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Department of the Environment and Water Resources annual report 2006–07

Volume one
Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
ISSN 1441-9335

Managing the department (continued)

Finances

Financial performance

The department continues to perform strongly against its budget. Departmental and administered expenses were $1,015.380 million. This is slightly lower than expected (by $19.188 million or 1.85 per cent).

Outcome 1 recorded a $1.183 million deficit, which was slightly unfavourable to the budget, primarily due to asset write-offs. Outcome 2 recorded a $22.441 million deficit primarily due to end of year adjustments to the make good provisions, asset write-offs and continuing increased operating costs such as fuel and shipping.

The Natural Heritage Trust expended 100 per cent of its $312.5 million budget. Other administered programmes were generally in line with budget expectations. Two properties at Point Nepean Victoria and North Head in Sydney were transferred to the department during the year which saw a $127.543 million variance to the revenue budget.

Summary of financial results
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 2006
 Actuals

$000's
2007
 PSAES 1
Budget
$000's
2007
 Actuals

$000's
2007
 Variance

$000's
Departmental Outcome 1 Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
277,375
(281,115)
(3,740)
292,765
(291,302)
1,463
292,148
(293,331)
(1,183)
(618)
(2,029)
(2,646)
Departmental Outcome 2 Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
98,623
(124,106)
(25,483)
101,870
(123,966)
(22,096)
105,329
(127,770)
(22,441)
3,459
(3,804)
(345)
Total departmental Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
375,998
(405,220)
(29,220)
394,635
(415,268)
20,633)
397,477
(421,101)
(23,624)
2,841
(5,833)
(2,991)
Administered expenses, specific payments to the states and territories and special accounts
Administered expenses Outcome 1 Revenue
Expenses
13,078
(154,672)
8,110
(255,210)
136,554
(238,820)
128,444
16,390
Administered expenses Outcome 2 Revenues
Expenses
0
(320)
0
(4,300)
0
(1,300)
0
3,000
Section 32 water transfers from PM&C and DAFF 2 Revenues
Expenses
0
0
0
(2,712)
0
(2,655)
0
57
Administered specific payments to the states and territories and special accounts Revenues
Expenses
7,948
(346,112)
3,892
(357,079)
5,239
(351,504)
1,347
5,575
Total administered Revenues
Expenses
21,026
(501,104)
12,002
(619,301)
141,794
(594,280)
129,792
25,021
Notes:
1 PSAES = Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates Statements
2 Transfers from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under section 32 of the Financial Management Act 1997

The two comparison tables below explain the main features of the department's funding in 2006—07. The department's funding is listed in more detail in the summary resource tables on the following pages.

Comparison of departmental funding with budget and previous year
Funding class Revenues Expenses
Departmental Outcome 1 Revenues increased from 2005—06 by $14.773  million due to:
  • transfers from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet ($2.114  million)
  • Regional Marine Planning ($9.241  million)
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park ($2.626  million)
  • Bio Fuels ($1.250  million)
  • Less other adjustments ($0.458  million)
Actuals increased from 2005—06 by $12.216  million. This was due to additional programme running costs associated with the initiatives described under revenues

Expenses are unfavourable to budget by $2.029  million primarily due to one-off obsolete asset write-offs
Departmental Outcome 2 Revenues increased from 2005—06 by $6.706  million primarily due to an increase in baseline appropriation and revenue receipts for additional cost recovered programmes and insurance recoveries

Revenues are favourable to budget by $3.459  million primarily due to additional cost recoveries and insurance recoveries that were not budgeted
Expenses increased from 2005—06 by $3.664  million due to additional depreciation and amortisation and continuing cost pressures due to increases in logistics and fuel costs

