Department of the Environment

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Publications archive - Annual reports


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Environment Australia Annual Report 2001-02

Environment Australia, 2002
ISSN 1441-9335

Review of Performance - Outcome One: Environment (continued)
Land Management

agroforestry native tree plantings

Manage land resources sustainably

Environment Australia implements national programmes to manage Australia's land resources. Addressing Australia's critical salinity problem is a major focus.

In 2001-02 Environment Australia worked to sustainably manage Australia's land resources through the following programme:

Programmes to Sustainably Manage Australia's Land Resources

National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (Departmental output 1.8)

The National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality seeks to address two of the most critical issues facing Australia's environment, rural industries and regional communities.

Environment Australia is working in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia to implement the National Action Plan.

National Strategies and Projects are Developed and Implemented

To have the Intergovernmental Agreement for the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality signed by all jurisdictions; and to complete or significantly progress bilateral agreements for each state and territory to give effect to the Intergovernmental Agreement.


At 30 June 2002, all jurisdictions had signed the Intergovernmental Agreement. Bilateral agreements had been concluded with all states except Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. The bilateral agreement for the Northern Territory is agreed at officials level.

Bilateral and Regional Partnership Agreements Reflect the Objectives of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality

To ensure that bilateral and regional partnership agreements reflect the objectives of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, as articulated in the Intergovernmental Agreement.


All bilateral agreements finalised to date reflect the objectives of the Intergovernmental Agreement. Arrangements are in place to ensure that the regional plans and regional agreements are also consistent.

Jurisdictions Have in Place Regimes to Prohibit Land Clearing in Key Areas

To ensure that states and territories establish appropriate institutional and legal regimes to prohibit land clearing in areas that would lead to unacceptable land and water degradation, in accordance with the required timetable under the Intergovernmental Agreement.


Arrangements are in place to ensure that every bilateral agreement signed between the Commonwealth and states/territories relating to the National Action Plan sets out specific commitments for the implementation of agreed institutional and legal reforms to meet this objective, including a timetable that is consistent with the Intergovernmental Agreement. Bilateral agreements concluded to date require reporting on progress in this area.

Bilateral and Regional Agreements are Signed

To ensure that bilateral agreements are complete or significantly progressed for each state and territory; and that negotiations towards partnership agreements are commenced for all priority regions covered by a signed bilateral agreement.


Bilateral agreements, that set out in more detail the implementation arrangements for each state and territory, have been signed with New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. Bilateral agreements are still to be completed with Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Development of regional plans and associated investment strategies is well advanced in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Development of partnership agreements that will enable implementation of regional investment strategies has commenced in a number of regions.

Accredited Regional Plans are in Place

To assist the development and implementation of integrated regional/ catchment natural resource management plans.


The development of integrated natural resource management plans for accreditation progressed substantially in South Australia and Victoria during 2001-02, and evaluation of NSW catchment 'blueprints' for accreditation has commenced.

Capacity Building Initiatives for Natural Resource Management are Developed

To focus on investment in capacity building initiatives to underpin delivery of the National Action Plan.


Capacity building is integrated into all National Action Plan activities taking place and is being pursued multilaterally through a working group of the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council as well as on a state and regional basis. Funding provided in 2001-02 to Queensland, Victoria and South Australia has greatly contributed to capacity building. This includes foundation funding ($6.4 million) to assist regional bodies develop plans for accreditation, specific capacity building activities ($1.1 million) and priority projects ($10.4 million).

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

Environment Australia is the lead agency in the Commonwealth for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. A whole-of-government approach to Australia's participation in the convention is coordinated through an interdepartmental working group. Following the presentation by Environment Australia of Australia's first national report Australian Actions to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation to an intersessional meeting of parties in May 2001 in Bonn, Germany, Australia submitted its second report which is available on the internet. The second report will be considered at the 1st Meeting of the Committee to Review Implementation of the Convention scheduled for late 2002.

Environment Australia led the delegation to the 5th Conference of the Parties held in Geneva, November 2001. There was significant international interest in Australia's programme and research experience, and policy approaches to sustainable land and water management in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.