore graves
of the members of John McDouall Stuart’s party who made the first recorded
north-to-south crossing of the Australian continent.

Eugene von Guérard painting


The government provided $0.8 million to help the Geelong Art Gallery buy the
Eugene von Guérard painting View of Geelong because of the painting’s significant
cultural heritage value. This amount is in addition to $0.2 million provided from
the National Cultural Heritage Account in 2005–06 to support this acquisition.

Return of Qantas Boeing 707


The government provided $1 million to Qantas Foundation Memorial Limited
to help restore, and return to Australia, Qantas Airways’ first Boeing 707 aircraft
for permanent display and public appreciation at the Qantas Founders Outback
Museum in Longreach, Queensland.

146 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
On 16 December 2006 the Boeing 707 landed at Sydney international airport,
successfully completing the major leg of its historic flight from London to
Longreach. It landed at Longreach on 10 June 2007, where it will remain for
permanent public display.

Tree of Knowledge
In 2006 the national heritage listed Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine, Queensland,
was poisoned and subsequently died. An investigation conducted in conjunction
with the Queensland Police was unable to identify the perpetrator. The
department commissioned a heritage impact assessment to explore the range of
options available for the preservation and interpretation of the tree, and to assist
with referral of the proposal for approval under the Environment Protection and

Outcome 1—Environment
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Copies of the report were provided to the
Barcaldine Shire Council, the Queensland Heritage Council and the Queensland
Government for their consideration.

Kurnell monument competition


The Kurnell Peninsula Headland was included in the National Heritage List
on 28 February 2005. In April 2006 the then Minister for the Environment

Heritage
and Heritage announced a design competition for a monument at Kurnell to
commemorate the landing of Captain James Cook in April 1770. The construction
budget for the monument is $1 million and the prize for the winner is $10,000.
The design competition closed in February 2007 with 40 design submissions.
The minister also announced a Captain Cook essay competition for school
students. The winners of the 2006 Captain Cook Essay competition were
announced on 30 March 2007 (http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/
publications/essay.html); the 2007 competition closed on 22 June and the winners
will be announced later in 2007.

Strengthening Tasmania—Low Head Historic Precinct


The department paid $50,000 to refurbish a building dating from the 1860s in the
Low Head Historic Precinct near Launceston, Tasmania.

147
Results for performance indicators
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Protected heritage areas

Number of nominations for heritage listing National Heritage List: 97 assessments have been provided to the
assessed and decisions taken on listing minister by the Australian Heritage Council (21 in 2006–07)
The minister made 59 decisions to include places in the National
Heritage List (28 in 2006–07); 33 decisions not to include places
(7 in 2006–07); 2 decisions to emergency list (none in 2006–07);
and 29 decisions not to list (1 in 2006–07)
Commonwealth Heritage List: 23 assessments have been provided
to the minister by the Australian Heritage Council (1 in 2006–07)
Outcome 1—Environment

The minister made 340 decisions to include places in the


Commonwealth Heritage List (1 in 2006–07); 15 decisions not to
include places (6 in 2006–07); no decisions to emergency list; and
6 decisions not to list (none in 2006–07)
List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance to Australia:
5 assessments have been provided to the minister by the
Australian Heritage Council

Total numbers of (i) world heritage (i) 17


Heritage

areas (ii) national heritage places (iii)


(ii) 59
Commonwealth heritage places and (iv)
declarations for protection of Indigenous (iii) 340
heritage (iv) 0

Progress in the development of (i) Management plan reviews are under way for the Tasmanian
management plans for (i) world heritage Wilderness and the Wet Tropics of Queensland world heritage
areas (ii) national heritage places and (iii) areas; the Strategic Plan for Greater Blue Mountains World
Commonwealth heritage places Heritage Area is close to completion
A management plan for the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton
Gardens World Heritage area is in preparation
(ii) Funding was provided for 4 places included in the National
Heritage List to assist with the development of a management
plan. The places are Richmond Bridge (Tas), the Batavia
Shipwreck Site and Survivor Camps Area 1629 – Houtman
Abrolhos (WA); Recherche Bay Northeast Peninsula (Tas); Baiames
Ngunnhu (Brewarrina Aboriginal Fishtraps) (funded under the
Indigenous Heritage Programme); the Hermannsburg Historic
Precinct management plan; and the Budj Bim National Heritage
Landscapes
Comments were provided on draft management plans for 8
national heritage listed places and one place nominated to the
National Heritage List
(iii) Comments were provided on draft management plans for
26 Commonwealth heritage listed places. None of these were
submitted for advice from the minister and Australian Heritage
Council

148 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Protected heritage areas (continued...)

Progress in the development of heritage 3 heritage strategies (National Library of Australia, Office of the
strategies by Commonwealth agencies Official Secretary to the Governor-General and Parks Australia)
were completed and satisfied the Commonwealth heritage
management principles. The Australian Heritage Council provided
advice on 2 further heritage strategies (Australian National
University and Australian Customs Service)
The department commented on 4 heritage strategies (Australian
Broadcasting Commission, Australian Film Commission,
Department of Parliamentary Services and National Gallery of
Australia)
Discussions were held with 3 Australian Government agencies

Outcome 1—Environment
%FQBSUNFOUPG*NNJHSBUJPOBOE$JUJ[FOTIJQ )JHI$PVSUPG
Australia and Office of Australian War Graves) on the preparation
of their heritage strategies

National Heritage Investment Initiative

Extent to which conservation of places of Round 1 grants ($3.6 million approved in 2005–06) restored and
outstanding heritage value to the nation conserved the heritage values of 18 heritage places, 3 of which
is improved, particularly places on the are on the National Heritage List: Newman College and the Royal
National Heritage List Exhibition Building in Melbourne, and Fremantle Prison in Western

Heritage
Australia
Grants totalling $2.7 million were approved under round 2 to
restore and conserve a further 12 places, 6 of which are on the
National Heritage List: Hermannsburg Historic Precinct, Northern
Territory; Port Arthur, Tasmania; Royal Exhibition Building, Rippon
Lea and Echuca Wharf, Victoria; and North Head Quarantine
Station, New South Wales

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 14

Indigenous Heritage Programme

Extent to which support for Indigenous More than 60 projects were funded under the Indigenous
people increases the awareness and Heritage Programme to support Indigenous people in identifying,
improves management of Indigenous conserving and promoting their heritage, including the Mungo
heritage nationally Festival ‘Hands across the desert and welcome ceremony’ to
celebrate the 25th anniversary of World Heritage in Australia,
and the 2nd National Indigenous Land and Sea Management
Conference to be held at Cardwell Queensland in October 2007

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 62 projects were funded under the programme through the
competitive grants process, and as part of shared responsibility
agreements

149
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Regional Natural Heritage Programme

Extent to which conservation of Over the 4 rounds of the programme 51 projects have been
biodiversity hotspots in South-East Asia funded to assist countries in the Asia–Pacific region manage sites
and the Pacific region is enhanced with high biodiversity values, with a focus on areas that are under
threat (biodiversity hotspots)

Percentage of payments that are 100%


consistent with the terms and conditions
of funding (Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 21

Duyfken voyage—additional funding


Outcome 1—Environment

Sponsorship of the Duyfken voyage from $495,000


Western Australia to the east coast

Percentage of payments that are 100%


consistent with the terms and conditions
of funding (Target: 100%)

All required payments made Yes

HMAS Sydney II—search


Heritage

Contribution to the implementation and $1.3 million


completion of sonar search

Percentage of payments that are No payments were made as the contract is still to be signed by
consistent with the terms and conditions recipients
of funding (Target: 100%)

All required payments made No payments were made

Protected heritage objects

Number of assessments of protected The minister and his delegate made 107 decisions about 4,593
objects completed and decisions on objects on temporary and permanent export permit applications
protection

National Trusts Partnership Programme

Extent to which National Trust activities The National Trust participated in the National Cultural Heritage
support the new national heritage system Forum and contributed to the development of an integrated
national heritage policy. Research on the submissions to the
Productivity Commission assisted the voluntary sector to provide a
nationally coordinated response to the report

Percentage of payments that are 100%


consistent with the terms and conditions
of funding (Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 9

150 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

National Cultural Heritage Account

Extent to which the preservation of The account paid $484,870 to assist Australian collecting
heritage objects is increased by assisting institutions to acquire 8 heritage objects. These include
their acquisition by Australian collecting sketchbooks by Arthur Streeton for the Australian War Memorial, a
institutions 1930 biplane for the Powerhouse Museum, and two 19th century
drawings by Tommy McRae for Museum Victoria

Number of objects acquired 8

Strengthening Tasmania – Low Head Precinct Project

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding

Outcome 1—Environment
(Target: 100%)

Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons

Extent to which the commemoration of The minister approved funding for a memorial to Francis
people, events and places of national Greenway, colonial architect; to upgrade the grave of Sir Henry
historical significance is improved Parkes, and to restore graves of the members of John McDouall
Stuart’s party who made the first recorded north-to-south
crossing of the Australian continent

Heritage
Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%
with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 3

Churches and cathedrals

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 7 existing projects approved in 2003–04 and 2005–06 continued.
Projects were funded for: St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne; Church
of St Mary Star of the Sea, Melbourne; St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth;
St George’s Cathedral, Perth; St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane; Basilica
of St Patrick, Fremantle; and St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Bunbury; Saints Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral, Goulburn

Extent to which heritage values are New works had not commenced as at 30 June 2007
restored and conserved

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded 2. Advance payments were made consistent with the funding
agreements

151
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Return of Qantas 707 jet

Restoration and return to Australia of the The aircraft was restored and returned to Longreach, Queensland,
first Qantas 707 for display and public for permanent public display
appreciation

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

All required payments made Yes

Eugene von Guérard painting


Outcome 1—Environment

Assist in the purchase of Eugene von $0.8 million contribution was paid. The painting was purchased
Guérard painting View of Geelong for public and is on display
display in the Geelong Art Gallery

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%)

All required payments made Yes

Output 1.4—Conservation of natural, Indigenous and historic heritage


Heritage

Policy advisor role: The Minister is satisfied Minister was satisfied with timeliness and quality of briefs. The
with the timeliness and accuracy of briefs department has experienced challenges in responding to the
and draft ministerial correspondence unprecedented volume of correspondence now being received,
provided by the department but procedural adjustments and new systems have improved
timeliness

Provider role 1: Percentage of payments 100%. All payments have been made in accordance with the
that are consistent with the terms and funding agreements
conditions of funding (Target: 100%)

Regulator role 2: Percentage of statutory A report on the compliance with statutory timeframes triggered
timeframes triggered that are met under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
(Target: >90%) Act 1999 is provided in the second volume of this set of annual
reports

Price Refer to the resources table below

1 Applies only to the administration of grants programmes funded entirely from departmental funding for this output.
Any grants programmes within this output that are wholly or partially funded through administered appropriations are
separately reported.
2 Applies to areas that administer legislation, for example reporting timeframes triggered under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

152 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Resources
Elements of pricing Budget prices Actual expenses
$’000 $’000

Departmental outputs

Conservation of natural, Indigenous and historic heritage

Total Output 1.4 23,452 24,004

Administered items

Regional Natural Heritage Programme 3,005 3,005

Outcome 1—Environment
Indigenous Heritage Programme 3,739 3,724
National Cultural Heritage Account 350 475
Protecting Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots (Daintree Conservation
Initiative) 1,685 1,685
Strengthening Tasmania – Low Head Precinct 50 50
National Heritage Investment Initiative 3,450 3,450
Churches and cathedrals 8,000 8,000

Heritage
Point Nepean Community Trust 3,846 4,260
Duyfken voyage 245 245
Return of Qantas Boeing 707 Jet 1,000 1,000
National Trusts Partnership Programme 858 858
Eugene von Guérard painting 800 800
Write-down of assets, corporate and historic hotels 0 16

Total (Administered) 27,028 27,568

153
Outcome 1—Environment Human settlements

155
Human settlements
The Department of the Environment and Water Resources works with all levels
of government, and with the community and industry to minimise the impact
of human settlements and industrial processes on Australia’s environment and
biodiversity.

Main responsibilities for this output

t /BUJPOBM1PMMVUBOU*OWFOUPSZ Policy Coordination Division

t 4VQQPSUGPSUIF&OWJSPONFOU1SPUFDUJPO
and Heritage Council and the National
Environment Protection Council
t "JSRVBMJUZ
Outcome 1—Environment

t 7FIJDMFFNJTTJPOTBOEGVFMRVBMJUZ
t 0[POFMBZFSQSPUFDUJPO Environment Quality Division
t 1SPEVDUTUFXBSETIJQTDIFNFT
t /BUJPOBM1BDLBHJOH$PWFOBOU
t )B[BSEPVTTVCTUBODFTSFHVMBUJPO
t #JPUFDIOPMPHZSJTLBTTFTTNFOU
t $IFNJDBMSJTLBTTFTTNFOU
Human settlements

t 4VQFSWJTJPOPGVSBOJVNNJOJOHJOUIF
Supervising Scientist Division
Alligator Rivers Region

t &OWJSPONFOUBMJNQBDUBTTFTTNFOUTBOE
approvals
t 4FBEVNQJOHBOETFBJOTUBMMBUJPOT
regulation Approvals and Wildlife Division
t 8JMEMJGFQSPUFDUJPO UISFBUFOFETQFDJFT
recovery, threatened species protection,
wildlife industries regulation)

156 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Objectives
Pollution prevention strategies
t 'BDJMJUBUFDPOTJTUFODZJOOBUJPOBMBJS XBUFS BOETPJMTUBOEBSET BOEQSPWJEFBMM
Australians with the benefit of equal environmental protection wherever they
live
t *NQSPWFVSCBOBJSRVBMJUZJOPSEFSUPQSPUFDUIVNBOIFBMUIBOEUIF
environment by reducing emissions of pollutants to the atmosphere
t 1SPUFDUBOESFTUPSFUIFTUSBUPTQIFSJDP[POFMBZFS
t 3FEVDFQPMMVUJPOGSPNXBTUFCZJODSFBTJOHDPMMFDUJPO SFVTFBOESFDZDMJOH
t *NQSPWFUIFFOWJSPONFOUBMQFSGPSNBODFPGJOEVTUSZ
t *NQSPWFQVCMJDJOGPSNBUJPOCZQSPNPUJOHCFUUFSFOWJSPONFOUBMSFQPSUJOHBOE
labelling
t 1SPUFDUUIFFOWJSPONFOUBOEIVNBOIFBMUIGSPNIB[BSEPVTTVCTUBODFTBOE
organisms

Outcome 1—Environment
Supervision of uranium mining
t .POJUPS BVEJUBOETVQFSWJTFVSBOJVNNJOJOHJOUIF"MMJHBUPS3JWFST3FHJPOPG
the Northern Territory

Environmental assessments

Human settlements
t 1SPUFDUUIFNBUUFSTPGOBUJPOBMFOWJSPONFOUBMTJHOJmDBODFEFmOFEJOUIF
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
t 1SPUFDUUIFNBSJOFFOWJSPONFOUUISPVHIUIFNBOBHFNFOUPGEVNQJOHVOEFS
the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981

Wildlife protection
t 1SPUFDUCJPEJWFSTJUZ JODMVEJOHXJMEMJGFBOEUIFJSIBCJUBUT BOEXPSLUPFOTVSF
that Australia’s use of biological resources is ecologically sustainable

157
Results 2006–07

t 4JODF+VMZNPSFUIBO NBUUFSTPGOBUJPOBMFOWJSPONFOUBM
significance have been protected under the Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 through the referral,
assessment and approval process, with 276 of these matters protected in
2006–07.
t 0WFSUIFQBTUEFDBEFUIFMFWFMTPGNBKPSBJSQPMMVUBOUT TVDIBTOJUSPHFO
dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, in Australian cities
have declined as a result of collaborative efforts between governments
and industry to tackle air pollution at its source.
t "VTUSBMJBFYDFFEFEJUTPCMJHBUJPOTUPQIBTFPVUUIFVTFPGP[POF
depleting substances, with total imports of only 163 tonnes of these
substances, a decrease of over 80 per cent since 1999, when imports
Outcome 1—Environment

peaked at over 800 tonnes.


t *NQPSUBOUBEWBODFTXFSFNBEFJOJNQSPWJOHUIFTBGFNBOBHFNFOUPG
chemicals, including a new national implementation plan to manage the
world’s most dangerous persistent organic pollutants, a new voluntary
international agreement to ensure the safe management of chemicals
worldwide by 2020, new national principles for better management of
chemicals in the environment and an action plan for implementing the
Human settlements

national principles.
t 3FTFBSDI NPOJUPSJOHBOETVQFSWJTJPOJOEJDBUFUIBUUIFFOWJSPONFOU
of the Alligator Rivers Region remains protected from the impacts of
uranium mining.
t 5IFOVNCFSPGGVFMRVBMJUZTBNQMFTUFTUFEGPSDPNQMJBODFXJUIUIFFuel
Quality Standards Act 2000 more than doubled compared to 2005–06.
t 4JODFJUCFHBOJO UIF1SPEVDU4UFXBSETIJQGPS0JM1SPHSBNNFIBT
funded the installation of more than 950 waste oil collection units, with
more than 40 extra units funded in 2006–07.

158 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Pollution prevention strategies
Developing and implementing strategies to prevent pollution are important parts of
the department’s activities. The department’s pollution prevention strategies focus on
reducing pollution at the source, and promoting the collection, reuse and recycling of
waste materials. The successful delivery of these strategies relies on cooperation with
the state and territory governments and with industry. Ministerial councils are the key
forums for making decisions on priorities and management actions.

Environment Protection and Heritage Council


The Environment Protection and Heritage Council is made up of environment
and heritage ministers from Australia’s federal, state and territory governments.
A focus of the council is to achieve urban sustainability through national
approaches to air quality, waste management, chemical management, and water

Outcome 1—Environment
quality and efficiency.
In 2006–07 the council:
t SFMFBTFEUIF/BUJPOBM8BUFS2VBMJUZ.BOBHFNFOU4USBUFHZNational Guidelines
for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks. The
guidelines are an authoritative reference for the supply, use and regulation
of recycled water schemes (for more information see National Water Quality

Human settlements
Management Strategy in the chapter on land and inland waters)
t BQQSPWFEBOFXNJOJTUFSJBMBHSFFNFOUPO1SJODJQMFTGPS#FUUFS&OWJSPONFOUBM
Management of Chemicals. The council also agreed to an action plan on
chemicals in the environment (for more information see the section on the
national risk management framework in this chapter).
The Environment Protection and Heritage Council’s functions extend beyond
the urban environment to encompass national and world heritage protection and
management. Other achievements of the council can be found in the relevant
sections of this report.

National Environment Protection Council


The National Environment Protection Council is a statutory body with law-making
powers established under the National Environment Protection Council Act 1994
and corresponding legislation in the states and territories.
The council’s functions are to make National Environment Protection Measures
and to assess and report on their implementation and effectiveness. National
Environment Protection Measures set out agreed national objectives for protecting
or managing particular aspects of the environment; to date seven measures have
been made with a number currently under review.

159
Information on National Environment Protection Measures is available on the
council’s website at www.ephc.gov.au/nepms.
An independent review of the National Environment Protection Council Act
1994 by John Ramsay Consulting Pty Ltd was tabled in the Australian Parliament
on 30 June 2007. The review report made a number of recommendations
about streamlining and improving processes, promoting greater uniformity and
accountability in National Environment Protection Measure implementation, and
increasing the Act’s responsiveness to current environmental needs. The National
Environment Protection Council will respond to the review late in 2007.
In June 2007 the council varied the National Pollutant Inventory National
Environment Protection Measure and agreed to prepare a variation of the
Assessment of Site Contamination National Environment Protection Measure.
The Ambient Air Quality and Diesel Vehicle Emissions measures are under review.
A new Product Stewardship National Environment Protection Measure is being
developed to deal with waste tyres.
Outcome 1—Environment

Each jurisdiction contributes funding to support the operations of the National


Environment Protection Council Service Corporation which provides secretariat,
project management and administrative services to the Environment Protection
and Heritage Council and the National Environment Protection Council. The
department paid $472,436 in 2006–07; half of the Australian Government’s annual
contribution.
Detailed outcomes are reported in the annual report on the operation of the
Human settlements

National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 at


www.ephc.gov.au/nepc/annual_reports.html.

National Pollutant Inventory


The department hosts the National Pollutant Inventory, which is a free publicly
available database of chemical emissions information. People use it to find out the
types and amounts of chemical substances being emitted into the air, land and
water from industrial processes and other activities. The 90 substances included in
the inventory have been identified as important because of their possible health
and environmental effects. The database is at www.npi.gov.au.
The National Environment Protection (National Pollutant Inventory) Measure is
the statutory basis for the inventory. The measure requires industry to report on
emissions if they exceed certain levels and the department to publish the results
each year in the National Pollutant Inventory. One of the aims of the inventory
is to encourage government, industry and the community to improve their
environmental performance by reducing emissions.
The Australian Government provided funding of $4 million over three years
(2005–2008) for the National Pollutant Inventory. Funding was extended by
$5.2 million in 2005 for the period 2005–2009.

160 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Annual results
The 2006 National Pollutant Inventory results were published in January 2007.
This was the eighth annual data release. Since reporting started in 1999, the
number of facilities reporting each year has trebled.

Facilities reporting to the National Pollutant Inventory

4500
4000
3500
Number of facilities

3000
2500
2000

Outcome 1—Environment
1500
1000
500
0
1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

Reporting year

Human settlements
In any one year, the data present a mixed picture with some emissions up
and others down compared with the previous year. For example, in 2005–06
emissions of 39 substances increased over the previous year while emissions
of 47 substances decreased. Real changes in reported emissions data usually
result from changes in the way a facility is operated. For example, the Mitsubishi
Motors Australia Ltd plant in Tonsley Park, South Australia, has shown significant
reductions in emissions of volatile organic compounds since it installed a reductive
thermal oxidiser. This pollution control device was installed in response to a
South Australian Environment Protection Authority environmental improvement
programme to control volatile organic compound emissions.
A case study of the improvements made at the Mitsubishi plant is at
www.npi.gov.au/overview/reduction.html.

National Pollutant Inventory review


The National Environment Protection Council commenced the statutory process
to make a variation to the National Environment Protection (National Pollutant
Inventory) Measure in July 2005. The council considered ways to improve the

161
inventory’s effectiveness both as a source of information and as a driver of cleaner
production. The National Environment Protection Measure variation subsequently
went before the council on 2 June 2007. Ministers agreed to a variation, including
to reporting transfers of substances in waste, and to minor changes to the current
substance list and thresholds, and to publication requirements.

Air quality
Australians consistently rank air pollution as an environmental concern, although
Australia’s air quality is generally good. Actions taken by Australian governments
to improve air quality have already delivered billions of dollars in avoided health
costs.
The department works with other agencies, governments and industry to
reduce emissions of air pollutants. The department’s work focuses on tackling
the major sources of air pollution, including motor vehicles, woodheaters and
Outcome 1—Environment

industry, as well as specific pollutants that pose threats to human health and the
environment.
As a result of these collaborative efforts, the levels of key air pollutants in Australian
cities, including nitrogen dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide are
generally lower now than they were 10 to 15 years ago.
Particles and ground-level ozone are still a concern in some cities. In larger cities,
Human settlements

ozone levels exceed the national standard several times a year and particle levels
continue to exceed the national standard in some areas. Smoke from woodheaters
is a common cause of elevated particle levels, particularly during winter. Work to
address these concerns will continue.

Reducing vehicle emissions


Motor vehicles are the largest contributor to urban air pollution in Australia and
have a major influence on the incidence of smog and haze. Three strategies are
being implemented to reduce vehicle emissions— making sure that vehicles meet
effective emission standards when they first enter the market; ensuring that they
continue to meet these emission standards while they are in use; and providing
them with the cleanest, economically viable fuels on which to operate.
The Australian Government has an ongoing programme of introducing new vehicle
emission standards to ensure that the environmental benefits of evolving emission
control and fuel efficiency technologies are realised in Australia. New vehicle
emission standards are established as Australian Design Rules under the Motor
Vehicle Standards Act 1989 which is administered by the Department of Transport
and Regional Services. The quality of fuel supplied in Australia, however, has been
a key constraint to the introduction of tighter vehicle emissions standards.

162 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Fuel quality
National fuel quality standards have been implemented under the Fuel Quality
Standards Act 2000 which is administered by the department. Fuel quality
standards have been introduced for petrol, diesel, biodiesel and autogas sold
in Australia. The fuel standards pave the way for advanced emissions control
technology required to meet tighter emissions standards, reduce the level of
harmful pollutants in fuel, and ensure the efficient operation of engines.
A major review of the Act was undertaken in 2005–06. The review concluded that
the overall policy objectives of the Act are being met and should not be altered,
but recommended strengthening the monitoring, compliance and enforcement
programme, and simplifying administration of the Act, in particular the current
system for processing applications for variations to fuel standards. During the year
amendments to the Act were progressed to implement recommendations from
the review.

Outcome 1—Environment
Another study identified the potential environmental and commercial impacts
of companies being granted approvals to vary fuel standards and how these
impacts could be offset. The study recommended that the range of conditions
that the minister can apply to an approval be broadened to allow him to require
companies to fund measures such as air quality monitoring programmes. The
study also recommended that the circumstances under which an application can

Human settlements
be made be limited to avoid companies applying to vary standards in order to gain
a commercial advantage. The department is considering amendments to the Act in
light of the issues raised in this study.

Monitoring compliance and enforcement of fuel standards


The department monitors fuel at outlets including terminals, depots and service
stations to ensure it complies with the standards. The department is spending
$6.3 million over four years from 2006–07 to increase fuel quality compliance
inspections. These inspections will help to ensure fuel quality standards are being
met, thereby increasing consumer confidence and preventing poor quality fuel
having negative impacts on vehicle operability and on air quality.
In 2006–07 the department took 2,321 fuel samples, an increase of more than
100 per cent from the previous year’s 1,069 samples. Of these 97 per cent tested
compliant with fuel standards. Incidents of non-compliance were dealt with
either through administrative action (warnings and education), civil action or
prosecution, depending on the seriousness of non-compliance.
A full report on the operation of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 is in the
second volume of this set of annual reports.

