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Department of the Environment and Heritage Reports, including the Annual Report of the Supervising Scientist 1999-2000


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n v i r o n m e n t

««sw Au s t r a li a Department o f the Environment and Heritage

A N N U A L R E P O R T

1 9 9 9 - 2 0 0 0

Including the Annual R eport of the Supervising Scientist

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f e E n v i r o n m e n t

*« m iK A u s t r a l i a

Department of the Environment and Heritage

We should walk proud, knowing that our record is acknowledged by

those around us, that our expertise and counsel is highly valued by our

neighbours, and that our environmental future is safe in the hands of

our committed and enthusiastic people.

Senator Robert Hill

Minister for the Environment and Heritage

February 2000

M

u Envi ronment «Ss» Australia Department o f the Environment and Heritage

A N N U A L R E P O R T 1 9 9 9 - 2 0 0 0

Including the Annual R eport of the Supervising Scientist

©

Commonwealth of Australia 2000

ISBN 0 642 45042 0

ISSN 1441-9335

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process

without prior written permission from the Commonwealth available from Auslnfo.

Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Legislative Services, Auslnfo, GPO Box 1920, Canberra ACT 2601.

ii Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

D

epartment o f the Environment and Heritage

Office of the Secretary

Senator the Hon Robert Hill Minister for the Environment and Heritage Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with Section 63 of the Public Service Act 1999,1 present the Annual Report of the Department of the Environment and Heritage for 1999-00. The Report also includes the Annual Report of the Supervising Scientist in accordance with subsection 36(1) of the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978.

The Annual Reports on the operation of the Ozone Protection Act 1989 as required by Section 68 of that Act and on the operation of the Hazardous Waste (Regulations of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 as required under Section 61 of that Act are also included. The Director of Meteorology provides a separate Annual Report but a brief report of the activities of the Bureau as a Departmental agency is included here.

I thank all staff for their hard work, creativity and commitment over the past year. As a result, I believe the Department is well placed to meet the challenges ahead.

Yours sincerely

October 2000

GP0 Box 787 Canberr a ACT 2601 T e l e p h o n e 02 6274 1550 Facs i mi l e 02 6274 15 52

i

v D epartm ent o f the Environm ent and H eritage A nnual R eport 1999-2000

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EADER'S GUIDE

This report on Environment Australia for the year 1999-2000 uses the outcome-output structure that was used for the department’s 1999-2000 portfolio budget statements. Financial statements are reported on an accrual basis for the first time.

Part One contains an overview of the department including a report by the Secretary on achievements, diagrams explaining the role and functions of the department, programme structure, senior management, and the relationship between programmes, divisions and branches of the department. A table links the programme structure to the outcome-output structure and details of the relationship between this and the portfolio budget statements are also included.

Part Two contains the actual performance of the department measured against the portfolio budget statements.

Part Three contains details of management and accountability including discussion and analysis of the department’s financial performance; a summary table of resources; corporate governance; measures of performance against the department’s service charter; developments in administration; external scrutiny; management of human resources; purchasing; assets management and the use of consultants.

Part Four oudines the department’s legislative requirements.

Environment Australia’s audited financial statements are included in Part Five followed by details of other important activities of the department.

Annual reports included in this document include those for Ozone Protection, Hazardous Waste, and the Supervising Scientist.

Portfolio statutory authorities (the Australian Heritage Commission, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Director of National Parks and Wildlife) and the executive agencies (the Australian Greenhouse Office and National Oceans Office) publish their own separate reports which are not included in this document.

F or m ore info rm atio n

For more information about this report and for all Environment Australia publications contact:

The Community Information Unit Environment Australia GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: 1800 803 772

For more information about Environment Australia visit the web site at: www.environment.gov.au

This report is available at: www.environment.gov.au/publications.html

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

D epartm ent o f the Environm ent and H eritage A nnual R eport 1999-2000

PART ONE

OVERVI EW

T

HE SECRETARY’S REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENT AUSTRALIA'S ACHIEVEMENTS

Environment Australia continued to advance the Commonwealth Government’s environmental priorities. Highlights included the reform of environmental legislation and innovative approaches to environmental protection and the conservation of biological diversity.

Environment Australia undertook work to prepare for the commencement of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 on 16 July 2000. The Act represents the most fundamental reform of Commonwealth environment laws since the first environment statutes were enacted in the early 1970s. The Act enables the Commonwealth to join with the States and Territories in providing a national scheme of environmental protection and biological diversity conservation. It will focus the Commonwealth on matters of national environmental significance, allowing a streamlined environmental assessment and approvals process, and an integrated regime for the conservation of biological diversity and the management of important protected areas.

Changes in the Commonwealth’s statutory involvement in environmental assessment and approval of development projects required significant work. There were changes in departmental structures, systems and processes as well as a major staff training and development exercise.

A tracking and workload management database and an information system to support the efficient administration of the new legislation were designed and implemented.

An important milestone in implementing Australia’s Oceans Policy was the establishment of the National Oceans Office in Hobart as an executive agency under the Public Service Act 1999. A key responsibility of the office is the development of large ecosystem-based regional marine plans, the first of which is focused on the south-east region of Australia’s marine jurisdiction.

Three Commonwealth marine protected areas were declared in 1999-2000: Lord Howe Island Marine Park, Cartier Island Marine Reserve and Macquarie Island Marine Park, the second largest marine park in the world after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Establishing marine protected areas, which have been negotiated through a participatory decision-making process, provides an important demonstration of the commitment of marine stakeholders to harmonising marine conservation values with multiple use. Environment Australia placed on the international

agenda the conservation of biological diversity on the high seas, including through the establishment of marine protected areas.

T he National Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions was convened in August 1999 and tabled its report in December. T he taskforce comprised Commonwealth, State and Northern Territory Government representatives and was chaired and

supported by Environment Australia. The taskforce recommended interim and long-term measures aimed at providing a more effective and integrated emergency and management response to marine pest incursions.

Environment Australia worked in partnership with indigenous people to declare another three large indigenous protected areas, adding a further 2.56 million hectares to the National Reserve System. The significance of this parmership with indigenous people was recognised internationally on World Environment Day in June 2000. The Nepabunna community in South

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Australia received a United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award for their achievement in declaring Australia’s first indigenous protected area in August 1998.

Funding for over 3880 environmental and natural resource projects, amounting to more than $305 million, was approved through the Natural Heritage Trust. Funding was provided for a wide range of activities including re-establishing vegetation, protecting remnant vegetation, increasing the community’s knowledge of how to address local environmental problems and providing greater protection for Australia’s biodiversity, coasts and oceans.

A mid-term review of the Natural Heritage Trust’s activities found that the Trust has been very successful in raising awareness of environmental issues and empowering communities to take responsibility for environmental solutions. M ore than 300 000 Australians have participated in

Natural Heritage Trust activities.

Environment Australia worked closely with other relevant portfolios to support the High Level Ministerial Group on Natural Resource Management. The ministerial group, consisting of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and

the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, is developing Commonwealth goals for natural resource management in Australia. The group has a broad scope, encompassing rural, urban, coastal and estuarine environments, and is addressing the full range of natural resource management issues including water quality, salinity, biological diversity and soil loss.

During the past year Environment Australia has worked closely with the Minister and his office to develop a Commonwealth position on Queensland land clearing. The Prime Minister’s Forest Taskforce worked to advance this issue. As the Commonwealth prepared for negotiations with Queensland on State vegetation management legislation, Environment Australia provided policy

and technical advice to the taskforce. This advice included development and analysis of potential mechanisms for implementing the proposed vegetation reforms within the context of the Commonwealth’s environmental objectives for land degradation, the greenhouse effect and

biological diversity.

The Living Cities Programme was created to address urban environmental problems, including air quality, urban waterways, waste management, chemical collection, urban vegetation and coastal water quality. Considerable progress has been made. Chemical collections under the Chemwatch programme began in April; applications for the Urban Stormwater Initiative were called for in February with the first project announced in June; and the Cleaner Water Initiative began in February. T he Air Toxics Programme delivered a working draft report on the state of our knowledge of toxic air pollutants.

Progress was made on a number of initiatives announced under A New Tax System - Measures for a Better Environment. Legislation was passed in June 2000 to implement product stewardship arrangements for waste oil; preparatory work for the Diesel National Environment Protection Measure has identified a leading edge in-service emissions test for diesel vehicles that will be evaluated in a pilot study during 2000-01; new vehicle emission standards have been introduced to come into effect in January 2002; and national fuel quality legislation is being drafted for introduction by December 2000.