Expenses are unfavourable to budget by $3.804  million price due to increases in logistics and fuel costs
Comparison of administered funding with budget and previous year
Funding class Revenues Expenses
Administered
Outcome1
Amounts are greater than 2005—06 by $123.476  million primarily due to assets recognised for the first time, i.e. the properties of Point Nepean in Victoria and North Head in Sydney Actual expenses are greater than 2005—06 by $84.148  million primarily due to the following measures:
  • Great Barrier Reef Structural Adjustment Package ($33.287  million)
  • Community Water Grants ($22.360  million)
  • Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities ($13.128  million)
  • Scout Hall Infrastructure ($5.885  million)
  • Lower Emissions Technology Abatement programme ($4.786  million)
  • Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme ($4.403  million)
  • Climate Change Science Programme ($1.834  million)
  • Biofuels Task Force ($3.400  million)
  • Point Nepean works ($4.200  million)
These increases are offset by lower spending than in 2005—06 in the following programmes:
  • Renewable Energy Equity Fund
    ($3.400 million)
  • Renewable Remote Power Generation ($2.100 million)
  • Churches ($2.500 million)
  • Other minor programme variances ($1.135  million)
The favourable variance to budget by $16.390  million is primarily due to the Representative Areas Programme — Structural Adjustment Package ($16.268  million) assessments taking longer than expected
Administered
Outcome 2
Not applicable Expenses are greater than 2005—06 by $0.980  million due to the new measure to restore Mawson's Huts in Antarctica

The favourable variance to budget by $3.000  million is primarily due to the Royal Society of Victoria youth expedition to Antarctica being delayed
Administered Specific payment to the states and special accounts Not applicable Expenses are greater than 2005—06 by $5.392  million due to transfer of state and territories monies from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry being offset by a decrease in the Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme

Summary resource tables

Key to column headings in the following tables

2006 Actuals Actual revenues and expenses for 2005—06 as at 30 June 2006
2007 PSAES Budget The department's revised budget shown in the 2006—07 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements plus adjustments through the Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates Statements
2007 Actuals Actual revenues and expenses for 2006—07 as at 30 June 2007
2007 Variance The difference between the revised budget and the actual results for 2006—07, i.e. 2007 Actuals minus 2007 Budget

Overview of financial results

Outcome 1 — Departmental resourcing 2006
 Actuals

$000's
2007
 PSAES
Budget
$000's
2007
 Actuals

$000's
2007
 Variance

$000's
Response to climate change Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
64,972
(64,029)
943
62,211
(62,006)
206
62,215
(62,810)
(595)
4
(804)
(801)
Conservation of the land and inland waters Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
96,947
(99,143)
(2,196)
89,016
(88,620)
396
88,225
(87,698)
527
(791)
922
131
Conservation of the coasts and oceans Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
29,530
(30,512)
(982)
31,452
(30,990)
462
31,887
(31,382)
505
435
(392)
43
Conservation of natural, Indigenous, and historic heritage Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
23,398
(22,830)
568
23,569
(23,452)
117
23,557
(24,004)
(447)
(12)
(552)
(564)
Response to the impacts of human settlements Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
62,528
(64,601)
(2,073)
84,404
(83,607)
797
84,150
(84,845)
(695)
(254)
(1,238)
(1,492)
Water resources Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
0
0
0
2,114
(2,628)
(514)
2,114
(2,592)
(478)
0
36
36
Total Outcome 1 Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
277,375
(281,115)
(3,740)
292,765
(291,302)
1,463
292,148
(293,331)
(1,183)
(618)
(2,029)
(2,646)
Outcome 2 — Departmental resourcing        
Antarctic policy Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
35,503
(44,676)
(9,173)
33,108
(40,289)
(7,181)
37,917
(45,995)
(8,078)
4,809
(5,706)
(897)
Antarctic science Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
63,120
(79,430)
(16,310)
68,762
(83,677)
(14,915)
67,412
(81,775)
(14,363)

(1,350)
1,902

552

Total Outcome 2 Revenue
Expenses
Surplus/(Deficit)
98,623
(124,106)
(25,483)
101,870
(123,966)
(22,096)
105,329
(127,770)
(22,441)
3,459
(3,804)
(345)
Outcome 1 — Administered 2007 PSAES
Budget
$000's
2007 Actuals