163
Biofuels
Work continued to implement recommendations from the Prime Minister’s
Biofuels Taskforce report, with projects on the impacts of ethanol and other
biofuels on human health, the environment, and the operation of motor
vehicles. Progress in 2006–07 included:
t "OJOEFQFOEFOUTUVEZXBTDPNQMFUFEPOIPXWFIJDMFTJOUIF"VTUSBMJBO
market operate on E5 (5 per cent ethanol and 95 per cent petrol) and
E10 (10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent petrol). The report is available
on the department’s website. The study found that about 60 per cent of
petrol vehicles are suitable for use with E10. All new Australian cars and
most new imported models are compatible with E5 or E10. However,
the study established that it would not be appropriate for E5 to be sold
unlabelled.
t 5IFEFQBSUNFOUDPNNJTTJPOFEBTUVEZPOUIFIFBMUIJNQBDUTPGFUIBOPM
Outcome 1—Environment

blend fuels to be completed in 2007–08. The study will assess the


comparative impact of low ethanol blend fuel on tailpipe particulate and
evaporative emissions under Australian conditions.
t 8PSLDPOUJOVFEPOEFWFMPQJOHBCJPEJFTFMCMFOETUBOEBSE4UBOEBSET
already exist under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 for 100 per cent
biodiesel and for petroleum diesel, but not for blends of the two.
Human settlements

In-service emissions
In addition to cleaning up fuels supplied to the current vehicle fleet, work has
continued on major projects relating to motor vehicle emissions.
The department continued to support in-service emissions testing for diesel
vehicles through funding agreements with the states and territories. Diesel vehicles
are tested for compliance with the exhaust emissions standards in the National
Environment Protection (Diesel Vehicle Emissions) Measure.
The Australian Government’s energy white paper Securing Australia’s Energy
Future announced the introduction from 1 July 2006 of tax credits for users of
heavy diesel vehicles who can demonstrate that their vehicle is not a high polluter.
One of the five permissible criteria for eligibility is to pass the in-service emission
standards referred to in the National Environment Protection (Diesel Vehicle
Emissions) Measure.
In 2004 the department initiated the second National In-Service Emissions Study
to provide up-to-date data for the petrol vehicle fleet. The preliminary phase
included developing an Australian composite urban emissions drive cycle for light
duty petrol vehicles. This enables the vehicles tested in laboratories to better
simulate city driving conditions.

164 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The main phase of the study commenced in June 2007 and will consist of
comprehensive emission testing of hundreds of vehicles. The study will
considerably improve knowledge of the petrol vehicle contribution to urban air
pollution, lead to more accurate estimations of aggregate emissions and enable
modelling of management strategies under different conditions, particularly
traffic congestion. It will also improve understanding of transport emissions’
environmental and health impacts.
This information will inform policy development and national initiatives such as
the review of the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure.

Review of air quality and diesel National Environment Protection Measures


In 1998 the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure set
acceptable levels for the six common air pollutants: particles, ground-level ozone,
carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
The National Environment Protection Council commenced the substantive phase

Outcome 1—Environment
of a review of the Ambient Air Quality Measure in 2006–07. The review is due to be
completed in 2008, and resulting changes to the measure will ensure that Australia
has the most up-to-date and effective policy framework and air quality standards
to protect human health from exposure to air pollution. As part of the review a
discussion paper was prepared on issues relating to air quality policy, monitoring
and reporting. It was released for public consultation in June 2007.
The review of the National Environment Protection (Diesel Vehicle Emissions)

Human settlements
Measure was completed in April 2007. The review process included public
consultation and identified a number of ways in which the measure could be
updated to reflect advances in technology. The council agreed to vary the measure
and to prepare a variation proposal.

Pollution from non-road engines


Emissions from non-road engines can be a significant source of air pollution in
some urban air-sheds. Examples of non-road engines include lawnmowers and
leaf blowers, recreational boats, generators and pumps. Non-road engines are
a significant source of pollution because they do not have the same advanced
emission controls found on modern road vehicles. In 2006 the department
commissioned a national inventory and benchmarking of the environmental
performance of garden equipment and marine outboards (the two major non-road
contributors). The department used recent data sourced from state and territory
jurisdictions to create a national inventory of small engine emissions.

Managing woodsmoke pollution


In 2005–06 the department developed a certification procedure to improve
woodheater compliance with pollutant emission standards. During 2006–07 work
continued with other jurisdictions and industry to implement the procedure.

165
This included ongoing compliance checks of woodheaters against Australian
Standards and increasing public access to woodheater performance information
including via an industry-maintained website of all certified woodheaters.
The current standards for woodheaters, which include a maximum particulate
emission limit, have been a useful tool for driving improvements in woodheater
design and hence reducing overall emissions. In 2006–07 the department
commissioned a major study on the way people operate woodheaters in their
homes. The study will inform development of a revised test method to strengthen
the standards as a means of reducing woodsmoke emissions. The study will take
place during the 2007 winter. It will collect data on the operation of woodheaters
across four Australian states and from New Zealand.
Domestic woodheater emissions can be greatly reduced by improved operation.
The department has updated its Hot Tips for Woodheaters brochure, showing
simple ways to reduce woodsmoke pollution. The brochures will be provided to
local and state governments for distribution to householders.
Outcome 1—Environment

While marked improvements have been made, Launceston in Tasmania continues


to experience poor air quality during winter. In response to this problem, the
department provided grants to four industrial facilities under the Launceston Clean
Air Industry Programme
to assist them to make
technological changes to
reduce pollutant emissions.
Human settlements

This three-year, $1 million


programme will build on a
previous grants programme
that helped 2,242 householders
in Launceston to replace
woodheaters with less-polluting
alternatives. Together these
initiatives will help to continue
the current downward trend in
Woodsmoke from a residential chimney in Tasmania, annual exceedences of particle
resulting from the poor operation of a woodheater. pollution levels in the
Photo: J Todd Tamar Valley.

Clean Air Research Programme


In April 2006 the department provided $1.4 million for 13 research projects under
the Clean Air Research Programme. These air quality research projects will finish in
June 2008 and cover issues such as ground-level ozone formation, public exposure
to air pollutants and the estimated health benefits of improved air quality. The
early findings of these research projects are already informing policy to address the
risks associated with air pollution and develop effective strategies for its reduction.

166 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Australian Child Health and Air Pollution Study
The Australian Child Health and Air Pollution Study began early in 2007. The study
was commissioned by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council with
the aim of providing information to policy makers on air quality and air pollution
management. Half of the council funding for the study was provided by the
Australian Government.
The study will investigate the relationship between air quality and respiratory
health by testing 3,200 students from 60 primary schools across Australia. This is
the first nationwide study of child health in relation to air quality to be conducted
in Australia, and aims to improve understanding of the effects of air pollution on
breathing problems, asthma and allergies in Australian children.

Formaldehyde study
After consulting with key stakeholders to identify priority pollutants for action and

Outcome 1—Environment
research, and to identify strategies to improve air quality in non-industrial indoor
settings, the department is funding a formaldehyde study that will be completed
in late 2007. This national study is measuring levels of formaldehyde in a range
of indoor environments, including mobile homes, caravans and demountable
buildings where formaldehyde-containing materials are used extensively,
to determine if this pollutant poses a risk to people’s health and requires
management action.

Human settlements
Air quality data
To improve access to air quality data the department has established a national air
quality database. These data will inform future decisions on standard setting and
management strategies, and allow better assessment of the status and trends in air
quality.

Ozone layer protection


Some chemicals used in the community and by industry for applications such
as refrigeration, air conditioning, foam production, aerosols and fire protection
deplete the earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. Ozone depletion is a major global
environmental problem that if left unchecked would allow higher doses of ultra
violet band B (UVB) radiation to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere. This would
greatly increase the incidence of skin cancer and eye cataracts, as well as affecting
plants, animals and aquatic life.
The international community’s response to ozone depletion is set out in the
Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985 and the Montreal
Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 1987—both of which have
been ratified by Australia. Under the protocol, all member countries have agreed

167
to phase out their use of ozone depleting substances and replace them with less
harmful alternatives.
As a result of these efforts, in which Australia has played a leading international
role over many years, scientists predict a full recovery of the ozone layer in
the mid-latitudes by around 2050, and over the Antarctic in the period 2060 to
2075. This predicted recovery depends on full and ongoing compliance with the
internationally agreed phase-out targets for the use of ozone depleting substances.
Australia ensures that it meets phase-out obligations through the Ozone Protection
and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989. Under the Act, the
department controls the manufacture, import and export of all ozone depleting
substances and their synthetic greenhouse gas replacements, as well as regulating
their end uses to minimise emissions of these harmful gases. The department also
works with industry and the community to develop and implement programmes
to assist the phase-out of ozone depleting substances and to minimise emissions of
these substances and their synthetic greenhouse gas replacements.
Outcome 1—Environment

Operational achievements
Australia has exceeded its obligations to phase out the use of ozone depleting
substances. Production of ozone depleting substances has ceased in Australia and
local consumption is now limited to relatively small quantities that are imported.
Total imports in 2006–07 were 163 ODP (ozone depleting potential) tonnes, a
Human settlements

decrease of over 80 per cent since 1999, when imports peaked at over
800 ODP tonnes.

Australia’s performance against Montreal Protocol obligations

1,400
Ozone depleting potential tonnes

1,200

1,000

800

600

400

200

0
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Australia's imports Montreal Protocol limit

168 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department received five licence applications to import, export or
manufacture ozone depleting substances in 2006–07. All applications were
assessed within the statutory timeframe. The department also granted eight
applications for an exemption under section 40 of the Ozone Protection and
Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989. Exemptions are allowed where
they are essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety
purposes, and where no practical alternatives are available. There were also 203
applications for licences to import refrigeration and air conditioning equipment
containing an ozone depleting or synthetic greenhouse gas refrigerant. All
applications were assessed within the statutory timeframe and were granted.
In accordance with the requirements of the Montreal Protocol, the use of methyl
bromide is prohibited unless exempted for a critical use. In 2006–07 Australia’s
total use was reduced to 55 metric tonnes, used only for approved purposes such
as fumigation for quarantine purposes
The department also manages Australia’s National Halon Bank. The facility

Outcome 1—Environment
recovers and stores halon (a very potent ozone depleting gas) that is essential
for fire fighting in some limited aviation and maritime uses. It also collects and
destroys surplus halon. In 2006–07 the department oversaw the collection of
13,534 kilograms of halon from Australia and facilitated the safe disposal of
850 kilograms of halon from the Republic of Fiji and 1,700 kilograms from New
Zealand. In addition, a total of 9,300 kilograms of mixed waste refrigerants were

Human settlements
imported for disposal from New Zealand and 100 kilograms of CFC 12
(a chlorofluorocarbon) were disposed of on behalf of foreign ships.
Detailed performance results on the operation of the Ozone Protection and
Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 are in the second volume of this
set of annual reports.

Product stewardship schemes


The department works closely with industry and with state, territory and local
governments to reduce waste through product stewardship initiatives. The
department is working with the states and territories to investigate the scope
for implementing stewardship programmes for tyres, televisions, mobile phones
and computers. Stewardship programmes are already operating for newsprint,
packaging and waste oil.

Product Stewardship for Oil Programme


About 520 million litres of lubricating oil is sold each year in Australia and about
280 to 300 million litres of used oil is generated. If disposed of incorrectly, this
oil can cause serious damage to the environment. It can contaminate the soil,
groundwater, streams, rivers, lakes and drinking water.

169
The Product Stewardship for Oil Programme aims to reduce this damage through
encouraging used oil recycling by providing benefit payments to used oil recyclers.
The department has policy responsibility for this programme, while the Australian
Taxation Office administers the levy and benefit elements of the programme.
A total of $31.9 million in product stewardship benefits was paid to recyclers for
recycling used oil in 2006–07, an increase of $14.7 million from 2005–06. The
volume of oil for which benefits were paid in 2006–07 was 219.5 million litres.
Industry estimates that about 150–165 million litres of used oil was being recycled
before the programme’s implementation on 1 January 2001. Since then, used oil
recycling has increased by about 40 per cent.
As a complement to the stewardship levy–benefit arrangements, the Australian
Government has also provided $34.5 million in transitional assistance funding from
July 2000 until June 2007 to underpin the long-term viability of the oil recycling
industry. In 2006–07 this included 24 grants worth a total of $0.91 million which
were approved to fund various activities including waste oil collection units.
Outcome 1—Environment

One grant, worth about $0.16 million, will provide waste oil collection units in
communities in the Barkley Tablelands and a bulk storage facility in Alice Springs,
in the Northern Territory.
Since it began, the Product Stewardship for Oil Programme has funded installation
of more than 950 waste oil collection units, with 40 units funded in 2006–07.
Detailed performance results on the operation of the Product Stewardship (Oil)
Human settlements

Act 2000 are in the second volume of this set of annual reports.

National Packaging Covenant


The National Packaging Covenant is a voluntary industry arrangement to reduce
the environmental impacts of packaging.
Established in 1999, and revised in 2005, the National Packaging Covenant commits
signatory companies and governments to performance targets including:
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HPJOHUPMBOEmMM
t BOBUJPOBMSFDZDMJOHSBUFPGQFSDFOUGPSNBUFSJBMTUIBUBSFDVSSFOUMZOPU
recycled.
The National Packaging Covenant Council, with membership from industry and
governments, has overall responsibility for the covenant. The department is
represented on the council and in 2006–07 contributed $186,309 from the Natural
Heritage Trust towards administration and to assist in the development and
implementation of a communication strategy for the covenant.
The 2005–06 annual report of the National Packaging Covenant estimated that the
national packaging recycling rate had increased from a baseline of 50.5 per cent at
the end of 2003 to around 56 per cent by the end of June 2006.

170 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department developed a covenant action plan on behalf of the Australian
Government, which outlines how it intends to undertake covenant commitments
and report against specific key performance indicators, including the amount of
packaging recycled annually.
The department is also developing a simple methodology which will assist all
Australian Government departments to report consistent data.
The National Packaging Covenant is underpinned by the National Environment
Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure. Under this measure, governments
agree to require brand owners who are not covenant signatories to take back and
recycle a percentage of their packaging products.

Plastic bags
Millions of plastic bags enter the environment as litter each year. These bags are
unsightly and have the potential to accumulate in the environment, and harm
aquatic and terrestrial animals.

Outcome 1—Environment
Australia’s environment ministers have agreed to a package of measures to reduce
the impact of plastic bags on the environment. These included negotiating a
voluntary industry code of practice with retailers in which major supermarkets
agreed to halve their use of plastic bags by the end of 2005, researching degradable
plastics, and providing support for education and community campaigns. As a
result of these measures, plastic bag usage in Australia fell by 34 per cent between

Human settlements
December 2002 and 2005.
In June 2007 Australia’s environment ministers reiterated their intention to
phase out plastic bags by December 2008. Ways to achieve the phase-out will be
considered by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, along with a final
regulation impact statement, in 2007–08.
In 2006–07 the department allocated $30,000 from the Natural Heritage Trust
to support voluntary action to reduce use of plastic bags, including through the
Western Australian Bag Smart campaign and the Small Business Awareness initiatives.

Hazardous substances regulation and management


The department is involved in a range of initiatives to minimise the environmental
and health impacts of hazardous substances. Internationally, the department
represents Australia’s interests in the development of agreements designed
to control hazardous chemicals. The department is the lead Australian agency
on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Rotterdam
Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous
Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, the Basel Convention on the
Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal,
and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.

171
Within Australia, the department works through the Environment Protection and
Heritage Council to develop nationally applicable guidelines and standards for
hazardous chemicals in consultation with the states and territories, industry and
community groups.

Hazardous waste
The department administers the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and
Imports) Act 1989 which implements Australia’s obligations under the Convention
on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their
Disposal (the Basel Convention).
The Act regulates the import, export and transit of hazardous wastes, including the
environmentally sound management of the waste to protect both the environment
and human health.
In 2006–07, 48 permit applications were processed (31 exports, 16 imports and
one transit). Twenty-one permits were granted, two applications were refused and
Outcome 1—Environment

one was withdrawn; 25 applications were still to be determined as at 30 June 2007.


Australia continued to play a strong role internationally, and in November 2006
was selected as a member of the Compliance Committee of the Basel Convention.
The department also worked closely with the Basel Convention secretariat
and the Basel Convention Regional Centre for South-East Asia to promote the
environmentally sound management of wastes in the Asia–Pacific region.
Human settlements

During the year the department began assessing nine applications from Orica
Australia to export up to 18,400 tonnes of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) waste and
contaminated materials from its Botany Bay site in Sydney. The waste is from one
of the largest remaining concentrated HCB stockpiles in the world, and needs to
be exported for safe disposal overseas as no suitable processing facilities currently
exist in Australia.
More information on the operation of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of
Exports and Imports) Act 1989 is available in the second volume of this set of
annual reports.

Persistent organic pollutants


Persistent organic pollutants are chemicals that remain intact in the environment
for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty
tissue of living organisms and are toxic to humans and wildlife.
Australia has obligations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic
Pollutants, which it ratified in 2004, to restrict, reduce or eliminate the release of
the 12 chemicals listed as persistent organic pollutants.
In 2006–07 the department finalised a national implementation plan that sets
out how Australia will meet its obligations under the convention to reduce

172 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
and eliminate persistent organic pollutants. It reflects the work already
undertaken through the National Strategy for the Management of Scheduled
Waste, an agreement of more than 10 years standing between the Australian
Government, the states and territories for the safe management and disposal of
a number of persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls,
hexachlorobenzene and organochlorine pesticides.
Australia will withdraw its exemption of mirex (a persistent organic pollutant)
under Article 4 of the Stockholm Convention by the end of 2007. As a result of this
withdrawal, Australia will have no remaining exemptions under the convention.
In 2006 Australia participated in an assessment of proposals to include 10 new
chemicals on the Stockholm Convention and in an expert group which finalised
guidelines for reducing emissions of persistent organic pollutants including
dioxins.
The department released reports of three studies investigating the levels of

Outcome 1—Environment
brominated flame retardants in the Australian population, in indoor air, and in
aquatic sediments. The findings contributed to decisions by the National Industrial
Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme to ban import or manufacture of
two of these chemicals.
The department also led the Australian delegation to the 3rd conference of the
parties to the convention in May 2007. The parties adopted guidelines for reducing
emissions of persistent organic pollutants, agreed to continue development of

Human settlements
a non-compliance mechanism for the convention, and agreed to a process to
evaluate the effectiveness of the convention.

Informed consent to import hazardous chemicals


In February 2004 the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent
Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
came into force. Australia became a party to the convention on 18 August 2004.
The department led the delegation to the 3rd meeting of the conference of the
parties in October 2006. The conference made decisions on operational issues
necessary for the functioning of the convention. The department also participated
in the 3rd meeting of the convention’s Chemical Review Committee in March 2007.
The committee has agreed to forward guidance documents on two chemicals,
tributyltin and endosulfan, to the next conference of the parties in 2008 for the
conference to consider whether to add these chemicals to the convention.

Heavy metals
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) continued its work on
assessing the impact of heavy metals on the environment and human health,
with priority given to mercury, lead and cadmium.

173
In 2006 the department participated in work to assess the potential for lead and
cadmium to be transported globally by atmospheric and aquatic means and the
impact on the environment and human health.
In 2001 UNEP prepared a global mercury assessment, which concluded mercury
was a chemical of global concern that posed significant risks to human health and
the environment. In February 2007 the department provided $50,000 towards
the UNEP Mercury Programme to review the most appropriate measures for
addressing mercury releases and to support continuation of partnership initiatives.
The department also began two studies to review current regulatory and voluntary
measures related to mercury and to determine mercury sources, transportation
and fate in Australia.
The department also provided financial support to the Australian LEAD Group,
a not-for-profit community group which administers the Global Lead Advice and
Support Service, a free telephone and internet service that provides information
and referrals for lead poisoning and lead contamination prevention.
Outcome 1—Environment

Strategic international approach to chemicals


In 2002 the World Summit on Sustainable Development urged international
organisations to cooperate in improving international chemicals management.
In response, UNEP began developing the Strategic Approach to International
Chemical Management (SAICM). The purpose of the strategic approach is to
ensure that internationally chemicals are used and produced in ways that mitigate
Human settlements

significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment by the year
2020. The department contributed $90,000 to SAICM for projects to improve
chemicals management in developing countries.

National risk management framework


The department continued to work with community groups, Australian
Government departments, industry and states and territories to develop the
National Framework for Chemicals Environmental Management (NChEM).
The framework aims to provide a nationally consistent approach to regulating and
managing the environmental impacts of chemicals, including ensuring consistent
implementation of chemical assessment decisions. The framework also aims to
identify gaps in environmental chemicals management.
In June 2007 the Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to the
Ministerial Agreement on Principles for Better Environmental Management of
Chemicals and to an action plan on chemicals in the environment.
The principles for better environmental management of chemicals include:
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t BEPQUJPOPGCFTUQSBDUJDFBQQSPBDIFTBOENPSFUSBOTQBSFOUNFUIPEPMPHJFT
when undertaking environmental risk assessments of chemicals

174 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
t NPSFTUSFBNMJOFEFOWJSPONFOUBMSFHVMBUJPOPGIJHIFSSJTLDIFNJDBMTUPEFMJWFS
sound and effective outcomes for the environment, industry and the public
without unnecessary red tape.
The action plan identifies areas for immediate action on improving chemical
management processes, and identifies actions requiring further detailed
development and costing. Proposals will be submitted to the Productivity
Commission for examination of broader chemical management reform.

National approach to industrial residues


While there are benefits from the reuse and recycling of industrial residues, there
is also potential for harm to human health and the environment if these materials
are used inappropriately.
The department has been developing a national approach to increase environment
protection by providing nationally consistent criteria and information that

Outcome 1—Environment
environment agencies can use to assess proposals for the reuse of industrial
residues. In November 2006, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council
adopted the approach: Guidance for Assessing the Beneficial Reuse of Industrial
Residues to Land Management Applications – A National Approach.

National Chemical Monitoring Programme


Work continued on implementing the National Chemical Monitoring Programme

Human settlements
which is developing a database for reporting and monitoring industrial and
household chemical use, disposal and environmental fate. As part of this work,
a review of chemical monitoring is under way. Another study is determining the
cost of developing an environmental sample bank in Australia, to store samples for
future analysis as new chemicals of concern are identified.

Biotechnology risk assessments


The Gene Technology Regulator, in the Department of Health and Ageing,
regulates genetically modified organisms under the Gene Technology Act
2000. The Act requires that the regulator seek advice from the Minister for the
Environment and Water Resources on each intentional release of a genetically
modified organism into the environment. With the assistance of the department,
the minister provided advice to the regulator on 14 occasions in 2006–07 to
ensure that environmental impacts were adequately assessed and managed by the
regulator for each licence granted.
In 2006–07 the department also performed three risk assessments of genetically
modified organisms and other biological agents for the Australian Pesticides and
Veterinary Medicines Authority to ensure there were no unintended adverse
environmental effects as a result of these releases.

175
To assist its work, the department helped to fund research projects and
workshops, primarily through Biotechnology Australia, on the commercial release
of genetically modified crops and other organisms in Australia.
During the year, the department participated in the reviews of the Gene
Technology Act 2000 and its Regulations, ensuring that the level of environmental
protection afforded by the regulatory system has been fully considered in the
review processes. The Gene Technology Amendment Bill 2007 was passed in
parliament on 20 June 2007 and the majority of the amendments commenced on
1 July 2007.
Biotechnology research and trade in biotechnology products are also issues
relevant to the work of a number of international forums in which the department
participates. Outcomes include improved international regulatory guidance
documents for member countries and appropriate consideration of Australia’s
national interests.
Outcome 1—Environment

Chemical risk assessments


The department provides other Australian Government regulators with advice
on the environmental impacts of new and existing industrial, agricultural and
veterinary chemicals.

Agricultural and veterinary chemicals


Human settlements

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority regulates agricultural


and veterinary chemicals. One test for registering a new chemical product is
whether the product is likely to harm the environment when used according to
its instructions. The authority seeks the department’s advice with this test on a
fee for service basis. In 2006–07 the department received $1.1 million in return for
carrying out 102 environmental risk assessments for new uses of agricultural and
veterinary chemicals.
As part of the authority’s ongoing review of existing chemicals, the department
prepared environmental risk assessments for chemicals including 1080,
fenamiphos, methiocarb and the environmentally acceptable disposal of dips used
for stock treatments.

Industrial chemicals
The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme regulates
industrial chemicals. The department assesses the potential environmental impact
of new industrial chemicals and reviews the environmental impact of priority
existing chemicals on behalf of the scheme. Advice is provided by the department
on a fee for service basis. In 2006–07 the department received $690,000 in return
for carrying out 220 environmental risk assessments for new industrial chemicals

176 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
and the priority review programme. Chemicals reviewed by the department
included triclosan, sodium cyanide and several brominated flame retardants.
The number of new chemicals assessed is slightly lower than last year but is still
consistent with a long-term trend of increasing numbers of industrial chemical
assessments being undertaken by the department.
Nanotechnology is a relatively new technology that has the potential to provide
human health and environmental benefits in a range of products.
The department participated in a whole-of-government process to develop
a National Nanotechnology Strategy, which includes measures to encourage
the uptake of the technology in Australia while ensuring that any health or
environmental risks are appropriately addressed in regulatory arrangements.

Outcome 1—Environment
Human settlements

177
Supervision of uranium mining
The Supervising Scientist is a statutory office under the Environment Protection
(Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 and the occupant of the office is the head of the
Supervising Scientist Division within the department. The Supervising Scientist
Division supervises uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region, which includes
Kakadu National Park. The department works closely with the Department of
Industry, Tourism and Resources and the Northern Territory Department of
Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines in fulfilling this role.
The department has specific roles and responsibilities under the Act to protect
the environment of the Alligator Rivers Region from the potential impacts of
uranium mining. The roles and responsibilities include environmental monitoring,
supervision, and research into the impact of uranium mining.
The Alligator Rivers Region, some 220 kilometres east of Darwin, contains a
number of former, current and potential uranium mines, including:
Outcome 1—Environment

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traditional Aboriginal owners and the mining company, Koongarra Pty Ltd.
None of these sites are part of Kakadu National Park. A number of smaller uranium
Human settlements

deposits were mined during the 1950s and 1960s in what is now the southern
portion of Kakadu National Park.
The Supervising Scientist Division continued to conduct research, monitoring,
supervision and audit activities during 2006–07. The division carried out a second
year’s trials of continuous water quality monitoring in Magela Creek adjacent to
the Ranger mine including second stage testing of an in situ biological monitoring
methodology during the 2006–07 wet season. The success of this trial provides
further support for replacing the current resource-intensive creekside monitoring
programme in subsequent years with this streamlined procedure.
Work to date indicates that the environment of the Alligator Rivers Region remains
protected from the impacts of uranium mining.
Detailed performance results are provided in the Supervising Scientist’s annual
report on the operation of the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region)
Act 1978 at www.environment.gov.au/about/publications/annual-report/.

178 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Environmental assessment
The department manages referral, assessment and approval processes under
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The
department also manages assessment and approval processes under other federal
laws, particularly the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 and the
Sea Installations Act 1987.