A major expansion of the substance list for the National Pollutant Inventory (commencing from 1 July 2001) was announced in June. This database allows all Australians to check what is being emitted by industry and other sources into their local environment. There is public access to nearly 1200 reports on emissions from industrial facilities across Australia, as well as information

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

o

n diffuse or mobile emissions into major airsheds and nutrient emissions into priority water catchments. The number of facility emission reports will be greatly expanded from February 2001, when the data from the second full year of reporting is released.

Australia was elected to the World Heritage Bureau, chosen to host the World Heritage Committee in late 2000 and elected to chair the committee for the following year. The World Heritage Committee decided not to place Kakadu National Park on the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Environment Australia supervised uranium mining activities in the Alligator Rivers region to ensure they did not adversely affect the environment of Kakadu National Park. An investigation of a tailings water leak at the Ranger uranium mine showed that there was no detectable impact on the environment of Kakadu National Park. It also identified measures to enhance the environment. The report was tabled in the Senate on 27 June 2000.

The National Centre for Tropical Wetlands Research was established in Darwin in December 1999, with Environment Australia as a major partner. This centre will coordinate tropical wetlands research and run training courses for local and international tropical wetland managers.

Legislation to be introduced into Parliament will establish a new heritage regime to identify, conserve and protect places of truly national heritage significance. Places will be entered on a national list having been identified as matters of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Australia was chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme to be the host of official international World Environment Day activities for the year 2000. Major events in Adelaide, the official host city, included the presentation of the Global 500 Awards (the United Nations

Environment Programme’s prestigious Roll of H onour for Environmental Achievement) and a meeting of the Australian Youth Parliament for the Environment. The Prime Minister announced the winners of the Prime Minister’s Environment Awards to acknowledge Australia’s environmental achievers.

On 8 June, the Olympic flame arrived in Australia at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, to begin its journey around the country. The park is Aboriginal land, jointly managed by its Anangu traditional owners and Parks Australia. The torch was passed through the hands of senior traditional owners before being carried through the park. Twenty Anangu people selected by their community as torchbearers then carried the flame around Uluru.

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources adopted an Australian proposal for a catch documentation scheme which verifies the origin of toothfish catches and bans toothfish imports without valid documentation. T he scheme represents a significant advance in protecting the toothfish stocks, which faced commercial extinction in many areas, and was a breakthrough in Southern Ocean fisheries management. Adoption of the scheme required the agreement of 29 countries with very differing views on the issues. Its adoption only one year after the concept was formally proposed was the culmination of intense negotiations, considerable work by officers of the department and the involvement of the Minister.

A summer survey of pack-ice seals covered more than 1 million square kilometres - one of the most ambitious wildlife surveys ever undertaken and the largest in antarctic waters - to establish numbers of these top predators and to help develop sustainable Southern Ocean fisheries targets. The first detailed midwinter investigation of an antarctic coastal polynya (an area of open water

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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ithin the pack ice) was undertaken by the icebreaker Aurora Australis in 1999, gathering data on processes believed to have a major influence on global ocean circulation.

The Minister adopted the recommendations of the Antarctic Air Transport Study conducted by Environment Australia and approved further investigations of options for the use of wheeled aircraft flying from Hobart to a compressed snow runway near Casey station, 3430 kilometres south-west of Hobart, with smaller feeder aircraft providing links to other areas. Competitive tendering for the provision of antarctic shipping and helicopter services to 2002-03 resulted in the selection of the vessels Aurora Australis (P&O Polar) and Polar Bird (Polar Ship Management), and the Australian helicopter company, Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd.

Environment Australia also made considerable progress during the year in responding to the Government’s public sector reform agenda. T he first phase of reviewing the prices of its outputs was completed in January 2000, testing the reasonableness of the prices of its corporate services and programme administration. Corporate service elements are being market tested. It is expected

that the second phase of the output pricing review will be completed in November 2000.

The legislative framework governing the management of human resources underwent fundamental change with the commencement of the new Public Service Act in December 1999. Within a short time, the necessary changes were implemented, successfully laying the groundwork for more effective human resource management.

The Environment Australia Certified Agreement 1998-1999 continued to contribute significantly to the alignment of people management policies with the core business of the organisation - to achieve programme objectives. The agreement is designed to improve efficiency, effectiveness and

productivity and enhance the quality of the working lives of its staff.

During the year a second certified agreement for Environment Australia was finalised. The agreement is expected to be certified by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in August 2000. The second agreement builds on the achievements of the first, with emphasis

on a competitive and streamlined package of remuneration and employment conditions, which enables employees to balance work and personal responsibilities, and on the new Performance and Development Scheme, which is designed to contribute significandy to Environment Australia’s productivity.

A major effort was made to develop a new performance management scheme. The scheme features team planning, individual performance agreements and development plans, feedback and performance assessment that will assist in maintaining a high performance culture in Environment Australia.

Environment Australia continued its commitment to achieving the Investors in People standard, the internationally recognised quality standard for improving the organisation’s performance.

A diagnostic report was considered by the Executive and by a series of staff discussion groups.

An action plan was prepared to address performance gaps against the Investors in People standards. The aim is to gain accreditation by 1 October 2001.

The Commonwealth Government introduced an accrual accounting framework across all departments and agencies on 1 July 1999. This involved a substantial change to the structure of the Commonwealth Budget and the way in which departments and agencies manage and account for their use of resources. Systems and management techniques were adopted to make the new framework operate efficiently and effectively.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he framework also devolved responsibility for banking and investments to individual departments and agencies. As a result, policies and procedures were developed for the management of Environment Australia’s cash resources.

Environment Australia established a project to manage implementation of the new tax system. The project was completed on schedule on 30 June 2000.

T h e year ahead

Major challenges for the coming year include implementing the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, promoting better natural resource management, raising the environmental performance of Australian industry, enhancing our national heritage protection regime and implementing the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act comes into effect on 16 July 2000. Environment Australia will work to ensure that the new Act is implemented smoothly and effectively, through regulations, guidelines and administrative processes. Cutting edge technology will deliver information support to industry and the public via the Internet. A priority will be to finalise bilateral agreements with the States and Territories for the assessment of proposals under the Act. Environment Australia will also work on the incorporation of the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982 into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

A Natural Resource Management Taskforce was established, to ensure that relevant portfolio interests and activities are reflected in the development of Commonwealth goals for natural resource management.

Early in 2000-01 the Commonwealth is preparing to enter negotiations with the Queensland Government on the issue of land clearing.

T he environmental performance of Australian industry will be raised by using levers and incentives in the Business of Sustainable Development programme and through the implementation of measures under A New Tax System - Measures for a Better Environment. Environment Australia will develop partnerships with industry to pursue our objectives of encouraging the uptake of eco-efficiency and minimising environmental harm and risks associated with hazardous chemicals and organisms.

Australia will host the 24th extraordinary session of the World Heritage Bureau and the 24th session of the World Heritage Committee during the period 23 November - 2 December 2000. T he meeting, to be held in Cairns, will be chaired by Australia, and will provide an opportunity to showcase our management of World Heritage properties.

Environment Australia will work on details for new Commonwealth legislation to establish a new regime for the identification, conservation and protection of a list of places of national heritage significance as well as developing ways to ensure that the Commonwealth-owned heritage properties are better managed and protected. Environment Australia will be ready to administer new legislation for protecting indigenous heritage places.

Environment Australia will work in partnership with the Australian Greenhouse Office to ensure that our programmes provide for early and effective implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in a way that reflects Australia’s position and conditions.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

I

n July 2000 Australia will host an international meeting involving 12 countries and five international organisations to facilitate the development of an agreement for the conservation of albatrosses and petrels of the Southern Hemisphere. Australia will maintain the momentum gained so far.

A national action plan for environmental education will be announced in July 2000. A key feature of the plan is the establishment of a National Environmental Education Council to advise the Minister. The plan provides for the establishment of an environmental education

network to improve efficiency and raise standards across the nation. The network will comprise representatives of environment and education departments of Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. Environment Australia’s environmental education Internet site will be upgraded and provision will be made for environmental education projects in the guidelines for

all funding programmes. The plan also aims to increase the profile of environmental education and its integration into mainstream educational institutions.

The Bureau of Meteorology has major international commitments, including: providing weather forecasting services for the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games, working at the same time with representatives of the National Meteorological Service of Greece to aid their preparations for the 2004 Games in Athens; taking a lead role in implementing the decisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change related to global climate monitoring;

cooperating with the China Meteorological Administration for the operation of the new geostationary meteorological satellite Fen Yung II; and implementing the recommendations of the 1999 review of the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre.

Major antarctic climate change research programmes will undertake sea-floor mapping and drilling in Prydz Bay, Antarctica (to improve understanding of sediment deposits and the climate changes they indicate); investigate ice shelf movement and ice-sea interaction (to improve prediction of sea level changes); and examine geological formations in the Prince Charles Mountains (to help determine the history of climate fluctuations as indicated by the

size of the ice sheet).

