Department of the Environment

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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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

Portfolio Budget Statements 2003-2004

Environment and Heritage Portfolio
Budget Initiatives and Explanations of Appropriations 2003-2004
Budget Related Paper No. 1.7
Commonwealth of Australia 2003
ISSN 1448 - 1219 (Online), 1448 - 1200 (Print)

Part B - Portfolio Overview

ROLE OF THE PORTFOLIO

The Environment and Heritage Portfolio's role is to achieve three major outcomes for the Commonwealth Government. The outcomes are:

Environment

The environment, especially those aspects that are matters of national environmental significance, is protected and conserved.

Antarctic

Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced.

Meteorology

Australia benefits from meteorological and related science and services.

The delivery of these outcomes is provided by:

Environment: The environment, especially those aspects that are matters of national environmental significance, is protected and conserved

The Department of the Environment and Heritage advises on and implements policies and programmes for the protection and conservation of the environment. This includes assistance to the Australian community to appreciate and conserve Australia's natural and cultural (indigenous and historic) heritage places for present and future generations.

The Department also encourages, through leadership and cooperation, conservation and appreciation of natural and cultural heritage, and ecologically sustainable management of coastal and marine resources. The Supervising Scientist provides, through research, assessment and monitoring under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978, independent and informed advice on the protection of the Alligator Rivers Region from the potential impacts of uranium mining.

The Department is also responsible for administering several environmental laws, the most important being the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Act sets out, for the first time in Australia's history, a truly national framework for environment protection and biodiversity conservation. It provides regulatory arrangements to ensure the protection of matters of national environmental significance and conservation of biodiversity including species and communities, protected areas and trade in wildlife. Other legislation covers a range of pollution issues including fuel quality standards, which for the first time has set national standards for fuel with major gains for air quality, health and the environment.

The Australian Greenhouse Office is the lead Commonwealth agency on greenhouse matters. It coordinates domestic greenhouse policy and delivers greenhouse response programmes. The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator will continue to report under the Australian Greenhouse Office until separate prescribed agency status is granted. This status is expected to take effect from July 2003.

The National Oceans Office will develop Regional Marine Plans and establish an integrated planning process for the marine waters out to the 200 nautical miles limit of Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone and the extended continental shelf beyond that zone.

The Australian Heritage Commission helps to identify, value and conserve heritage places by advising the Government on national estate matters, compiling an inventory of National Estate places with natural and cultural heritage values throughout Australia and encouraging community appreciation and concern for the National Estate under the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975. Under proposed legislation introduced into Parliament during 2003, an Australian Heritage Council will be established and the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975 will be repealed.

Under the EPBC Act the Director of National Parks is responsible for the administration, management and control of Commonwealth protected areas, and is the Commonwealth agency responsible for the protection of the World Heritage values of Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is responsible, under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, for the care and development of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and is the Commonwealth agency responsible for the conservation and preservation of the World Heritage values associated with the Great Barrier Reef.

Through the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust the Government will create a lasting heritage legacy for Sydney, protecting and managing the unique natural and cultural heritage values of seven properties on Sydney Harbour. These properties include the former Artillery School on North Head, Defence lands at Middle Head-Georges Heights, Woolwich Dock, Cockatoo and Snapper islands, Macquarie Lightstation and the former Marine Biological Station at Watsons Bay.

Natural Heritage Trust Extension

Since 1996 more than $1.5 billion of Natural Heritage Trust and related programme funding has been approved for over 11,800 projects, involving almost 400,000 Australians. Investment has been targeted at on-ground environmental and natural resource management projects around Australia and has helped local communities to deliver cleaner beaches, reduced erosion, leading to healthier land and waterways, less air pollution, more productive agricultural land, and protection of our threatened species.

The Government has provided an additional $1 billion to extend the Natural Heritage Trust for a further five years from 2002-03, bringing the total Government commitment since 1996 to more than $2.7 billion. Under the extension of the Trust funding will be invested at three levels - national, regional and local and through four programmes, Bushcare, Landcare, Coastcare and Rivercare.