$000's
2007 Variance

$000's
Outcome 1 — Administered revenues
Environment Management Change
Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Account
Grants refunded and liability write-offs
Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme
Wildlife Protection Fees
Recognition of Point Nepean and North Head Assets
Interest
7,400
1,991
1,788
610
210
0
3
7,500
2,871
2,438
948
210
127,543
283
100
880
650
338
0
127,543
280
Outcome 1 — Total administered revenues 12,002 141,794 129,792
Outcome 1 — Administered expenses
Great Barrier Reef Structural Adjustment Package
Australian Government's Community Water Grants
Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme
Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities
Climate Change Science Programme
Low Emissions Technology and Abatement
Scout Hall Water Saving Infrastructure Programme
St Patrick's Cathedral, Bunbury
Biofuels — Ministerial Council on Energy Additional
  and Australian Government Task Force
Greenhouse action to enhance sustainability
  in regional Australia
Point Nepean Community Trust
Indigenous Heritage Programme
National Heritage Investment Initiative
Influencing international climate change policy
Regional Natural Heritage Programme
Solar Cities
Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme
Australian Biological Resources Study
Protecting Australia's Biodiversity Hotspots (Daintree)
Sts Peter and Paul's Old Cathedral, Goulburn
St Mary's Cathedral, Perth
Renewable Energy Equity Fund
Renewable Energy Commercialisation Programme
Return of Qantas 707 Jet
National Trusts Partnership Programme
Action on energy efficiency
Eugene von Guérard Painting
Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies
National Environment Protection Council
Improving Launceston's Air Quality
Local greenhouse action
Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme
Photovoltaic Rebate Programme
Church of St Mary's Star of the Sea, Melbourne
Duyfken Voyage
Write-down of assets, corporate and historic hotels
Protecting Australia's Biodiversity Hotspots
(82,154)
(68,510)
(17,912)
(15,943)
(7,850)
(6,769)
(5,885)
(5,000)

(4,029)

(3,853)
(3,846)
(3,739)
(3,450)
(3,050)
(3,005)
(3,000)
(2,358)
(1,875)
(1,685)
(1,500)
(1,250)
(1,116)
(1,079)
(1,000)
(858)
(850)
(800)
(500)
(429)
(415)
(400)
(325)
(280)
(250)
(245)
0
0
(65,887)
(68,509)
(17,721)
(15,943)
(7,834)
(6,736)
(5,885)
(5,000)

(3,867)

(3,854)
(4,260)
(3,724)
(3,450)
(3,038)
(3,005)
(3,000)
(2,354)
(1,873)
(1,685)
(1,500)
(1,250)
(819)
(1,519)
(1,000)
(858)
(850)
(800)
(500)
(429)
(403)
(400)
(48)
(277)
(250)
(245)
(16)
(33)
16,268
1
191
0
16
33
0
0

162

(1)
(414)
15
0
12
0
0
4
2
0
0
0
297
(440)
0
0
0
0
0
0
13
0
277
3
0
0
(16)
(33)
Outcome 1 — Total administered expenses (255,210) (238,820) 16,390
Outcome 2 — Administered      
Outcome 2 — Administered expenses
Decisions taken but not yet announced
Mawson's Huts Foundation
(3,000)
(1,300)
0
(1,300)
3,000
0
Outcome 2 — Total administered expenses (4,300) (1,300) 3,000
Section 32 water transfers from PM&C and DAFF 1 — Administered expenses
Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC)
MDBC contribution to salinity mitigation
Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative, DAFF
   section 32 transfer 2
Water Resources Assessment and Research Grants
(600)
(2,017)

(16)
(79)
(600)
(2,017)

(3)
(35)
0
0

13
44
Section 32 water transfers — PM&C &DAFF 1
— Total administered expenses

(2,712)

(2,655)

57
Outcome 1 — Administered specific payments to the states and territories
Living Murray Initiative
Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme
Photovoltaic Rebate Programme
Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative
Strengthening Tasmania — Tamar River Pylons
Development of Sewerage Schemes for Boat Harbour
   & Sisters Beach
Strengthening Tasmania — Low Head Precinct
(16,053)
(13,795)
(5,965)
(5,466)
(750)

(200)
(50)
(10,478)
(13,789)
(5,965)
(5,466)
(750)

(190)
(50)
5,575
6
0
0
0

10
0
Outcome 1 — Total administered specific payments to the states and territories (42,279) (36,688) 5,591
Outcome 1 — Administered special accounts
Natural Heritage Trust
Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Account
Natural Cultural Heritage Account
Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme
(312,500)
(1,700)
(350)
(250)
(312,500)
(1,419)
(475)
(422)
0
281
(125)
(172)
Outcome 1 — Total administered special accounts (314,800) (314,816) (16)
Outcome 1 — Total administered specific payments
to the states and territories, and special accounts

(357,079)

(351,504)

5,575
Notes:
1 Transfers from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under section 32 of the Financial Management Act 1997
2 Transfer from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under section 32 of the Financial Management Act 1997

Financial position

Assets

The written down value of assets administered directly by the department in 2006—07 amounted to $487.010 million. This was a decrease from the previous year of $6.216 million.