Heard Island studies will focus on the World Heritage property’s volcanic structures and what they reveal about the formation of continents, the island’s unique indigenous animal and plant communities, and the cultural heritage remaining from the days of whaling and sealing.

Potential Australia-Antarctica air link suppliers will undertake a familiarisation flight to Antarctica in summer 2000-01. Evaluation of the total costs of such an air link will be completed and the tender process to select the supplier will begin, along with a comprehensive environmental assessment of the whole air project.

Environment Australia will continue to advance the Government’s public sector reform agenda and strive for best practice in all of its operations.

Corporate reform will continue. A new corporate plan, which sets Environment Australia’s corporate agenda for the period 2000-2005, was collaboratively developed with staff and will be introduced early in the new financial year. A Strategic Plan for 2000-2001 has been developed to complement the corporate plan.

A priority activity in 2000-01 will be working towards ecologically sustainable use of Australia’s managed fisheries. Measures include conducting environmental assessments on Commonwealth-managed fisheries (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) and export fisheries (under the changes to Schedule 4 of the Wildlife

Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act).

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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n February 2000 market testing of the full range of Environment Australia’s corporate services started. This initiative will better align service requirements with service provision and is expected to result in significant cost efficiencies. T he project will be concluded in the first half of 2001. The outcomes-outputs framework has been reviewed and a revised structure, which better conveys Environment Australia’s focus and objectives, will be introduced in time for the next Budget.

Organisational changes will enhance the flexibility to respond to new challenges and to cut across issues. A new position of Chief Information Officer will improve the information flow and improve information management through the delivery of services on the Internet.

The Certified Agreement for Environment Australia 2000-2002, which includes a performance and development scheme, will contribute significantly to productivity.

Environment Australia will continue to strengthen the focus on people through development and planning linked to objectives and key directions. In order to achieve excellence in people management, Environment Australia will continue to work towards meeting the Investors in People standards.

8 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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OLE AND FUNCTIONS

The Environment and Heritage portfolio’s role is to achieve three major outcomes for the Commonwealth Government. T he outcomes are:

Outcome 1: the environment, especially those aspects that are matters of national environmental significance, is protected and conserved;

Outcome 2: Australia benefits from meteorological and related science and services; and

Outcome 3: Australia’s interests in Antarctica are advanced.

The delivery of these outcomes is achieved through:

• Environment Australia (the Department of Environment and Heritage which includes the Australian Antarctic Division, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Supervising Scientist);

• three statutory authorities (the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, and the Australian Heritage Commission);

• two executive agencies established under the Public Service Act 1999 (the Australian Greenhouse Office and the National Oceans Office). T he Australian Greenhouse Office is also a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

O utcom e 1

Environment Australia 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.

Through leadership and cooperation, Environment Australia encourages conservation and appreciation of natural and cultural heritage, and ecologically sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.

Environment Australia is responsible for administering several environmental laws, the most recent being the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The Act sets out matters of national environmental significance and provides regulatory arrangements to ensure the protection and conservation of those important national aspects of the environment. It will

come into effect on 16 July 2000.

The Supervising Scientist provides independent and informed advice on the protection and management of the Alligator Rivers Region.

The Australian Heritage Commission helps to identify, value and conserve heritage places, advising the Government on national estate matters, compiling an inventory of national estate places throughout Australia with natural and cultural heritage values and encouraging community appreciation and concern for the national estate.

The Director of National Parks and Wildlife currently has responsibility for the promotion of the conservation and appreciation of Commonwealth protected areas, and the protection of wildlife, whales and endangered species. W hen the Environment Protection and Biodiversity

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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onservation Act becomes effective on 16 July 2000, the Director will retain responsibility for the promotion of the conservation and appreciation of Commonwealth protected areas and will assume, under administrative arrangements, responsibility for the National Reserve System, the Australian Biological Resources Smdy and indigenous policy coordination. Protection of wildlife, whales and endangered species will become the responsibility of Environment Australia under the new legislation.

T he Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is responsible, under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1915, 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.

The Australian Greenhouse Office is the lead Commonwealth agency on greenhouse matters.

It coordinates domestic greenhouse policy and delivers greenhouse response programmes.

The National Oceans Office develops regional marine plans and is responsible for establishing an integrated planning process for the marine waters out to the 200 nautical mile limit of Australia’s exclusive economic zone and the extended continental shelf beyond that.

O utcom e 2

The Bureau of Meteorology is the national meteorological authority for Australia and is responsible for the provision of meteorological and related hydrological and oceanographic services to the Australian community, operating under the authority of the Meteorology Act 1955. 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; provides advice on meteorological matters; conducts meteorological research and investigations; and supports international cooperation in meteorology and operational hydrology.

The Bureau in particular supports the defence forces, navigation, shipping and civil aviation, primary producers, industry, trade and commerce.

O utcom e 3

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.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

PORTFOLIO STRUCTURE

Protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef

Conservation and appreciation o f wildlife and Commonwealth protected areas The environment, especially those

aspects that are matters of national environmental significance, is protected and conserved

Australia's natural and cultural heritage places are valued and conserved

Australians working together to meet the challenge of climate change

Outcome 2

Outcome 1

Australian Greenhouse Office Sub outcome

Australian Heritage Commission Sub outcome

National Parks and Wildlife Sub outcome

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Sub outcome

Parliamentary Secretary T he Hon Sharman Stone MP

Department o f the Environment and Heritage

Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator the Hon Robert Hill

Australia benefits from meteorological and related science and services

Outcome 3

Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 11

He

ad

D r Arthur Johnston

First Assistant Secretary Bruce Leaver

Deputy Secretary Howard Bamsey

First Assistant Secretai Dr Conall O'Connell ;n H unter

Office of the Supervising Scientist Assistant Secretary Alex Zapantis

Australian Heritage and Education Assistant Secretary Brian Babington

Identification and Conservation Assistant Secretary Dr Barry Reville

World Heritage Assistant Secretary Kevin Keeffe

Natural Heritage Division Coasts and (dean Seas Assistant Secretary (Alison Russell-French) A/g Margaret Tailby

Marine Conservation Assistant Secretary D r David Kay

Policy Coordination Strategic Development Division Division

First Assistant Secretary First Assistant Secretary (Chief Finance Officer) (Chief Information Officer) Robert Butterworth David Anderson Biodiversity Conservation

Assistant Secretary

Policy and Accountability People Mai Assistant Secretary Assistant S< D r Don Gunasekera

Finance Assistant Secretary Andrew McKinlay

Sustainable Landscapes

International and Intergovernmental Assistant Secretary Mark Hyman

Corporate Relations and Environmental Education Assistant Secretary Peter Woods

Natural Heritage Trust and Biodiversity Policy Assistant Secretary

National Parks and Wildlife

Environmental Information and Technology Strategies Assistant Secretary Con Boekel

Wildlife Australia

Parks Australia North

Parks Australia South Assistant Secretary

Statutory Authorities

Portfolio Strategies Group

Australian and Supervising Environm ent Australian Bureau of

Marine Group World Heritage Group Biodiversity Group Science Group Protection Group Antarctic Division M eteorology

Executive Agencies

Australian Heritage Commission Executive Director Bruce Leaver

y e p u i)

First Assistant Secretary Max Kitchell

Dr Bill Phillips

icks Dr Rhondda D

Belinda Robinson

Director Peter Cochrane

assistant secretary Anne-Marie Delah

Assistant Secretary Peter Wellings

John Hicks

Deputy Secretaiy Director Anthea Tinney D r Tony Press

Environment Expedition Operations

Quality Division Assistant Director First Assistant Secretary Kim Pitt Philip Clyde Polar Medicine

Sustainable Industries Assistant Director Assistant Secretary D r Desmond Lugg Malcolm Forbes Policy and Planning

Air and Water Quality Assistant Director Assistant Secretary Linda Hay Kathleen Mackie Science

Chemicals and the Assistant Director Environment Prof Michael Stoddart

Assistant Secretary Peter Burnett Corporate Services

Assistant Director

Approvals and Lorraine Francis

Legislation Division First Assistant Secretary Gerard Early

• Environment Assessment Assistant Secretary Gerry Morvell

• Policy and Compliance Assistant Secretary Mark Tucker

Director D r John Zi liman

Research and Systems Deputy Director (Vacant) A/g D r Geoffrey Love

Services Deputy Director (Dr Geoffrey Love) A/g Len Broadbridge

Central Operations and Systems Assistant Director Peter Gigliotti

Executive and International Affairs Assistant Director D r Bill Downey

Management Assistant Director Lesley Gordon

Observation Engineering Assistant Director D r Bob Brook

Research Centre Chief of Division D r Mike Manton

Service Policy Assistant Director (Vacant)

