National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Environmental Protection
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 12


To establish and enhance policy and administrative frameworks for environmental protection in which governments and the community can develop effective and efficient measures to achieve environmental objectives while recognising the interrelationship with economic and social objectives.

Strategic Approach

Governments will continue to develop a policy framework for environmental protection which seeks to achieve clarity, transparency and certainty for all steps in the policy formulation, decision making and implementation process; is based on a consideration of all available policy instruments, including economic measures; fosters efficient achievement of environment protection policy objectives; allows for effective consultative mechanisms with community and business interests; and allows simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness in administration in all spheres of government.

Objective 12.1

  • to establish, across the nation, measures for the protection of the environment which are consistent with the guiding principles of ESD, including measures which adopt a preventative approach to pollution and waste generation

Governments will:

  • establish the National Environment Protection Authority (NEPA), as outlined under Schedule 4 of the IGAE
  • ensure progress on NEPA's work program of establishing national environment protection measures (ie. standards, guidelines or goals and associated protocols) for the protection of the environment
  • ensure these measures are developed in an open public and accountable process, and address the economic and social impact of implementation as well as an indication of the manner in which the regional environmental differences in Australia have been addressed
  • have regard to a range of initiatives in the environment protection area, including: guidelines for the assessment and management of contaminated sites; national ambient air quality guidelines for some pollutants; guidelines for fluoride in ambient air; national emission guidelines; and the National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Strategy
  • undertake a 'needs analysis' to assess the need for additional scientific knowledge relevant to Australian conditions for environment protection policy development, implementation and monitoring
  • consider further methods for facilitating public access to, and sharing of, scientific data concerning environment quality, changes and threats, successes and failures
  • monitor and coordinate further work on economic policy instruments to effectively achieve environmental protection
  • continue to promote collective or group approaches to sustainable resources management
  • continue to support the training of land managers in farm planning skills and provide direct support for the preparation of whole-farm plans through the National Landcare Program
  • promote both the development and adoption of whole-farm plans which encompass management of all physical and financial resources, and the integration of whole-farm plans with regional and catchment plans
  • expand extension services to improve the technical and advisory skills of those facilitating and coordinating groups