Environmental assessments and approvals


The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 establishes
procedures for determining which actions require approval under the Act, and the
related environmental assessment and approval processes. Approvals are required
for actions that are likely to have a significant impact on matters of national
environmental significance protected under Part 3 of the Act; and for Australian
Government actions and actions involving Commonwealth land that are likely to

Outcome 1—Environment
have a significant impact on the environment.
Since the commencement of the Act in July 2000 more than 1,586 matters of
national environmental significance have been protected through the referral,
assessment and approval process, with 276 matters protected in 2006–07. The
matters of national environmental significance protected include world heritage
properties, wetlands of international importance, threatened species and ecological

Human settlements
communities, migratory species, and the Commonwealth marine environment.
Timeframes for all decision-making in the referral, assessment and approval
process are fully specified in the Act. In 2006–07, 83 per cent of decisions were
made within statutory timeframes. While this figure is comparable to previous
years (85 per cent in 2005–06 and 90 per cent in 2004–05), timelines for decision-
making have been a challenge for the department.
In February 2007 a range of amendments to the Act came into force and the
Australian Government provided $70.6 million in new funding over four years
which will improve the administration of the environmental assessment and
approvals process under the Act.
More details on the amendments and on the operation of the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 are in the second volume of
this set of annual reports.

Sea dumping and sea installations regulation


The Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 was enacted to fulfil
Australia’s international responsibilities under the 1996 Protocol to the London
Convention on Sea Dumping, which Australia ratified in 2000. The Act regulates
the deliberate loading and dumping of wastes and other matter at sea.

179
In 2006–07, 14 sea dumping permits were issued (13 by the department
and one by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority). This reflected the
ongoing need to dispose of dredged material at sea due to expansion of ports
around Australia, particularly as a result of the resources boom. Reviews by the
department of applications to dispose of dredged material offshore involve
detailed environmental impact assessments in accordance with the National Ocean
Disposal Guidelines for Dredged Material.
There were ongoing enquiries regarding permits under the Environment
Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 to place artificial reefs and to dispose of
unwanted vessels at sea.
The Sea Installations Act 1987 regulates construction and operation of human-
made devices, equipment and other installations in the marine environment
including tourism pontoons and fish aggregation devices. The Act ensures that sea
installations are operated safely, are environmentally sound and are operated in a
manner that is consistent with the protection of the environment.
Outcome 1—Environment

Most sea installations in Australia are within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This
year 14 permits or permit exemptions for sea installations under the Act were issued
(10 by the department and four by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority).
Human settlements

180 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Wildlife protection
The department administers the wildlife protection provisions of the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Act is the Australian
Government’s main tool for protecting wildlife and conserving biodiversity.
The Act also regulates wildlife trade to protect Australia’s native wildlife from
overexploitation.

Threatened species and ecological communities protection


Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
actions require approval if they are likely to have a significant impact on wildlife
and ecological communities that are listed as nationally threatened. Activities that
may affect listed threatened species or communities in Commonwealth areas may
require permits. In 2006–07 the department issued four permits under Part 13 of

Outcome 1—Environment
the Act for listed threatened species.
Details of these and other activities relating to the protection and conservation
of threatened species are included in the report on the operation of the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in the second
volume of this set of annual reports.

Human settlements
Threatened species recovery
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the
department is working to prevent nationally threatened species from becoming
extinct and to recover their populations. The department develops threatened
species recovery plans when the minister’s Threatened Species Scientific
Committee has determined that there is a need to have a plan in force. In 2006–07
the department invested over $1.9 million from the national component of the
Natural Heritage Trust in developing and implementing plans to recover terrestrial
threatened species.
In 2006–07 the minister approved 66 recovery plans covering 106 species under
the Act. This brings the total number of recovery plans in force to 308, covering
395 species and 15 ecological communities. A further 289 plans are in preparation
covering 400 species and 14 ecological communities.
The total number of species and ecological communities covered by plans in
place or in preparation is 814, or 51 per cent of listed species and ecological
communities.

181
Threatened species recovery plans implemented 2003–04 to 2006–07

Year Plans brought into force Total plans in place 1

2006–07 66 308

2005–06 31 264

2004–05 67 216

2003–04 23 126

1 Total includes revised recovery plans, and is adjusted for revoked plans where the species or community is no longer listed.

Changes to listing and recovery requirements


Amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999 which came into force in February 2007 established a new process for listing
threatened species and ecological communities. The new process is designed to
improve the effectiveness of listing by focusing on species and communities in
Outcome 1—Environment

greatest need of protection.


The amendments also provide greater flexibility in responding to changing
conservation needs for threatened species and ecological communities.
Importantly the amendments changed the focus from recovery plans to recovery
action. The minister is now required to ensure there is approved conservation
advice at all times for each listed species and community. The approved
Human settlements

conservation advice will contain information on key threats to the species or


community and actions needed to aid its recovery. The minister may determine
that, in addition to conservation advice, a recovery plan is required.

Threatened Species Network


The department supports the Threatened Species Network, a community-based
programme of the Natural Heritage Trust and World Wildlife Fund for Nature
Australia. The network includes a team who support projects that enable all
Australians to be involved in hands-on conservation. The network’s projects
are funded through the Natural Heritage Trust’s Threatened Species Network
Community Grants Programme.
The network’s activities in 2006–07 benefited over 237 species and ecological
communities listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999. Work included 32 new projects funded under the grants
programme. The network also provided advice on threatened species to over
125 advisory panels, recovery teams, assessment panels, and survey and research
teams.

182 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Threatened species recovery—forty-spotted pardalote
The forty-spotted pardalote
(Pardalotus quadragintus)
occurs in Tasmania and
is restricted to four main
populations on offshore islands
and peninsulas along the east
coast of Tasmania. Populations
have been recorded from the
south-east at Tinderbox and on
Maria Island and Bruny Island,
and also on Flinders Island in
Forty-spotted pardalote. Photo: D Watts
Bass Strait.

Outcome 1—Environment
The species inhabits lowland dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands and is
listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999. A national recovery plan for the forty-spotted
pardalote was adopted on 10 November 2006.
Population estimates are below 4,000 individuals. Numbers have remained
relatively stable since recovery actions commenced in 1991. The recovery
effort has strong community support not only for protection of this species

Human settlements
but also for the conservation of dry sclerophyll forests in Tasmania generally.

183
Threatened species recovery—glossy black-cockatoo
The South Australian subspecies of the glossy black-cockatoo
(Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus) is listed as endangered under
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The third national recovery plan for this species has been in force since
October 2005.
The long-term
objectives of the
recovery plan are
to ensure that a
viable breeding
population survives
in South Australia
Outcome 1—Environment

and that the status


can be changed
from endangered to
vulnerable within
Glossy black-cockatoo. Photo: Graham Chapman
25 years. It is
expected that this
objective can be met
Human settlements

by expanding the current distribution to include the species’ former range


on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Management actions taken to assist with the recovery of the glossy black-
cockatoo include population monitoring and analysis, habitat protection
and expansion, protecting nest sites, and community involvement.
These actions have resulted in an increase in the population size to
320 individuals at October 2006, which is the highest number counted to
date. At the current rate of increase, an average of 3 per cent since 1995,
the recovery plan is likely to achieve its objectives by 2015.

Australian Wildlife Hospital


The Australian Government provided $2.5 million toward the construction of new
veterinary facilities at the Australian Wildlife Hospital in 2005–06. Construction is
due to be completed in 2008.
The hospital is the largest specialist native wildlife hospital in Australia, and
services an area in excess of 100,000 square kilometres stretching from northern
New South Wales through to Maryborough and west to Toowoomba. The hospital
also provides a valuable information service to veterinarians and wildlife carer

184 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
groups around Australia, and conducts research into wildlife disease and health
management. The facility is used by universities to give veterinary students and
wildlife trainees practical work experience and course work. The hospital works in
collaboration with volunteer wildlife rescue organisations and concerned individuals.

Outcome 1—Environment
The new facility at the Australian Wildlife Hospital will be able to treat up to 10,000 wildlife

Human settlements
patients each year, almost twice the current capacity. Photo: Australian Wildlife Hospital

Wildlife industry regulation


The department protects animal and plant species and ecosystems by regulating
the import and export of certain wildlife and wildlife products under Part 13A of
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The export
of Australian native species is regulated to protect them from overexploitation.
Protection of Australia’s native ecosystems from the threat of alien invasive species
is achieved by regulating imports of live specimens.
Part 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
is designed to meet Australia’s obligations under the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Parties to the
convention protect endangered species from overexploitation that may result from
international trade by regulating imports and exports through a permit system.

CITES activities
The department represents the Oceania region on the CITES standing
committee. The department led the Australian delegation to the 14th meeting of
the conference of the parties to CITES, held in The Hague, Netherlands, from

185
3–15 June 2007. Outcomes achieved included improved protection for cetaceans
and sharks, and increased attention to illegal trade in wildlife as ingredients in
traditional medicines. Australia also strongly supported successful moves to
protect sawfish, conclude guidelines on compliance with the convention, and
frame a strategic vision to guide future activities.
As part of its regional representative and advocacy role, Australia led a number of
CITES initiatives. These include:
t FTUBCMJTINFOUPGBUJNCFSPGmDFSQPTJUJPOJOUIF$*5&4TFDSFUBSJBUGPSBUSJBM
period, funded by Australia, to focus initially on the Asia–Pacific region. The
position will increase international capacity to effectively address deforestation,
illegal logging and unsustainable trade in timber species
t BQSPKFDUUPCVJMEMFHJTMBUJWFBOEBENJOJTUSBUJWFDBQBDJUZGPSUIFJNQMFNFOUBUJPO
of CITES in Palau. This project has to date engaged a legislative consultant to
review national legislation and draft new implementing legislation. An official
Outcome 1—Environment

of the CITES Management Authority of Australia travelled to Palau to conduct


presentations, participate in workshops and hold discussions with officials of
the Government of Palau, with the aim of establishing effective governance
arrangements in line with CITES objectives. This collaboration is at the request
of the CITES Management Authority of Palau
t BQSPKFDUUPQVUJOQMBDFBO"VTUSBMJBO:PVUI"NCBTTBEPSGPS%FWFMPQNFOU
to assist the CITES Management Authority of Vanuatu. This project is at the
Human settlements

invitation of Vanuatu.
These cooperative efforts to improve environmental governance have fostered
strong bilateral relationships and will contribute to biodiversity conservation in the
Oceania region.

Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking


To complement its CITES activities, Australia recently joined the Coalition Against
Wildlife Trafficking, along with a number of national governments and several
non-government organisations. The department will act as the focal point for the
coalition in Australia. The coalition’s goals are to:
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information sharing and strengthening regional cooperative networks
t SFEVDFDPOTVNFSEFNBOEGPSJMMFHBMMZUSBEFEXJMEMJGFCZSBJTJOHBXBSFOFTTPG
the impacts of illegal wildlife trade on biodiversity and the environment, its
links to organised crime, and the availability of sustainable alternatives
t DBUBMZTFIJHIMFWFMQPMJUJDBMXJMMUPmHIUXJMEMJGFUSBGmDLJOHCZCSPBEFOJOH
support at the highest political levels for actions to combat the illegal trade in
wildlife.

186 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Wildlife industries and trade
The department uses its regulatory powers to encourage management practices
that are humane and not detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.
In supporting responsible wildlife-based industries, one new wildlife trade
management plan was approved in 2006–07. The department also issued
2,805 permits to export or import, including 496 ‘multiple-consignment’ permits.
Multiple-consignment permits were introduced in response to feedback from
industry participants and have since been widely adopted. These permits enable
the holder to either import or export a number of shipments over a set period of
time for certain species, while managed programmes ensure overexploitation does
not occur. They streamline the administrative process and reduce the compliance
burden for the department’s clients.
In respect to compliance, a total 7,533 seizures were made under Part 13A of

Outcome 1—Environment
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and six
successful prosecutions were undertaken. In one case, an individual convicted of
attempting to smuggle 23 exotic bird eggs into Australia from Bangkok, Thailand
was sentenced to two years in prison and issued with a $10,000 fine. These harsh
penalties reflect the seriousness with which Australian courts view wildlife crime.
In combating illegal trade, the department works closely with partner agencies,
sharing intelligence and resources. The department works with state and territory

Human settlements
wildlife authorities, the Australian Customs Service, the Australian Federal Police,
overseas CITES management authorities, Interpol, and some non-government
organisations such as TRAFFIC—the joint wildlife trade monitoring programme of
the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
The department is finalising Guidelines for Cooperative Conservation Programmes
for CITES I animals in collaboration with the Australasian Regional Association
for Zoological Parks and Aquaria. Appendix I includes species threatened with
extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is tightly controlled and is
permitted only for non-commercial purposes such as conservation breeding,
research and education. A number of programmes that are operated with the
intention of conserving a species threatened by international trade were approved
in 2006–07. One such programme enabled the export of a female captive-born
orang-utan for rehabilitation and release into the wild under the Sumatran Orang-
utan Conservation Project at Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Indonesia.
Further details of activities relating to wildlife protection and wildlife industry
regulation are in the annual report on the operation of the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in the second volume of this
set of annual reports.

187
Wildlife industry regulation—building partnerships with industry
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulates trade in all forms of wildlife listed in the
Appendices to CITES, whether whole, processed or wild collected, farmed,
artificially propagated or captive bred. The export and import of specimens
listed on CITES is regulated via export and import permits.
The department assists industry to
comply with international wildlife trade
laws by attending trade fairs and industry
conventions. At these events, business
people can ask questions and provide
feedback on compliance issues, while
the department works to raise awareness
and understanding of trade regulation
Outcome 1—Environment

and its purpose.


Information booth.

Ingredients in traditional medicine


Wildlife (both animal and plant) products have been used in traditional
medicines for many centuries. As the demand for these medicines has
Human settlements

increased, particularly with the globalisation of trade, a number of wildlife


species have become endangered and many are now threatened with
extinction. The department is committed to stamping out the use of
endangered and threatened species in traditional medicines.
The department is working cooperatively with traditional medicines users
and practitioners to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and
wildlife trade.
The department has entered into
an agreement with the Australian
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Association to raise awareness
among its members of wildlife trade
issues. The agreement aims to give
traditional medicine practitioners the
opportunity to express their interest
Kerry Smith, Assistant Secretary of in protecting endangered species
the Wildlife Branch, speaking at through a certification scheme and
the Australian Acupuncture and
Chinese Medicine Association’s by using substitutes and alternatives
annual conference in Brisbane, to endangered wildlife in traditional
18–20 May 2007.
medicine.

188 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Results for performance indicators
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Commonwealth contribution to the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation


(administered item)

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%. $472,436 was provided to support the operations of the
with the terms and conditions of funding National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation
(Target: 100%)

Air pollution

Trends in the concentration of key air Overall, air quality is good with most pollutants declining.
pollutants in ambient air in major urban 1BSUJDVMBUFTUBOEBSETBSFPDDBTJPOBMMZFYDFFEFE0[POFMFWFMT
areas approach the standard in large cities with some exceedences in
Sydney
Since the removal of lead from petrol, airborne lead levels are
now so low that regular ambient monitoring has ceased except
where smelting and industrial facilities are close to residential

Outcome 1—Environment
populations

National Environment Protection Measures The review of the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air
for air quality are implemented and Quality) Measure is progressing
reviewed to provide world best-practice in
The review of the National Environment Protection (Diesel Vehicle
the protection of community health
Emissions) Measure was completed in April 2007

Australian Fuel Quality Standards are No new standards came into force
implemented, and further harmonised

Human settlements
with international standards

Biofuels Task Force (administered item)

Fuel sampling numbers increased by 100% Fuel samples more than doubled from 1,069 in 2005–06 to 2,321
from 2005–06 in 2006–07. Samples covered petrol, diesel, biodiesel and autogas
from approximately 750 sites around Australia and
145 compliance incident reports were received

Vehicle testing programme (E5 and E10) Vehicle testing (E5 and E10) report was released in March 2007
and health study completed by 2007
Health impacts study has commenced and is expected to be
completed early in 2008

Ozone depleting substances

Mass of imports compared to Montreal 0%1 P[POFEFQMFUJOHQPUFOUJBM


UPOOFTXFSFJNQPSUFE
Protocol limits during 2006 against the total permissible import under the
Montreal Protocol of 404 ODP tonnes

189
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Account (administered item)

The Australian Government’s obligations Australia has done better than its obligations to phase out the use
under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic PGP[POFEFQMFUJOHTVCTUBODFT1SPEVDUJPOPGP[POFEFQMFUJOH
Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 are substances has ceased in Australia and local consumption is now
met, including effective administration of limited to relatively small quantities that are imported
the Act, management of the Halon Bank
The department oversaw the collection of 13,534 kg of halon
BOEQSPHSBNNFTUPQIBTFPVUP[POF
from Australia and facilitated the safe disposal of almost 12,000 kg
depleting substances and minimise
of halon and mixed waste refrigerants from outside Australia
FNJTTJPOTPGP[POFEFQMFUJOHTVCTUBODFT
and synthetic greenhouse gas

Licence and enforcement actions are 100%


undertaken within statutory timeframes

Supplies of essential use halon are provided 100% supplied within agreed timeframes
within the requested timeframe

Percentage of facility inspections meets 90%. One case exceeding total suspended particulates and boron
Outcome 1—Environment

local ordinance requirements content of waste water was identified. A second sample was
taken and was within the acceptable parameters

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding

Number of licence applications 208. 5 licences to import hydrochlorofluorocarbons and


203 precharged equipment licences to import refrigeration and
airconditioning equipment
Human settlements

Number of alleged breaches 6,373. Alleged breaches are generally notifed through the
Australian Customs Service and relate to suspicious individual
imports. All alleged breaches were investigated and resolved
directly, or by Customs, through determining that the import
was permitted, or issuing of an appropriate licence or voluntary
surrender of the goods

Number of requests for halon supply 12

Number of facility inspections 5

Number of projects funded None

Launceston’s air quality (administered item)

Reduction in particle emissions from The programme is still in its implementation phase and no
industry facilities funded under the emission outcomes are available
Launceston Clean Air Industry Programme

Packaging waste

Australian Government action plan is An action plan was approved by the minister and is being
developed and implemented by 2007 implemented

Agreement is reached by the end of 2006 A consultation regulation impact statement was released in
to manage the impacts of plastic bags over January 2007 canvassing options to reduce the environmental
future years impact of plastic bags. The Environment Protection and Heritage
Council will consider how to proceed, pending completion of a
final regulation impact statement, before the end of 2007

190 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Waste oil

Number of waste oil collection units under In total 950 units have been installed; 40 extra units were
the Product Stewardship for Oil Programme funded in 2006–07

Area serviced by collection units Collection units have been installed in all states and territories.
Urban and rural areas are well serviced and grants for used oil
collection units extend to remote and Indigenous communities

Hazardous substances and new organisms

Number of environmental risk assessments (i) 220 assessments for new industrial chemicals (ii) 102
of (i) industrial chemicals and (ii) agricultural assessments for new uses of agricultural and veterinary
pesticides and veterinary medicines completed chemicals

Number of genetically modified organism The department provided advice for 14 proposals to release
release proposals for which environmental genetically modified organisms and performed 3 risk
risk advice was prepared assessments of genetically modified organisms

Uranium mining

Outcome 1—Environment
Median (i) and annual maximum (ii) uranium (i) 0.7%
concentrations measured downstream of the
(ii) 2.5%
Ranger mine reported as percentages of the
allowable limit (6 micrograms per litre)

Number of times limit exceeded None

Environmental assessments

Number of actions affecting matters 276 matters protected under Part 3 of the Act were protected

Human settlements
protected by Part 3 of the Environment through the referral, assessment and approval process. This is an
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act increase of 6 matters from 2005–06
1999 whose adverse environmental impacts
have been addressed

Wildlife protection

Number of recovery plans (i) being prepared (i) 414


and (ii) in operation
(ii) 308

Percentage of listed threatened species and 25% of listed threatened terrestrial species and ecological
ecological communities with recovery plans communities have a recovery plan in operation
in operation

191
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Output 1.4—Response to the impact of human settlements

Policy advisor role: The minister Minister was satisfied with timeliness and quality of briefs. The
is satisfied with the timeliness and department has experienced challenges in responding to the
accuracy of briefs and draft ministerial unprecedented volume of correspondence now being received,
correspondence provided by the but procedural adjustments and new systems have improved
department timeliness

Provider role 1: Percentage of payments 100%


that are consistent with the terms and
conditions of funding (Target: 100%)

Regulator role 2: Percentage of statutory Reports on the compliance with statutory timeframes triggered
timeframes triggered that are met (Target: under relevant Acts are provided in the second volume of this set
>90%) of annual reports

Price Refer to the resources table below

1 Only applies to the administration of grants programmes funded entirely from departmental funding for this output. Any grants
Outcome 1—Environment

programmes within this output that are wholly or partially funded through administered appropriations are separately reported.
2 Applies to areas that administer legislation, for example reporting timeframes triggered under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Human settlements

192 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Resources
Elements of pricing Budget prices Actual expenses
$’000 $’000

Departmental outputs

Sub-output: 1.5.1 Environmental assessments 17,272 18,016


Sub-output: 1.5.2 Pollution prevention strategies 42,960 42,927
Sub-output: 1.5.3 Supervision of uranium mines 10,080 10,648
Sub-output: 1.5.4 Wildlife protection 13,295 13,254

Total Output 1.5 83,607 84,845

Administered items

Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities 1 15,943 15,943


0[POF1SPUFDUJPOBOE4ZOUIFUJD(SFFOIPVTF(BT"DDPVOU 1,700 1,419

Outcome 1—Environment
Bio Fuels – MCE Additional and Australian Government Task Force 4,029 3,867
National Environment Protection Council 429 429
2
Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme 250 422
Improving Launceston’s air quality 415 403

Total (Administered) 22,766 22,483

1 Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities is reported in cross-cutting activities.

Human settlements
2 Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme is reported in land and inland waters.

193
Outcome 2—Antarctica

195
Antarctica
The Department of the Environment and Water Resources is advancing Australia’s
interests in Antarctica by carrying out Antarctic and Southern Ocean programmes,
participating in international forums, and conducting scientific research.

Main responsibilities for this outcome

t "OUBSDUJD5SFBUZ4ZTUFN
t "OUBSDUJDBOE4PVUIFSO0DFBO
environment protection
t "VTUSBMJBO"OUBSDUJD5FSSJUPSZBOE Australian Antarctic Division
Territory of Heard Island and McDonald
Islands administration
t "OUBSDUJDBOE4PVUIFSO0DFBOSFTFBSDI
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Objectives
Antarctic policy
t .BJOUBJOUIF"OUBSDUJD5SFBUZ4ZTUFN UPFOIBODF"VTUSBMJBTJOnVFODFJOJUBOE
enhance international protection for Antarctica as a zone of peace and science
t 1SPUFDUUIFFOWJSPONFOUPG"OUBSDUJDB UIF4PVUIFSO0DFBOBOEUIF5FSSJUPSZPG
Heard Island and McDonald Islands including its marine living resources and
seabirds

Antarctic science
t *NQSPWFVOEFSTUBOEJOHPG"OUBSDUJDBTSPMFJOUIFHMPCBMDMJNBUFTZTUFN
t $POEVDUBOETVQQPSUTDJFODFUPQSPUFDUUIF"OUBSDUJDFOWJSPONFOUBOE
Southern Ocean ecosystems, and support other research of practical value
t 1SPWJEFEBUBUP"VTUSBMJBOBOEJOUFSOBUJPOBMJOTUJUVUJPOTBOETVQQPSUUIFNUP
undertake research

196 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Results 2006–07

t 5IFFTUBCMJTINFOUPGBOJOUFSDPOUJOFOUBMBJSMJOLCFUXFFO"VTUSBMJBBOE
Antarctica is progressing well, with flights scheduled to commence in the
2007–08 summer. A five-year lease for an Airbus A319 aircraft was signed
and the long-range aircraft arrived in Australia on 20 February 2007. The
blue-ice runway foundation has been graded. Demonstration flights
have been conducted to test processes and procedures and confirm the
suitability of the runway’s navigation aids and support systems.
t 5IF"VTUSBMJBO"OUBSDUJD%JWJTJPOJTQMBZJOHBLFZSPMFJO*OUFSOBUJPOBM
Polar Year activities. The International Polar Year will be held over
24 months from March 2007 to March 2009. Australia will lead eight
scientific projects, co-lead three, and participate in 46 other international
projects.
t 5IF"VTUSBMJBO$FOUSFGPS"QQMJFE.BSJOF.BNNBM4DJFODFXBT
established in 2006 and is the first major national research centre
focused on understanding, protecting and conserving whales, dolphins,
seals and dugongs in the Australian region. The centre is based in the

Outcome 2—Antarctica
Australian Antarctic Division and has an extensive network of science
partners throughout Australia.
t "VTUSBMJBMFEXPSLXJUIJUT"OUBSDUJD5SFBUZQBSUOFST$IJOB 3VTTJB 
Romania and India to finalise the formal management plan for the
Larsemann Hills, an important Antarctic coastal ice-free area.
t "VTUSBMJBTQSPQPTBMUPJNQSPWFQSPDFEVSFTGPSSFWJFXJOHBOESFWJTJOH
the 70-plus management plans for Antarctic protected areas was
endorsed by the Committee for Environmental Protection, established
by the Antarctic Treaty.
t 5IFDPOTUSVDUJPOBOEPQFSBUJPOPG.BXTPOTUBUJPOTUXPXJOEQPXFS
turbines was well received by the 2007 meeting of the Committee for
Environmental Protection as a significant achievement and a model of
energy management in Antarctica.
t 5IF"OUBSDUJDTDJFODFQSPHSBNNFTVQQPSUFEQSPKFDUT XIJDIMFEUP
393 publications including 154 peer-reviewed papers. A recent review of
publications output from the world’s Antarctic programmes shows that
Australia’s output ranks third, after the United States and the United
Kingdom.

197
Antarctic policy
The department’s Australian Antarctic Division advances Australia’s policy interests
in Antarctica by supporting and participating in the Antarctic Treaty System.
This includes taking an active and influential role in forums of the Antarctic
Treaty Consultative Meeting, the Committee for Environmental Protection, and
the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
(conservation, fishing and ecosystem management). The division also takes
an active role in the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels
(seabird conservation).
The division administers the Australian Antarctic Territory, which covers
42 per cent of the Antarctic continent, as well as the Territory of Heard Island and
McDonald Islands 4,000 kilometres south-west of Perth. It also leads or participates
in a range of cross-portfolio forums related to Antarctica.