A/g Bob Wright

Interim Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (pending legislation) Executive Director Geoff Bailey

Australian Greenhouse Office National Oceans Office Chief Executive Director

Gwen Andrews Veronica Sakell

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairperson

The Hon Virginia Chadwick

Parks Australia and Wildlife Australia Director National Parks and Wildlife Peter Cochrane

M inister for the Environment and Heritage Senator the H on Robert Hill

Parliamentary Secretary T h e H on Sharman Stone M P

Secretary Roger Beale AM

ORGANISATION STRUCTURE

A

COMPARISON BETWEEN THE PROGRAMME STRUCTURE AND THE OUTCOME-OUTPUT STRUCTURE

O utcom e 1 - E n v iro n m e n t

Programme Management Budgeting Accrual Budgeting

Ozone Protection Act 1989 - Payments to the Ozone Protection Trust Fund Appropriation Bill 1 260-1 Running Costs, including

Section 31 receipts 260-2 Environment programme 266-1 NEPC Service Corporation 1.3 Appropriation Bill 1 260-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts 260-2 Environment programme Appropriation Bill 2 849-3 World Heritage Properties 1.4 Special Appropriation Payment to the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Appropriation Bill 1 260-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts 260-2 Environment programme Appropriation Bill 2 849-3 World Heritage Properties

To provide corporate services and coordination which facilitate the efficient and effective operation of the department and portfolio agencies

260-3 Corporate Services programme

O

u tco m e 2 - M eteo ro lo g y

Programme Management Budgeting Accrual Budgeting

Section 31 receipts Appropriation Bill 2 848-1-02 Acquisitions, Building, Works, Plant and Equipment - Meteorology 3.2 Appropriation Bill 1

263-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts 3.3 Appropriation Bill 1 263-1 Running Costs, including

Section 31 receipts Appropriation Bill 2 848-1-02 Acquisitions, Building, Works, Plant and Equipment - Meteorology 3.4 Appropriation Bill 1

263-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts 3.5 Appropriation Bill 1 263-1 Running Costs, including

Section 31 receipts 3.6 Appropriation Bill 1 263-1 Running Costs, including

Section 31 receipts 3.7 Appropriation Bill 1 263-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts

263-2 Other Services 3.8 Appropriation Bill 1 263-1 Running Costs, including

Section 31 receipts 263-2 Other Services Appropriation Bill 2 848-1-02 Acquisitions, Building, Works,

Plant and Equipment - Meteorology ;

14 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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utcom e 3 - A ntarctica

Programme Management Budgeting Accrual Budgeting

programme 2 To enhance Australia's role as an influential Outcome 3 Australia's interests in Antarctica nation in the Antarctic Treaty System; build are advanced,

a systematic knowledge of the .Antarctic by conducting and supporting strategic scientific research; protect the antarctic environment; and administer the Australian .-Antarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard and

McDonald Islands.

Sub

programmes

Appropriations

2.1 Policy, Planning and Environmental Management 2.2 Expeditions 2.3 Scientific Research 2.4 Management and Support

2.1 Appropriation Bill 1 265-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts 2.2 Appropriation Bill 1

265-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts Appropriation Bill 2 848-1 Antarctic programme 2.3 Appropriation Bill 1

265-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts 265-2 Antarctic Science Advisory Committee Grants Scheme 2.4 Appropriation Bill 1

265-1 Running Costs, including Section 31 receipts

O utput groups

Appropriations

3.1 Influence in Antarctic Treaty System 3.2 Protection of Antarctic Environment 3.3 Understanding Global Climate System 3.4 Science of practical, economic or natural

significance

Appropriation Bill 1 Departmental Outputs Administered Expenses

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 15

1

6 D epartm ent o f the Environm ent and H eritage A nnual R eport 1999-2000

PART TWO

REVIEW OF

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ISION

A natural and cultural environment, valued, enhanced and protected in harmony with the nation’s social and economic goals

MISSION

National leadership in the protection and conservation of the environment

The objectives of Environment Australia are to:

• identify, protect and conserve Australia’s biological diversity;

• protect and improve the quality of the atmosphere;

• protect and conserve Australia’s natural, indigenous and historic heritage places;

• recognise and accelerate the efforts of Australian industries to improve their environmental performance;

• protect and conserve Commonwealth parks, reserves, botanic gardens, marine protected areas and progress the National Reserve System; and

• promote, support and implement conservation and sustainable development and use of Australia’s land, water, coasts and oceans.

T

HEMES

Focusing on broad themes:

Biodiversity

Land

Inland waters

Coasts and oceans

N ational parks and reserves

N atural heritage and culture

Atmosphere

Industry

Assessments

T

he performance report for Outcome 1 is structured under broad themes, major programmes and departmental outputs.

The structure of the report is set out in this chart.

s s

Focusing on broad themes:

T H — IBB ■ ■ H

E M E

Conserve biological diversity

Manage land resources sustainably

Achieve ecologically sustainable use of inland waters

Conserve and sustainably manage coasts and oceans

Conserve Commonwealth reserves and progress the National Reserve System

Identify and protect natural and cultural heritage

Protect the atmosphere

Improve the environmental performance of industry

Conduct environmental assessments

S I

A ch iev ed th r o u g h program m es:

ENVIRONMENT AUSTRALIA FUNDS AND ADMINISTERS PROGRAMMES THAT PROTECT AND CONSERVE THE ENVIRONMENT

P

R

0

G

R

A

E

S

The Natural Heritage Trust

* Bushcare

* W orld Heritage * Endangered Species * Australian Biological Resources Study

* Biodiversity Conservation and Strategy ' National Weeds

* National Feral Animal Control

• Bushcare

• National Feral Animal Control • National Weeds

• National Wetlands • Waterwatch Australia e National River Health ' M urray-D arling 2001 • Riverworks Tasmania

Coasts and Clean Seas:

• Clean Seas • Coastal Monitoring • Introduced Marine Pests • Coastal and Marine Planning • Marine Species Protection • Coastcare • Capacity Building • Marine Protected Areas • Marine Waste Reception

Facilities

Australia's Oceans Policy: Marine Environment Protection • National Moorings • Antifouling

Living Cities: • Urban Stormwater Inititative

1 National '

Reserve System * Indigenous Protected

Areas

Commonwealth Reserves • World Heritage Area Management and Upkeep

• Australian Heritage Places Inventory • Historic Properties Restoration

• Commemorating H istoric Events and Famous People • Federation Cultural Heritage • Historic Shipwrecks • Cultural Heritage Projects

• Protection of Indigenous Heritage • Grants-in-Aid to the National Trust

The Natural Heritage Trust

• Living Cities; Air Toxics • Air Pollution in M ajor Cities • Ozone Protection • Fuel Quality Standards • Diesel National

Environment Protection Measure • National Pollutant Inventory

• Living Cities • Waste M anagement Awareness • Oil Recycling • Hazardous Materials • Risk Assessment of

Chemicals • Best Practice Environmental Management

• ChemCollect • Biotechnology • Australia's E nviroN ET • National Pollutant

Inventory

• Environment impact assessments

S u p p o rted b y d ep artm en tal outputs:

0

U

T

P

U

T

S

ENVIRONMENT AUSTRALIA DELIVERS A RANGE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS THAT SUPPORT MAJOR PROGRAMMES

POLICY ADVICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY Domestic I International I State of the environment I Corporate reform

PROGRAMME ADMINISTRATION Grants I Schemes

STRATEGIES

Agreements I Codes I Protected areas I Coordination

INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION Forums I Obligations I Representation

INFORMATION Databases I Web sites I Education

LEGISLATION

Reform I Standards I Regulations

ASSESSMENT AND RESEARCH Science I Impact assessments

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 21

F

o c u sin g o n b ro a d them es:

THE ENVIRONMENT, ESPECIALLY THOSE ASPECTS THAT ARE MATTERS OF NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNIFICANCE, IS PROTECTED AN D CONSERVED

Environment Australia’s responsibility is to play a national role to protect and conserve Australia’s unique natural and cultural heritage, one of the most diverse and ancient in the world, within a framework of sustainable development.

Australia’s environmental challenges, particularly those in and around our cities, are diverse but not unique. In the cities Australia continues to grapple with the environmental impacts of urban sprawl that include the loss of vegetation and habitat, the encroachment of development into areas of high conservation value, the impacts of the motor vehicle on urban air quality, the cumulative problem of managing landfill waste and the impacts of pollution on our waterways, estuaries and beaches.

In country areas, many of Australia’s environmental challenges relate to consenting biological diversity, ensuring the adequate flow and quality of water, preventing soil losses and erosion, reversing the decline in the extent and quality of vegetation, undoing the damage caused by feral species, maintaining groundwater supplies, responding to salinity and minimising the

environmental impacts of industry.

