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Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2003-04

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2004
ISSN 1441 9335

Management and accountability (continued)

Support for environmental organisations

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. During 2003-04, it is estimated that the public donated more than $55 million to environmental tax-deductible organisations. These funds are used to protect and enhance the natural environment. Sixty-nine applications were processed for entry to the register during 2003-04. Sixteen organisations were entered on the register and three organisations were removed. Registration is a slow process: some organisations take a long time to meet the requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and the Treasury is now obliged to assess the revenue implications of listing new organisations in the register.

Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations

The Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations programme is directed to community-based environment and heritage groups to assist with the administrative costs of the activities. In 2003-04, 66 organisations met the eligibility criteria and were recommended to receive funding. Under the programme, $858 890 was allocated, with all funding offers accepted and all grants paid.

The National Environment Consultative Forum

The National Environment Consultative Forum provides an opportunity for 35 peak environmental organisations to hold discussions with the Minister and the Department on a range of environmental issues.

The forum met twice in 2003-04. A small meeting was convened in November 2003, where, for the first time, the forum was provided with the opportunity to suggest to the Minister priorities for the next budget. A full meeting was held in June 2004 and discussed a very broad range of environmental issues including water initiatives, greenhouse, sustainable cities, toxics, marine fisheries, oceans policy, and legislation.

Forum members also participated in a briefing on the environment budget held on Budget night (11 May 2004), hosted by the Department.

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