Antarctic Treaty System


The Australian Government considers that supporting and participating in the
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Antarctic Treaty System is the best way to advance Australia’s Antarctic policy
interests. The Antarctic Treaty System has grown into a wide-ranging regime for
managing Antarctica, with a particular emphasis on environmental protection.
It also provides for scientific and logistic cooperation. Since 1961, 46 countries
have become parties to the treaty.
During the year the Australian Antarctic Division continued to play a leading role in
representing Australia’s interests at Antarctic Treaty meetings. The most significant
annual forums are the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the annual meeting of
the Committee for Environmental Protection and meetings under the Convention
on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The Committee for
Environmental Protection is responsible for developing the regulatory framework
established by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

Improvements to tourism management


While Antarctic tourism is a relatively small component of the tourism industry
worldwide, the number and diversity of operations is increasing and the number of
visitors continues to grow, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Australian
companies are active in the Antarctic tourism industry, and many Australians visit
Antarctica as tourists. The Australian Government is alert to the possibility of
environmental impacts from this activity.
Australia was successful in obtaining agreement to improvements to tourism
management at the 2007 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. The meeting

198 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
agreed that all parties to the treaty should discourage any tourism activities
which may substantially contribute to the long-term degradation of the Antarctic
environment. Australia has for some years worked hard to build support for
this position among the treaty parties, and the agreement will help safeguard
Antarctica from inappropriate tourism development.
Building on rules that have been used by the tourism industry, the operation
guidelines were agreed including that landing tourists from very large vessels
(those carrying more than 500 passengers) should be discouraged in the interests
of safety and environmental protection. Other guidelines adopted for avoiding
environmental impacts were that only one tourist vessel should visit a landing site
at a time; only 100 tourists should be allowed onshore at a landing site at a time;
and there should be at least one guide for every 20 tourists ashore.
Australia has been a strong advocate for the use of site-specific guidelines for
Antarctic landing sites visited by ship-based tourists. The parties built on work in
previous years by adding guidelines for two more sites. This means that the
15 most popular sites are now covered by specific management arrangements.
Work to develop guidelines for other sites will continue.

Outcome 2—Antarctica
Protecting the Antarctic environment
The 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid
Protocol) requires Australia and other signatories to minimise the environmental
impacts of activities in Antarctica. The Australian Antarctic Division implements
Australia’s obligations under the protocol and administers environmental
legislation in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic.
Australia participated in multilateral work to develop the Committee for
Environmental Protection’s first prioritised five-year work plan, adopted in
May 2007. The plan covers Australia’s policy interests and priorities including
preventing the introduction of non-native species, responding to the
environmental effects of climate change and global pollution on the Antarctic
environment, and establishing a representative system of Antarctic marine
protected areas.
Over several years, Australia led work with Antarctic Treaty partners China, Russia,
Romania and India to develop a management plan for the Larsemann Hills, one of
East Antarctica’s most significant coastal ice-free areas or ‘oases’. The plan aims to
protect the environment by establishing a formal framework for close collaboration
and cooperation in science, operations and environmental protection. It was
approved by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and is expected to come
into force in August 2007.

199
The Committee for Environmental Protection also endorsed Australia’s proposal
to streamline procedures for reviewing and revising the growing number of
management plans for Antarctic protected and managed areas. There are over
70 such management plans in place and at least 10 new or revised plans to
consider annually, so the new process will allow the committee to direct further
effort and time to addressing the most important challenges facing the Antarctic
environment.

Environment protection laws


The Australian Government minimises the environmental impacts of Antarctic
operations, including cumulative impacts, by assessing possible impacts under
the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 and the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 gives effect to Australia’s
obligations under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
In 2006–07 the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 was amended
to better implement Australia’s international obligations under the Convention
on the Conservation of Antarctic Seals to protect Antarctic seals and conserve the
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Antarctic environment. The changes came into effect on 11 June 2007. Provisions
concerning the protection of Antarctic seals were transferred from the Antarctic
Seals Conservation Regulations 1986 to the Act, thereby enabling appropriate
penalties to be imposed for offences relating to seals. Offences in relation to the
disturbance of Antarctic flora and fauna were also updated.
New offences were created relating to unlawfully gathering and collecting rocks
and meteorites with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and
120 penalty units. This amendment was introduced to give effect to Resolution 3
adopted by the 2001 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. Resolution 3
encouraged parties to the Madrid Protocol to take legal or administrative steps
necessary to preserve Antarctic meteorites so that they are collected and curated
according to accepted scientific standards, and are made available for scientific
purposes.
Recognising that one of the key features of the Madrid Protocol is the prohibition
on mining in the Antarctic, the maximum penalty imposable on an individual for
engaging in a mining activity in Antarctica is now 16 years imprisonment plus a
pecuniary penalty of 1,000 penalty units.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve


The Australian Antarctic Division manages the reserve on behalf of the Director of
National Parks. Management results for 2006–07 are reported in the annual report of
the Director of National Parks (see www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications).

200 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Environmental management system
The Australian Antarctic Division continued to operate a certified environmental
management system in accordance with the international ISO 14001 standard.
The system ensures that management measures to protect the environment are
implemented for those aspects of the organisation’s activities most likely to have
more than a negligible impact on the environment. Australia is a major proponent
of the systematic approach to environmental management through the Committee
for Environmental Protection.

Renewable energy at Mawson


The Australian Antarctic Division has installed two wind turbines at Mawson
station. In suitable wind conditions the turbines contribute approximately
90 per cent of the station’s energy needs, so that fuel use in 2006–07 was
approximately 34 per cent less than 2002 levels. Over the 2006–07 summer,
a trial hydrogen generation and storage system using excess power from the
wind turbines was installed. The hydrogen was used in a fuel cell to power the
hydroponics facility at Mawson and in cooking facilities to demonstrate the viability
of hydrogen as a future energy source and storage system at the stations.

Outcome 2—Antarctica
Australia submitted a paper on the construction and operation of the Mawson
wind turbines to the 2007 Committee for Environmental Protection meeting.
This wind-power initiative was well received as a significant achievement and a
model example of energy management in Antarctica.

Wind turbines at Mawson station. Photo: Gary Dowse

201
Clean-up operations
Environmental monitoring of the clean-up of the old tip site near Casey station
continued, with sampling of the marine environment to determine whether the
removal of pollutants has resulted in improved environmental conditions and the
recovery of local marine communities.
Old fuel spill sites at Casey station and Macquarie Island are also being managed
using a range of novel techniques. The deployment of a permeable reactive
barrier at Casey station is likely to be the first use of this technology in a cold
region environment. Its effectiveness under freeze and thaw conditions is being
monitored with a view to wider use in the Antarctic and other freezing sites, such
as alpine areas (see also the section on remediation research and the case study on
cleaning up contaminated sites in this chapter).
In February 2007 the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service declined to issue
the Australian Antarctic Division a permit to bring back to Australia waste excavated
from an old (pre 1980) tip site at Thala Valley near Casey Station. Accordingly
Australia is unable at this time to fully meet its obligations under Annexe III of the
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Australia submitted two papers to the 2007 Committee for Environmental


Protection meeting reporting on the Australian Antarctic Division’s past and
planned clean-up research. Other treaty parties expressed interest in collaborating
with Australia in continuing assessment and remediation research.

Antarctic heritage
Mawson’s Huts historic site
Australia’s most significant Antarctic heritage site, Cape Denison, contains the
national heritage listed Mawson’s huts, which rank alongside those of Scott and
Shackleton as icons of the ‘heroic era’ of Antarctic exploration. The Australian
Antarctic Division manages the Mawson’s Huts historic site.
In October–December 2006 the Mawson’s Huts Foundation completed significant
conservation work on Mawson’s living quarters, the main historic hut. This
involved ‘overcladding’ its timber roof, worn thin by a century of blizzard-driven
ice crystals, and fixing a layer of new timber boards on top of the original roof
which is now protected from the elements. The Australian Antarctic Division
provided logistical support for the expedition and oversaw development of the
conservation works plan.
In May 2007 the Australian Government provided a grant of $1.34 million over four
years to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation to continue its conservation work. The
Australian Antarctic Division will continue to work closely with the foundation to

202 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Roof of Mawson’s main hut in snowdrifts. Photo: Angus McDonald

Outcome 2—Antarctica
manage this important work and raise awareness of the site. A draft management plan
was released for public comment in July 2007, in accordance with the requirements of
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Heritage buildings on Antarctic stations


The Australian Antarctic Division is also responsible for other places of cultural
heritage significance in the Australian Antarctic Territory, including on its
operational stations. To meet new Commonwealth heritage obligations, the
division used several years’ worth of field work commissioned from heritage
professionals to develop a comprehensive register of the features, values
and histories of Australia’s Antarctic heritage places. This work, completed
in June 2007, is the first step towards developing new management plans for
Australia’s Antarctic heritage.

203
Conserving heritage buildings
During the 2006–07 summer the Australian Antarctic Division commenced
conservation works on Mawson station’s Biscoe Hut (otherwise known as
the ‘Old Chippies Workshop’), one of the earliest buildings associated with
Australia’s modern Antarctic programme. The timber hut forms part of the
Commonwealth Heritage listed old station complex which was established
in 1954.
Planning for the hut’s conservation was accelerated after the hut sustained
fire damage in 2003. Works finally commenced in earnest in 2006–07
following the development of a work plan, approvals under the Antarctic
Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 and Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and the 2005–06 pre-positioning
of materials during the short summer period when ships can access the
region.
The summer team spent 1,089 person hours on site, commencing a
detailed, staged photographic record; removing damaged rafters, walls
and fittings; and completing major structural repairs.
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Inside Biscoe Hut at Mawson station. Photo: Mike Staples

204 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Protecting the Southern Ocean

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources


The 24-member international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic
Marine Living Resources is responsible for the conservation of Antarctic marine
living resources and fisheries management in the Southern Ocean. Australia is a
founding member of the commission, with the director of the Australian Antarctic
Division leading Australian delegations to the commission, which meets annually
in Hobart.
In addition to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, which continues to
be a problem in the area, the reinvigoration of the krill fishery also presents a
challenge for the commission. Recent developments, such as the introduction of
super trawlers and the continuous fishing system (new technology which involves
pumping krill constantly from the trawl), have highlighted the potential for the
krill fishery to negatively impact on the Southern Ocean ecosystem if it is not
managed in a precautionary and sustainable manner. Australia is playing a lead role
in seeking to ensure that improved conservation measures for the krill fishery are
adopted.

Outcome 2—Antarctica
Combating illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing
In recent years, highly organised illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing for
Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean has heavily depleted several fish
species, and has brought some seabird populations to the brink of extinction.
The Australian Antarctic Division therefore continues to play a key role in
actions aimed at combating illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and is
working with other government departments in developing and implementing
the Australian Government’s position. As part of this work, the division provides
support to the government’s armed fisheries patrols in the Southern Ocean.
Australia’s actions and collaborations with members of the Commission for the
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources have seen a reduction in
the level of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the Southern Ocean,
particularly within Australia’s sub-Antarctic Exclusive Economic Zone. However, the
threat from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing continues on the adjacent
high seas, seriously threatening Australia’s Southern Ocean conservation goals.

Albatrosses and petrels


The Australian Antarctic Division leads Australia’s participation in the Agreement
on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. Under the agreement, Australia and
other parties support activities to conserve albatrosses and petrels. This includes
encouraging regional fisheries organisations responsible for the management

205
of high seas fisheries, especially longline fisheries, to develop and implement
measures to reduce or prevent seabird bycatch.
In July 2006, a revised Australian threat abatement plan for the incidental catch
(or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations (prepared in
accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act 1999) was approved by the minister. The plan, developed by the Australian
Antarctic Division in consultation with other government agencies, fishing and
conservation interests, replaces the first plan approved in 2001. The new plan
recognises the substantial progress made in Australian fisheries since 2001 in
reducing seabird bycatch, and requires government agencies to take a range of
actions to further decrease bycatch in domestic and international fisheries.
These include applying mitigation measures and seabird bycatch limits to
Australian fisheries, and promoting mitigation measures at international forums.
The potential for fishers to dramatically reduce seabird bycatch in longline
fisheries was resoundingly demonstrated at the October 2006 meeting of the
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Seabird
bycatch in fisheries managed by the commission was estimated at a total of only
two seabirds, with no albatrosses killed; a reduction of many thousands from
the levels killed less than a decade ago. This result reflects many years of effort
Outcome 2—Antarctica

by the Australian Antarctic Division and others in systematically improving the


commission’s mitigation and compliance measures.
The challenge is now to get other regional fisheries organisations, especially
those managing high seas longline fisheries, to follow the commission’s lead in
developing, evaluating and refining seabird mitigation measures.

206 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Antarctic science
A core component of advancing Australia’s Antarctic interests is to carry out and
support scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Support for
Antarctic research also reinforces Australia’s influence in the Antarctic Treaty
System.
The Australian Antarctic Division undertakes and supports research, including
providing logistical support for researchers, and provides data on physical,
biological and human sciences to Australian and international institutions. The
division maintains three permanent stations in Antarctica and one at Macquarie
Island. Each summer the division deploys around 200 people to these stations and
to field camps. The expeditions are supplied by chartered ships and aircraft.

Australia’s Antarctic science programme


Australia’s Antarctic science programme plays a significant role in advancing
understanding of the global climate system, the Antarctic environment and
Southern Ocean ecosystems, adaptation by plants and animals to global change,
meteorology, the geological history of the Australian continent, and the impact of

Outcome 2—Antarctica
human activities in Antarctica.
In 2006–07 the Antarctic science programme supported 118 projects, which led to
393 publications including 154 peer-reviewed papers. Since 1999 the programme
has produced 1,340 peer reviewed publications.

Antarctica’s influence on climate


Antarctica influences global climate because of its low temperatures, circumpolar
ocean and immense size. Antarctica’s vast ice sheets and annual sea ice cover affect
the heat balance of the globe, circulation in the oceans and atmosphere, and how
much carbon dioxide the oceans absorb.
Climate change is beginning to cause large-scale changes to ice cover in some parts
of the Antarctic. Several ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed
rapidly, including the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002. In other regions the grounded
ice is discharging more rapidly into the ocean, and it is estimated that melt of the
Antarctic ice sheets is currently adding 0.2 millimetres per year to global sea level
rise. These changes could also affect major ocean currents and food webs.
One of the four priorities in the Antarctic Science Strategy 2004–05 to 2008–09 is
adding to knowledge of Antarctica’s influence on climate. The Australian Antarctic
Division works closely with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative
Research Centre and the Australian Greenhouse Office to carry out this research.
The division also works with the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship programme.

207
Southern Ocean research—Sub-Antarctic Zone Sensitivity to Climate
Change (SAZ-SENSE)
The Australian Antarctic Division’s chartered research ship Aurora Australis
carried out a five-week research voyage in sub-Antarctic waters in January
and February 2007. The purpose of the voyage was to study the Southern
Ocean marine ecosystems, their influence on carbon dioxide exchange with
the atmosphere and the deep ocean, and their sensitivity to past and future
global change including climate warming, ocean stratification, and ocean
acidification from human carbon dioxide emissions.
The work particularly looked at the effects on plankton communities
of adding iron from natural sources to the Southern Ocean, and adding
carbon dioxide from human sources.
The sub-Antarctic zone is globally important in the uptake of carbon dioxide
due to its enormous area and significant productivity.
The research was carried out by a large multinational team from the
Australian Antarctic Division, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Cooperative Research Centre, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research,


and universities in Australia, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, United
States, Netherlands and New Zealand.
Data analyses are still under way, but scientists are confident that the very
successful sampling regime used will allow the processes underpinning
global changes to be defined and measured.

Law Dome ice core project


Law Dome, inland from Casey station, has been a focal point for Australian
glaciological research since the 1960s. Its ice sheet preserves a unique record
of the climate, and ice cores drilled on Law Dome provide a climate record
stretching back 90,000 years, with very high resolution over the last few thousand
years. A study using the recent record from these and other ice cores has shown
that the amount of snowfall over Antarctica varies greatly from year to year and
place to place, but there has been no significant trend over the last 50 years.
Temperatures over the same period show some indication of warming, but this
is masked by patterns of variability that occur on 10-year time scales. Ongoing
analysis of the Law Dome ice cores is continuing at the Antarctic Climate and
Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre focusing particularly on the relationship
between rainfall in southern Australia and the record of snowfall in the Law Dome
ice cores.

208 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Amery Ice Shelf
The Amery Ice Shelf is a 60,000 square kilometre floating ice mass between Davis
and Mawson stations. Ice draining from a region of inland Antarctica one and a half
times the size of the Murray–Darling Basin passes through the Amery.
A study of the interaction between the ice shelf and the underlying ocean cavity
has been undertaken over several years by Australian researchers and has involved
drilling four holes more than 500 metres deep through the shelf and deploying
instruments into the underlying ocean. Results from the study have shown that
more than half of the ice passing through the Amery is lost as melt from the
base of the ice shelf, and that the circulation under the ice shelf is driven by a
combination of processes in the open ocean north of the shelf, and by freshening
of the water due to this ice melt. There are some areas where ice refreezes back
onto the ice shelf, but much of this refrozen ice is porous and inherently less stable
than the original ice from the interior. Video imagery taken through the boreholes
has also revealed a surprisingly rich diversity of marine life beneath the ice shelf,
both in the water column and on the sea floor, more than 100 kilometres from the
open ocean.
Work is also being conducted on large rifts that are developing near the Amery

Outcome 2—Antarctica
Ice Shelf front, which will lead to a giant new iceberg breaking off. Detailed
observations show that the expansion of the rifts occurs faster in summer than
in winter and that it occurs in short, sharp bursts followed by periods of relative
quiet. It is expected that the new iceberg will calve within the next few years. This
work is a collaboration between American and Australian scientists.

International Polar Year


The International Polar Year will be held over 24 months from March 2007 to
March 2009. It will mark the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year,
which lasted 18 months from July 1957 to December 1958, and stimulated the
development of the Antarctic Treaty. Australia will lead eight scientific projects,
co-lead three, and participate in 46 other international projects during the
International Polar Year. Notably, the Australian Antarctic Division is coordinating
the Census of Antarctic Marine Life in 2007–08. Interest in this project is high, with
almost 20 ships scheduled to participate in field work which will develop a robust
baseline of knowledge of the marine biodiversity around Antarctica. The Australian
Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research
Centre will also conduct a winter sea ice voyage in August 2007 to examine
climate–ecosystem links.

Australian Centre for Applied Marine Mammal Science


The centre was established in 2006 and is the first major national research centre
focused on understanding, protecting and conserving the whales, dolphins, seals

209
and dugongs in Australia’s region. The centre will build upon Australia’s existing
research efforts and, through its coordination role, will provide an integrated,
strategic, cross-jurisdictional approach to support marine mammal conservation,
management and policy priorities.
The centre is based in Hobart at the Australian Antarctic Division and has an
extensive network of science partners throughout Australia. A stakeholder advisory
committee and a scientific committee work with the centre staff to review priority
research needs and select competitive bids for commissioned research.
The centre was established with initial funding from the Australian Government’s
$100 million Commonwealth Environment Research Facility programme and
existing staff and resources from the Australian Antarctic Division’s marine
mammal research group. Along with further funding from other government
marine mammal research funds, universities and industry groups, the centre is
establishing a substantial fund from which commissioned, prioritised research
is being supported. In 2006–07, the Commonwealth Environment Research
Facility programme funded 15 new research projects on the management and
conservation of marine mammals.
Outcome 2—Antarctica

210 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Monitoring Adélie penguins
Australia has been monitoring Adélie penguins at Béchervaise Island near
Mawson station since 1990 as part of an international programme studying
the effects of krill abundance on penguins, and collecting baseline data in
the event that krill fishing returns to the region.
Adélie penguins are large
consumers of krill and are therefore
useful indicators of the effects of
changes in krill abundance brought
about by harvesting. Results,
submitted to the Commission
for the Conservation of Antarctic
Marine Living Resources annually,
have shown that the penguins’
An Adélie penguin crossing the automatic
recording system. Photo: Judy Clarke breeding success is affected by krill
availability and sea ice conditions.
An automated recording system registers the

Outcome 2—Antarctica
birds as they enter and leave the colony. Many
of the birds can be individually identified by
microchips implanted under the skin. These
are detected via an antenna near the colony.
Two infra-red beams, which are cut sequentially
by the birds as they pass by, record the
time of passing and direction of travel. This
information tells scientists about the length of
time the birds have been foraging at sea.
The Australian Antarctic Division recently
developed an automated camera, powered
by solar panels, to monitor aspects of Adélie
Automated solar powered chick survival and breeding chronology. During
camera to monitor Adélie the winter months when there is no sun the
penguins.Photo: Kym Newber
cameras ‘sleep’ and ‘awaken’ as the summer
returns to record a series of photographs throughout the breeding season.
In 2006–07 six cameras were installed at new island sites in the Mawson
region to broaden the study area and provide a more comprehensive
picture of penguin activity. The extra monitoring from the cameras will give
a substantial boost to understanding of the penguins’ needs, which will help
ensure that the human harvest of krill does not adversely affect any element
of the Southern Ocean Antarctic marine ecosystem.

211
Ozone research
A study of the meteorological conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere using data
for the period 1995–2005 has revealed a relationship between winter temperatures
and the eventual size of the spring ozone hole. This relationship was used to
accurately forecast key parameters for the 2006 ozone hole one month before its
development began, and three months before it reached maximum size.
In particular, the forecast accurately predicted that the ozone hole would reach
record-breaking proportions. This work is part of a collaborative programme of
Antarctic ozone research between the Australian Antarctic Division and the Bureau
of Meteorology.

Remediation research
Australian Antarctic Division scientists are using toxicological experiments to study
the sensitivity of Antarctic marine invertebrates, seabed communities and soil
processes so that environmental standards specific to the Antarctic environment
can be developed. These standards will assist Australia to prioritise the clean-up of
sites of past activity and will allow sites to be classified based on rigorous scientific
data, according to the risk they pose to the environment.
Outcome 2—Antarctica

Australian Antarctic Division scientists are leading a partnership of industry and


scientists from Australia and overseas to develop remediation technologies for
contaminated sites in cold regions. Permeable reactive barriers for use in freeze
and thaw conditions are being developed collaboratively with BP Exploration in
Alaska, the University of Melbourne, and Macquarie University.
Other collaborative projects include developing and applying methods for
quantitative monitoring of fuel spills, and technologies for removing heavy-metal
contaminants from run-off associated with abandoned waste disposal sites.

212 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Cleaning up contaminated sites
Australian Antarctic Division research
at sites contaminated with old fuel
spills has demonstrated the role of
oxygen in decontamination.
The amount of oxygen in the soil is
important in stimulating microbial
activity that can break down the
hydrocarbons in the fuel and
eventually decontaminate the soil.
Practical application of this research
at Macquarie Island has shown that
injecting air into contaminated soil
significantly increases the rate of
decontamination.
First trial injecting air into soil
contaminated with fuel at Macquarie
Island. Photo: John Rayner

Outcome 2—Antarctica
Second trial injecting air
into soil contaminated
with fuel at Macquarie
Island using micro-ports.
This form of injection was
successful in aerating the
soil profile.
Photo: John Rayner

213
Antarctic science grants
The Australian Antarctic Division supports the Australian Antarctic Science Grants
Programme. Applications for 2006–07 grants were sought nationally in May 2006,
prompting 142 research proposals. Following independent assessment,
49 proposals were awarded grants with a total value of almost $750,000.

Antarctic air link


A contract to provide the intercontinental air service between Hobart and
Antarctica was signed by the Australian Antarctic Division and Skytraders Pty Ltd
in December 2006. A five-year lease for an Airbus A319 aircraft was signed and the
long-range aircraft arrived in Australia on 20 February 2007.
Demonstration flights have been conducted to test processes and procedures and
to confirm the suitability of the runway’s navigation aids and support systems.
Construction of the Wilkins Runway in Antarctica is progressing well. The runway
foundation has been graded, enabling wheeled aircraft to use the runway.
A compressed snow pavement will be applied progressively each summer. After
initial certification flights, passenger flights are planned to commence in the
Outcome 2—Antarctica

2007–08 summer, with the frequency of flights increasing over future seasons.

International logistic cooperation


During 2006–07 the Australian Antarctic Division was closely involved in several
activities with other countries, including provision of:
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Antarctic programmes as part of a multinational International Polar Year project
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station, as well as a practical demonstration of Australian logistics and station
operations
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incident on the resupply vessel L’Astrolabe; however, in the end, the division’s
assistance was not needed.

214 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
International management meetings
Concurrent meetings of the international Council of Managers of National Antarctic
Programmes and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research were hosted by
the Australian Antarctic Division in Hobart from 26–30 July 2006. These bodies
include representatives from countries with a national presence in Antarctica and
promote better management through sharing operational experience, data and
innovations.