A major challenge is the sustainable management of Australia’s marine resources, with the coasts and oceans providing resources for many industries including tourism, fishing, aquaculture and mining.

None of these problems is new but recendy Australian governments, community groups and individuals have made a concerted effort to reverse accumulated environmental damage. Environment Australia has administered the Commonwealth Government’s agenda and programmes.

It is not possible to resolve Australia’s environmental challenges in a piecemeal, fragmented way. Environment Australia has followed broad themes of responsibility that come together to form an integrated approach.

For Environment Australia to conserve and protect the environment, particularly those aspects that are matters of national environmental significance, its programmes need to:

• conserve biological diversity;

• manage land resources sustainably;

• achieve ecologically sustainable use of inland waters;

• conserve and sustainably manage coasts and oceans;

• conserve Commonwealth reserves and progress the National Reserve System;

• identify and protect natural and cultural heritage;

• protect the atmosphere;

• improve the environmental performance of industry; and

• conduct environmental assessments.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

T

HEME: CONSERVE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

As home to 10 per cent of the world’s known species of flora and fauna, many of which are found nowhere else, Australia has a responsibility to conserve its biological diversity.

More than 1300 species of Australian plants or wildlife are listed as endangered or vulnerable to extinction. Over 20 per cent of native bird species are threatened with extinction as a result of habitat clearing.

At least 18 exotic mammals have established feral populations in Australia, with cats and foxes being blamed for the decline and extinction of several native animals. Introduced plants account for some 15 per cent of Australia’s total flora, with many of these species causing substantial damage to native vegetation and habitats.

Environment Australia’s effort to protect biological diversity has been strategically focused on five priority areas: reversing the decline in quality and extent of Australia’s native vegetation; improving biological diversity conservation in protected areas; promoting recovery of nationally listed threatened species; combating invasive non-native species; and advancing the identification and classification of plants and animals.

One of the key objectives of the Natural Heritage Trust is to implement a comprehensive approach to protect Australia’s biological diversity.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act provides an integrated framework for conserving biodiversity. W ith environment protection measures for threatened and migratory species, Ramsar wetlands, World Heritage properties and the Commonwealth’s marine area, the Act provides additional protection to species and communities in Commonwealth areas and provides for world’s best practice management of Commonwealth reserves and protected areas.

During the year the area of protected land increased by 4.25 million hectares; threat abatement plans for the feral animal species fox, cat, goat and rabbit were approved by the Minister; an action plan was published to protect 90 species of bat; and the Camoo Caves west of Rockhampton, where many bats live, were acquired under the National Reserve System programme.

Environment Australia played a leading role in the development, by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, of a National Framework for the Management and Monitoring of Australia’s Native Vegetation. The initiative is a consistent framework of best practice management and monitoring measures. It will ensure that all jurisdictions work in an integrated way to reverse the long-term decline in the quality and extent of Australia’s native vegetation, and provides an independent yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of these efforts.

Environment Australia made significant contributions to institutional reform, the development of incentives, and investment in native vegetation management and biodiversity conservation.

In particular, it offered innovative incentives for the protection and management of vegetation remnants. These included fencing assistance schemes, the Land for Wildlife programme, and establishing funds to purchase and then sell land with conservation value.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 23

A series of research reports by CSIRO on incentives funded by Environment Australia has been instrumental in influencing policy discussion about nature conservation on private land across Australia. A ministerial statement on the Bushcare programme, entitled New Directions in Native Vegetation Management, was released. The statement oudined strategic directions for vegetation policies and programmes.

Environment Australia made a significant contribution to engaging local government in implementing the National Local Government Biodiversity Strategy. Across Australia, environment resource officers and Bushcare and Coastcare facilitators worked with local government to identify biodiversity conservation priorities.

Conserving biological diversity is pursued through the following programmes and departmental outputs:

• Bushcare;

• Endangered Species;

• National Feral Animal Control;

• National Weeds; and

• Australian Biological Resources Study.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs.

THEME: MANAGE LAND RESOURCES SUSTAINABLY

Australian soils are generally of very poor quality and dependent upon vegetation cover for nutrients and stability. Excessive land clearing and water extraction and poor soil conservation have contributed to a substantial decline in the quality of land resources across Australia.

Soil erosion rates may be up to 10 times the rates of soil formation. Excessive clearing and irrigation have caused water tables to rise in much of Australia, resulting in waterlogging and salinisation.

One of the priorities of the Natural Heritage Trust, which is administered by Environment Australia and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, has been to reduce land degradation. T he bulk of the funds allocated through the Natural Heritage Trust has been spent on programmes with a heavy emphasis on improving land management. These funds are being invested in catchment-wide, community-based, on-ground actions that integrate environmental objectives with sustainable farming systems, and improve the condition of natural ecosystems affected by primary production. Much of the work is being done through the 4500 community- based Landcare, Bushcare and catchment groups.

T he Trust’s National Feral Animal Control and National Weeds Programmes also contribute to reducing land degradation. The goal of the National Feral Animal Control Programme is to ensure effective management of the impact of feral animals on the natural environment and on primary production, while the National Weeds Programme aims to reduce the detrimental impact of nationally significant weeds on the sustainability of Australia’s productive capacity and natural ecosystems.

As part of its financial incentive programmes, Environment Australia provided advice to the Government on changes to the tax system that affect the economics of land management so that

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

landholders have incentives to invest in more sustainable practices. Gifts of property worth more than $5000 to approved conservation and heritage groups will become tax-deductible, regardless of when the property was purchased.

The following programmes contribute to sustainable management of land resources:

• Bushcare;

• National Feral Animal Control; and

• National Weeds.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs. '

THEME: ACHIEVE ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE USE OF INLAND WATERS

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. It has the least river water, the lowest run-off and the smallest area of permanent wetlands of any continent other than Antarctica. One-third of the continent produces almost no run-off at all and Australia’s rainfall and stream flows are the most variable in the world.

Because of the scarcity and variability of fresh water in Australia, extensive investments have been made in water infrastructure to drought-proof the economy. These investments in regional Australia have made a significant contribution to national wealth, underpinning the development of thriving cities and towns as well as the primary industry, mining and tourism sectors.

Settlement and economic growth have relied upon large-scale damming, diversion, pumping and drainage of surface waters, land reclamation, loss of wetlands and extraction of groundwater for irrigation, stock, domestic and industrial use. Australia now has the highest per capita water storage in the world. Sydney, for example, stores 932 kilolitres of water per capita compared with New York’s 250 and London’s 18.2 kilolitres.

Water resource development has had a profound effect on many of our freshwater systems.

Far too many of Australia’s waters and water-dependent ecosystems are suffering extensive damage, with growing economic and environmental costs to the nation. Water is vital for a healthy environment. Integrating the needs of the environment, and the flows required to maintain and restore healthy rivers, with water allocation for consumptive uses is a major task facing Australian governments and communities.

Environment Australia, in consultation with other participating jurisdictions, contributed to the development by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission of a draft basin salinity management strategy and salinity targets, and a draft integrated catchment management statement. These documents create a framework for catchment level targets for water quality, salinity, water sharing, terrestrial biological diversity, and catchment and ecosystem health.

Ground water is essential to Australian agriculture and remote communities. Environment Australia has been working through the Great Artesian Basin Consultative Council to achieve the sustainable management of the basin’s water resources and associated environmental and heritage values.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 25

environment

environme

Through the National Wetlands Programme, Environment Australia continued maintenance of the Directory of Important Wedands in Australia (including Commonwealth land), which details information on the ecological values and management of Australia’s most significant wetlands for decision makers.

Environment Australia continued to work with the States and Territories to prepare management plans for wetlands listed under the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971) and to identify wetland sites for nomination under the Ramsar Convention.

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Ramsar wetlands of international importance are, for the first time, afforded statutory protection through a stronger and more significant assessment and approvals process and through the Australian Ramsar management principles.

The National Centre for Tropical Wetlands Research was established in Darwin as a research and training centre to coordinate tropical wetlands research and run training courses for local and international wetland managers.

Promoting, supporting and implementing the ecologically sustainable use of inland waters occurs through the following programmes:

• National Wetlands;

• National River Health;

• Waterwatch Australia; and

• Riverworks Tasmania.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs.

THEME: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLY MANAGE COASTS AND OCEANS

Australia’s marine environment rivals the terrestrial environment in its biological diversity but dwarfs it in scale by a ratio of more than two to one. Australia’s marine biological diversity includes some 4000 fish species, 500 coral species in our northern reefs alone, 50 species of marine mammals and a wide range of seabirds. As many as 80 per cent of our southern marine species occur nowhere else.

W ith more than 14 million Australians living within 100 kilometres of the coast, and with the coasts and oceans providing resources for industries including tourism, fishing, aquaculture and mining, there are many pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems.

