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Department of the Environment and Heritage annual report 2005–06

Volume one
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
ISSN 1441 9335

Outcome 1 - Environment (continued)

Heritage

The Department of the Environment and Heritage identifies, protects and conserves Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, including Indigenous and historic heritage.

Main responsibilities for this output

Heritage Division

Objectives

Results 2005–06

World, national and Commonwealth heritage

Australia’s world, national and Commonwealth heritage places may be of natural, Indigenous or historic significance or any combination of these types. Heritage places are important to Australia’s sense of national identity and shared values. Protecting them benefits future generations as well as the present community.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage approved new strategic directions for heritage which place a priority on building the reputation and management of Australia’s national heritage through a combination of legislative amendment, increased emphasis on telling heritage stories, and improving the sustainability of national heritage places. The new strategic directions emphasise a broad engagement of heritage in the life of the community.

The Australian Government’s main legislation for protecting heritage places is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Act protects the heritage values of places that are included in the following lists:

The department manages the processes set up by the Act, provides heritage listing advice to the government, and advises property managers on their heritage management plans and strategies. The department supports the Australian Heritage Council in its assessment, advice and public information and awareness activities. These activities are largely funded through the Distinctively Australian Measure ($52.6 million from 2003–2007) and the National Heritage Investments Initiative ($10.5 million from 2005–2009).

World heritage listings

Only national governments can nominate a place for inclusion in the World Heritage List. The World Heritage Committee then decides whether to inscribe the nominated place on the list. Australia now has 16 world heritage areas.

In January 2006 the Australian Government, with the support of the New South Wales Government, nominated the Sydney Opera House to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. The nomination argued that the Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece of human creative genius and therefore has outstanding universal value.

A nomination to inscribe Australian convict sites was discussed with state and territory governments and key stakeholders. With the support of relevant states, the department aims to finalise the nomination in 2007. The nomination will include the Port Arthur Historic Site and Fremantle Prison which are already in the National Heritage List. Other sites in the proposed nomination are being considered for national heritage listing.

National and Commonwealth heritage listings

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage decides whether to include places in the national or Commonwealth heritage lists. In 2005–06 the minister received 60 public nominations for the National Heritage List, with 21 new places added to the list (see map below). Three places were added to the Commonwealth Heritage List.

After the second full year of operation of the national and Commonwealth heritage provisions of the Act, Australia had 31 national heritage places and 339 Commonwealth heritage places. All states and territories now have places in the National Heritage List. Most of the places in the Commonwealth Heritage List have been listed for historic heritage values.

Unless operating under the emergency provisions, before listing a place the minister must first consider an assessment of its heritage values by the Australian Heritage Council. The council is an independent body appointed in February 2004 to provide the government with advice on a wide range of heritage matters.

Location of national heritage places listed in 2005–06

Location of national heritage places listed in 2005–06

The council also maintains the Register of the National Estate, which the minister must take into account when making decisions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

A departmental review of the National Heritage List in August 2005 concluded that public nominations alone will not bring forward all high profile or iconic places for assessment. The Australian Heritage Council subsequently initiated assessments of places that were not nominated by the public. In 2005–06 the first such assessments were completed and the places listed by the minister. These were the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the sites of the 1629 Batavia shipwreck and survivors’ camps, and the Australian War Memorial and Memorial Parade.

The department uses its Australian Natural Heritage Assessment Tool to help assess the natural heritage values of potential heritage places. The department received international funding from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to develop a simple version of the tool to run on the internet for public use. The new version, called the Biodiversity Assessment Tool, received international recognition with officers from the department being invited to demonstrate the tool to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Governing Board in Stockholm in October 2005 and in March 2006 to the National Institute of Genetics in Japan, where the system has been installed to analyse Japanese biodiversity information.

The Biodiversity Analysis Tool is available via www.abif.org/tools.htm.

