Highlights from the year in review:
- Released Australia’s sustainable population strategy on 13 May 2011.
- Completed the Building Better Regional Cities draft program guidelines and undertook detailed consultation with key stakeholders.
- 3 877 affordable rental properties made available under the National Rental Affordability Scheme with support for a further 19 072 dwellings, in line with the government’s target to deliver 35 000 dwellings by 30 June 2014.
- Secured 1 118 gigalitres of water entitlements which provide an average of 796 gigalitres of water for the environment each year.
- Sale of the first 749 reduced price lots/dwellings as a result of Housing Affordability Fund projects.
- Invested in a range of urban water infrastructure projects including stormwater harvesting and re-use, and recycling.
- Passing of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 by parliament on 22 June 2011.
- Inscription of Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia in the World Heritage List on 24 June 2011, bringing Australia’s places in the list to 19.
- Koongarra area added to the Kakadu World Heritage Area on 27 June 2011.
- Celebrated the inaugural Australian Heritage Week in April 2011, with some 321 events held across the nation.
- Signing of the Second Joint Understanding (2010–2015) on the Owen Stanley Ranges, Brown River Catchment and Kokoda Track Region by Australian and Papua New Guinea governments.
- Launch of the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy in partnership with states and territories during the International Year of Biodiversity.
- Declaration of five new Indigenous Protected Areas, covering 2.36 million hectares.
- Contributed 387 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water to rivers, wetlands and flood plains to deliver ecological benefits in the Murray-Darling Basin.
- Launched the draft Marine Bioregional Plan and Commonwealth marine reserve network proposal for the South-west Marine Region for public consultation on 5 May 2011.
- Added more than 4 200 species names and 370 families to the Australian Faunal Directory.
- Listed 28 species and two ecological communities for protection under the EPBC Act, with a further 12 species and 17 ecological communities undergoing assessment for possible listing at 30 June 2011.
- Completed the strategic assessment of the Midlands Water Scheme, a major new irrigation project in Tasmania.
- Participated in the meetings of all elements of the Antarctic Treaty system. Implemented Antarctic Treaty measures, proclaiming five new Antarctic Specially Protected Areas, three Antarctic Specially Managed Areas and three Historic Sites and Monuments, and declaring one Specially Protected Species.
- Invested in a wide range of irrigation modernisation projects, both on- and off-farm, across the Murray-Darling basin and beyond.
Summary of financial performance
During the 2010–11 financial year the department reported a break-even departmental operating result after excluding depreciation/amortisation and unfunded finance costs.
The department’s financial performance for the year reflected the result of a restructuring following administrative arrangements orders of 14 September 2010 which resulted in the transfer of responsibility for the following functions:
- transfer of the Arts and Culture function from the department to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- transfer of the Housing Affordability function from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to the department
- transfer of the Sustainable Population function from the Department of The Treasury to the department.
During this period, the department managed administered expenses on behalf of government of $1.28 billion which primarily related to grant payments and payment to CAC bodies, including a non-cash accounting adjustment for the write down and impairment of assets.
The department manages administered assets on behalf of government of $2.4 billion which largely comprised of water entitlement assets of $1.4 billion, investments in two other portfolio entities of $584 million and the department’s share of other property, plant and equipment in the River Murray Operations joint venture of $423 million.
The Australian National Audit Office audited the department’s 2010–11 financial statements and issued an unmodified audit opinion for these statements on 29 August 2011.Back to top