T he establishment of the National Oceans Office in December 1999 in Hobart as an executive agency was a major step towards achieving the conservation and sustainable use and management of Australia’s marine resources.

The declaration and management of marine protected areas are important tools in the protection and conservation of marine biological diversity. Three marine protected areas were declared: Lord Howe Island Marine Park, Cartier Island Marine Reserve and Macquarie Island Marine Park. Macquarie Island Marine Park covers an area of 16 million hectares in the Southern Ocean,

26 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

m

aking it the second largest marine protected area in the world after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and the largest highly protected marine area according to the IUCN - World Conservation Union classification system. Plans of management were released for the Great Australian Bight Marine Park and Mermaid Reef Marine National Nature Reserve.

More than 5 5 exotic marine species have been introduced into Australian waters, with many of them damaging marine environments, threatening aquaculture and posing risks to human health. The National Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions

made 57 recommendations on ways to remedy current deficiencies in preventing new pest incursions, to respond to new pest outbreaks and to control existing pest incursions.

Environment Australia has been active in the protection of marine species, including championing the establishment of a South Pacific whale sanctuary. In November 1999, Environment Australia agreed to a request by the international community to lead the global conservation of the albatross. A plan to reduce the impact of long-line fishing on albatrosses and other seabirds was implemented and a recovery plan to protect marine turtles completed.

In October 1999 an independent mid-term review reported that the Natural Heritage Trust’s Coasts and Clean Seas initiative had been ‘enthusiastically embraced by stakeholders from the community, industry research organisations, water management authorities, and State and local governments’. The programmes under Coasts and Clean Seas funded a wide range of projects directed at conservation and sustainable use and management of coastal and marine resources.

Conservation and sustainable use of coasts and oceans was pursued through the following programmes:

• Coasts and Clean Seas:

- Clean Seas; - Coastal Monitoring; - Introduced Marine Pests; - Coastal and Marine Planning; - Marine Species Protection; - Coastcare; - Capacity Building; - Marine Protected Areas; and - Marine Waste Reception Facilities.

• Australia’s Oceans Policy Marine Environment Protection Programmes:

- Coastal Acid Sulfate Soils; - National Moorings; and - Antifouling.

• Living Cities:

- Urban Stormwater Initiative.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 27

THEME: CONSERVE CO MMONWEALTH RESERVES AND PROGRESS THE NATIONAL RESERVE SYSTEM

Environment Australia, through the Natural Heritage Trust, assisted the establishment of new ecologically significant protected areas as part of the National Reserve System. In total, a land mass larger than the area of Tasmania was added to the National Reserve System mostly in the form of indigenous protected areas. Land purchases were approved that added 1.7 million hectares to protected areas in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

In June 2000 the Anangu Pitjantjatjara people of South Australia came to an agreement with Environment Australia to protect biological diversity and cultural heritage on 2 million hectares of their lands. T he area, part of the Birksgate Ranges, has one of the highest diversities of reptile species found anywhere in the world and contains such rare and endangered species as the mallee fowl and the great desert skink.

Progressing the National Reserve System is managed through the following programmes:

• National Reserve System; and

• Indigenous Protected Areas.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs. Management of Commonwealth reserves is the responsibility of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife. For details, refer to the annual report of the Director.

THEME: IDENTIFY AND PROTECT NATURAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE

Environment Australia identifies, protects and manages Australia’s World Heritage areas. Currently there are 13 sites: the Great Barrier Reef, the Tasmanian Wilderness, the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Shark Bay, Kakadu National Park, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Willandra Lakes Region, the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Naracoorte and Riversleigh), the Lord Howe Island Group, the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia), Fraser Island, Macquarie Island, and Heard and McDonald Islands.

In July 1999 Australia argued successfully that the World Heritage Committee not place Kakadu on the list of World Heritage in Danger. Australia was selected as a member of the World Heritage Bureau, and in December 1999 the committee accepted Australia’s invitation to host and chair their next meeting.

In June 2000 the Minister announced the reform of the Commonwealth’s heritage protection structures to achieve more effective protection of places of truly national heritage significance. Places on the national list will be identified as a matter of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The Act’s framework will identify the role for the Commonwealth in protecting national heritage places while providing a mechanism for the accreditation of State management arrangements.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Supplementary information on the World Heritage values of the Greater Blue Mountains area was provided in order to advise the World Heritage Committee on inscription. The proposed nomination of a series of Australian convict sites was added to Australia’s tentative World Heritage list in June 2000.

Environment Australia prepared five World Heritage nominations, working cooperatively with other governments. These included negotiations with the New South Wales Government on the nomination of the Opera House and with the Western Australian Government and the Kimberley Land Council over assessment of Purnululu.

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Bill was drafted and introduced into the Senate.

Environment Australia also reviewed the existing agreement between the Netherlands and Australia concerning old Dutch shipwrecks, pursued an agreement with the United Kingdom regarding old Admiralty wrecks in Australian waters, coordinated Australia’s participation in the development of a United Nations convention on the protection of underwater cultural heritage, and provided funds to locate the remains of HMB Endeavour in Newport Harbour, Rhode Island.

Activities concerning the Register of the National Estate and other work of the Australian Heritage Commission are reported in the separate annual report of the commission.

Identifying and protecting natural, historic and cultural heritage is brought about through the following programmes:

• World Heritage Area Management and Upkeep;

• Australian Heritage Places Inventory;

• Historic Properties Restoration;

• Commemorating Historic Events and Famous People;

• Federation Cultural Heritage;

• Historic Shipwrecks;

• Cultural Heritage Projects;

• Grants-in-Aid to the National Trust; and

• Protection of Indigenous Heritage.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs.

THEME: PROTECT THE ATMOSPHERE

Air pollution is still rated by the majority of Australians as their most serious environmental concern. The state of the air is a determining factor in the quality of life in Australian cities. Environment Australia implements national initiatives to reduce levels of air pollutants in the major metropolitan centres. It works cooperatively with other government agencies, States and Territories, and industry through forums such as the National Environment Protection Council, the National Road Transport Commission and the M otor Vehicle

Environment Committee.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 29

environment

Environment Australia has concentrated on improving the environmental performance of the transport sector as it is the most significant contributor to urban air pollution. Increased congestion, longer idling times in traffic, further distances travelled by road and increased urban sprawl have required an integrated national response.

Three complementary strategies are being pursued: the progressive tightening of vehicle emission standards, the establishment of vehicle inspection and maintenance programmes, and the regulation of fuel quality. Initiatives to advance these strategies were announced as part of A New Tax System - Measures for a Better Environment.

The Measures for a Better Environment package consists of a suite of initiatives designed to improve the management of transport emissions and greenhouse gases. T he former includes both vehicle-based and fuel-based initiatives. Vehicle-based initiatives target the emissions performance of new and in-service vehicles and promote the use of alternative-fuelled vehicles. T he fuel-based initiatives facilitate the adoption of emerging vehicle engine and emission control

technologies. This has been constrained by the lack of availability of fuel of suitable quality.

National action to address transport emissions, as well as other priority air quality issues, has also progressed under the Air Pollution in Major Cities Programme, funded by the Natural Heritage Trust. In addition to transport emissions, the focus has been on improved management of woodheater emissions, through industry codes of practice and national education campaigns,

and on the monitoring and management of fine particle pollution.

Australia has led the world in phasing out ozone-depleting substances, in many cases well ahead of the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Australia’s approach has been based on a highly cooperative partnership between industry, the community and all levels of government, coordinated by Environment Australia.

Protecting and improving the quality of the atmosphere is brought about through the following programmes:

• Air Toxics element of Living Cities;

• Measures for a Better Environment;

• Air Pollution in Major Cities;

• Ozone Protection; and

• National Pollutant Inventory.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs.

THEME: IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF INDUSTRY

Environment Australia is working with Australian industry to improve their environmental performance. As a result, an increasing number of companies view environmental protection as a benefit, not a cost, to their organisations. Environment Australia cooperated with several industry sectors to reduce their impact on the natural environment - both in terms of resource extraction and of waste released into the environment.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he national priority has been eco-efficiency (ecological and economic efficiency) improvement, recognising that sustainable development depends on Australian industry doing more with less. That in turn depends on businesses adopting the tools they need to make their operations more eco-efficient: environmental accounting, public environmental reporting, environmental management systems, environmental performance measurement and life cycle assessment.

Environment Australia developed and published the first National Framework for Public Environmental Reporting in March 2000. It also funded extension officers in the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to promote the concept of public environmental reporting to members of these major industry associations.

Environment Australia also worked with local government to efficiently target resources to biodiversity conservation. It collaborated with the Australian Local Government Association to conduct a national survey and identify resources being directed to local government conservation activities and priorities for further action.