The Natural Heritage Trust will fund, through a variety of mechanisms, projects that will protect and restore the environment and support sustainable natural resource management. The main focus will be on investing money in large strategic projects at the regional level through integrated natural resource management plans, accredited by the Commonwealth and States/Territories. Regional bodies will be responsible for developing and implementing those plans in consultation with a range of community interests.

The Trust will continue to fund a wide range of conservation and environmental projects but will place a stronger emphasis on investing money in strategic projects at the regional level, as within regional natural resource management plans. This approach is consistent with the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, which also has a clear emphasis on regional outcomes.

The Trust has been rolled-out closely with the investment arrangements for the National Action Plan at the regional level. In recognition of this, the Commonwealth programme delivery arrangements for the two programmes have been amalgamated, with the formation of the Commonwealth Regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) Team. This is reflected in the cross-portfolio measure between the Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia.

Where Trust investment occurs in National Action Plan regions, integrated delivery processes and a single comprehensive regional plan will be used. The Trust and the National Action Plan both facilitate partnerships between all levels of government, community groups, individual land managers and local businesses, for regional solutions to environmental problems and sustainable natural resource management.

Funding is also targeted at the local level through the Australian Government Envirofund and at the national level to address key national natural resource management priorities. National level investments under the Trust give effect to Commonwealth environmental and natural resource responsibilities and priorities, such as additions to the National Reserve System, protection of World Heritage properties, recovery planning for endangered species, major water quality infrastructure projects, national data management and applications and communication as well as statewide matters and those that cross over State/Territory and regional boundaries.

Antarctic: Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) maintains an Australian presence at three stations on the Antarctic continent and one on Macquarie Island. The AAD pursues Australia's Antarctic interests through the Antarctic Treaty System, the administration of the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands, the protection of the Antarctic environment, and the conduct and coordination of scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The AAD's main research effort is to build up systematic knowledge of the Antarctic and its environment, and to understand the role of this region in the global climate system.

Meteorology: Australia benefits from meteorological and related science and services

The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology is the national meteorological authority for Australia. The Bureau records meteorological and related observations, forecasts the weather, climate and the state of the atmosphere, issues warnings of gales, storms and other weather conditions likely to endanger life or property, including conditions likely to give rise to floods or bushfires, supplies meteorological information, provides advice on meteorological matters, publishes reports, conducts meteorological research and investigations, including into climate change, and supports international cooperation in meteorology and operational hydrology. Under the Meteorology Act 1955, the Bureau operates in the public interest and in particular to support the Defence forces, navigation, shipping and civil aviation, primary producers, industry, trade and commerce.


ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE PORTFOLIO - APPROPRIATIONS AND OTHER REVENUE FOR 2003-2004 ($'000)
OUTCOMES
DEPARTMENTAL (Price of Outputs)
ADMINISTERED
 
 
Revenue from Government
   
Annual Appropriations
     
 
(appropriations)
Revenue
   
Bill No. 2
 
Total
 
   
Special
 
from other
Total Price 
 
(SPPs &
Special
Administered
TOTAL
 
Bill No. 1
Approp
Total
Sources (2)
of Outputs
Bill No. 1
NAOs) (1)
Approp
Approps
APPROP
 