Emergency listings

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage can decide to emergency list a place that may have national or Commonwealth heritage values that are under threat. A decision to emergency list a place is not necessarily permanent as the Australian Heritage Council must follow up any emergency listing with a detailed assessment.

During 2005–06 the minister received requests to emergency list eight places in the National Heritage List. The minister rejected two of these because he was not satisfied that national heritage values existed. Three were not listed because the minister was not satisfied that there were threats to any national heritage values that the places may have. The remainder are awaiting further information from applicants.

Details on the reasons for the minister’s decisions are available from the Australian heritage database at www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl and the heritage notices website at www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/epbc/heritage_ap.pl.

National and Commonwealth heritage management

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 provides for the preparation of a management plan for each national heritage place. For national heritage places not wholly owned or controlled by the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth must use its best endeavours to ensure a plan is prepared and implemented in cooperation with the relevant state or territory. For national heritage places wholly within a Commonwealth area, the Act requires the Minister for the Environment and Heritage to make a written management plan for each such place as soon as practicable after listing or when the place comes under Commonwealth control. These management plans must comply with the Regulations under the Act, including consistency with the national heritage management principles.

In 2005–06 three historic heritage places included in the National Heritage List were wholly in Commonwealth ownership. Management plans for these places will be prepared as soon as practicable.

This year the department funded a study into whether current management plans for Australian world heritage places and national heritage places satisfy the requirements of the Act. The study will identify which plans comply with the requirements and which ones need amendment to make them comply with the national heritage management principles. A revised management plan consistent with the national heritage principles is currently being developed for the Brewarrina Fishtraps.

The Act also requires each Commonwealth agency that owns or controls places in the Commonwealth Heritage List to prepare a written heritage strategy for managing those places to protect and conserve their Commonwealth heritage values. Heritage strategies must be prepared within two years of the agency first owning a Commonwealth heritage place, or by 1 January 2006, whichever is later.

Six1 Commonwealth agencies completed their heritage strategy within the statutory timeframe. The department expects a further 18 Commonwealth agencies to complete their strategies during 2006–07. The department has reminded other Commonwealth agencies of their obligations.

The minister found the six strategies were satisfactory. These agencies have started to prepare management plans. The department received one draft management plan for review in 2005–06.

Productivity Commission inquiry

During the year the department made three submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the policy framework and incentives for the conservation of Australia’s historic built heritage. The Productivity Commission tabled its report in parliament in July 2006. The government will develop a response to the report in 2006–07.

Cooperative National Heritage Agenda

In May 2002 the Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to a proposal to develop an integrated national heritage policy agenda covering natural, Indigenous and historic heritage. Work completed to date includes the National Heritage Protocol, the Action Plan for Reconciliation, and several papers on heritage incentives and sustainable heritage tourism. While some aspects of the work have progressed, the overarching policy agenda remains incomplete. Governments have agreed to step up efforts to complete the policy agenda.

In June 2006 the Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to the Cooperative National Heritage Agenda which will consist initially of the following elements:

Indigenous heritage

The department works with other government agencies and the community to protect the cultural heritage of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. This work includes providing advice on proposals referred under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, supporting projects for the identification, conservation or promotion of Indigenous heritage, and providing emergency protection to areas and objects of cultural and traditional significance in Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act

Under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 the Minister for the Environment and Heritage can protect places and objects that have a traditional significance for Indigenous peoples from threats of injury or desecration. This is ‘last resort’ protection that may only be given when there is no effective protection under state or territory laws.

Since 1987 Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria has been protected under Part IIA of the Act. These are special provisions that apply only to Victoria. They are administered by the Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (with powers delegated from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage). During the year the department worked with the Victorian Government on legislative amendments to transfer direct responsibility for primary protection to Victoria. At 30 June 2006 these amendments were being considered by parliament.