Outcome 2—Antarctica

215
Results for performance indicators
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Antarctic Treaty System

The degree to which Australia’s policy Australia participated in annual and out-of-session meetings of
interests are advanced through the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the Commission for
international forums, particularly (i) the the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and the
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings Committee for Environmental Protection
(ii) the Commission for the Conservation
(i) At the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting Australia was
of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and
successful in obtaining agreement to improvements to tourism
(iii) the Committee for Environmental
management
Protection
(ii) Through the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic
Marine Living Resources Australia was instrumental in the
adoption of several conservation measures, including prohibiting
the use of gill-nets in waters managed by the commission, and
in highlighting the need for more consistent management of the
krill fisheries
(iii) Australia led work to develop a management plan for the
Larsemann Hills. The plan was endorsed by the Committee
for Environmental Protection. The committee also endorsed
Australia’s proposal to streamline procedures for reviewing and
Outcome 2—Antarctica

revising the growing number of management plans for protected


and managed areas in Antarctica. Australia helped develop the
committee’s first prioritised 5-year work plan. Australia submitted
a well-received paper on Mawson wind turbines, a model example
of best practice energy management in Antarctica

Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing

The extent of Australia’s influence within Australia continued to play a lead role within the Commission
the Commission for the Conservation for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
of Antarctic Marine Living Resources on in developing measures to combat illegal, unreported and
measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing of toothfish. At the commission’s October
unregulated fishing for toothfish 2006 meeting Australia played a lead role in obtaining agreement
to review the system of inspection, in adopting a cooperative
enhancement programme for non-parties implicated in illegal,
unreported and unregulated fishing and in adopting port access
restriction measures

International seabird conservation

The extent of Australia’s influence in Australia’s influence in changing international fishery practices is
changing fishery practices, including considerable in the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic
reduction in the number of albatrosses Marine Living Resources
caught by fishing gear
Seabird mortality in longline fisheries managed by the
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in the 2005–06 season. This reflects systematic improvements
in the commission’s seabird bycatch mitigation measures and
compliance regime, many of which were initiated by Australia
Despite Australia’s efforts, the performance of many other
regional fisheries management organisations in reducing seabird
bycatch remains generally poor

216 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Protecting the Antarctic environment

Trend in the number of plants, No new introduced plants, invertebrates or diseases were
invertebrates and diseases introduced recorded
to Antarctica and the Heard Island and
Eradication of the fungus gnat infestation at Casey station in
McDonald Islands Territory
August 2006 appears to have been successful. Monitoring for the
gnat will continue
The extent of the expansion of the invasive alien grass species
Poa annua on Heard Island is unknown as Australian Antarctic
Division staff did not visit the island during the year

Number of environmental incidents 4JODFUIF)B[BSEBOE4VHHFTUFE*NQSPWFNFOU3FQPSUJOH4ZTUFN


unresolved after 6 months began in October 2004 almost 300 environmental reports have
been logged by expeditioners and head office staff. As at
30 June 2007, 64 environmental reports remain current. Most
of these are suggestions for improvement and are awaiting
resources to implement
There are 13 unresolved environmental incidents older than 6
months. Some of these remain open for ongoing monitoring
purposes while some await sample test results or guidance
from other areas of the department. For example, removal of
old graffiti on rocks in Antarctica relies on the development of
a biodegradable removal agent. Another example is analysis

Outcome 2—Antarctica
of long-term bioremediation treatment of hydrocarbon
contaminated soil samples. Another incident cannot be closed
until major infrastructure is replaced with more modern
equipment

Number and extent of oil spills and Fuel leaking from a double-skinned tank was contained by the
remediation action taken outer skin with only a very minor amount escaping to some
already fuel-contaminated soil at Casey station
Approximately 200 litres leaked from heavy equipment on a hard
stand at Casey and the site is being considered for remediation.
A further 3.5 litres of engine oil spilled from a vibrating roller; the
affected soil has been removed and packed into drums for return
to Australia

Number of environmental impact (i) 50 (23 science, 16 non-science, 11 tourism or non-government),


assessments (i) completed by the and 19 variations were authorised. 25 authorisations remained
department (ii) submitted by third current from previous years
parties and assessed by the department
(ii) 11 tourism or non-government
(iii) audited under Australia’s Antarctic
Environmental Management System as a (iii) 8.5% (6 of the 73 active authorisations)
percentage of total completed Note: All near-station activities are subject to routine scrutiny by
Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 inspectors and
most authorisations are subject to other reporting requirements

217
Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Support for Antarctic science

Successful completion of the elements of 118 projects from 27 institutions were undertaken to address
the Antarctic Science Strategy 2004–05 to 4 priority areas. 55 projects addressed the ice, ocean,
2008–09 atmosphere, climate priority area, 35 addressed the Southern
Ocean ecosystems, 36 addressed adaptations to environmental
change and 24 projects addressed impacts of human activity in
Antarctica. Many projects addressed more than 1 priority area

Number of peer-reviewed scientific papers 154


produced by scientists participating in the
Antarctic science programme

Number of scientists active in Antarctic and 131 (including 57 marine scientists)


Southern Ocean science

Australia–Antarctic Airlink

Test flights are undertaken in 2006–07 An intercontinental aircraft was leased and delivered;
demonstration flights were conducted; runway construction and
First operational flights commence in 2007–08
maintenance continues

Output 2.1 and 2.1 Antarctic Policy and Antarctic science

The minister is satisfied with the timeliness Minister was satisfied with timeliness and quality of briefs. The
Outcome 2—Antarctica

and accuracy of briefs and draft ministerial department has experienced challenges in responding to the
correspondence provided by the unprecedented volume of correspondence now being received, but
department procedural adjustments and new systems have improved timeliness

Percentage of payments that are consistent 100%


with the terms and conditions of funding
(Target: 100%) 1

Percentage of participants in the Australian 100%


Antarctic Programme whose participation is
consistent with the terms and conditions of
logistic support (Target: 100%) 1

Price See resources table below

1 Applies to provision of grants programmes funded entirely from the appropriations for the output.

218 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Resources
Elements of pricing Budget prices Actual expenses
$’000 $’000

Departmental outputs

Output 2.1: Antarctic policy 40,289 45,995


Output 2.2: Antarctic science 83,677 81,775

Total Outcome 2 123,966 127,770

Administered items

Mawson’s Hut Foundation 1,300 1,300


Decisions taken but not yet announced 3,000 0

Total 4,300 1,300

Outcome 2—Antarctica

219
Cross-cutting activities

221
Cross-cutting activities
The department provides other services that contribute to all of the outputs under
outcome 1 and outcome 2.

Main responsibilities for this work

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Policy Coordination Division
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organisations
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Corporate Strategies Division
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Objectives
Cross-cutting activities

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and sustainable development issues
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international meetings and events
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and to monitor progress on environmental protection
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climate change, water resources and heritage programmes and policies
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current and emerging challenges facing Australia’s environmental assets
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programme development
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and enhance the natural environment and Australia’s heritage
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environmental values
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222 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
International policy advice
The department represents Australia’s interests on environment, water resources,
heritage and sustainable development issues in the region, and in broader
international forums. This work includes formulating policy and providing advice
to the minister and officials attending international meetings and events.
In addition to active involvement in the range of issue-specific international forums
detailed in earlier chapters of this report, this year the department contributed
to policy decisions at meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development,
the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development. The department also engaged in bilateral forums
with selected countries in the Asia–Pacific region.

Commission on Sustainable Development


The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development is a multilateral
forum that meets annually to promote dialogue on issues relating to sustainable
development and to build partnerships between governments and stakeholders.
In May 2003 at its 11th session, the commission agreed a work programme up to
2016–17. The work programme addresses issues related to specific themes over
two-year cycles. In the most recent cycle, 2005–06 and 2006–07, the themes were
energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and the

Cross-cutting activities
atmosphere, and climate change.
The 15th session of the commission was held in May 2007. The department
provided case studies for the session which shared Australia’s experience in
implementing best practice initiatives covering the 2005–06 and 2006–07 themes.
The meeting concluded without an agreed outcome, after the negotiated
document was not supported by a few countries. In the absence of an agreed
negotiated outcome, the chair of the commission prepared a summary of the
meeting. The chair’s summary is at
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd15/documents/chair_summary.pdf.
Summaries of the Australian case studies are at
http://www.environment.gov.au/commitments/uncsd/index.html#case.

United Nations Environment Programme


The United Nations Environment Programme’s role is to provide leadership and
promote partnerships for environmental protection.
The programme’s 25th governing council meeting was held in February 2007.
The major themes were globalisation and the environment, and international

223
environmental governance within the framework of United Nations reform
measures. The department represented Australia’s interests and the final decisions
of the meeting reflected Australian objectives.
Sixteen draft decisions were adopted on issues such as the role of developing
countries’ cooperation in the implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan,
environmental management and protection in Africa, chemicals management,
waste management, international environmental governance, the world
environmental situation, environmental education, small-island developing states
and gender equality. The 2008–2009 budget and programme of work, and the
2007–2012 water policy and strategy, were also adopted.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


The department represented Australia’s interests at meetings of the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Environment Policy
Committee, which were held in October 2006 and March 2007. An officer of
the department currently chairs this committee. The committee continued
to direct studies on the OECD environmental outlook report, which includes
scenario modelling to 2030. The report is scheduled to be finalised in late 2007.
The committee also considered a draft report on the costs of inaction on key
environmental challenges, which will continue to be developed. Aside from
its work on the committee, the department participated in meetings of OECD
environmental working groups and an expert group on climate change.
Cross-cutting activities

OECD Environmental Performance Review of Australia


The department prepared Australia’s contribution to the second OECD
Environmental Performance Review of Australia. The review charts environmental
progress since the first OECD review of Australia, published in 1998.
Its major themes are environmental management, sustainable development and
international cooperation.
In 2006–07 the department hosted a mission of OECD review members to meet
with Australian Government departments, state, territory and local governments,
Indigenous representatives and representatives from industry and research
organisations. The department also coordinated field visits to key sites across the
country.
The department prepared Australia’s response to the first draft of the review, in
consultation with other Australian Government departments and agencies, and all
state and territory governments. An Australian delegation, led by the secretary, also
participated in a major peer review of the Environmental Performance Review of
Australia by international experts from other OECD member countries. The final
review will be published in late 2007.

224 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Bilateral activities
The department works bilaterally on environment, water, heritage and sustainable
development issues with government agencies in other countries, especially in the
Asia–Pacific region.
Indonesia: The department collaborated with Indonesia on environment, climate
change and heritage issues. A successful meeting of the Joint Working Group on
the Environment held in April 2007 identified areas for increasing cooperation,
including sustainability education, hazardous waste, environmental management
of mining activities, climate change, air quality issues and water resource
management.
New Zealand: The department held bilateral environment policy discussions with
New Zealand in November and December 2006 covering climate change, chemicals
management, biodiversity issues, sustainable forest management and engagement
with Pacific Island countries.
Pacific Islands: Engagement with the South Pacific Regional Environment
Programme continued through Australia’s involvement in the 17th annual
meeting of officials in September 2006. Chemicals management, climate change,
biodiversity, marine resource management and phasing out ozone depleting
substances were discussed.
The department continued to assist Pacific Island countries in meeting their
obligations and building capacity to implement environment treaties.

Cross-cutting activities
The department also provided specific advice and assistance on environmental
governance, climate monitoring and prediction, chemicals and waste management,
wetlands and biodiversity conservation, and the conservation of marine and
migratory species.
In October 2006 a departmental officer commenced a two-year posting to the
South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The officer will work with the
programme’s executive to develop and implement a performance assessment
framework.

225
Environmental economics advice
The Environmental Economics Unit provides economic analysis and advice to
divisions and work groups in the department to help them develop policies,
programmes and advice that take into account environmental, economic and
social considerations.
The unit assisted in preparing the government’s response to the Productivity
Commission inquiries into heritage and waste management. The unit also
contributed to management of the $10 million National Market Based Instruments
Pilot Programme under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.
Ten of the 11 pilot projects approved under round 1 of the programme are now
complete. A further nine pilot projects have been selected for funding under
round 2.
The unit also provided advice to the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, the
OECD Environmental Performance Review and the Marine and Tropical Science
Research Facility. It provided advice on the use of market-based instruments in
programme development for the Tasmanian Forests Conservation Fund, advice for
projects associated with the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan, and consulted on
economic aspects of the National Plan for Water Security.
The establishment in May 2007 of the Environmental Economics research hub
under the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities programme will allow
the unit to access broad environmental economics research to support policy
Cross-cutting activities

and programme development. The hub will focus on four themes: establishing
markets, climate change impacts, analytical enhancement, and environmental
valuation. (See the section on environmental research in this chapter.)

226 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Environmental information
The department collects information and data to inform policy advice and to
monitor progress on environment protection.

2006 State of the Environment report


The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires
that an independent report on the state of the Australian environment is provided
to the federal environment minister every five years.
The third State of the Environment report was tabled in parliament in
December 2006. The report assessed the Australian environment under eight
themes: atmosphere, coasts and oceans, inland waters, biodiversity, human
settlements, natural and cultural heritage, land, and the Australian Antarctic
Territory. The report found mixed results, with big improvements in the condition
of some aspects of the environment over the past five to 10 years, and significant
declines in others.
Australia’s urban air quality has improved and there has been a reduction in ozone
depleting substances in the atmosphere. These improvements have come about
because of legislation such as the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse
Gas Management Act 1989 and the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 and through
efforts by governments and industry to reduce air emissions of major pollutants.

Cross-cutting activities
(More information on air quality and ozone can be found in the chapter on human
settlements and in the second volume of this set of annual reports.)
Biodiversity continues to be in decline in many parts of Australia despite the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Australian
Government investments to protect biodiversity through the Natural Heritage
Trust, the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, the National Reserve
System and other programmes. The decline in biodiversity reflects habitat loss
through past actions and is likely to continue for some time before remedial action
can halt or reverse the decline.
Much of Australia’s ocean appears to be in good condition, particularly the
offshore waters. The coasts, estuaries and some nearshore waters adjacent to
urban areas are degraded, and nationally, a number of Australia’s fish stocks are
at alarmingly low levels. The impacts on Australia’s coastline have intensified due
to increasing population and urbanisation. Per capita consumption of energy
has increased and Australia’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions remain high
by global standards, but growth in net emissions has reduced over the last five
years. Australia’s cities, lands, biodiversity and irrigation-based industries are
vulnerable to climate variability.
The full report is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/soe/index.html.

227
Environmental Resources Information Network
The department’s Environmental Resources Information Network develops new
information products and improves existing products to support the department’s
core functions, and develops products for other government agencies for public
distribution.
This year the department embarked on a major exercise with the Department
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to develop a spatial information system to
assist the Australian Government to set priorities for natural resource management
funding.
The department upgraded its marine data and information holdings to underpin
the negotiations on developing marine protected areas in Australian waters. It
also increased its inland waters related data holdings and analysis capability to
strengthen its capacity in water management issues.
Further improvements were made to the Species Profile and Threats database, the
National Vegetation Information System, and the spatial analysis tools that help in
assessing Community Water Grant applications.
The department is continuing to improve its spatial information delivery products
and puts considerable effort into keeping its web geographic information system
infrastructure and web mapping applications up to best practice standard.
The department has increased its use of audiovisual products to support
Cross-cutting activities

information delivery, and this trend is expected to continue. The audiovisual unit
has reorganised its work practices to cope with digital as opposed to analogue
photographs and video.
My Environment was launched this year by the department as a web-based tool
to enable people to generate a personal environment and heritage report for
their home, school or property by entering their address details. My Environment
allows people to search the department’s national environmental databases
to find information specific to their needs. My Environment is at
http://www.environment.gov.au/erin/myenvironment/index.html.

Online information
The department’s websites provide public access to substantial holdings of
information. Throughout 2006–07 the department restructured, redesigned,
and rewrote its websites to improve public access to online information. These
upgrades cumulated in the launch by the minister of three completely redeveloped
websites: the natural resource management website (www.nrm.gov.au), the Natural
Heritage Trust website (www.nht.gov.au) and the National Action Plan for Salinity
and Water Quality website (www.napswq.gov.au).

228 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
In 2006–07 there were over 13 million visits to the department’s websites.
The most popular websites were the department’s main website
(www.environment.gov.au) with over eight million visits and the Australian
Greenhouse Office website (www.greenhouse.gov.au) with over two million visits.

Visits to the department’s websites (2006–07)

Department's main website 64%

Australian Greenhouse Office website 17%

National Pollutant Inventory website 4%

Natural Heritage Trust website 3%

Other departmental websites 12%

Results are based on 'unique user sessions'. 'Other departmental websites' include Australian Alps National Parks,
Australian Government Environment Portal, Australian Heritage Council, Australian Heritage Directory, Community
Water Grants, Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum, National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, National Centre
for Tropical Wetland Research, Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, Natural Resource Management,
Sustainability in Government, Travel Smart Australia, Used Oil Recycling, Water Rating, Waterwatch.

Cross-cutting activities

229
Public affairs
The department aims to communicate clearly, consistently and effectively with the
Australian public, other agencies and governments, industry, community groups
and non-government organisations. Community awareness of, and engagement
with, the government’s environment, climate change, water resources and heritage
programmes and policies is central to their success.
Priorities for communications in 2006–07 were to:
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behavioural change across the community to cut greenhouse gas emissions and
adapt to the inevitable changes associated with global warming
t SBJTFBXBSFOFTTPGUIF$10 billion National Plan for Water Security
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Water Grants
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cultural heritage
t SBJTFBXBSFOFTTPGBNFOENFOUTUPUIFEnvironment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and their ramifications.
Cross-cutting activities

230 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Environmental research
The department supports environmental research and data collection to inform
the Australian Government’s environment, climate change, water resources and
heritage policy.

Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities


This is a $100 million, five-year programme to address critical gaps in knowledge
and understanding of the pressures facing Australia’s unique environment.
It was launched in 2005.

Research hubs
In 2006–07, seven contracts totalling $47.3 million for collaborative, multi-
institutional research hubs or networks were signed. The research hubs are
designed to foster professional partnerships between researchers, end users
and policy makers. The hubs are:
t Applied Environmental Decision Analysis: (University of Queensland,
$7.6 million) to improve Australia’s environmental planning, decision-making
and policy approaches
t Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge: (Land and Water Australia, $8.8 million)
to improve management information for northern Australia’s catchments

Cross-cutting activities
t Landscape Logic—Linking Land and Water Management to Resource
Condition Targets: (University of Tasmania, $8.8 million) to develop tools to
improve the sustainability of natural resource management practices
t Australian Centre for Applied Marine Mammal Science: (Australian
Antarctic Division, $2.5 million) to address critical gaps in understanding about
the conservation of Australia’s 40 species of whales and dolphins, as well as
dugongs and 10 seal species
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(University of Tasmania, $6.6 million) to improve knowledge and management
of marine diversity and develop tools to predict changes to biodiversity at both
regional and national levels
t Taxonomy for the 21st Century: (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation, $6 million) to close the knowledge gaps in key Australian
taxonomic groups which are important for environmental management
t Environmental Economics: (Australian National University, $7 million)
to bring together leading economic and social scientists to look at new and
improved ways of valuing environmental assets, and determining the benefits
and costs of different actions. The hub will work with other research hubs
to coordinate environmental economics research being undertaken by the
Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities programme generally.

231
Fellowships and Significant Projects
Early in 2007 the department sought applications for funding under the
Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities Fellowships and Significant Projects
component and received 31 applications for fellowships and 233 applications for
significant projects. The department and the Scientific Reference Group are assessing
these applications and will make a decision on the successful applicants in 2007–08.
In 2006–07 one fellowship was approved—for an autonomous (acoustic)
biodiversity monitoring system hosted by the University of Queensland. This
project will develop a new bio-acoustic monitoring system to record and categorise
a broad range of sounds including birds, bats, insects and other acoustically active
animals. It will develop software that will allow users to identify and label sounds
easily and efficiently.

Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility


For five years from July 2005, $40 million has been allocated for the Marine and
Tropical Sciences Research Facility to address research into environmental challenges
facing north Queensland, particularly the Great Barrier Reef and its catchments,
including tropical rainforests, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Torres Strait.
Scientific outputs are starting to flow from the facility’s $7.6 million 2006–07 annual
research plan. There are 50 research projects under five research themes: status
of ecosystems, risks and threats to ecosystems, halting and reversing decline of
water quality, sustainable use and management, and enhancing delivery. Research
institutions participating in the facility are James Cook University, the CSIRO,
Cross-cutting activities

the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the University of Queensland, Griffith


University, Central Queensland University, the Queensland Department of Primary
Industries and Fisheries, Torres Strait Regional Authority and Yorke Island Council.
A conference was held in April 2007 to allow researchers and stakeholders to
discuss research progress and information needs and to foster communication and
cross-disciplinery cooperation.

Results for performance indicators

Performance indicator 2006–07 results

Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (administered item) 1

Extent to which projects successfully contribute to Research outputs will be delivered primarily in later
furthering Australia’s understanding of critical areas of years. The first of a series of departmental seminars by
environmental research hub researchers was held on 14 March 2007

Percentage of projects delivered to a satisfactory 100%. All progress reports due during 2006–07 were
standard in accordance with the terms and conditions received and indicated satisfactory progress
of the project contract (Target: 100%)

Number of projects funded Contracts to establish all 7 research hubs approved for
funding have been signed

1 Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities is an administered item under output 1.5; resources are reported in the
chapter on human settlements.

232 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Support for environment and heritage organisations
The department helps community-based environment and heritage organisations
to conserve and enhance the natural environment and Australia’s heritage by
providing assistance to join the Register of Environmental Organisations and
through grants to meet their administrative costs.

Taxation concessions
The Register of Environmental Organisations is a list of approved environmental
organisations to which donations of money or property for the conservation of
the natural environment are tax deductible. In 2006–07 the department assisted
142 organisations interested in applying to join the register. The minister and the
Assistant Treasurer approved the entry of 41 organisations on the register, and
five organisations were removed at their own request. At 30 June 2007 the register
contained 393 organisations, compared to 357 at 30 June 2006.
Statistics for 2005–06, which are the most recent available, show that the public
donated more than $106 million to environmental tax deductible organisations
to protect and enhance the natural environment. In 2004–05 the public donated
$69 million.

Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations

Cross-cutting activities
This programme assists community-based environment and heritage groups to
meet their administrative costs. In this year’s funding round 143 organisations
received a total of $363,316. Six of these organisations were offered multi-year
grants for up to three years. In addition 48 organisations that were awarded
multi-year funding in previous years received $451,600 in 2006–07.

233
Indigenous policy and engagement
The department implements Indigenous specific and mainstream programmes to
support Indigenous engagement in land and sea management. These programmes
align to the Australian Government’s Blueprint for Action in Indigenous
Affairs. The department spent approximately $12.1 million in 2006–07 on these
programmes. The department focused its efforts on contracting Indigenous
groups to provide environment and heritage services to the department and on
streamlining contractual and reporting demands on communities.

Northern Territory Healthy Country, Healthy People Schedule


In September 2006 the Prime Minister and the Northern Territory Chief Minister
signed the Northern Territory Healthy Country, Healthy People Schedule.
The schedule supports Indigenous engagement in the sustainable management
of land and seas in the Northern Territory.
The schedule sets out how to improve coordination and cooperation between
the governments so that communities can engage in the sustainable management
of land and sea. In the first year of the schedule, the department has taken
a lead role in streamlining contracts with communities that draw together
funding across agencies and years. Indigenous communities have valued the
reduced administrative burden and the increased access to funding to achieve
environmental outcomes on their land and seas. The contracts include multi-year,
Cross-cutting activities

multi-programme single funding agreements and the opportunity to establish


partnerships with other government organisations (such as with the Department
of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Indigenous Land
Corporation, and the Aboriginal Benefit Account) to invest together.

Working on Country
The department manages the Australian Government’s new $47.6 million over four
years national Working on Country programme. This programme is providing job
opportunities for Indigenous people to do environmental work across Australia.
The programme aims to provide employment for up to 100 Indigenous people
nationally in 2007–08, increasing to about 200 people in its fourth year (2010–11).
The Working on Country programme is providing funds for wages and equipment
to implement environment management plans including in Indigenous Protected
Areas, such as the desert environment in the Ngaanyatjarra Indigenous Protected
Area, and the land and coastline in the Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area,
managed by the Yirralka ranger group.
The department works with Indigenous Coordination Centres to develop Shared
Responsibility Agreements and Regional Partnership Agreements with environment

234 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
outcomes. The department has committed funding to eight Shared Responsibility
Agreements to promote, protect and preserve Indigenous environment and
heritage values. For example, in 2006–07 funding has been provided for the
development of a visitor information/arts/interpretation centre in the old power
station at Kalkaringi in the Northern Territory and for an interpretive walking trail
for school children and tourists.

Sustainability education
The department promotes and supports education for sustainable development.
The department began developing a new National Action Plan for Education for
Sustainable Development in December 2006. The plan aims to contribute to
the achievement of a more sustainable Australia through community education
and learning. The plan is being developed in the context of the government’s
strategy for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
It will identify a range of actions for which the Australian Government will
take responsibility, and will provide national leadership in encouraging actions
by others. A discussion paper was released in April 2007 and was followed by
extensive community consultation. The plan is scheduled to be completed in
August 2007.
The new plan will supersede the existing National Action Plan for Environmental
Education, released in July 2000. The existing plan has made significant

Cross-cutting activities
improvements in the ability of Australia’s education systems to contribute to
sustainable development.
A range of initiatives including the establishment of the National Environmental
Education Council, National Environmental Education Network and Australian
Research Institute in Education for Sustainability have strengthened the role
of education in promoting sustainable development nationally. The Australian
Sustainable Schools Initiative, and the measurable educational, social and
environmental improvements it continues to deliver, demonstrate the practical
impact of the first plan. The first ever National Environmental Education Statement
for Australian Schools, released in 2005, also shows the impact the plan has had
within Australia’s education system.

235
Managing the department

237
Managing the department
Corporate governance
The department is committed to sound governance and has established a
comprehensive range of mechanisms and documentation to ensure effective and
efficient delivery of the government’s policies and programmes, and to control and
safeguard the organisation’s business systems and assets.

Senior executive and responsibilities


The secretary, Mr David Borthwick, is the chief executive officer of the department.
He is assisted in the management of the organisation by an executive team of four
deputy secretaries and 14 division heads. The names and responsibilities of the
division heads are shown in the organisation chart in the executive summary.

Senior executive team


Mr David Borthwick is the secretary of the department.
He was appointed in February 2004. Mr Borthwick
previously worked in the senior executive service in
the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the
Department of Health and Ageing, and Treasury. In these
positions, Mr Borthwick was responsible for a broad
range of policy areas including health, national and
international economics, corporate law and finance.
Managing the department

In 1991 Mr Borthwick was appointed to serve as


Australia’s ambassador to the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development in Paris. Mr Borthwick
has a background in economics.
Corporate governance

238 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Mr Howard Bamsey is the deputy secretary responsible
for the Australian Antarctic Division; and for the
Industry, Communities and Energy Division and the
International, Land and Analysis Division, which make up
the Australian Greenhouse Office. Mr Bamsey has been
with the department since 1997. He was appointed the
chief executive of the Australian Greenhouse Office in
April 2003. Mr Bamsey has had a distinguished international
career in leading Australian delegations on international
environment issues, including climate change. Mr Bamsey
has been the Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United
Nations at Geneva, and Ambassador for the Environment.

Ms Anthea Tinney is deputy secretary responsible for the


Corporate Strategies Division, the Policy Coordination
Division, the Environment Quality Division, the Heritage
Division and the Supervising Scientist Division. Ms Tinney
has been a deputy secretary in the department since 1997.
Ms Tinney previously had a distinguished record of service
in senior management positions and in a diversity of roles
in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
She was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1995 in
recognition of her services to the Australian Government
Cabinet system.

Managing the department


Mr Gerard Early is acting deputy secretary responsible for
the Marine and Biodiversity Division, Natural Resource
Management Programmes Division, Parks Australia
Division, and the Approvals and Wildlife Division. He took
up the position in May 2007. Mr Early was previously head
of the Approvals and Wildlife Division. He played a key role
in amending the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Corporate governance

Conservation Act 1999, and improving its efficiency and


effectiveness. Mr Early was awarded a Public Service
Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2007 Honours List for his
outstanding public service in the protection and conservation of Australia’s natural
environment and cultural heritage.

239
Dr James Horne is acting deputy secretary responsible for
the Water Assets and Natural Resources Division and the
Water Resources Division. He transferred into the position
of deputy secretary in January 2007 from the Office of
Water Resources in the Department of the Prime Minister
and Cabinet. Dr Horne joined the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet in August 2000 as first assistant secretary
of the Industry, Infrastructure and Environment Division. He
had responsibility for advising the Prime Minister on a broad
range of microeconomic policy issues related to industry,
communications, energy, transport, agriculture, the environment, trade practices
and the Council of Australian Governments. Dr Horne was involved in drafting the
National Water Initiative. He has a PhD in political science.