Increases in cash and receivables of $11.984 million are offset by a decrease in the value of the department's fixed assets by $18.697 million. The fixed asset movement is due to the write-downs, depreciation and amortisation charge of $38.136 million and the make good adjustments of $0.752 million, offset by new capital purchases of $20.191 million.

Liabilities

Liabilities administered directly by the department in 2006—07 amounted to $261.429 million. This was an increase from the previous year of $4.356 million. The increase was due to a decrease in grant and supplier payables, and employee provisions.

Total equity

The department ended the year with total equity of $225.581 million, a decrease of $10.572 million from the equity of $236.153 million in 2005—06.

Measurement 2005–06 ($ million) 2006–07 ($ million)
Assets 493.226 487.010
Liabilities 257.073 261.429
Total equity 236.153 225.581

Assets management

The department's assets are located throughout Australia. The largest material component of assets is attached to the Australian Antarctic Division. Assets continue to age, perpetually putting pressure on funding streams for their upkeep and replacement. The replacement of assets is of particular concern due to the large unfunded component estimated at $140 million.

The Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards that came into effect in 2005—06 oblige the department to remove and restore assets to the amount of approximately $156 million.

A capital infrastructure plan developed in 2006—07 outlines the requirements of capital replacement and maintenance over the next 10 years.

Purchasing and procurement

The department's procurement activities in 2006—07 were conducted in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. Under the guidelines, the core principle underpinning procurement is value for money.

Procurement framework

The department has adopted a devolved procurement framework which places responsibility for procurement with the appropriate financial delegate. To support these delegates the department has established Chief Executive Instructions for procurement and also provides awareness training; maintains relevant documentation; provides central advice on risk management, probity and specification writing; and maintains standard tender and contract templates.

The department's procurement guidance documents set the following benchmarks and their corresponding procurement methods:

Benchmark Procurement method
Up to $1,999 Quotes are not required (but may be advisable if it is believed there is a possible material disparity between suppliers)
$2,000—$9,999 Obtain at least three competitive verbal quotes
$10,000—$79,999 Obtain at least three competitive written quotes. However, depending on the value, complexity and risk of the proposed project, consideration should be given to open or select tenders
$80,000 or more Open tender, subject to the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, unless specifically exempt

Compliance with these benchmarks is monitored by the department's central procurement cell in the Financial Management Branch.

A Procurement Review Board oversees procurement activities with a value of $80,000 or more and ensures compliance with the mandatory requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

Performance against core purchasing policies

In 2006—07 the department complied with the mandatory procurement procedures as outlined in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. Relevant policy and legislative obligations, such as the policy on small and medium enterprises and the 30day payment policy, were met.

The department advertises tender opportunities through the AusTender website. The department's annual procurement plan for 2007—08 was published on AusTender in June 2007.

Reporting

The department met all reporting requirements as follows:

Consultancy services

The department procures consultancy services in accordance with the established procurement framework and in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. The selection and engagement of consultants is determined by the principle of value for money.

Expenditure on consultancies

During 2006—07, 288 new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $9.061 million. In addition 144 ongoing consultancy contracts were active, involving total actual expenditure of $4.866 million.

The list of consultancy contracts let in 2006—07 to the value of $10,000 or more is at www.environment.gov.au/about/annual-report/06-07.

Exempt contracts

During 2006—07 there were no standing offers or contracts in excess of $10,000 (inclusive of GST) exempted by the chief executive from being published in the Purchasing and Disposal Gazette under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Advertising and market research

This table of expenditure in 2006—07 is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Market research
Agency Purpose Expenditure $
Ispos Communication for Forest Community Fund 75,000
Open Mind Research Group Communication of amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 66,000
Open Mind Research Group Concept testing for international wildlife trade video 9,200
Colmar Brunton Social Research Testing awareness of environmental protection in the marine environment 72,104
Mayko trading as Bienalto National Pollutant Inventory web survey 13,420
TNS Social Research Concept testing for Defeating the Weeds Menace 63,000
Blue Moon Testing community perceptions and awareness of climate change 164,780
Winton Sustainable Research Strategies Market testing energy efficiency labels for fridges and air conditioners 9,060
Total 472,564
Advertising
Agency Purpose Expenditure $
Universal McCann Community Water Grants 1,381,896
Duyfken voyage 2,750
Subtotal 1,384,646
HMA Blaze Envirofund 1,061,380
Non-campaign 2,448,521
Subtotal 3,509,901
Total 4,894,547
Direct mail
Agency Purpose Expenditure $
Cox Inall Community Water Grants 82,022
Complete Mail and Warehousing Community Water Grants 10,675
Australia Post Community Water Grants 126,180
Total 218,877