The National Pollutant Inventory, which is an important incentive for adoption of cleaner production practices, came online in January 2000 after several years of cooperation and development with State and Territory Governments. It currently provides nearly 1200 facility reports and information on major airsheds and water catchments. T he database was used nearly a quarter of a million times in its first five months of operation.

Environment Australia started the ChemCollect programme to collect and destroy obsolete farm chemicals across Australia. The programme is being carried out with the assistance of participating State and Territory Governments.

Figures released in June 2000 by Environment Australia’s Waste Wise programme showed that the construction industry is recycling up to 87 per cent of its waste, almost doubling the voluntary targets set under the programme.

Recognising and accelerating the efforts of Australian industries to improve their environmental performance is brought about through the following programmes:

• Living Cities;

• Waste Management Awareness;

• Oil Recycling;

• Hazardous Materials;

• ChemCollect;

• Risk Assessment of Chemicals;

• Best Practice Environmental Management;

• Biotechnology;

• Australia’s EnviroNET; and

• National Pollutant Inventory.

Details are provided in the sections on programmes and outputs.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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HEME: C O N D U C T ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS

In undertaking environmental impact assessment activities, Environment Australia maintained the high standards expected by the community. There were no instances of breaches of the statutory timeframes set out in the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1914 or the Telecommunications A n 1999 and no legal challenges to decisions made under the Acts were successful. Environment Australia also provided advice to the Australian Communications Authority on projects referred by carriers under the Telecommunications Act and assisted in educational activities on the legislation.

Environment Australia coordinated environmental and heritage considerations of investment projects under the Government’s investment promotion and facilitation initiatives. For all major facilitation projects requiring Commonwealth environmental impact assessment, Commonwealth assessment obligations were either completed or had progressed within the timeframes agreed.

A total of 314 projects were referred to Environment Australia under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act and the Telecommunications Act. The proposals included the Honeymoon uranium mine, corporatisation of the Snowy Mountain hydro-electric scheme,

the Christmas Island satellite launch facility, Millmerran and Kogan Creek coal-fired power stations, the Comalco alumina project, the Stuart oil shale project stage 2, the Twofold Bay naval ammunition facility, the Basslink cable interconnection and the precision runway monitor at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport.

Details of all environmental impact assessments are reported in the section on outputs.

• CONCLUSION

Environment Australia has achieved results in all of the broad theme areas.

Through the $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust, Environment Australia and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia have managed the mobilisation of some 300 000 people for on­ ground environmental repair and protection - an investment of financial and human resources in

sustainable development unrivalled in Australian history and probably anywhere in the world.

Environment Australia has prepared for environmental policy responses by making major changes to legislation. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act will help to ensure that Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments can respond to environmental threats in a more effective way than ever before.

W ith results on the ground, in the air, on the waterways and in the oceans, Environment Australia has provided national leadership in protecting, conserving and sustainably managing the Australian environment.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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ROGRAMMES

Focusing on broad themes:

Achieved through programmes:

ENVIRONMENT AUSTRALIA FUNDS AND ADMINISTERS PROGRAMMES THAT PROTECT AND CONSERVE THE ENVIRONMENT

Much of Environment Australia’s work involves administering programmes, many of which are implemented by others. Many of these outside organisations and individuals are funded through the Natural Heritage Trust. Grants given to organisations under these programmes address environmental and heritage themes that coincide with the priorities established by the Government. Performance indicators have been established and audits performed to confirm the effectiveness of these grants and programmes.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

A

chieved through programmes:

THE NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

The Natural Heritage Trust is the biggest investment in the environment ever made by an Australian Government, providing tangible recognition of the fundamental importance of natural capital, which underwrites other forms of wealth. In 1999-2000 the Trust approved funding for 3880 projects. O f these, over 2080 environmental projects, to a value of $138 million, were approved under programmes for which Environment Australia is responsible.

T he effective management of the Natural Heritage Trust included timely assessment and payment of new and continuing grants, and provision of advice on continuing management and development of the Trust. Since the Trust began in 1996, $870 million has been approved for almost 9000 Natural Heritage Trust and related projects throughout Australia, including $305 million approved in 1999-2000.

The mid-term review of the Natural Heritage Trust evaluated achievements and made recommendations for improvement in meeting the goal of the Trust to stimulate activities in the national interest to achieve conservation, sustainable use and repair of Australia’s natural environment. Fourteen consultancy firms conducted the 29 separate reviews covering the

individual Trust programmes, regional and thematic case studies, and the overarching management of the Trust. T he review put forward a total of 620 recommendations.

There was consensus in the reports on areas of particular achievement in the Trust’s operation, including success in:

• creating a framework for raising the level of investment in the natural environment and sustainable agriculture and for adding value to the contribution of other community and State Government stakeholders;

• raising community awareness and empowering communities to create new social networks for cooperative activity across regions;

• delivering programmes effectively through partnerships with States and Territories;

• fostering and strengthening a regional approach to programme delivery; and

• achieving environmental and sustainable outcomes through projects.

The Natural Heritage Ministerial Board met three times and prepared estimates of debits from the Trust Reserve as required under section 41 of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997. The board also approved expenditure from each of the programme elements. The major issue considered by the board was the mid-term review.

The board noted that the mid-term review of the Natural Heritage Trust recognised the achievement of empowering the community to act to promote environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture. It also noted that the mid-term review had not reported any evidence of fraud or administrative mismanagement.

34 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he issues report addressed high level issues including long-term Government commitment; future directions for Government policy; a more strategic approach; partnerships with other levels of government and industry; regional approaches to programme delivery; Trust programme structure; governance; improving communication; capacity building; and monitoring and evaluation.

The audit report for the 1998-99 Natural Heritage Trust financial statements was unqualified. In addition, management reporting was maintained and distributed to cost centre managers, who compared budgeted activities to actual outcomes. Major achievements were the transition to the new financial system and A New Tax System - Measures for a Better Environment.

The programmes funded by the Natural Heritage Trust and administered by Environment Australia are:

Theme: Conserve biological diversity Bushcare*, Endangered Species Protection*, National Feral Animal Control*, National Weeds*

Theme: Manage land resources sustainably Bushcare*, National Feral Animal Control*, National Weeds*

Theme: Achieve ecologically sustainable use of inland waters National Wedands, Waterwatch Australia, National River Health, Riverworks Tasmania

Theme: Conserve and sustainably manage coasts and oceans Australia’s Oceans Policy Marine Environment Protection, Coasts and Clean Seas

Theme: Conserve Commonwealth reserves and progress the National Reserve System National Reserve System, Indigenous Protected Areas

Theme: Identify and protect natural and cultural heritage World Heritage Area Management and Upkeep

Theme: Protect the atmosphere Air Pollution in Major Cities

Theme: Improve the environmental performance of industry Waste Management Awareness.

* Programmes that address more than one theme

THE LIVING CITIES PROGRAMME

By addressing urban environmental challenges the Living Cities Programme recognises that Australia’s environmental problems are not restricted to regional and rural areas.

Elements of this three-year programme include: the reduction of waste by promoting recycling and re-use of materials by business through developing sustainable markets for recycled materials; the collection and destruction of unwanted chemicals; the protection of the community from exposure to potentially toxic air pollutants; and the reduction of urban waterway pollution from stormwater.

More details on individual programme elements are given in this section and the departmental output section.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 35

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HEME: CONSERVE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

• BUSHCARE PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Reverse the long-term decline in the quality and extent of Australia’s native vegetation cover by increasing the use of local provenance native vegetation in revegetation projects; restoring landscape productivity; promoting better management of remnant vegetation; increasing use of conservation covenants and management agreements; and increasing community capacity to manage native vegetation through access to information and training. Progress towards no net loss in the quality and extent of native vegetation, through improved remnant vegetation management, increased re-establishment and decreased vegetation clearance.

Result Since its establishment Bushcare has provided over $160 million to support more than 2600 projects throughout Australia. In 1999-2000, Bushcare funded in excess of 850 projects to a value of $60 million. Over 75 per cent of this funding went to community projects seeking to improve vegetation management through protection and revegetation, and to reduce land degradation.

Through the Natural Heritage Trust, Bushcare has provided funding for projects which improve native vegetation management. For example, funding of $492 000 was provided in 1999-2000 to the Northern Midlands Council in Tasmania for the Midlands Bushweb project, which aims to

protect threatened vegetation communities and species, and to rehabilitate damaged habitats in the highly cleared midlands of Tasmania. The protection of remnants is extremely important because so little is left. This project is delivering excellent outcomes and is a good example of the use of a catchment vegetation plan to set priorities. As well as providing incentives for fencing and management, landholders are provided with management advice as each property is assessed. The project has protected and rehabilitated over 2000 hectares of remnant vegetation.