New appointments and retirements


During 2006–07 the department made the following new appointments to the
executive team:
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responsible for the Water Assets and Natural Resources Division and the Water
Resources Division pending the permanent filling of the position.
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Marine and Biodiversity Division, Natural Resource Management Programmes
Division, Parks Australia Division and the Approvals and Wildlife Division
pending permanent filling of the position.
t .T,FMMZ1FBSDFXBTBQQPJOUFEBDUJOHmSTUBTTJTUBOUTFDSFUBSZPGUIF/BUVSBM
Resource Management Programmes Division pending permanent filling of the
Managing the department

position. Ms Alex Rankin was appointed acting first assistant secretary of the
Approvals and Wildlife Division pending permanent filling of the position.
t .S3PTT$BSUFS .T.BSZ$PMSFBWZ .S3VTTFMM+BNFT %S5POZ.D-FPE 
Mr Tas Sakellaris, Mr Simon Smalley and Mr Hilton Taylor were appointed to
assistant secretary positions in the department.
Dr Connal O’Connell (deputy secretary) left the department in May 2007 to take
up the position of secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Corporate governance

Forestry after nearly 10 years of service with the department.

Executive committees
The Executive Roundtable is the key senior management forum. It meets weekly
to monitor performance and review significant issues across the department and
portfolio. Members are the secretary (chair), deputy secretaries and heads of all
divisions of the department and portfolio agencies. Outcomes are made available
to all employees via the department’s intranet and through regular meetings held
within each division and agency.

240 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department has eight committees that direct specific aspects of the
department’s internal affairs. Each committee reports its decisions and
recommendations to the Executive Roundtable after major meetings.
The committees’ work in 2006–07 is summarised in the following table.

Roles and achievements of the Executive Roundtable committees 2006–07

Committee Roles and achievements

Audit Committee Role: Oversees the internal and external audit programme, risk management, fraud
prevention, financial processes, legislation and compliance. The committee has no decision-
making authority regarding the operations of the department. It has an independent
review role and is directly accountable to the secretary
Achievements: Completed the 2006–07 internal audit plan and approved the 2007–08
internal audit work plan based on the 2006–2009 strategic audit programme
Reviewed the department’s fraud control plan for 2007–2009, which sets out actions to
prevent and manage the risk of fraud against the department, and incorporated the new
water functions
Reviewed the performance of the internal audit function and conducted an assessment
of the committee’s performance in accordance with better practice. A number of
improvements were implemented

Budget, Finance Role: Considers strategic budget and significant financial matters, and guides corporate
and Strategy governance and strategic policy activities
Committee
Achievements: Managed the 2007–08 budget process and set the initial budget strategy
for 2008–09 and 2009–10, established a committee to integrate new water functions into
the portfolio, implemented internal financial policies and procedures to enhance financial
management, and continued to track significant projects to identify and monitor risks
Implemented a capital infrastructure plan and related budgetary process, and oversaw
implementation of new procurement guidelines and financial management systems and
processes, including a MySAP upgrade

Managing the department


Compliance Role: Sets the department’s policy and direction for legislative compliance, endorses
Executive operational policies and practices, sets performance measures and reviews performance on
Committee compliance and governance
Achievements: Reviewed the provision of investigative services in the department and
endorsed a centralised delivery model for these services. Reviewed the department’s
compliance and enforcement activities against the department’s compliance and
enforcement strategy

Knowledge Role: Supports improved information and knowledge management in the portfolio,
Corporate governance

Management including implementation of new information and communications technology


Committee
Achievements: Endorsed an overarching information management framework that
articulates the department’s information management vision, goals and strategies and
highlights the relevant legislative obligations. Initiated a scoping study for an electronic
document and records management system
Provided strategic oversight of the information and communications technology strategic
plan for 2006–2008. The plan provides a framework for improving these services across
the portfolio to ensure that systems are secure, dependable, meet business needs and
regulatory requirements, and improve workplace productivity

241
Roles and achievements of the Executive Roundtable committees 2006–07 (continued)

Committee Roles and achievements

Workforce Role: Provides strategic oversight for workforce issues such as recruitment, performance
Management management, learning and development, occupational health and safety
Committee
Achievements: Developed a new leadership development programme, a project
management framework, and a workforce plan for Canberra-based employees. Reviewed
the graduate programme, and doubled the intake of graduates in 2007. Progressed a
new strategy for Indigenous career development in the department and revised the
department’s work level standards

Marine and Role: Coordinates domestic and international marine and coastal policies and programmes
Coastal across the portfolio
Coordination
Achievements: Coordinated cross-portfolio input and promoted communication on
Committee
marine and coastal issues including the marine bioregional planning process, the Senate
inquiry into Australia’s national parks, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park review, the Threat
Abatement Plan on Harmful Marine Debris; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and
outcomes from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (the United
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Contributed to the Natural Resource Management Marine and Coastal Committee strategic
directions workshop held in July 2006

Indigenous Role: Coordinates Indigenous issues across the portfolio and sets the portfolio’s strategic
Policy Leadership focus on Indigenous matters
Group
Achievements: Streamlined contracts for provision of the Healthy Country, Healthy
People Schedule under the Overarching Agreement on Indigenous Affairs between the
Commonwealth of Australia and the Northern Territory of Australia
Provided high level coordination, advice and decisions on a range of matters including
shared responsibility, regional partnership and bilateral agreements; the Indigenous
coordination centres; sea country planning and traditional use of marine resources
agreements; research into the contribution that land, sea and environmental activities make
to Indigenous health and other outcomes; and the Working on Country programme
Managing the department

Hosted a delegation from the Aboriginal Rainforest Council to discuss the Wet Tropics
Regional Agreement for the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, and
opportunities for working together
Championed a successful NAIDOC week in the department

International Role: Oversees and provides strategic direction to the department’s international work, and
Steering sets priorities for its international activities
Committee
Achievements: Reviewed the portfolio’s international work plan and prepared a new plan
of international engagement taking into account changes to the Australian Government’s
Corporate governance

priorities. Updated the portfolio’s inventory of international activities, reported by division


on achievements against identified priorities and on lessons learned from the previous year’s
activities, and analysed emerging issues at the international and domestic levels

242 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Corporate and operational planning
The department’s 2006–07 annual strategic plan provides the framework for work
plans for each division, branch, section and individual. The strategic plan is made
available to all employees on the department’s intranet.
The annual strategic plan complements the department’s three-year corporate
plan for 2005–2008. The corporate plan provides a high level view of the
department’s role as part of the Australian Government and how the department
contributes to the goals of the portfolio as a whole. The eight Executive
Roundtable committees and their subcommittees develop additional strategic and
operational plans for specific aspects of the department’s work.

Reports and reviews


The department’s annual report publishes performance information against
measures contained in the portfolio budget statements. It complies with the
Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Requirements for
Departmental Annual Reports approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts
and Audit. A compliance index identifies the location in this report of
the information specified in the requirements.
The department also monitors its performance internally against key performance
indicators in its operational plans. Divisions, committees and portfolio agencies
report their performance quarterly to the Executive Roundtable.

Uhrig Review
In 2004 the department began assessing the governance arrangements of statutory

Managing the department


authorities and office holders in the then Environment and Heritage portfolio
against the recommendations of the 2003 Review of the Corporate Governance of
Statutory Authorities and Office Holders Report (the Uhrig Report).
The department has submitted assessments for all agencies within the portfolio
to the Minister for Finance and Administration. The governance arrangements for
the following entities were found to be generally consistent with the Uhrig Report:
Corporate governance

the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Bureau of Meteorology, Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park Authority and National Environment Protection Council.
Statements of expectation and intent are required for each agency and are subject
to periodic review. Statements of expectation convey the Australian Government’s
expectation of the statutory authority, and statements of intent convey the
statutory authority’s response to the government’s expectation. Statements are
being finalised and will be made publicly available once approved.
The National Water Commission, which joined the portfolio in early 2007, was
established after the Uhrig Review. This body was therefore not required to

243
undertake a review as its establishment incorporated the Uhrig governance
principles. Statements of expectation and intent for the commission are currently
being prepared.
A review of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 was undertaken in
2005–06, with its recommendations accepted by the Australian Government in
October 2006. The review’s recommendations are directed at establishing clear,
accountable and transparent governance arrangements for the Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park Authority, enhancing consultation mechanisms and delivering
legislation capable of providing long-term protection for the Great Barrier Reef.
The department is currently progressing implementation of review outcomes in
conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park Amendment Act 2007 puts in place key changes related to
governance, accountability and transparency from 1 July 2007. A further Bill related
to regulatory arrangements is being developed, and other non-statutory changes are
expected to be implemented in 2007–08. Statements of expectation and intent have
now been introduced in relation to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
An independent review of the National Environment Protection Council Act
1994 (and the corresponding legislation in other jurisdictions) commenced in
June 2006 and, in the context of the Uhrig Report, also considered the governance
framework for the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation.
At its meeting on 2 June 2007, the National Environment Protection Council agreed
in principle to the statement of expectation. The statement of intent is being
finalised by the service corporation in consultation with the National Environment
Protection Council Audit Committee.

Audit, risk and fraud control


Managing the department

The department retained the services of its internal audit service providers,
Protiviti Pty Ltd, during 2006–07. Protiviti continued to provide independent
internal audit, risk management, fraud control and investigation services and
advice to the Audit Committee.

Audit Committee
Corporate governance

The department’s Audit Committee provides independent assurance and assistance


to the secretary on the integrity of the department’s financial management
processes, its risk, fraud control and legislative compliance framework, and its
external accountability responsibilities. The Audit Committee tracks progress and
monitors implementation of audit findings and recommendations.
The Audit Committee has five members, as set out in the table below. The
membership of the committee was formally appointed on 1 September 2005 with
one independent member, Mr Rod Shogren, appointed in October 2006 to replace
Mr Greg Wood whose term expired in August 2006. Seven meetings were held in
2006–07.

244 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Audit Committee membership and meeting attendance 2006–07

Member Role Meetings attended (of 7 held)

Howard Bamsey Chair 6

Rod Allen Member 7

David Anderson Member 7

Rod Shogren Independent member 5

Jenny Morison Independent member 7

Observers at the Audit Committee meetings are the chief finance officer, the chair
of the Risk Panel, the director of the Governance Unit and representatives of the
Australian National Audit Office and the internal audit provider.
The Audit Committee’s major activities in 2006–07 are reported in the table on the
roles and achievements of the Executive Roundtable committees. In 2007–08 the
Audit Committee will continue to monitor the implementation of the department’s
audit programme and follow-up audit findings and recommendations.

Risk management
Risk management is integral to the department’s planning and review systems.
A senior management subcommittee, the Risk Panel, monitors key risks and
supervises the development of departmental risk management policies and
procedures, including procedures for fraud prevention and business continuity
management. The panel’s chair reports to the departmental executive and the

Managing the department


Audit Committee. The risk management service provider and the director of the
Governance Unit are observers at Risk Panel meetings.

Risk Panel membership and meetings attended 2006–07

Member Role Meetings attended (of 5 held)


Corporate governance

Mark Tucker Chair 5

Gerard Early Member 3*

David Anderson Member 5

Malcolm Forbes Member 2*

Rod Allen Member 3

Ian Carruthers Member 4

* These members each sent a proxy to one meeting in addition to the attendance shown.

245
The Risk Panel completed a review of the department’s risk management
framework. The Governance Unit began implementing the review’s
recommendations, and made the following progress:
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responsibilities.
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advise employees and to coordinate risk management activities across the
department.
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practices and responsibilities was completed. The stocktake showed that
divisions are proactive in risk management processes, but a more consistent
approach to reporting is needed.
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of the latest Australian–New Zealand risk management standard (AS/NZS
4360:2004) and the findings of the stocktake. Improvements were made to
the department’s risk planning and review systems including strengthening
the links between the risk assessments, business plans and risk reporting,
and integrating risk management for the department as a whole into the
department’s annual business plan. The new procedures will be ready for use
in the first quarter of 2007–08.
Following completion of a trial by the Budget, Finance and Strategy Committee,
the Governance Unit began coordinating regular quarterly reports to the
departmental executive on the progress of key departmental activities. The reports
focus on emerging risks.
The Risk Panel and the Audit Committee co-supervised a fraud risk assessment
covering all of the department’s major functions, and development of the
Managing the department

department’s next fraud control plan.


The department’s insurable risks are identified annually as part of Comcover’s
insurance renewal process. Both actual and potential insurance claims are reported
to Comcover. The department is covered by Comcare for risks associated with
injury to employees. The department maintains an occupational health and safety
unit, which helps to reduce claims. Comcare conducts inspections to help the
department measure its performance. Success in managing business risks led to
Corporate governance

the department receiving a 6.3 per cent discount off its Comcover premium with
the completion of Comcover’s annual Risk Management Benchmarking Survey in
April 2007. While the department scored well against all categories, it did not rate
well against monitoring and review. This aspect will therefore be a particular focus
of efforts in the next year.

Fraud control
The department’s anti-fraud programme is supervised by both the Audit
Committee and the Risk Panel.

246 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department updated its fraud control plan based on a risk assessment in
accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. The fraud control
plan sets out actions planned for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2009 to reduce
the risk of fraud against the department. The Risk Panel and Audit Committee
oversaw the process for preparing the fraud control plan. The secretary endorsed
the department’s fraud control plan in June 2007.

Business continuity plan


The department has a business continuity plan for the period 1 January 2006
to 31 December 2007 endorsed by the secretary. The business continuity plan
describes the arrangements that the department will use to ensure the continuity
of its key services after a major, unexpected and disruptive incident (such as a fire).
It describes the management structure, staff roles and responsibilities, and actions
that are to be implemented after a major incident.

Certificate of Compliance
Beginning in 2006–07, chief executives of Australian Government departments and
agencies are required to provide a completed Certificate of Compliance to their
portfolio minister and a copy to the Minister for Finance and Administration by
15 October each year.
The certificate focuses on agencies’ compliance during the previous financial year
with the following:
t Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and its Regulations and
the Financial Management and Accountability Orders 2005

Managing the department


t Financial Management and Accountability (Finance Minister to Chief
Executives) Delegation 2002 (as amended)
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The certificate integrates these requirements, allowing chief executives to certify
compliance with the financial legislation and associated policies in a single
Corporate governance

document.
The department conducted a trial in 2006 with the assistance and advice of
the Audit Committee and internal audit provider. The secretary will provide
the first completed Certificate of Compliance for 2006–07 for the Department
of the Environment and Water Resources to the relevant ministers before
15 October 2007.

247
Stakeholder relations
The department strives to provide a high standard of service to its clients. These
include ministers; other Australian Government departments and agencies; state,
territory and local government bodies; non-government organisations; industry;
and members of the wider community.
The department values the views of its clients and stakeholders, and acknowledges
and values the rights of stakeholders to scrutinise its actions.

Ethical standards
The department’s employees maintain the ethical standards required of the
Australian Public Service. Employees must comply with the Australian Public
Service Values and Code of Conduct. Detailed guidance is available to employees
via the department’s intranet. The guidance includes a code of conduct specific
to the department and procedures for handling suspected breaches. Individual
performance agreements also require a personal commitment to the Australian
Public Service Values and Code of Conduct.
The department maintains a network of workplace contact officers to raise
awareness about acceptable behaviour in the workplace and to assist employees
with complaints. When new employees join the department they attend an
orientation programme that introduces them to the specific requirements of
the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, including the need to
disclose any potential conflicts of interest. The programme illustrates commonly
encountered ethical issues. Participants in the graduate programme also attend an
Managing the department

ethics course.
Guidelines available on the department’s intranet warn staff against the
inappropriate use of information technology. The department’s whistleblower
policy also ensures that allegations are treated seriously and investigated promptly
and independently.

Ministerial and parliamentary services


Stakeholder relations

The department advises and supports the minister and the assistant minister through
briefings, correspondence, website maintenance and office support services.

New electronic workflow system


This year the department introduced a new electronic ministerial workflow system
called Slipstream to improve the management of ministerial correspondence.
The system allows managers to assign work electronically and to track the progress
of individual items. Work is moved from person to person using electronic

248 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
workflow, saving considerably on the use of paper. Staff can receive email
notification of new work, generate drafts from built-in templates that draw on
pre-entered details (e.g. name and address details), and can access and add to a
library of standard paragraphs, which significantly improves efficiency. The system
will automate and streamline management reporting to a much greater degree
than previously possible, improve document control, and improve the quality of
the material being produced.
A staged rollout of the system commenced on 2 April 2007 and was completed
for most Canberra-based elements of the portfolio by 30 June 2007. Rollout to the
entire portfolio will be completed by December 2007.

Workflow statistics
The department provides a fortnightly report to the executive and to the
minister’s staff on workflows relating to briefings, correspondence, parliamentary
questions, Cabinet and parliamentary business and legal, legislation and freedom
of information matters. These reports assist the department’s executive team to
develop performance improvement strategies.
In 2006–07, 15,831 items of correspondence were received by the minister and
assistant minister and registered on the department’s database. The department
prepared over 3,000 briefing submissions for the minister and assistant minister.
The department aims to ensure a minimum of five working days between when a
submission arrives in the minister’s office and when a decision is required.
The following table shows the growth in ministerial correspondence over the past
five years. The quantity has almost doubled over the past two years.

Managing the department


Ministerial correspondence 2002–03 to 2006–07

Year Correspondence received

2002–03 8,553

2003–04 8,559
Stakeholder relations

2004–05 8,507

2005–06 10,844

2006–07 15,831

The department’s Parliamentary Services Section monitors the timeliness and


accuracy of ministerial briefs and draft replies to correspondence, and uses
rejection rates as a measure of accuracy and as an indicator of the minister’s
satisfaction. The new electronic workflow system will improve monitoring and
reporting of performance in this area.

249
Services to the community
The department’s Community Information Unit receives requests for information
from the community and feedback on the department’s services. The unit also
manages the department’s publications shopfront.
In 2006–07 the Community Information Unit responded to 48,618 enquiries from
the Australian community; 46.7 per cent related to grants and 53.3 per cent were
seeking general information about the department and its programmes. The unit
distributed 264,083 publications in response to requests.

Community Information Unit 2004–05 to 2006–07

Type of service 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07

Enquiries 31,959 38,927 48,618

Publications distributed 222,954 253,759 264,083

Shopfront visitors Not available 11,747 9,959

Service charter
The department has a service charter for 2005–2008. The charter sets out the
standards of service clients can expect from the department, clients’ rights and
responsibilities, and how to find out more about the department. The charter is
available at www.environment.gov.au/about/publications/charter.html or in hard
copy by contacting the Community Information Unit toll free on 1800 803 772.
Managing the department

Clients can provide feedback to the department on its performance by emailing


the Client Service Officer who is an impartial contact point to accept feedback
and coordinate the department’s response to members of the public who raise
concerns about service standards.
The Client Service Officer can be contacted at:
Client Service Officer
Stakeholder relations

Department of the Environment and Water Resources


GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: 02 6274 1323
Fax: 02 6274 1322
Email: clientservice@environment.gov.au
The department received 254 enquiries through its Client Service Officer in
2006–07. The majority of these were requests for information and assistance,
which were forwarded to the appropriate work area for action.

250 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Complaints about service
The department did not receive any complaints about service through its Client
Service Officer in 2006–07. While several complaints were received about wildlife
trade and seizures, these complaints were not related to service and were
directed to the appropriate area for resolution. The department also received four
complaints through its Community Information Unit and these were directed to
the appropriate area for resolution.

Access and equity


The department contributes to the Australian Government’s access and equity
annual report on whole-of-government progress in implementing the Australian
Government’s Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society.
The main groups of people with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds with
whom the department deals are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
often in remote parts of Australia.
The department has a long history of working in partnership with Indigenous
Australians in caring for the land and sea. Portfolio responsibilities include
management of the Indigenous Heritage Programme, Working on Country,
Indigenous Protected Areas Programme, the government’s main natural resource
management programmes, and national parks. This work presents opportunities
for government and Indigenous communities to work together to deliver
conservation and heritage outcomes, from weed and fire management to the
conservation of protected animals.
The department promotes recruitment and development of Indigenous

Managing the department


employees especially for positions that deal with Indigenous clients. In 2006–07
the department created a new Indigenous Development Coordinator position
to support and promote the recruitment, career development, and retention of
Indigenous staff in the department. The department also promotes awareness
of Indigenous issues through the annual celebration of NAIDOC week. For more
information see the section on human resources in this chapter.
Stakeholder relations

251
External scrutiny
Courts and tribunals
On 19 December 2006 Justice Marshall of the Federal Court delivered judgment
in Brown v Forestry Tasmania. Senator Brown applied for, and was granted, an
injunction under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act 1999 restraining Forestry Tasmania from undertaking commercial forestry
operations in the Wielangta State Forest.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 prohibits
actions that have, will have, or are likely to have a significant impact on listed
threatened species, unless the actions are taken with the approval of the minister
(following referral and assessment under the Act) or unless some other provision
of the Act permits the taking of the action. Certain forestry operations that are
undertaken in accordance with a regional forest agreement as defined in the
Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002 are permitted under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The applicant claimed that Forestry Tasmania’s forestry operations in the Wielangta
State Forest had had, would have or were likely to have a significant impact on
three listed threatened species, the wedge-tailed eagle, the swift parrot and the
broad toothed stag beetle. Senator Brown also claimed that the forestry operations
were not undertaken in accordance with the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement
because the agreement did not satisfy the requirements of the Regional Forest
Agreements Act 2002 or alternatively, because certain obligations under the
Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement had not been met by Tasmania.
Managing the department

Justice Marshall found that Forestry Tasmania’s actions had had and were likely
to have a significant impact on the three listed threatened species. Justice
Marshall also found that the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement satisfied the
requirements in the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002 for regional forest
agreements. However, he found that Tasmania had not complied with clause 68 of
the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement which concerns protection of priority
External scrutiny

species through the comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system


and management prescriptions. (The three listed threatened species in the case
are priority species.)
The Commonwealth intervened in the case to make submissions to support
the validity of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement, and in relation to the
interpretation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999. The State of Tasmania also intervened in the case.
Forestry Tasmania has appealed against the decision to the full court of the Federal
Court. The appeal is listed for hearing in August 2007.

252 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Auditor-General reports
The Auditor-General tabled two reports in 2006–07 which scrutinised the activities
of the department.

Audit Report No. 23 2006–07 Performance Audit of the Application of the


Outcomes and Outputs Framework
The objective of this audit was to assess how agencies apply the Australian
Government outcomes and outputs framework and whether agencies have
robust performance measures in place as a part of this framework. The audit
consisted of an initial survey of 44 agencies subject to the Financial Management
and Accountability Act 1997, followed by detailed audit testing in three of the
agencies, including the department. The Australian National Audit Office made five
general recommendations to agencies and one to the Department of Finance and
Administration. The department agrees with five of the recommendations.
The department reviewed its performance indicators for the 2007–08 Portfolio
Budget Statements, and has prepared written guidance for employees on how to
develop best practice performance indicators.

Audit Report No. 31 2006–07 Performance Audit of the Conservation and


Protection of National Threatened Species and Ecological Communities
The objective of this audit was to assess how the department administers
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and its
effectiveness in protecting and conserving threatened species and threatened
ecological communities in Australia.

Managing the department


The Australian National Audit Office identified three issues constraining progress
and limiting the achievement of the objectives of the Act, namely:
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1,000 individual species and hundreds of ecological communities
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The department agrees with the recommendations made by the Australian
External scrutiny

National Audit Office and considers they provide useful guidance on pursuing
the highest priority actions to assist in meeting the objectives of the Act. The
department notes however that, even under the provisions of the Act as amended
in 2006, its ability to fully implement all the recommendations will depend in part
on the willingness of state and territory agencies to collaborate on actions.
Following the release of the audit the department received additional funding of
$70.6 million over four years in the 2007–08 Budget to achieve the objectives of
the Act. This additional funding will assist in the better protection of threatened
species and ecological communities.

253
The audit identified a number of administrative shortcomings and some key areas
of non-compliance with the Act (prior to December 2006). The Act was amended
in December 2006 and the matters identified as non-compliant are no longer legal
requirements of the Act (see parliamentary committees).

Parliamentary committees
In 2006–07 the Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology
and the Arts Standing Committee tabled two reports relevant to the department’s
work.

Inquiry into the Provisions of the Environment and Heritage Legislation


Amendment Bill (No. 1), report tabled on 21 November 2006
The inquiry scrutinised the provisions of the Environment and Heritage Legislation
Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2006 which amends the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Bill aimed to make improvements
in four distinct areas: streamlining administration of the Act for efficiency and
effectiveness, thereby cutting ‘red tape’ in government; being more strategic
and flexible in directing Australian Government action on the environment;
strengthening compliance with, and enforcement of, the Act; and implementing a
range of minor amendments needed to overcome some technical deficiencies in
the Act.
The committee made three recommendations:
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Australian Capital Territory that are located on designated Commonwealth land
Managing the department

to ensure their protection and heritage status is not compromised with the
repeal of the Register of the National Estate
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JO
light of the above issue
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department’s administration of the Act.
All recommendations were resolved, and the amendments were passed by
External scrutiny

parliament on 7 December 2006, with the bulk of the amendments commencing


on 19 February 2007. The Australian Government provided additional funding in
the 2007 Budget to administer the Act.

Inquiry into Australia’s National Parks, Conservation Reserves and Marine


Protected Areas, report tabled on 12 April 2007
The inquiry considered the funding and resources available to meet the objectives
of Australia’s national parks, other conservation reserves and marine protected
areas, with particular reference to:

254 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
t UIFWBMVFTBOEPCKFDUJWFTPG"VTUSBMJBTOBUJPOBMQBSLT PUIFSDPOTFSWBUJPO
reserves and marine protected areas
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objectives and their management requirements
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other conservation reserves and marine protected areas
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management of national parks, other conservation reserves and marine
protected areas, with particular reference to long-term plans
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national parks, other conservation reserves and marine protected areas.
The committee made 18 recommendations covering a range of matters including
the need for increased funding for management of conservation estates, for earlier
public consultation when establishing new reserves, for more effective planning
processes, and for making parks more resilient to climate change. A response to
the report is in preparation.

Commonwealth Ombudsman
There were no formal reports from the Commonwealth Ombudsman during the year.
The Ombudsman investigated a complaint in relation to a tender process for a café
in the department and provided advice to the department regarding the need for
improved internal processes, particularly in dealing with potential conflict of interest
situations. In response to the advice the department reviewed its procurement
guidelines as part of an update of the Chief Executive Instructions.

Managing the department


Freedom of information
This section is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 8 of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982. The Act gives the Australian community the
right to access information held by the Australian Government. The only limits are
exemptions needed to protect essential public interests and privacy.
External scrutiny

Applications received
The department received 33 applications pursuant to the Act during 2006–07.
There were no requests for review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Information about the department


Under section 8 of the Act the department has to make available information about
its functions, organisation, operations and powers that affect members of the
public. Relevant information is contained throughout this annual report
(the executive summary presents an overview) and on the department’s website.