Discretionary grant programmes

The department administers a range of discretionary grant programmes. Discretionary grants are payments made to particular applicants, either organisations or individuals, at the discretion of the portfolio minister or the paying agency. Conditions may or may not be imposed in return for the grant. Discretionary grants may be single ad hoc payments, or grants renewed under continuing programmes.

Programmes for which grants were approved in 2006—07 are listed below. A list of grant recipients is available on request from the department.

Climate change

Action on Energy Efficiency: Assists industry, business, the community and governments to increase the uptake of cost effective energy efficiency opportunities that will reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce energy demand, and improve Australia's competitiveness.

Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme: Assists fleet operators and manufacturers of heavy commercial vehicles and buses to convert from diesel and petrol motors to gaseous fuels, including natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and hydrogen.

Australian Greenhouse Science Programme: Aims to better understand climate systems and the factors which influence them, the role of human activity in bringing about changes to climate, and how climate changes may affect natural and managed environments.

Greenhouse Action to Enhance Sustainability in Regional Australia: Addresses challenges and knowledge gaps about climate change in regional Australia (agriculture, forestry and natural resource management sectors).

Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme: Provides funding for mainly large-scale projects that use low emissions technologies and practices to deliver emissions reductions particularly in the period 2008—2012.

Influencing International Climate Change Policy: Provides specialist advice on international climate change arrangements and on building the capacity of key developing countries to take effective climate change action through bilateral partnerships.

Local Greenhouse Action: Assists local government, communities and individual households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the areas of energy use, transport and waste.

Low Emissions Technology and Abatement: Supports cost effective greenhouse gas emissions abatement opportunities and the uptake of small-scale low emission technologies in business, industry and local communities.

National Climate Change Adaptation Programme: Provides national leadership and coordination of assessment of climate change impacts, and enables risks to be managed and opportunities to be captured through effective adaptation.

Solar Cities: Provides funding to demonstrate the costs and benefits of integrating solar power, smart electricity technologies, energy efficiency and pricing mechanisms in urban settings.

Wind Energy Forecasting Capability Initiative: Supports a wind energy forecasting system to assist electricity network management and increase the value of wind energy in the electricity market.

Land and inland waters

Australian Biological Resources Study Participatory Programme: Supports the documentation of Australia's biological diversity and facilitates training to increase the national taxonomic effort.

Australian Government's Community Water Grants Programme: A component of the Australian Government Water Fund which supports communities, organisations, local governments, schools, businesses and natural resource management regional bodies to develop on-ground water savings and water quality improvement projects.

Bushcare: Invests in activities that protect and restore Australia's native vegetation. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Envirofund: Provides grants to communities for on-ground activities targeting local government problems, including improving water quality, protecting native vegetation, and combating salinity and coastal erosion. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Florabank2: Provides funding to Greening Australia to help redevelop the Florabank website and provide the native seed industry with training and support in their collection, storage and supply of native seeds.

Indigenous Protected Areas Programme: Supports Indigenous landowners to establish and manage Indigenous Protected Areas.

Industry Implementation of the Voluntary Code of Practice for Firewood Merchants: Supports the Firewood Association of Australia to build its membership and assist firewood merchants to comply with the Voluntary Code of Practice for Firewood Merchants to supply firewood from ecologically sustainable sources. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Landcare: Invests in activities that contribute to reversing land degradation and promoting sustainable agriculture. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.
Natural Heritage Trust—National Competitive Component: Provides grants for innovative national projects that will most effectively improve regional natural resource management delivery.

National Reserve System Programme: Assists with the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of terrestrial protected areas in Australia. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

National Wetlands Programme: Contributes to the ecologically sustainable management of Australia's inland waters through funding projects that will help to restore and protect the ecological health of wetlands.