In 2005–06 the department advised the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on two applications continuing from the previous year, and on six new matters. The six new matters involved applications for emergency and longer-term protection to places in the Perth metropolitan area. Four applications related to a desalination plant at Cockburn Sound and two related to a school at Lake Monger. The matters continuing from the previous year were for longer-term protection of an area near Broome in Western Australia and for Wongi Waterholes near Hervey Bay in Queensland. After considering the applications, the minister decided not to make the emergency or longer-term declarations sought in the applications.

The department continued to monitor compliance with a 20-year declaration under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 for Junction Waterhole in Alice Springs. The declaration will expire in 2012.

Indigenous Heritage Programme

The department administers the Australian Government’s Indigenous Heritage Programme (formerly the Preservation and Protection of Indigenous Heritage Programme run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services until 2004). The Indigenous Heritage Programme supports the identification, conservation, and promotion (where appropriate) of the Indigenous heritage values of places important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The programme also assists in the identification of places likely to have outstanding Indigenous heritage value to Australia; that is, places of national heritage significance suitable for inclusion in the National Heritage List.

During the year the department received 143 applications seeking a total of approximately $12 million in funding for the $3.5 million available in 2005–06. The minister approved the funding of more than 60 projects across Australia, including identification of Indigenous heritage, conservation of Indigenous heritage sites, small-scale Indigenous heritage related business activities, construction of places for keeping Indigenous heritage items and sharing Australian Indigenous heritage.

Restoration of the historic church at Raukkan (Port McLeay) in South Australia, which features on the Australian $50 note, is being funded by the Indigenous Heritage Programme through a Shared Responsibility Agreement with the Raukkan community.

Restoration of the historic church at Raukkan (Port McLeay) in South Australia, which features on the Australian $50 note, is being funded by the Indigenous Heritage Programme through a Shared Responsibility Agreement with the Raukkan community. Photo: Brian Prince

Examples of funded projects in 2005–06 include $50 000 for a management plan to conserve and rehabilitate the Brewarrina Fish Traps (New South Wales); $90 363 to identify and record Indigenous heritage sites on Jawoyn lands, including identifying tourism opportunities (Northern Territory); $100 000 for the assessment of cave and engraving sites in Tasmania; and $60 000 for the restoration of the Karalundi Mission building for use as a museum (Western Australia).

Six Indigenous heritage projects are being supported under the Indigenous Heritage Programme through shared responsibility agreements with Indigenous communities. These are agreements for the provision of services to Indigenous communities under the Australian Government’s new arrangements for Indigenous affairs, and involve both government and community contributions to achieve improved outcomes.

The projects are:

Asia–Pacific world heritage managers

The Asia–Pacific Focal Point for World Heritage Managers is a regional network of world heritage managers established to share experience, knowledge and resources between countries in the region (see www.heritage.gov.au/apfp). Through this network the department supports activities for implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the Asia–Pacific region.

During the year the department supported six activities and projects, including funding for an Australian Research Council linkage grant to the University of Sydney to map the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, which will help in the development of a comprehensive management plan.

Regional Natural Heritage Programme

The government established the $10 million Regional Natural Heritage Programme to conserve biodiversity hotspots in South-East Asia and the Pacific in February 2004. Under this programme the department helps countries in the Asia–Pacific region manage sites with high biodiversity (biodiversity hotspots) and protect habitats that are under threat. The programme is helping to conserve the habitat of some of the world’s most threatened species, including the Sumatran tiger and Vietnam’s black crested gibbon.

The four-year programme provides grants to non-government organisations and other agencies. Fifteen projects approved in 2004–05 totalling $4.4 million were implemented during 2005–06 and six new projects totalling $1 million were approved and implemented. These projects include strengthening local management of coral reefs in five marine protected areas in eastern Indonesia; conserving biodiversity in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Luzon Island in the Philippines; conserving the golden headed langur (an endangered primate species) on Cat Ba Island, Vietnam; conserving the Scott’s tree kangaroo in the Torricelli Mountain Range in Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea; conserving marine biodiversity in Votua village, Fiji; and protecting coral reefs in the central provinces of Vietnam.

