Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
ISSN 1441 9335
Executive summary (continued)
The Department of the Environment and Heritage is the lead agency delivering the Australian Government’s national environment and heritage legislation, policies and programmes.
The Australian Government’s environment and heritage portfolio includes the department and three statutory authorities (Director of National Parks, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Sydney Harbour Federation Trust), one statutory agency (Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator) and one executive agency (Bureau of Meteorology) that report separately on their performance.
As at 30 June 2006 the Department of the Environment and Heritage was made up of 13 divisions (see figure below).
In 2005–06 the Policy Coordination and Environment Protection Division was split into two divisions: the Policy Coordination Division and the Environment Quality Division. There were no other changes to the structure of the department in 2005–06.
The department focuses on matters of national environmental significance by:
- advising the Australian Government on its policies for protecting the environment and heritage
- administering environment and heritage laws, including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- managing the Australian Government’s main environment and heritage programmes including the $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust
- implementing an effective response to climate change
- representing the Australian Government in international agreements related to the environment and heritage and to Antarctica.
In its work the department looks for solutions that are efficient, equitable and feasible based on:
- understanding environmental problems using science
- adopting economic, regulatory or administrative instruments that can target environmental problems
- carrying out the Australian Government’s environmental and heritage policies and programmes in a way that supports the nation’s social and economic interests
- cooperating across all levels of government, with industry, with international partners, and with the community.