Rivercare: Invests in activities that contribute to improved water quality and environmental condition in Australia's river systems and wetlands. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Water Resources Assessment and Research Grants: Provides grants for research on the sustainable use and management of water resources, particularly for sustainable irrigation.

Weed Warriors: Supports communities to manage weeds. Links school students with a network of regional stakeholders and community groups through participation in practical hands-on experience in biological weed control. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Coasts and oceans

Coastal Catchments Initiative: Supports the development and implementation of water quality improvement plans in coastal catchments to maintain ecologically sustainable pollutant loads consistent with agreed environmental values for coastal waters.

Coastal Catchments Initiative—Reef Component: Supports the development and implementation of water quality improvement plans in catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Coasts and Clean Seas—Oceans Protection: Provides financial assistance for specific domestic and international activities that contribute to the prevention and clean-up of pollution from shipping.

Facilitation of Community Involvement in Marine Issues and Decision-making: Enhances community involvement in marine issues and decision-making by raising community awareness, building the capacity of stakeholder groups and facilitating communication. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Structural Adjustment Package—Community Assistance Component: Assists communities affected by fishing industry restructuring by assisting in the development of new avenues of investment and employment.

Introduced Marine Pests Programme: Supports actions that lead to the control and local eradication of introduced marine pests. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Marine Debris: Supports projects to manage, prevent and mitigate the impacts of harmful marine debris on vertebrate marine life.

Marine Protected Areas: Facilitates the establishment of the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas and the management of existing reserves. Part of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Migratory Waterbirds Conservation Project: Provides funding for high priority activities in Australia and in the East Asian—Australasian Flyway to conserve waterbirds listed under the migratory species provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Natural, Indigenous and historic heritage

Commemorating Historic Events and Famous Persons: Provides funding to projects for the maintenance of graves of former Australian prime ministers and governors-general buried in Australia and projects commemorating people, events and places of national historic significance.

Grants to Historic Churches and Cathedrals: Ad hoc grants to assist with the conservation and restoration of historic churches and cathedrals.

Historic Shipwrecks Programme: Assists federal, state and territory government agencies and the Institute of Marine Archaeology to protect and preserve historic shipwrecks and associated relics and to educate the public about this cultural resource.

Indigenous Heritage Programme: Supports projects that identify, conserve and promote the Indigenous heritage values of places. The programme may also help identify places likely to have outstanding Indigenous heritage value to Australia suitable for inclusion on the National Heritage List.

National Heritage Investment Initiative: Provides assistance to restore and conserve Australia's most important historic heritage places. Priority is given to places included in the National Heritage List.

Regional Natural Heritage Programme: Provides grants to non-government organisations and other relevant agencies to protect outstanding biodiversity in hotspot areas of South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Sharing Australia's Stories: Supports creative projects that contribute to an understanding of the great events and themes that have shaped Australia.

Human settlements

Assessments and Legislation Programme: Protects matters of national environmental significance through the assessment regime of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and promotes and facilitates community awareness and understanding of the Act.

Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities: Supports world class, public good research on the significant environmental challenges facing Australia.

Diesel National Environment Protection Measure: Supports the development and implementation of in-service emissions testing capabilities for diesel and petrol vehicles.

Environment Protection and Ad Hoc Grants Programme: Protects the environment of Australia through national leadership and cooperation.

Launceston Clean Air Industry Programme: Makes co-contributions towards the reduction of industrial wood smoke by improvements to, or replacement of, existing plant and equipment.

Sustainable Cities—Urban Environment Initiatives: Provides funding for a range of urban environment and public information initiatives to address water quality, improved air quality and renewable energy, chemicals and waste management.

Used Oil Recycling—Transitional Assistance: Provides grants for strategic initiatives to increase used oil recycling and ensure a sustainable oil recycling industry. Part of the Product Stewardship for Oil Programme.

Cross-cutting activities

Environmental Education Grants Programme: Supports strategic environmental education activities that are national in focus or that have the potential to act as a catalyst for national change.

Eureka Environmental Journalism Award: Encourages excellence in environmental journalism.

Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations: Provides administrative funds to help community-based environment and heritage organisations to involve the community in the conservation and protection of Australia's natural environment and cultural heritage.

Antarctica

Australian Antarctic Science Grants Programme: Provides grants for high quality scientific research relevant to the government's Antarctic programme.