Chinese world heritage

This year the department helped to develop heritage management principles (the Illustrated China Principles), including a training manual, for application to two world heritage sites at Mogao and Chengde in China. The department’s partners in this project are the Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the Getty Conservation Institute. The department presented the Illustrated China Principles at a meeting of the International Council on Monuments and Sites in China in October 2005.

Historic shipwrecks

The department administers the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 and the Historic Shipwrecks Programme. During 2005–06 the department provided $400 000 to the states, the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island to administer the Act, and for projects aimed at protecting, preserving and monitoring historic shipwrecks. Projects include location and protection of the anchor from the French exploration vessel Le Casuarina, lost at sea in 1803, and a permanent shipwrecks display at the Low Head Pilot Station museum.

On 14 August 2005, the government announced a grant of $1.3 million to HMAS Sydney Search Pty Ltd to assist in the search for HMAS Sydney (II), which was lost off the Western Australian Coast in November 1941 along with 645 crewmen.

Australia’s maritime heritage

The minister selected coastal and maritime heritage as the theme for 2006 to mark the 400th anniversary of the first European contact with Australia. This theme will encourage a better appreciation of the early maritime exploration of Australia by focusing on the significant heritage places, including European settlements, Indigenous sites, and Macassan (Indonesian) sites; and the historic buildings, wharves and jetties, lighthouses, coastal defence installations and shipwrecks that dot Australia’s coastline.

The department published Great southern land: the maritime exploration of Terra Australis by Dr Michael Pearson. The book tells the story of the maritime investigation and mapping of the Australian coastline from the 16 century to the present day.

The Duyfken.

The Duyfken. Photo: Mark Mohell

This year two places associated with early European maritime exploration were included in the National Heritage List: Cape Inscription in Western Australia, where Captain Dirk Hartog landed in October 1616, and the site of the 1629 shipwreck and survivor camps of the Dutch ship Batavia. The Batavia is the oldest of the known Dutch East India Company wrecks on the coast of Western Australia.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first documented European contact with Australia when Willem Janszoon and his crew on the Duyfken mapped 350 kilometres of Australia’s coastline, the Australian Government sponsored the voyage of the 1606–2006 Duyfken replica built in Fremantle in 1999. The 10-month voyage is providing a rare opportunity for Australians to experience life as it would have been on a late 16th century vessel and to learn more about our nation’s important maritime heritage.

Protection of movable cultural heritage

The department administers the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986. This Act aims to prevent Australia’s cultural heritage from being significantly diminished due to the export of heritage objects and to protect the cultural heritage of other countries by preventing the illegal import of significant objects. The Act supports collecting institutions such as museums through the National Cultural Heritage Account.

This year the National Cultural Heritage Account supported a number of organisations including the School of Music at the Australian National University for the purchase of a circa 1880 Roenisch Concert Grand Piano, and the South Australian Museum for the purchase of an intact opalised Pascoe ichthyosaur fossil.

In July 2005 seven illegally imported ancient Egyptian funerary objects recovered under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 were returned to the Egyptian Government. The antiquities date from the Late Period of Egyptian history and are thought to be more than 2 500 years old. The objects included Shabtis (small funerary statuettes), amulets (magical charms for protection) and food bowls.

In September 2005 more than 10 000 illegally imported fossils were returned to the People’s Republic of China. These fossils included a keichosarus (a small marine reptile) that is 230-million-years-old, and mammal fossils around two million years old.

Results for 2005–06 are listed in the report on the operation of the Act in the second volume of this set of annual reports. The report lists objects acquired with assistance from the National Cultural Heritage Account, objects assessed during the year, and objects exported illegally from other countries and imported into Australia that were returned to their countries of origin.

Cultural heritage projects

National Heritage Investment Initiative

The National Heritage Investment Initiative is a $10.5 million grants programme over four years beginning in 2005–06. The programme provides assistance to restore and conserve Australia’s important historic heritage places. It focuses on places entered on either the National Heritage List or a state or territory government heritage register. Funding is not available for places owned by the Commonwealth.