255
Information about categories of documents
Under section 8 of the Act the department has to report details of certain
categories of documents it maintains. The department holds a large range of
documents in the following categories:
General policy—administrative files, consultants’ reports, memoranda of
understanding, agreements, permits, licences, submissions, guidelines for
programmes, grant documents, manuals, financial records, staffing records,
instructions of the secretary, legal documents, and tender evaluations
Specific—Australian Antarctic Division records, committee records, and court
documents and records
Parliamentary—briefing documents, Cabinet documents, ministerial submissions,
policy advice, ministerial correspondence, explanatory memoranda to Acts,
Ordinances and Regulations.
Some documents may have been transferred into archival custody or destroyed in
accordance with the Archives Act 1983.

Arrangements for outside participation


Under section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 the department has to
report details of arrangements whereby members of the public can participate in
certain kinds of decision-making.
The department consults members of the public and bodies outside the Australian
Government’s administration when developing policy and programmes, and
administering legislation and schemes. In addition to general public consultation,
which may be a requirement of particular legislation, the department and the
Managing the department

minister receive advice from scientific and expert committees and other bodies.
A list is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/about/councils/index.html.
Generally, people can participate by making oral or written representations to
the minister or the department, or by putting submissions to the various working
groups chaired by the department.
Formal arrangements under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act
External scrutiny

1981, Sea Installations Act 1987, Environment Protection and Biodiversity


Conservation Act 1999, and the environmental impact assessment provisions of
the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 provide for proposals to
be examined publicly and for comments to be received.
Formal arrangements under the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Environment Protection and Management Ordinance 1987 provide for public
consultation during the development of management plans.

256 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Formal arrangements under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region)
Act 1978 provide for public consultation on scientific research programmes and
matters relating to the effects on the environment in the Alligator Rivers Region of
uranium mining operations.

Procedures for gaining access to information


Freedom of information matters within the department are handled by the Legal
Section in the Policy Coordination Division. Contact details for the freedom of
information officer are:
Phone: (02) 6274 2721
Fax: (02) 6274 1587
Email: foi_contact_officer@environment.gov.au
Written requests for access to documents should be addressed to:
The Freedom of Information Coordinator
Legal Section
Department of the Environment and Water Resources
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Managing the department


External scrutiny

257
Environmental sustainability
This section is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 516A of
the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Section 516A requires government departments to report on:
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development (subsection 6a)
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(subsection 6b)
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taken to minimise the impacts (subsections 6c, d and e).

How the department applies the principles


The principles of ecologically sustainable development1 are central to the
department’s environment and natural heritage protection activities, all of which
aim to conserve biodiversity and ecological integrity, and to maintain the health,
diversity and productivity of the environment for the benefit of future generations.
The department administers the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 and the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997,
both of which explicitly recognise these principles.
Examples of how the department applies the principles of ecologically sustainable
development are summarised in the table below. More details on specific
programmes are contained in other chapters of this annual report.
Managing the department

Contribution of outcomes
The Department of the Environment and Water Resources is the lead Australian
Government agency for developing and implementing national policy,
programmes and legislation to protect and conserve the natural environment.
One of the key functions of the department is to promote and support ecologically
sustainable development.
The department’s outcomes contribute to ecologically sustainable development as
Environmental sustainability

follows:
Outcome 1: Protecting and conserving the environment helps to maintain the
ecological processes on which life depends.
Outcome 2: Australia’s Antarctic interests include a strong focus on protecting
the Antarctic environment, as well as managing the sustainable use of Antarctic
marine resources.

1 The principles of ecologically sustainable development are set out in sections 3A and (in the case of the precautionary
principle) 391 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

258 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
How the department applies the principles of ecologically sustainable development

Principles Activities

Integration principle: decision- Integrated natural resource management: The department develops
making processes should effectively and invests in natural resource management plans and other strategies
integrate both long-term and short- to maintain ecosystems, including the regional component of the
term economic, environmental, social Natural Heritage Trust and bioregional marine plans. These plans
and equitable considerations integrate long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social
and equitable considerations
Integrated reporting: The department publishes its own sustainability
report and State of the Environment report

Precautionary principle: if there Environmental impact assessments: The department applies the
are threats of serious or irreversible precautionary principle to prevent serious environmental damage
environmental damage, lack of full when assessing the possible environmental impacts of proposed
scientific certainty should not be actions, often in the absence of full scientific certainty, most notably
used as a reason for postponing through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
measures to prevent environmental 1999, and through chemical and gene technology assessment schemes
degradation
National response to climate change: The department develops
Australia’s national and international response to the threat of climate
change in the absence of full scientific certainty, and manages for
uncertainty, including preparing Australia for unavoidable climate
change impacts

Intergenerational principle: the Pollution prevention: The department applies laws and National
present generation should ensure that Environment Protection Measures to prevent environmentally harmful
the health, diversity and productivity substances entering the environment. Laws include the Environment
of the environment is maintained or Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981, the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of
enhanced for the benefit of future Exports and Imports) Act 1989, and the Ozone Protection and Synthetic
generations Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989
Whole-of-government policy development: The department seeks
to ensure that environmental protection is appropriately considered in
the development of other Australian Government policies, including

Managing the department


major energy and water reforms
Community capacity building: The department administers the
Australian Government’s major natural resource management
programmes that have an environmental focus, including the Natural
Heritage Trust. These programmes increase the capacity of Australians
to conserve ecosystems for future generations

Biodiversity principle: the Biodiversity conservation: The department applies laws for the
conservation of biological diversity conservation of biodiversity to protect wildlife and places with
and ecological integrity should be environmental values, including the Environment Protection and
Environmental sustainability

a fundamental consideration in Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and through the Natural Heritage
decision-making Trust, marine protected areas, terrestrial parks and reserves

Valuation principle: improved Conservation incentives: The department promotes incentives for
valuation, pricing and incentive protecting wildlife and habitats on private land through covenants. It
mechanisms should be promoted supports fishing industry adjustment processes to reduce pressures on
the marine environment
Waste reduction incentives: The department provides incentives for
more efficient use of resources, including markets for waste products
such as used lubricating oils, water efficiency labelling, and product
stewardship programmes to reduce plastic bag consumption and to
recycle used oil

259
Environmental impacts of operations
The department is a strong advocate of environmental accountability and
sustainability. Through the Sustainability in Government programme, the
department supports Australian Government departments and agencies to
improve environmental management, energy efficiency, public reporting and
sustainable purchasing.
The department helps agencies to develop and implement ISO 14001
environmental management systems and to integrate environmental
considerations into public procurement decisions. In 2006–07 the department
produced:
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maintenance staff on how to reduce water consumption and increase water
reuse in offices and public buildings. The guide contains national benchmarks
for best practice water consumption. The rating scales are consistent with
the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and the
Australian Building Greenhouse Rating scheme. Water savings of 30–40 per cent
are often achievable in buildings that comply with best practice
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hospitals. The benchmarks are based on national data from 129 hospitals.
The benchmarks will be released as part of the NABERS Hospitals Tool
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Offices and Public Buildings. This guide has been popular with agencies and
the property industry as a useful introduction to how green building design can
deliver better environmental outcomes
t UIFmSTUFEJUJPOPGUIF&DPMPHJDBMMZ4VTUBJOBCMF%FWFMPQNFOU0QFSBUJPOT(VJEF
Managing the department

This guide provides information to owners, managers and tenants on how to


improve the environmental performance of existing buildings through better
facilities management
t BTVJUFPG(SFFO-FBTF4DIFEVMFTUIBUVOEFSQJOUIFHSFFOMFBTJOHSFRVJSFNFOU
for Australian Government office buildings. These schedules create mutual
contractual obligations between building owners and Australian Government
tenants to achieve the agreed energy targets over the term of the lease. The
Environmental sustainability

schedules also have the flexibility to include other sustainability measures such
as water conservation and waste reduction initiatives.

Environmental performance
The department reports in detail on its environmental, social and economic
performance in a sustainability report, using performance indicators provided by
the Global Reporting Initiative (see www.globalreporting.org). The department
produced its third sustainability report this year. The report is available on the
department’s website.

260 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The following tables summarise the environmental performance of the
department’s four major operational areas in 2006–07:
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Farrell Place in Canberra and the Fyshwick warehouse
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John Gorton Building, Edmund Barton Building and Fyshwick warehouse

Indicator Performance 2006–07

General Consumption of tenant light and power dropped slightly to around 5,250 megajoules
per person per year. Consumption is well within the revised Australian Government energy
use target of 7,500 megajoules per person per year

Environmental The department’s environmental management system, which covers Canberra-based


management operations, was re-certified in May 2006 to the upgraded international environmental
system management system standard ISO 14001:2004

Energy The Department of Finance and Administration is undertaking an Australian Building


(electricity) Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) of the John Gorton Building (which it owns) to determine its
ABGR rating out of 5
The department renewed its energy contract for the supply of 100% green energy to the
John Gorton Building and will continue to source green energy for its significant tenancies,
including 5 Farrell Place in Civic

Transport Two new Toyota Prius hybrid fuel efficient vehicles were included in the pool fleet so
that the 10-vehicle fleet now includes 8 hybrid vehicles. The remaining 2 special purpose
vehicles are for use by the warehouse at Fyshwick and the Australian National Botanic
Gardens

Managing the department


The department’s reporting methodology for vehicle use is being reviewed, in consultation
with Lease Plan, to improve the accuracy and increase the frequency of reporting

Greenhouse gas The department continues to work towards minimising its greenhouse gas emissions.
emissions Due to an increase in gas consumption at the John Gorton Building, total greenhouse gas
emissions have increased slightly to around 630 kg per person per year

Water The Department of Finance and Administration successfully trialled microbial urine
treatment cubes in urinals in the John Gorton Building. It is estimated that if the
department adopts microbial treatment cubes in its urinals it will reduce the amount of
Environmental sustainability

water needed to flush urinals by 90%


The John Gorton Building has had flow restricting plumbing installed to ensure water flow
throughout the building does not exceed 9 litres per minute. A follow-up water audit is
scheduled for 2007 to determine water savings. The new Farrell Place building has water
saving features, such as waterless urinals

261
John Gorton Building, Edmund Barton Building and Fyshwick warehouse (continued)

Indicator Performance 2006–07

Waste (including An internal waste audit, undertaken in October 2006, confirms that around 70% of all waste
paper) is being recycled, with potential for further improvement
Problems were encountered in the performance of the recycled waste contractor, and
their services were terminated. One consequence of this is a lack of reliable data for paper,
cardboard and co-mingled waste for 2006-07. Paper purchase data suggest that paper
consumption remains steady
Waste being collected through the organics recycling stream has increased by around
50% suggesting a reduction in waste going to landfill
The Environmental Coordination Team will continue to use and develop all available
recycling services such as mobile phone, compact disk and polystyrene recycling

Green The department has renewed its contract for the supply of 100% accredited green power
procurement to the John Gorton Building, and will continue to source green power where possible for
other sites. Currently the department uses 60% recycled content print paper in its printers
and photocopiers. Opportunities to use 100% recycled paper are being explored. The
department is committed to further integrating environmental principles into procurement
processes

Other The department is preparing for significant changes in building occupancy, and will
develop environmental management systems for key Canberra-based offices including the
new Farrell Place building
The department maintains its status as a Greenhouse Challenge Plus member. The
possibility of broadening the scope of the agreement to include other departmental sites
around Australia is being explored
The Environmental Coordination Team will participate in the Government Agencies
Environment Network to facilitate better environmental performance across Australian
Government departments through collaboration. The team is contacted frequently by
other departments and business organisations seeking information and guidance on issues
related to environmental management systems
Managing the department

Membership of the department’s own environmental network the Environmentally


Conscious Officer Network (ECONet) continues to strengthen. The ECONet is a valuable
resource, raising staff awareness, identifying areas for improvement and facilitating
environmental management system implementation
Environmental sustainability

262 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Australian Antarctic Division

Indicator Performance 2006–07

General The division complied with all applicable environmental laws and agreements, and required
compliance with them by participants in activities supported by the division, by other
Australian visitors to the Antarctic, and by contractors and suppliers
The division implemented measures to prevent or minimise pollution, waste and other
human impacts in all environments in which it operates

Environmental The external auditor conducted a surveillance audit in 2006 of the division’s environmental
management management system to meet the requirements of the Australian/New Zealand Standard
system AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004. The system has operated since 2002 and the current certification
period will expire in September 2008. Due to changes to the 2006–07 shipping schedule,
the external onsite audit of Casey station was deferred until the 2007–08 season. Station self
assessments of projects were commenced this season

Energy The Kingston, Tasmania offices consumed 3.937 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
(electricity) Macquarie cargo facility consumed an additional 98,920 kilowatt hours

Transport Vehicular fuel consumption was 190,673 litres, an increase of 18,000 litres. The increase is
attributable to vehicle usage at Casey for construction of the inter-continental runway and
construction and maintenance activities at Casey station. Casey used 155,648 litres of fuel;
Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island together used 35,025 litres

Greenhouse gas The division’s greenhouse gas emissions were 15,810 tonnes, a 20% reduction from 2005–06
emissions due to reduced shipping activity

Water The Kingston office consumed 7,390 kilolitres of water


The four stations used 5,764,988 litres of water

Waste (including The division reused or recycled 17% of waste, landfilled 48% and treated and disposed of
paper) 35% of all waste
The warehouse ordered 16,600 reams of A4 and A3 paper on behalf of the Kingston office
and stations

Managing the department


Green The division’s purchasing accords with departmental guidelines
procurement

Other Fuel usage for power and heating at the stations was 1,675,945 litres, a slight improvement
from 2005–06. The wind turbines at Mawson provided a 25% fuel saving
Environmental sustainability

263
Parks Australia Division

Indicator Performance 2006–07

General Management plans for individual protected areas include environmental management
goals and prescriptions

Environmental The Australian National Botanic Gardens, which consumes 50% of Parks Australia’s total
management purchased electricity and the bulk of purchased water, is continuing to investigate and
systems implement more efficient options for energy and water use

Energy Electricity use was down by nearly 2.5% across the division
(electricity)
8% of contracted electricity purchased by the Australian National Botanic Gardens is green
power under a bulk government agency purchasing arrangement

Transport A trial of 5% biodiesel commenced in Booderee National Park. Regular reports will be made
on the environmental performance and mechanical implications of the fuel

Greenhouse gas Greenhouse gas emissions were down by 7.2% from 2005–06. The reduction is mainly due
emissions to being able to allocate fuel use more precisely between different government agencies.
The other factor is that new vehicles and air-conditioning units are more efficient

Water Booderee National Park’s water usage was down 23%. Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park
(including the Mutitjulu community) consumed 78,442 kilolitres and the Australian National
Botanic Gardens consumed 187,894 kilolitres (up 13%) due to extra watering required
during the drought
A water management strategy for the Australian National Botanic Gardens has been
prepared and is being progressively implemented, including a project to commence in
2007–08 to design non-potable reticulation infrastructure and a way of separating non-
potable water from potable water onsite to allow for non-potable water irrigation

Waste (including At the Australian National Botanic Gardens, where statistics are available, 77,952 litres of
paper) co-mingled waste and 129,360 litres of cardboard were recycled
Available data suggest staff used about 6 reams of paper per person per year, down from
8 reams in 2005–06
Managing the department

Green The division increased awareness and application of Parks Australia’s environmental
procurement purchasing guidelines in the Director of National Parks Chief Executive Instructions
Environmental sustainability

264 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Supervising Scientist Division

Indictor Performance 2006–07

General The division’s Darwin-based premises were audited in accordance with the requirements of
Darwin International Airport, the owner of the building. An independent energy and water
use audit was also conducted by the owner

Environmental The division reviewed its environmental management system documentation in line with
management the department’s environmental management system and Darwin International Airport’s
system requirements

Energy Darwin office electricity usage was down by 4%, although staff increased by 13%
(electricity)
Jabiru Office electricity usage was up by 4.4%. However, the backup generator was used
less and no extra fuel was purchased

Transport Fuel usage was up by 12% and distance travelled by vehicles up by 22%. The increases are
due in part to 2 extra vehicles being included in this year’s figures

Greenhouse gas Greenhouse gas emissions were down by 4 tonnes. The lower emissions were achieved
emissions despite including small aircraft and extra vehicles in the reporting data

Water Water usage at the Darwin office was down 34% from 1,403 to 920 kilolitres
Water usage at the Jabiru office was 3,130 kilolitres. A large aquaculture area (part of the
eriss research and monitoring programme) contributes significantly to the Jabiru Field
Station water use
Kakadu Native Plants, a local Indigenous-owned business operating out of the Jabiru site,
also uses a significant amount of water to culture and maintain plant supplies

Waste (including Greenhouse emissions produced from waste were down by 11%. The amount of landfill
paper) waste decreased. Plastic, glass, paper and cardboard recycling increased
To reduce landfill, staff sort waste, including toner cartridges, glass, paper and plastic
products, into recycle bins. Organic waste is recycled through the worm farm that provides
live feed for breeding populations of fish (purple spotted gudgeon) used for research
purposes

Managing the department


Paper usage in the Darwin office was up by 26%, but usage per person only increased by
2%. The overall increase is partly due to the inclusion of extra staff from Parks Australia
North in the data
The division purchased 28% less virgin paper and 37% more partly recycled paper

Green It is the division’s practice, where possible, to purchase ‘green’ stationery and toiletry
procurement products rather than standard products
Environmental sustainability

265
Human resources
The Department of the Environment and Water Resources manages its people
to ensure the achievement of corporate goals and to meet its changing business
needs.

Results 2006–07

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came into effect in August 2006.
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executive level employees which came into effect in August 2006.
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executive service employees which come into effect in July 2007.
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identifies strategies to address challenges and mitigate risks to its
Canberra-based workforce.
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including a user guide and electronic templates for each project
management stage. These are accessible to all employees on the
department’s intranet.
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improvement in employee satisfaction across a range of areas in the
organisation since the last survey in 2004.
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Managing the department

standards written in 2000. The new standards reflect changes to the


roles and responsibilities of employees from 2000 to 2007.
t $SFBUFEBOFXQPTJUJPO XIJDIDPNNFODFEJO+VMZ UPTVQQPSU
and promote the recruitment, career development, and retention of
Indigenous employees in the department. The department held its first
conference for Indigenous employees in April 2007 to discuss these
issues.
Human resources

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130 directors to share their experience and understanding of their role
in the department.

266 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Workforce Management Committee
The Workforce Management Committee plays a key role in reviewing people
management policies and programmes across the department and ensuring that
all people management activity is closely aligned to the department’s business
goals. The committee is chaired by a deputy secretary and includes all division
heads. The committee’s achievements in 2006–07 are summarised in the section
on corporate governance.

Workforce planning
In February 2007 the department completed the first of its two-year workforce
plans focusing on the department’s Canberra-based workforce. The workforce
plan identifies the key challenges facing the department’s workforce over the
next two years (2007–2009) and proposes strategies to address the challenges and
mitigate future risks. The workforce plan will underpin the department’s initiatives
relating to recruitment, retention and capability development in coming years.
Development of workforce plans for Parks Australia Division and the Australian
Antarctic Division has begun.
The department revised its work level standards to replace the previous
version developed in 2000. The new standards reflect changes to the roles and
responsibilities of the department’s employees from 2000 to 2007. The standards
apply to all employees from APS 1–2 to executive level classifications and include
legal officers, research scientists and public affairs officers.

Makeup of workforce

Managing the department


The department has a diverse workforce carrying out a range of responsibilities
across Australia and in Australia’s external territories.
The department’s workforce statistics are presented in the tables on the following
pages. All statistics are as at 30 June 2007.
Human resources

267
Key to job classification symbols in the tables on workforce statistics
Secretary Secretary of the department
PEO Principal Executive Officer. Refers to Director of National Parks,
a statutory office holder.
SES 1–3 Senior Executive Service bands 1–3. Includes Chief of Division,
Australian Antarctic Division.
EL 1–2 Executive Level bands 1–2. Includes equivalent Australian
Antarctic Division bands 7–8.
APS 1–6 Australian Public Service levels 1–6. Includes equivalent Australian
Antarctic Division levels 1–6. Includes graduate programme recruits.
RS 1–3 Research Scientist (equivalent to APS 6 or EL 1), Senior Research
Scientist (equivalent to EL 2) and Principal Research Scientist
(equivalent to EL 2).
AMP 1–2 Antarctic Medical Practitioner levels 1–2 (Expeditioner).
AE 1–3 Antarctic Expeditioner bands 1–3.
LO 1–3 Legal Officer (equivalent to APS 3–6), Senior Legal Officer
(equivalent to EL 1) and Principal Legal Officer (equivalent to EL 2).
PAO 1–4 Public Affairs Officer 1–2 (equivalent to APS 3–6), Public Affairs
Officer 3 (equivalent to EL 1) and Senior Public Affairs Officer
(equivalent to EL 2).
Managing the department
Human resources

268 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Job classification, gender and location

Classification

Location Gender Secretary PEO SES 1–3 EL 1–2 APS 1–6 RS 1–4 AMP 1–2 AE 1–3 LO 1–3 PAO 1–4 Total
Australian Capital Female 14 299 597 3 29 942
Territory Male 1 1 34 303 289 4 5 5 642
New South Wales Female 1 2 3
Male 2 2
Northern Territory Female 1 11 87 2 101
Male 2 13 92 7 114
Queensland Female 2 2 4
Male 4 4
South Australia Female 1 1
Male 3 3
Tasmania Female 1 23 100 6 1 1 132
Male 5 40 122 39 2 1 209
Victoria Female 1 1
Male 2 1 3
Western Australia Female 2 1 3
Male 3 1 4
Jervis Bay Female 3 20 23
Male 3 23 26
Norfolk Island Female 0
Male 4 4
Indian Ocean Female 11 11
Male 1 18 19
Antarctica Female 1 2 3
Male 5 45 50
Total 1 1 57 717 1,370 58 9 47 8 36 2,304

Human resources Managing the department

269
Human resources Managing the department

270
Full-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999

Non-ongoing Ongoing Total by gender

Division Female Male Sub-total Female Male Sub-total Female Male Total

Parks Australia Division 39 32 71 57 122 179 96 154 250

Department–all other divisions 100 131 231 763 704 1,467 863 835 1,698

Total 139 163 302 830 826 1,646 959 989 1,948

Part-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999

Non-ongoing Ongoing Total by gender

Division Female Male Sub-total Female Male Sub-total Female Male Total

Parks Australia Division 49 25 74 21 4 25 70 29 99

Department–all other divisions 38 19 57 157 41 198 195 60 255

Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07


Total 87 44 131 178 45 223 265 89 354

Note: the statistics do not include the secretary or the principal executive officer.
Employee retention and turnover rates
Ongoing employees’ retention rate was 89.75 per cent (compared to 89.2 per cent
in 2005–06). The overall separation rate (including promotions and transfers to
other Australian Public Service agencies) was 23.2 per cent. This figure includes
the department’s above average percentage of non-ongoing employees primarily
required to meet operational and seasonal employment needs in the Australian
Antarctic Division and some of the national parks. Excluding these employees, the
separation rate for ongoing departmental employees was 10.42 per cent, slightly
below the 2005–06 separation rate of 10.9 per cent.

Employment agreements
The department has four standard types of employment agreements in place:
Senior Executive Service Australian Workplace Agreements, Executive Level
Australian Workplace Agreements, Australian Antarctic Division Expeditioner
Australian Workplace Agreements and a department-wide collective agreement.
All senior executive service employees have Australian Workplace Agreements
and all ongoing executive level employees (and equivalent classifications) are
offered Australian Workplace Agreements. Other employees are offered Australian
Workplace Agreements on a case-by-case basis.
The majority of employees are employed under the department’s collective
agreement. The current collective agreement commenced in August 2006 and
operates for three years compared with two years for previous agreements. The
current collective agreement covers all employees not on Australian Workplace

Managing the department


Agreements wherever they work.
The current collective agreement delivered a competitive salary increase of
11.5 per cent over the life of the agreement and created a new common pay scale
across divisions. The nominal expiry date of the agreement is August 2009.
In July 2006 all ongoing executive level employees were offered Australian
Human resources

Workplace Agreements of three years compared with two years for previous
agreements. The new agreements include provisions to promote flexibility in
remuneration and employment arrangements; attract, reward and retain high
quality executive level employees; and address remuneration imbalances.
These agreements have a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2009.
In May 2007 all senior executive service employees were offered Australian
Workplace Agreements. The new agreements feature a mandatory vehicle cash-
out and revision of salary bands to address remuneration imbalances. These
agreements have a nominal expiry date of June 2009.

271
Number of employees under each type of employment agreement

Classification

Type of agreement SES non-SES Total

Australian Workplace Agreements 57 669 726

Collective agreement (department) 1,578 1,578

Total 57 2,247 2,304

Note:
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on temporary transfer to another agency who would otherwise be covered by an Australian Workplace Agreement.
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Performance pay for employees up to executive level 2

Classification

APS 1–6 Executive Level 1 Executive Level 2


Performance
pay statistic 2005–06 2006–07 2005–06 2006–07 2005–06 2006–07

Number of
performance
payments 18 19 252 295 161 171

Average
performance pay $2,659 $3,177 $4,112 $4,583 $5,732 $6,206

Range of $422– $241– $243– $505– $416– $717–


performance pay $5,259 $6,244 $9,007 $9,364 $12,135 $14,567

Total paid $47,854 $60,358 $1,036,289 $1,352,134 $922,807 $1,061,274

Notes:
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Managing the department

made in 2006–07 are for the 2005–06 appraisal cycle.


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Performance pay for senior executive service employees

Classification

SES bands 2 and 3 SES band 1

Performance pay statistic 2005–06 2006–07 2005–06 2006–07


Human resources

Number of performance 12 14 26 33
payments

Average performance pay $12,533 $8,436 $8,682 $5,497

Range of performance pay $7,476–$23,678 $4,233–$18,729 $2,591–$15,728 $876–$11,752

Total paid $150,402 $117,970 $225,743 $181,429

Notes:
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made in 2006–07 are for the 2005–06 appraisal cycle.
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272 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Base salaries
Classification Collective Australian
agreement Workplace
Agreement

Australian Public Service Level 1–2 $33,829–$42,708

Australian Public Service Level 3 $44,137–$48,227 $44,137–$48,227

Australian Public Service Level 4 $49,677–$52,702 $49,677–$52,702

Australian Public Service Level 5 $54,284–$57,586 $54,284–$57,586

Australian Public Service Level 6 $59,316–$67,110 $59,316–$67,110

Executive Level 1 $72,950–$80,921 $72,950–$85,482

Executive Level 2 $87,395–$98,364 $87,395–$111,935

Public Affairs Officer 1 $49,677–$57,586

Public Affairs Officer 2 $62,928–$69,326

Public Affairs Officer 3 $76,489–$95,499 $76,489–$95,499

Senior Public Affairs Officer 1–2 $98,364–$104,358 $98,364–$107,358

Legal Officer $45,461–$67,110

Senior Legal Officer $72,950–$90,017 $72,950–$90,017

Principal Legal Officer $95,499–$101,319 $95,499–$104,319

Research Scientist $59,316–$80,291 $59,316–$80,291

Senior Research Scientist $84,328–$104,358 $84,328–$107,358

Principal Research Scientist $107,489–$117,456 $107,489–$120,456

Managing the department


Senior Principal Research Scientist $124,503–$136,049 $124,503–$139,049

Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Head Office) $98,364–$110,714 $98,364–$110,714

Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 2 (Head Office) $114,035–$124,503 $114,035–$127,503

Expeditioner Band 1 $46,650–$62,466

Expeditioner Band 2 $57,415–$77,486


Human resources

Expeditioner Band 3 $79,744–$91,441

Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Expeditioner) $112,705–$126,261 $112,705–$126,261

Chief of Division 1 $119,400–$137,500

Senior Executive Service 1 $119,400–$137,500

Senior Executive Service 2 $144,000–$169,900

Senior Executive Service 3 $178,300–$216,500

Note:
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the collective agreement or an Australian Workplace Agreement.

