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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2002-03

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISSN 1441 9335

Management and accountability (continued)

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

The Department has developed a draft Disability Action Plan to meet the needs of people with disabilities in accordance with the roles identified by the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. The Department and the AAD fulfil the five core roles performed by Australian Government organisations - policy adviser, regulator, purchaser, provider and employer.

Policy adviser

In the policy adviser role, the Department advises the Australian Government on policies and programs for the protection and conservation of the environment, including natural and cultural heritage places.

The Department makes media statements via electronic and print media and the media centre web site ( All media statements include a contact for further information, and information can also be obtained through the Community Information Unit.


In its regulatory role, the Department administers environmental laws including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. It is also responsible for Australia's participation in a number of international environmental agreements.

Information on legislation is accessible to the public through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act web site (, brochures and fact sheets provided on request by the Community Information Unit.

Public notifications are made via the Australian Government Gazette and, depending on the needs of the persons requesting the information, specific requests may be responded to by fax, email or normal postal services.

Under section 170A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act the Department is required to notify specific decisions, opportunities for comment and information made in the preceding week via the internet ( Notices about referrals, assessments and approvals (the section 170A notices) can be accessed from this site. Contact details to access information are offered on the internet in the limited cases where high cost or technical difficulties mean that accessibility guidelines cannot be adequately met.

Preparation of an annual report on the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is required under the Act. The 2002-03 annual report is available via the Department's web site in an accessible format.


The Department meets the purchaser role through the Natural Heritage Trust, which is a purchaser of environmental improvement services from local and state governments and community organisations.

Detailed information on all facets of the Natural Heritage Trust, including how to apply for funding, is available in accessible formats through the Department's web site ( The web site provides a range of contacts, including toll-free national telephone numbers as well as details of state/regional coordinators and facilitators.


In the provider role, Parks Australia and the Marine and Water Division within the Department managed Commonwealth parks, reserves and protected areas including Kakadu, Uluru - Kata Tjuta, Booderee, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and Cocos Island national parks. Access is provided to these parks and reserves for tourism and recreation. Information regarding parks and reserves is available in accessible formats on the Department's web site ( and in hard copy from the parks.

Given the nature of the terrain, access for people with a disability to the parks and reserves varies. Plans of management are developed through consultative processes and address current and proposed levels of accessibility.


In the employer role, employment policies, procedures and practices of the Department and the AAD comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Recruitment information is available in electronic formats and contact details are provided should special assistance be required ( The principle of reasonable adjustment is applied within the Department and the AAD. Training and development programs are accessible to employees with disabilities and where appropriate contain information on disability issues. Complaints and grievance mechanisms are in place and available to all employees.

Many of the Department's activities, including its roles as policy adviser, regulator, purchaser and employer, are reflected in the Department's and the AAD's extensive web sites ( and The Department's web site is maintained to meet the Australian Government Online standards that relate to access for people with disabilities ( For technical reasons and to meet some legal requirements, the Department's web site 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.