The programme’s first round was conducted in 2005–06, with 373 applications seeking a total of $58.7 million in funding. The Minister for the Environment and Heritage approved funding totalling $3.6 million for 18 projects, including three projects for places in the National Heritage List. Examples of approved projects include conservation work on the national heritage listed Newman College, Victoria; conserving the historic fabric of the national heritage and world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne; work on the former St Matthew’s Church, Tasmania; conservation work on Fremantle Prison, Western Australia; and restoration work on the rare French faade of the Luna Park carousel organ, Melbourne.

Point Nepean Community Trust grant

The Point Nepean Defence Sites and Quarantine Station Area at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, were entered in the National Heritage List on 16 June 2006 in recognition of their outstanding heritage value. The Quarantine Station is managed by the Point Nepean Community Trust on behalf of the Commonwealth. In June 2006 the Australian Government provided $27 million to the trust to conserve heritage assets at the quarantine station, undertake infrastructure and building works, and provide for public access and interpretation works. The trust is working with the Victorian Government to develop a management plan to protect the heritage values of all of Point Nepean.

Grants for Conservation of Cathedrals and Churches

In 2005–06 grants totalling $11 million were approved for conservation works to six cathedrals and churches around the country. These consisted of $2 million to St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane; $2 million to St Mary Star of the Sea, Melbourne; $2 million to St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart; $1 million to the Basilica of St Patrick, Fremantle; $3 million to St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth; and $1 million to St George’s Cathedral, Perth.

National Trust Partnership Programme

The National Trust Partnership Programme supports activities of the National Trust to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of Australia’s cultural heritage, to enhance and promote its conservation.

The department paid $842 000 to Australia’s nine National Trusts in 2005–06. Payments supported the completion of a comprehensive database of endangered places, leading the International Trust movement to support emerging trusts in Asia, working on disability standards through the Australian Building Code for access to heritage buildings, raising awareness of maritime heritage and protecting significant coastal landscapes. Other projects involved developing heritage education programmes about National Trust properties for schools and training volunteers to coordinate and run programmes for schools and the public.

Sharing Australia’s Stories

This programme supports projects that showcase Australia’s distinctive national character and identity, especially projects that show how local stories have contributed to the great events and themes that have shaped our nation. The first round of the Sharing Australia’s Stories grants programme was run as a competitive grants programme. In 2005–06 a different approach was adopted for the second round.

The focus of the second round of the programme was on Australia’s coastal and maritime heritage. Funds were allocated by the minister to activities that support telling stories around this theme. A key example is the voyage of the Duyfken, marking the 400th anniversary of the first European contact with Australia. The Duyfken will visit 25 ports across Australia during her 10-month voyage and will be open for tours while in port. The Australian Government is the major sponsor for the voyage as part of its 2006 coastal and maritime heritage theme (see: Australia’s maritime heritage).

Gifts to the Nation

This programme provides one-off funding for appropriate projects promoting national heritage stories and newly listed national heritage places as a key component of the Australian Heritage Council’s public engagement activities.

Gift projects this year included an Australian Government contribution of $30 000 to a joint French–Australian archaeological investigation at Recherche Bay in Tasmania; a $100 000 gift to the Western Australian Museum for a range of products to interpret and promote the national heritage values of the Dirk Hartog landing site of 1616 at Cape Inscription, and to conduct survey work associated with the 1629 Batavia shipwreck and survivors’ camps on Houtman Abrolhos in Western Australia; $50 000 to the Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts for enhanced interpretation of the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct, highlighting the precinct’s national heritage values; $30 000 to the Murrindindi Shire for interpretation of the national heritage values of the Yea Baragwanathia Flora Fossil Site, Victoria; and $30 000 to the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) for interpretation of the national heritage values of Rippon Lea in Melbourne.

Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons

The Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons Programme aims to commemorate people, events and places of national historical significance. The programme funds projects such as erecting monuments, plaques and statues; exhibitions; surveys of historical sites; and curatorial work. In 2005–06 funds were provided to repair and maintain the graves of two former Australian prime ministers, Andrew Fisher (Hampstead Cemetery) and Sir George Reid (Putney Vale Cemetery) both in the United Kingdom.

Strengthening Tasmania—Low Head precinct

During 2005–06 the department paid $150 000 to refurbish a building dating from the 1860s in the historic Low Head precinct near Launceston, Tasmania.

Results for performance indicators
Performance indicator 2005–06 result
Protected heritage areas
Number of nominations for heritage listing assessed and decisions taken on listing 76 National Heritage List assessments have been provided to the minister by the Australian Heritage Council (39 in 2005–06)

22 Commonwealth Heritage List assessments have been provided to the minister by the Australian Heritage Council (6 in 2005–06)

80 National Heritage List decisions have been announced under the standard and emergency listing provisions (44 in 2005–06)

23 Commonwealth Heritage List decisions have been announced under the standard and emergency listing provisions (12 in 2005–06)
Total numbers of (i) world heritage areas, (ii) national heritage places, (iii) Commonwealth heritage places and (iv) declarations for protection of Indigenous heritage under Part II of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 i)   16
ii)   31
iii) 339
iv)   0
Number of (i) world heritage areas, (ii) national heritage places and (iii) Commonwealth heritage places with management plans in operation i)   15 have management plans. Heritage Victoria is currently preparing a management plan for the 16th area, the Royal Exhibition Building National Historic Place

ii)   3 historic places in Commonwealth ownership have management plans which will require review for EPBC Act requirements. It is still being determined how many other national heritage places not wholly in Commonwealth ownership have management plans

iii) 1 Commonwealth heritage place has a management plan in place and 1 other has a management plan for part of the place
Protected heritage objects
Number of assessments of protected objects completed and decisions on protection The minister made 14 decisions about 64 objects on temporary and permanent export permit applications
Heritage conservation
Provider role

Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%)
100%
Regulator role

Percentage of statutory timeframes triggered that are met (Target: >90%)
84%. Details and reasons are in volume 2, legislation annual reports
Sharing Australia’s Stories
Extent to which support has contributed to local stories that have shaped our nation The funded projects represent a range of stories concerning significant events and themes that have shaped the nation, with a variety of successful outputs including events, pamphlets, books and exhibitions
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 22
Gifts to the Nation
Extent to which the promotion of national heritage stories and newly listed national heritage places as a key component of the Australian Heritage Council’s public engagement activities is improved The minister has approved a range of Gifts to the Nation to assist in the promotion and management of newly listed national heritage places. These include contributing to a joint French–Tasmanian archaeological investigation of early exploration sites at Recherche Bay, Tasmania, and interpretation works at several places
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 8
Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons
Extent to which the commemoration of people, events and places of national historical significance is improved The minister has approved funding for repairs and maintenance to the graves of former prime ministers Andrew Fisher, at Hampstead Cemetery and Sir George Reid, at Putney Vale Cemetery, in Britain
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 2
National Trust Partnership Programme (administered item)
Extent to which National Trust activities support the new national heritage system The programme funds communication activities consistent with government themes; participation in the National Cultural Heritage Forum; support of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Unit’s Heritage Outreach Officer; and liaison with the legislative processes relating to the heritage lists and the operations of the EPBC Act
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 9
Regional Natural Heritage Programme (administered item)
Extent to which conservation of biodiversity hotspots in South-East Asia and the Pacific region is enhanced Over the 3 rounds of the programme a total of 23 projects have been approved to assist countries in the Asia–Pacific region manage sites with high biodiversity with a focus on the need to protect areas that are under threat (biodiversity hotspots)
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 23 (6 projects funded under the 2005–06 round)
Indigenous Heritage Programme (administered item)
Extent to which support for Indigenous people increases the awareness and management of Indigenous heritage nationally Funding of 61 projects across Australia, many of which focus on the interpretation of Indigenous heritage, has significantly increased the awareness and management of Indigenous heritage nationally
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 61
National Cultural Heritage Account (administered item)
Extent to which the preservation of heritage objects is increased by assisting their acquisition by Australian collecting institutions The account assisted the acquisition of 5 heritage objects by Australian collecting institutions in 2005–06, including Indigenous objects, heritage machinery, historic musical instruments and art, and has thereby helped to ensure their preservation, and access to the public within Australia, for the long term
Number of objects acquired 5
Protecting Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots (Daintree Conservation Initiative) (administered item)
Extent to which recovery of the cassowary and protection of Daintree lowlands is improved Under the Cassowary Conservation Project a desktop update of the North–South Cassowary Corridor Project has been completed