A
B
(C =A+B)
(D)
(E=C+D)
F
G
H
(I =F+G+H)
(J =C+I)     
Outcome 1 - The environment, especially those                    
aspects that are matters of national                    
environmental significance, is protected                    
and conserved                    
Environment *
121,403
10,500
131,903
19,118
151,021
138,620
1,150
19,843
159,613
291,516 
Australian Greenhouse Office
4,612
103,686
108,298
0
108,298
0
0
16,109
16,109
124,407 
Australian Heritage Commission
7,230
0
7,230
2,320
9,550
0
0
0
7,230 
Director of National Parks
0
0
0
50,015
50,015
0
0
0
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
16,047
6,700
22,747
7,815
30,562
0
0
0
22,747 
National Oceans Office
9,093
0
9,093
16
9,109
0
0
0
9,093 
Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
6,000
0
6,000
2,500
8,500
0
0
0
6,000 
Sub-total Outcome 1
164,385
120,886
285,271
81,784
367,055
138,620
1,150
35,952
175,722
460,993 
Outcome 2 - Australia's interests in Antarctica                    
are advanced *
83,882
0
83,882
919
84,801
0
0
0
83,882 
Outcome 1 - Australia benefits from                    
meteorological and related science and services
192,430
0
192,430
15,474
207,904
0
0
0
192,430 
TOTALS
440,697
120,886
561,583
98,177
659,760
138,620
1,150
35,952
175,722 
737,305 
          Departmental Capital (Equity Injections)  
17,524 
          Administered Capital  
          TOTAL APPROPRIATIONS  
754,829 
1. Under the Appropriation Structure, Bill 2 includes Specific Purpose Payments (SPP's) and departmental capital via departmental equity injections (refer page 14)
2. Revenue from other sources includes other revenue from Government (for example resources free of charge) and revenue from other sources (for example sale of goods and services). Refer Table 1.3 Receipts from Independent Sources of Agency Budget Statements
* The combined estimates for Environment and Antarctic comprise the total estimates for the agency - Department of the Environment and Heritage In 2003-04 the Natural Heritage Trust expenses of $250 million will be met from appropriations and existing Special Account funds (refer Table 1.5 Estimates of Special Accounts Flows and Balances)

In 2003-04 the Natural Heritage Trust expenses of $250 million will be met from appropriations and existing Special Account funds (refer Table 1.5 Estimates of Special Accounts Flows and Balances)


2003-04 Departmental Outputs and Capital Equity Injection Appropriations per Agency in the Portfolio

CHART 2: 2003-04 Departmental Outputs and Capital Equity Injection Appropriations per Agency in the Portfolio ($’000)

* Includes appropriations for Outcome 1 - Environment ($131.9m) and Outcome 2 - Antarctic ($86.1m). Appropriations for Outcome 1 - Environment includes funding for the DNP. Funds of $34.3 million will be appropriated directly to Outcome 1 - Environment and transferred to the DNP.

Appropriations of $17.5 million for Departmental Capital Equity Injections are also included in the above totals (refer Appropriations and Other Revenue for 2003-04 Table - Page 12).


2003-04 Departmental and Administered Expenses and Capital Equity Injections per Agency

CHART 3: 2003-04 Departmental and Administered Expenses and Capital Equity Injections per Agency ($'000)

  1. Includes total expenses for Outcome 1 - Environment ($361m) and Outcome 2 - Antarctic ($87m).
  2. Includes Natural Heritage Trust expenses of $250 million and expenses of $1.8 million for the National Action Plan. Payment from the Natural Heritage Trust to cover Environment expenses for the administration of the Trust is included under Administered for 2002-03 to 2006-07. In order to eliminate double counting, $10.4 million has been excluded from Departmental. The figures have also been adjusted to exclude payment of $34.3 million to the Director of National Parks.
  3. There is no direct appropriation from Government to the Director of National Parks. Funds will be appropriated directly to the Department of the Environment and Heritage (Outcome 1 - Environment) and transferred to the Director of National Parks. The expense estimate of $52.8 million will be met from the transfer of appropriations from the Department of the Environment and Heritage ($34.3m) and revenues from other sources.

In any one year, funds appropriated to the Department of the Environment and Heritage (DoEH) may not coincide with total funds (resources) available to DoEH to meet estimated expenses for the period. The estimated expenses can also be met from available funds in special accounts (for example - Natural Heritage Trust).

Departmental Capital Equity Injections for the Department of the Environment and Heritage (Australian Antarctic Division $2.224m), Bureau of Meteorology ($6.3m) and Sydney Harbour Federation Trust ($9.0m) are included in the totals below. These funds will not be expensed through normal operations on the Statement of Financial Performance. Capital (equity) resources are typically applied directly to the acquisition of non-current assets within the Statement of Financial Position.