273
Performance management
The department’s current performance management scheme has been in place
since July 2005. All employees engaged for three months or more are required to
participate in the scheme. Salary increases set out in the collective agreement are
dependent on a 95 per cent participation rate in the scheme.
This year the department revised its training for employees on how to write an
individual performance agreement, how to develop performance expectations,
how to give and receive feedback and how to manage underperformance.
The Australian Antarctic Division’s Expeditioner Performance Scheme—based on
the department’s Antarctic Service Code of Personal Behaviour—provides the
basis for managing performance of employees working and living in Antarctica.

Learning and development


The department remains committed to maintaining its Investors in People (IiP)
recognition certification and to continuing to improve its approach to learning
and development for employees. The department achieved upgraded recognition
to the revised International IiP Standard. The revised standard has more stringent
requirements with respect to business planning and evaluation practices.
Individual learning: As part of the department’s performance and development
scheme, individual employees must complete learning plans with their supervisor,
which clearly identify learning needs and solutions related to the work they are
required to do under their performance agreement. Procedures are in place to
ensure the agreed learning solutions are passed on to the support units within
each division, and are taken into account in developing divisional learning and
Managing the department

development programmes. Where a broader need is identified, the People


Management Branch coordinates departmental learning and development
programmes.
Graduate programme: The graduate programme is an important element of the
department’s workforce planning strategy. The department recruits high quality
graduates from a variety of academic disciplines, including from specific disciplines
Human resources

where a need has been identified. The programme enables the department to
increase the diversity and depth of talent in its workforce.
The graduate programme provides participants with professional development
including training courses, work rotations, and mentoring. Existing departmental
employees have the opportunity to participate in the programme. The department
also offers a number of positions to graduates recruited through the Australian
Public Service Commission’s Indigenous Graduate Programme.
In 2006, 16 graduates completed the programme and have been placed within
the department. In 2007 the department significantly expanded the graduate

274 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
programme, recruiting 32 graduates to meet future needs for highly skilled
employees. These graduates have diverse academic backgrounds including
commerce, economics and law, as well as science and environmental disciplines.
The department intends to again increase the number of graduates recruited in
2008.
Online learning: The department continued to use online learning to educate
employees about concepts, business processes and computer applications. Online
learning programmes offered include occupational health and safety, security
awareness, and an orientation programme for new employees. A number of
programmes are used as assessment and compliance tools to help employees
remember information they need to carry out a particular business function, for
example, ensuring purchasing cardholders know their responsibilities.
Seminar programmes: The department continued to hold an executive seminar
series and a human resources seminar series throughout the year. These seminars
are open to all employees. They enable senior managers of the department
to share their knowledge and experience and help employees to build their
supervisory and people management skills.
In 2006–07 the department continued the Insights seminar series, which highlights
significant work being undertaken across the department. The series includes a
programme on environmental economics for non-economists. The environmental
economics programme is tailored to the needs of the department and targets
employees at executive level 1 and above. More than 100 employees participated
in three courses held this year. The programme is well regarded by management
and participants and will continue to be offered.
The International, Land and Analysis Division and the Industry, Communities and

Managing the department


Energy Division also continued to run a very well-attended Greenhouse Frontiers
programme. This seminar series includes presentations by visiting national and
international experts on topical issues related to climate change, and by staff on
the progress of major initiatives that are being developed and implemented.
In 2007 the secretary of the department commenced a new series of seminars
called Broadly Speaking in which he addresses employees on key issues.
Human resources

Leadership development: The department began a new leadership


development strategy in 2007 based on the Australian Public Service Commission’s
Integrated Leadership System. The programme is for all employees with
supervisory responsibilities and will improve their leadership skills. The
programme offers a range of activities including staff dialogues with senior
executives, self-awareness tools and exercises, workshops, work experiences and
mentoring.
Development for Indigenous employees: The department created the new
position of Indigenous Development Coordinator in the People Management

275
Branch. The coordinator
commenced in July 2006
to support and promote
recruitment, career
development, and retention
of Indigenous employees.
The department held a
two-day conference for
Indigenous employees
in Darwin in April 2007.
The conference provided
an opportunity for the
Participants at the Indigenous employees conference in department’s Indigenous
Darwin.
employees to discuss
employment and career
development issues. Thirty-five Indigenous employees from Canberra, Hobart,
Melbourne, Port Hedland and from Booderee, Uluru–Kata Tjuta and Kakadu
national parks attended the conference.
Executive conferences: The department held a conference for section directors
in late 2006 allowing them to network, share their experience and clarify their role
and its importance in delivering departmental outcomes. Workshops and training
were also provided.
The department also held a conference in September 2006 for portfolio senior
executive service employees to discuss key challenges and emerging issues.
Managing the department

Rewards and recognition


The department participated in formal Australian Public Service-wide recognition
programmes as well as celebrating department-wide employee excellence by
recognising outstanding team and individual performance.
Eighteen Australia Day Achievement Awards were presented to individuals and
teams within the portfolio at the department’s 2007 Australia Day award ceremony.
Human resources

Three of the department’s employees also received Australia Day Achievement


Awards from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. These awards
were for their contribution to the Low Emission Technology Demonstration Fund.
In August 2006, the minister presented 15 awards in recognition of outstanding
team and individual achievements in the portfolio.
Outstanding work was also recognised at a divisional level with individuals and
teams being rewarded with certificates for their contribution to the work and
outcomes of the division.

276 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Public Service Medal for Gerard Early
Mr Gerard Early, acting deputy secretary was awarded
a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2007
Honours List for outstanding public service in the
protection and conservation of Australia’s natural
environment and cultural heritage.
The award acknowledges Mr Early’s key leadership
role in improving the effectiveness and efficiency
of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999, through amendments passed
by parliament in December 2006. His analysis of the improvements that could
be made to the Act and subsequent oversight of the legislative amendments
through the relevant government approval processes were exemplary.
Mr Early worked successfully with other departments, key industry sectors
and public interest groups to deliver a more robust and streamlined
environment protection regime that recognises the impact of timeliness and
cost on business.

Australian Antarctic Medal for Sharon Labudda


The Australian Antarctic Medal,
established in 1987, is an award
in the Meritorious Service

Managing the department


Awards category of the Australian
Honours System. The Australian
Antarctic Medal replaced the
(British) Imperial Polar Medal and
its variations which date back to
1857 for service in the Arctic and
Antarctic regions.
Human resources

Ms Sharon Labudda, an Aircraft Ground Ms Sharon Labudda was awarded


Support Officer with Australia’s Antarctic
programme, has been awarded this year’s
the 2007 Australian Antarctic Medal
Antarctic Medal. Photo: Glenn Jacobson for her exceptional contribution
to air operations in Antarctica.
Ms Labudda was the first Aircraft Ground Support Officer employed by
the Australian Antarctic Division when fixed-wing aircraft operations were
introduced within Antarctica during the 2003–04 season. Since that time,
Ms Labudda has worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth and safe operation of
air services between Australia’s Antarctic stations and field locations.

277
Work–life balance
The department remains committed to the work–life balance of its employees.
The department’s collective agreement offers a range of leave provisions which
assist employees to meet commitments outside work.
A childcare facility is planned for inclusion in the new office to be built to house
the department. The new office will be ready for occupation in 2011. In the
meantime, the department is reviewing options identified in a feasibility study to
further assist in this area.
The department involves its employees in decision-making processes through
informal and formal mechanisms such as workshops, surveys, the department’s
Consultative Committee and related divisional consultative committees.

Employee survey
The department held its second online employee survey in 2006–07 in which over
72 per cent of employees participated. The survey measured levels of employee
satisfaction with the department across a range of areas including information
technology infrastructure and support, performance and workload management,
employee recruitment practices, management and leadership, and learning and
development.
There were improvements in employee satisfaction over the 2004 employee
survey on 76 per cent of questions. The survey provided individual reports to each
division and branch. This information is being used by divisions and branches
to develop and tailor their improvement plans and to address specific concerns
Managing the department

raised by employees in particular work groups.

Recruitment and orientation


This year the department put in place a new online recruitment product which
streamlines the way applicants apply for positions in the department and how
applications are processed. The online recruitment gateway is located on the
Human resources

department’s website.

Occupational health and safety


The department’s occupational health and safety policy aims to provide and
maintain a safe and healthy workplace in line with the requirements of the
Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991. The department works to achieve high
standards of occupational health and safety in all its work locations and operations
by providing a safe system of work to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

278 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The department’s occupational health and safety committees meet regularly to
address strategic and site specific issues.
A health and safety network operates throughout the department. On
appointment, all health and safety representatives undergo Comcare-approved
training.

Reports under section 68 of the Act


Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 relates to the
requirement for employees to report to Comcare accidents or incidents that cause
death or serious personal injury or incapacity, or that are otherwise dangerous.
This year 16 accidents or incidents were reported to Comcare: four from Canberra
workplaces; eight from Parks Australia remote workplaces; and four from the
Australian Antarctic Division.

Investigations
One external investigation by Comcare relating to a vehicle rollover incident was
conducted. No directions were issued under section 45 of the Occupational
Health and Safety Act 1991. Two notices were issued by Comcare under section
47 of the Act relating to the vehicle incident.
An investigation regarding a water contamination incident that occurred in
2005–06 was concluded in 2006–07 and the department responded to the
satisfaction of Comcare.
One internal investigation into hydrogen sulfide exposures was conducted.

Managing the department


Agreements with employees
The department has an occupational health and safety policy and agreement which
covers all aspects of its work other than its Antarctic operations. The Australian
Antarctic Division has a separate agreement in light of the specialised occupational
health and safety challenges faced by expeditioners and others working in the
Antarctic.
Human resources

The department is now developing health and safety management arrangements


in compliance with the legislative requirements of the amended Occupational
Health and Safety Act 1991, enacted in March 2007.

Compensation and rehabilitation


Under the rehabilitation policy and guidelines, the department continued to
provide support for injured and ill employees and provided an early-return-to-
work programme.

279
The following table summarises compensation and rehabilitation activities.

Measure Results 2006–07

Number of claims lodged with 62 claims, including 14 from the Australian Antarctic Division
Comcare

Early-return-to-work plans in place for 14 plans, including 2 from the Australian Antarctic Division
injured staff

Response to workers compensation All new claims were responded to, with 6 being referred to an approved
claims rehabilitation provider for the management of an early-return-to-work
plan. Of these 6 claims, 5 of the employees returned to work

Routine support for employees


The following measures are routine support that the department provides for its
employees.

Measure Results 2006–07

Orientation sessions to inform 228 employees from the department attended orientation sessions,
new and ongoing employees of and all new employees of the Australian Antarctic Division attended
occupational health and safety orientation sessions
legislation, responsibilities and
Supervisors and managers in the Australian Antarctic Division attended
procedures
general training, incident analysis and asbestos awareness training
All employees in the department (except the Australian Antarctic
Division) are required to complete an online occupational health and
safety training programme called SAFETRAC. Special face-to-face
SAFETRAC training was presented by a consultant to employees with
limited literacy or computer skills
Managing the department

Training for first aid officers, health and 60 first aid officers and 10 park rangers were trained in first aid;
safety representatives and workplace 16 health and safety representatives received appropriate training;
contact officers 12 Workplace Contact Officers were trained. All wintering Antarctic
expeditioners attended first aid training
One new Australian Antarctic Division health and safety representative
undertook training. All other health and safety representatives and first
aid officers held existing qualifications

Ergonomic and work station 363 work station assessments were conducted for the department
assessments by in-house and external and 32 in-house work station assessments were conducted for the
Human resources

occupational therapists Australian Antarctic Division

Reimbursement of the costs of being All Antarctic expeditioners have hearing tests as part of their
screened for skin cancer and hearing recruitment medical
loss, for field-based employees

Employees Assistance Programme, 218 new appointments were made with Davidson Trahaire Corpsych,
which is also available to the families the department’s provider and 29 people used OSA Group, the
of employees Australian Antarctic Division’s provider

Testing of electrical equipment in the 1,807 items were tested


Canberra offices

280 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Other measures
Other measures the department undertook during the year to ensure the health,
safety and welfare of employees and contractors are as follows:
t NBEFBWBJMBCMFBOPOMJOFPDDVQBUJPOBMIFBMUIBOETBGFUZJOGPSNBUJPOTZTUFN
called SAFETYINFO which is a one-stop shop containing policies, procedures
and forms
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GPS
employees working in the Parks Australia Division
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and safety and emergency procedures for non-ongoing employees
t DPOUJOVFEUPEFWFMPQ4BGFUZ4VJUF BOPOMJOFPDDVQBUJPOBMIFBMUIBOETBGFUZ
management system, due for launch in August 2007
t DPNNFODFEBOPDDVQBUJPOBMIFBMUIBOETBGFUZTFNJOBSTFSJFTGPSBMMFNQMPZFFT
(available through video conferencing to remote areas) on such topics as
changes to legislation and health related issues
t FOHBHFEBDPOTVMUBOUUPBVEJUPDDVQBUJPOBMIFBMUIBOETBGFUZQPMJDJFT 
procedures and their implementation across all areas of the department.
The consultant is due to report by 19 November 2007.
The Australian Antarctic Division:
t DPOUJOVFEUPJNQSPWFPDDVQBUJPOBMIFBMUIBOETBGFUZNBOBHFNFOUTZTUFNT
through the use of division-wide and branch action plans. Plans are regularly
reviewed and assessed against key performance indicators
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t VOEFSUPPLJOUFSOBMTBGFUZBVEJUTBOEJODSFBTFEUIFOVNCFSPGKPCTBGFUZ

Managing the department


analyses
t EFWFMPQFETUBOEBSEPQFSBUJOHQSPDFEVSFTGPSBSBOHFPGBDUJWJUJFT
t DPOUJOVFECSBODIPDDVQBUJPOBMIFBMUIBOETBGFUZDPNNJUUFFT5IFDPNNJUUFFT
are working to, and monitoring, agreed action plans
t JOJUJBUFEXPSLQMBDFIFBMUIQSPNPUJPOBDUJWJUJFT JODMVEJOH$PSQPSBUF$IBMMFOHF 
lunchtime yoga and tai chi.
Human resources

Commonwealth Disability Strategy


The Commonwealth Disability Strategy is a framework for Australian Government
departments to help them improve access for people with disabilities to
government programmes, services and facilities. The strategy includes a
performance reporting framework built around the five key roles of government:
policy adviser, regulator, purchaser, provider and employer. Departments must
report on their performance in implementing the strategy in their annual reports.
The department’s performance is summarised in the following table.

281
Department’s performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy

Performance indicator Results 2006–07

Policy adviser

New or revised policy/programme The department’s disability action plan 2004–2006 is being revised
proposals assess the impact on the to ensure that the department continues to meet the performance
lives of people with disabilities prior reporting requirements established by the Commonwealth Disability
to decision Strategy
The plan applies to all employees, contractors, and clients of the
department

People with disabilities are included The current disability action plan provides a checklist for developing
in consultation about new or revised reports, policies and procedures on consultation with people with
policy/ programme proposals disabilities

Public announcements of new The Community Information Unit provides access to information on
or proposed policy/programme the department’s activities
initiatives are available in accessible
The department maintains extensive websites where documents are
formats for people with disabilities
available in PDF and html format. The department’s website meets
the Australian Government online standards that relate to access for
people with disabilities (www.environment.gov.au/about/accessibility.
html). The website has been developed to display adequately on all
commonly used browsers and to work effectively with accessibility
hardware and/or software
The department makes online resources accessible to people with
technical constraints, such as old browsers and low speed internet
connections
For technical reasons and to meet some legal requirements, the
department’s website has a limited number of documents that cannot
be provided in the preferred HTML format. In such cases, contact
details have been provided for their supply in alternative formats
Managing the department

Regulator role

Publicly available information on Legislation is accessible via the internet


regulations and quasi-regulations (www.environment.gov.au/about/legislation.html)
is available in accessible formats for
Legislative instruments are accessible via the internet
people with disabilities
(www.comlaw.gov.au)
Publicly available regulatory
Additional fact sheets are available on request from the Community
compliance reporting is available in
Information Unit
accessible formats for people with
disabilities Administrative instruments are available in the Australian Government
Human resources

(B[FUUF BOEXIFSFSFRVJSFEPOUIFEFQBSUNFOUTXFCTJUF
The department responds to specific requests by fax, email or post

282 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Department’s performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy (continued)

Performance indicator Results 2006–07

Purchaser role

Processes for purchasing goods and The department’s procurement policies are consistent with the
services with a direct impact on the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
lives of people with disabilities are
developed in consultation with people
with disabilities

Purchasing specifications and contract The department’s procurement guidelines complement the
requirements for the purchase of Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, January 2005, and are
goods and/or services are consistent consistent with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
with the requirements of the Disability
Long and short form contracts make reference to the Disability
Discrimination Act 1992
Discrimination Act 1992. The department’s request for tender template
does not make reference to the Act

Publicly available information on The department’s procurements valued at $80,000 or more are
agreed purchase specifications is advertised and are available for download on AusTender, which meets
provided in accessible formats for the Australian Government online standards that relate to access for
people with disabilities people with disabilities

Complaints/grievance mechanisms, The department has a complaints and grievance mechanism in place
including access to external in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines
mechanisms, are available to address
issues and concerns about purchasers’
performance

Provider role

Mechanisms are in place for quality Information on parks and reserves is available in accessible formats
improvement and assurance on the department’s website (www.environment.gov.au/parks/
commonwealth) and in hard copy from park management
Wheel-chair access is provided in some parks for people with a

Managing the department


disability. However, physical access to the terrestrial reserves varies
according to the nature of the terrain

Service charters have been developed The department’s service charter commits the department to be
that specify the roles of the provider respectful and sensitive to the needs of all clients
and consumer and adequately reflect
the needs of people with disabilities

Complaints/grievance mechanisms, A client service officer is available to accept feedback and coordinate
including access to external the department’s response to members of the public who raise
Human resources

mechanisms, are available to address concerns about service standards. There were no disability related
concerns raised about performance complaints in 2006–07

283
Department’s performance in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy (continued)

Performance indicator Results 2006–07

Employer role

Recruitment information for Applicants are requested to advise whether they require accessible
potential job applicants is available in formats when preparing their application. Applicants are also asked to
accessible formats on request advise whether they require special arrangements for them during the
recruitment process

Agency recruiters and managers The department’s recruitment and selection policy requires recruiters
apply the principle of reasonable and managers to apply this principle
adjustment

Training and development All managers are responsible for ensuring that the training and
programmes consider the needs of development needs of their employees are appropriately met
employees with disabilities

Training and development For in-house training, all internal and external providers must ensure
programmes include information on that disability issues are addressed in the delivery of their programmes
disability issues as they relate to the
Managers are responsible for monitoring whether information
content of the programmes
on disability issues is provided when referring staff to individual
programmes provided on the private market

Complaints or grievance mechanisms, The collective agreement 2006–2009 sets out complete procedures for
including access to external complaints and grievances. These procedures apply to all employees
mechanisms, are in place to address and situations
issues and concerns raised by staff
Managing the department
Human resources

284 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Finances
Financial performance
The department continues to perform strongly against its budget. Departmental
and administered expenses were $1,015.380 million. This is slightly lower than
expected (by $19.188 million or 1.85 per cent).
Outcome 1 recorded a $1.183 million deficit, which was slightly unfavourable
to the budget, primarily due to asset write-offs. Outcome 2 recorded a
$22.441 million deficit primarily due to end of year adjustments to the make good
provisions, asset write-offs and continuing increased operating costs such as fuel
and shipping.
The Natural Heritage Trust expended 100 per cent of its $312.5 million budget.
Other administered programmes were generally in line with budget expectations.
Two properties at Point Nepean Victoria and North Head in Sydney were
transferred to the department during the year which saw a $127.543 million
variance to the revenue budget.

Managing the department


Financecs

285
Summary of financial results

Department of the Environment and 2006 2007 2007 2007


Water Resources PSAES 1
Actuals Budget Actuals Variance
$000’s $000’s $000’s $000’s

Departmental Outcome 1 Revenue 277,375 292,765 292,148 (618)


Expenses (281,115) (291,302) (293,331) (2,029)
Surplus/(Deficit) (3,740) 1,463 (1,183) (2,646)

Departmental Outcome 2 Revenue 98,623 101,870 105,329 3,459


Expenses (124,106) (123,966) (127,770) (3,804)
Surplus/(Deficit) (25,483) (22,096) (22,441) (345)

Total departmental Revenue 375,998 394,635 397,477 2,841


Expenses (405,220) (415,268) (421,101) (5,833)
Surplus/(Deficit) (29,220) (20,633) (23,624) (2,991)

Administered expenses, specific payments to the states and territories and special accounts

Administered expenses Revenue 13,078 8,110 136,554 128,444


Outcome 1 Expenses (154,672) (255,210) (238,820) 16,390

Administered expenses Revenues 0 0 0 0


Outcome 2 Expenses (320) (4,300) (1,300) 3,000

Section 32 water transfers Revenues 0 0 0 0


from PM&C and DAFF 2 Expenses 0 (2,712) (2,655) 57

Administered specific payments Revenues 7,948 3,892 5,239 1,347


to the states and territories and Expenses (346,112) (357,079) (351,504) 5,575
special accounts

Total administered Revenues 21,026 12,002 141,794 129,792


Expenses (501,104) (619,301) (594,280) 25,021
Managing the department

1 PSAES = Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates Statements


2 Transfers from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
under section 32 of the Financial Management Act 1997
Finances

286 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
The two comparison tables below explain the main features of the department’s
funding in 2006–07. The department’s funding is listed in more detail in the
summary resource tables on the following pages.

Comparison of departmental funding with budget and previous year

Funding class Revenues Expenses

Departmental Revenues increased from 2005–06 by Actuals increased from 2005–06 by


Outcome 1 $14.773 million due to: $12.216 million. This was due to additional
programme running costs associated with
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the initiatives described under revenues
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and
the Department of the Prime Minister Expenses are unfavourable to budget by
and Cabinet ($2.114 million) $2.029 million primarily due to one-off
obsolete asset write-offs
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($9.241 million)
t (SFBU#BSSJFS3FFG.BSJOF1BSL
($2.626 million)
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Departmental Revenues increased from 2005–06 by Expenses increased from 2005–06


Outcome 2 $6.706 million primarily due to an increase by $3.664 million due to additional
in baseline appropriation and revenue depreciation and amortisation and
receipts for additional cost recovered continuing cost pressures due to increases
programmes and insurance recoveries in logistics and fuel costs
Revenues are favourable to budget by Expenses are unfavourable to budget by
$3.459 million primarily due to additional $3.804 million price due to increases in
cost recoveries and insurance recoveries logistics and fuel costs
that were not budgeted

Managing the department


Financecs

287
Comparison of administered funding with budget and previous year

Funding class Revenues Expenses

Administered Amounts are greater than 2005–06 by Actual expenses are greater than 2005–06
Outcome 1 $123.476 million primarily due to assets by $84.148 million primarily due to the
recognised for the first time, i.e. the following measures:
properties of Point Nepean in Victoria
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and North Head in Sydney
Package ($33.287 million)
t $PNNVOJUZ8BUFS(SBOUT
($22.360 million)
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Facilities ($13.128 million)
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programme ($4.786 million)
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($4.403 million)
t $MJNBUF$IBOHF4DJFODF1SPHSBNNF
($1.834 million)
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These increases are offset by lower


spending than in 2005–06 in the following
programmes:
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($3.400 million)
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($2.100 million)
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Managing the department

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($1.135 million)
The favourable variance to budget by
$16.390 million is primarily due to the
Representative Areas Programme – Structural
Adjustment Package ($16.268 million)
assessments taking longer than expected

Administered Not applicable Expenses are greater than 2005–06 by


Finances

Outcome 2 $0.980 million due to the new measure to


restore Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica
The favourable variance to budget by
$3.000 million is primarily due to the Royal
Society of Victoria youth expedition to
Antarctica being delayed

Administered Not applicable Expenses are greater than 2005–06 by


Specific payment $5.392 million due to transfer of state and
to the states and territories monies from the Department of
special accounts Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry being
offset by a decrease in the Renewable
Remote Power Generation Programme

288 Department of the Environment and Water Resources Annual Report 2006–07
Summary resource tables

Key to column headings in the following tables


2006 Actuals Actual revenues and expenses for 2005–06 as at
30 June 2006
2007 PSAES Budget The department’s revised budget shown in the 2006–07
Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements plus adjustments
through the Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates
Statements
2007 Actuals Actual revenues and expenses for 2006–07 as at
30 June 2007
2007 Variance The difference between the revised budget and the actual
results for 2006–07, i.e. 2007 Actuals minus 2007 Budget

Managing the department


Financecs

289
Overview of financial results

Outcome 1 – Departmental resourcing 2006 2007 2007 2007


PSAES
Actuals Budget Actuals Variance
$000’s $000’s $000’s $000’s

Response to climate change Revenue 64,972 62,211 62,215 4


Expenses (64,029) (62,006) (62,810) (804)
Surplus/(Deficit) 943 206 (595) (801)

Conservation of the land and Revenue 96,947 89,016 88,225 (791)


inland waters Expenses (99,143) (88,620) (87,698) 922
Surplus/(Deficit) (2,196) 396 527 131

Conservation of the coasts and Revenue 29,530 31,452 31,887 435


oceans Expenses (30,512) (30,990) (31,382) (392)
Surplus/(Deficit) (982) 462 505 43

Conservation of natural, Revenue 23,398 23,569 23,557 (12)


Indigenous, and historic heritage Expenses (22,830) (23,452) (24,004) (552)
Surplus/(Deficit) 568 117 (447) (564)

Response to the impacts Revenue 62,528 84,404 84,150 (254)


of human settlements Expenses (64,601) (83,607) (84,845) (1,238)
Surplus/(Deficit) (2,073) 797 (695) (1,492)

Water resources