As at June 2006 a total of 57 hectares (on 12 properties) has been acquired under the Daintree Conservation Initiative. These properties are in prime cassowary habitat
Number of cassowary conservation activities funded 1. The biotropica research report was completed. It provides a framework to establish lowland habitat linkages for the southern cassowary between Cairns and Cardwell. Stakeholder meetings are due to be held to launch this framework plan. The plan is currently undergoing formal peer review
Number of rainforest conservation activities funded 12 high conservation value properties were acquired for a total of $1.267 million and planning work commenced for stewardship, publicity and education activities
Performance indicator 2005–06 result
National Heritage Investment Initiative (administered item)
Extent to which conservation of places of outstanding heritage value to the nation is improved, particularly places on the National Heritage list This was the first round of the programme and so no projects have been completed. Grants totalling $3.6 million were approved. The approved projects provide funding for restoration and conservation of a diverse range of places of national importance, varying from restoration of the art nouveau faade of the carousel organ at Luna Park, Melbourne, to restoration works on the walls of Fremantle Prison
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 18
Churches and cathedrals (administered item)
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Number of projects funded 5
HMAS Sydney II Search (administered item)
Contribution to the implementation and completion of sonar search HMAS Sydney II search has been re-scheduled to 2006–07 subject to HMAS Sydney Search Pty Ltd securing sponsorship required to commit to sonar search
Strengthening Tasmania—Low Head Precinct (administered item)
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Output 1.4—Conservation of natural, Indigenous and historic heritage
Percentage of payments that are consistent with the terms and conditions of funding (Target: 100%) 100%
Percentage of statutory timeframes triggered that are met (Target: >90%)(a) 84%. Details and reasons are given in the EPBC Act annual report
(a) Applies to areas that administer legislation, for example reporting timeframes triggered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Resources
Departmental outputs Budget prices
$’000
Actual expenses
$’000
Total (Output 1.4: Natural, Indigenous and historic heritage) 23 527 22 830
Administered items
Grants-in-Aid-National Trust
Regional Natural Heritage Programme
Maintenance and Protection of Indigenous Heritage Programme
National Cultural Heritage Account
Protecting Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspots (Daintree Conservation Initiative)
Strengthening Tasmania – Low Head Precinct
National Heritage Investment Initiative
Point Nepean Community Trust(a)
Churches and cathedrals
842
4 358
3 256
682
2 650
150
2 200
27 000
10 500
842
4 260
3 261
479
2 650
150
2 200
0
10 500
Total (Administered) 51 638 24 342
(a) In accordance with the government’s accrual accounting framework, the amount will be recorded as actual expenses when the Point Nepean Trust carries out the works it has been paid for.

Other annual reports providing information on this output

Annual report on the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 included in the second volume of this set of annual reports

Annual report on the operation of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 included in the second volume of this set of annual reports

Annual report of the Natural Heritage Trust at www.nht.gov.au/publications


Footnote
1 Air Services Australia, Department of Defence, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Department of Transport and Regional Services, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the National Capital Authority.

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