In Victoria, Bushcare provided $49 600 to the Farm Trees and Land Association for the Picola and District Superb Parrot Foraging Habitat Project to secure habitat in the district for the superb parrot, classified as vulnerable in Victoria. The project was the winner of the 1999 Banksia Award in the community groups category. The project revegetated and linked critical foraging habitat and protected remnant vegetation. Volunteers planted 84 000 seedlings and erected 84 kilometres of protective fencing.

T he Harden-Murrumburrah Landcare Group in New South Wales was provided with funding of $114 500 to reverse the severe depletion of native vegetation in the local shire, which had resulted in waterlogging, dryland salinity and loss of habitat. A partnership with the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research provided a sound scientific basis for the planning and works undertaken. Activities have included protection of native vegetation, fencing, planting and direct seeding.

The mid-term review of the Natural Heritage Trust found Bushcare had stimulated additional investment in vegetation management and had made an important contribution to raising people’s awareness of the importance of native vegetation, to conservation and to raising skill levels in the

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

community in vegetation management. T he review found that most sites protecting remnant native vegetation have voluntary management agreements in place, generally for 10 years. Some have permanent covenants. Bushcare encouraged the establishment of conservation covenants and management agreements over remnant native vegetation by providing higher levels of fencing incentives for areas protected in this way, compared with areas under no agreement.

Bushcare also encouraged best practice conservation covenanting by funding the States to establish revolving funds under the Bush for Wildlife initiative. The schemes involve buying land with significant conservation values, placing a conservation agreement on the land and selling the land to new owners who are committed to managing for conservation.

The Bushcare programme gave priority to projects that use local provenance species in their revegetation activities. Preference is given to projects that restore the same species, structure and density as occurred naturally.

Bushcare assisted the community to collect and use local provenance seed through regional and local projects and provided guidance on best practice management through the FloraBank project. FloraBank published Native Seed in Australia, a survey of the collection, storage and distribution of native seed for revegetation and conservation purposes that indicated that demand is for seed indigenous to the area where it will be used, particularly for community revegetation projects. Much of this seed comes from community seedbanks, of which there are about 50 in Australia. Twenty-four are receiving Bushcare funding.

Bushcare assisted in improving the capacity of local government to better manage native vegetation through:

• supporting regional workshops for local government in New South Wales and Tasmania;

• funding the development and promotion of a guide for local government incentives, entitled Sustainable Land Management: Community Cost Sharing to Conserve Biodiversity on Private Lands·, and

• supporting implementation of the National Local Government Biodiversity Strategy.

Bushcare maintained a network of specialist personnel who provide free advice, practical assistance, and links to a range of resources to help build the capacity of communities and organisations to manage native vegetation. During the year the network reached its full complement and has been increasingly effective in assisting community groups to design and implement appropriate vegetation projects. T he Bushcare extension network includes:

• a Bushcare coordinator in every State and Territory;

• 50 regional facilitators located in rural and urban regions across Australia assisting with regional vegetation management strategies, incentive programmes and project assessment and evaluation;

• Bushcare Support, a network of 120 staff established by Greening Australia under contract, who provide technical advice, training and education to the community;

• 12 Natotal Heritage Trust indigenous land management facilitators;

• environmental resource officers in State local government associations;

• a national local government Bushcare facilitator, who encourages local councils to participate in best practice native vegetation management; and

• a grassy ecosystems networker, who provides technical information to the community on conservation of grasslands.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 37

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ushcare supported a range of national projects and research projects which provided information and technical advice to assist communities to better manage native vegetation, including:

• Euclid, a computer-based key to help identify eucalypt species;

• technology transfer amongst industry and community groups to enhance biological diversity in revegetation, a project by the Australian Centre for Mining Environmental Research;

• a national firewood conference;

• a community salinity summit;

• an investigation of mundulla yellows, a disease affecting native eucalypt species;

• practical measures to assist the conservation of biological diversity in sustainable beef production in northern Australia; and

• the Bush Brokers project in Western Australia, which seeks to improve understanding of native vegetation values in the Western Australian real estate market and to fund owners committed to management for bush values.

Bushcare sponsored a conference in Clare, South Australia, entitled Balancing Conservation and Production in Grassy Landscapes, to enable sharing of information and technical advice on grassland management. The conference was a substantial step towards better integration of biological diversity into agricultural production.

• ENDANGERED SPECIES PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Protect and conserve threatened species and ecological communities so that they can survive, flourish and retain their potential for evolutionary development in the wild.

Result Endangered Species Programme funding is directed to actions that will improve the status of priority threatened species and communities: protecting habitat, abating threats or improving the population size of threatened species and communities. During the year, the programme had 137 active projects.

The programme is administered by the Director of National Parks and Wildlife and more details are given in the annual report of the Director.

T he National Weeds Programme and National Feral Animal Control Programme, described below, also contribute to endangered species conservation.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

THEME: MANAGE LAND RESOURCES SUSTAINABLY

• NATIONAL WEEDS PROGRAMME ~ NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Reduce the detrimental impact of nationally significant weeds on the sustainability of productive capacity and natural ecosystems. This is achieved by identifying weeds of national significance; enhancing national coordination of action on their management; improving control methods; better managing weeds through enhanced information; and implementing a weed risk assessment process to screen new plant imports.

Result Grants from the Natural Heritage Trust funded research on the identification and introduction of biological control agents for the weed mimosa. The mimosa project has so far established nine biological control agents. Twelve control agents are still under consideration, nine actively. Two control agents were approved for release. A draft national strategic plan for control of bitou bush and boneseed has been produced.

The revised National Weeds Strategy and information on all 20 weeds of national significance were made available through the Internet.

National action on the 20 weeds of national significance is being coordinated through the National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee and the development of individual species plans. Strategic plans have been, or are being, developed for 17 of the 20 weeds of national significance. The strategic plans for prickly acacia and rubber vine (both significant threats to primary production)

have been through a public consultation process and the final drafts have been approved by the National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee for endorsement by standing committees of agriculture, environment and forestry. The plans for the individual weeds of national significance will provide the basis for decisions by all funding agencies (Commonwealth, State and Territory)

on those projects that are of greatest value in bringing the particular species under control.

Workshops were held on 14 additional species to initiate the individual species plans.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service implemented Environment Australia’s weed risk assessment process to screen new plant imports.

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• NATIONAL FERAL ANIMAL CONTROL PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Ensure effective management of the impact of feral animals on the natural environment and on primary production. This is achieved by enhanced national coordination of action on management of feral animals responsible for key threatening processes; improved humane control methods; enhanced information to improve management of species responsible for key threatening processes; progress towards ameliorating the impact of feral animals on listed endangered and vulnerable species; the production of threat abatement plans; and the development of new control methods for feral cats and foxes.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 39

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esult The National Feral Animal Control Programme comes under the umbrella of the Natural Heritage Trust. Sixteen projects to control feral animals were funded during the year at a total value of $1.5 million. Projects addressed a range of issues in relation to three species (fox, cat and rabbit) that cause key threatening processes. Two projects also targeted problems caused by feral pigs.

Three long-term projects were funded to improve the humane control of feral species:

• the assessment of analgesic/1080 bait combination;

• the development of a humane cat-specific toxin and bait delivery system for feral cat control; and

• the development of an immunocontraceptive vaccine for foxes.

Four mammal species (cat, goat, rabbit and European red fox) are listed as contributing to key threatening processes under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 and a threat abatement plan was prepared for each of these species. The Minister approved the plans.

All amphibians and freshwater fish that are known to have extant naturalised populations have been identified. Information available on threats to the conservation of biological diversity posed by these species was reviewed and will be used in the development of future

information products.

General information on foxes, feral goats, feral cats, rabbits, feral pigs and feral horses, and a general introductory article on environmental weeds, were published.

A threat abatement plan implementation team was established to provide national coordination on implementation of the threat abatement plans for foxes, feral cats, feral goats and rabbits.

THEME: ACHIEVE ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE USE OF INLAND WATERS

• NATIONAL WETLANDS PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Promote the conservation, repair and sustainable use of wetlands.

Result More than $1 million was allocated to 25 new wetland projects through the Natural Heritage Trust. The majority of these projects were to rehabilitate, conserve, manage and monitor wetlands and raise awareness of wedand conservation issues. Projects also contributed to

the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Wedands Policy, and to meeting Australia’s obligations under the Ramsar Convention, bilateral migratory bird agreements with Japan and China and the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy.

The study, Alternatives to Peat Manual - A Guide to More Sustainable Practice in Western Australia for Commercial and Domestic Use in the Horticultural and Landscape Industry, was completed to raise industry awareness about peat alternatives and to assist the conservation of Australia’s peadands.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he third edition of the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia was produced in digital database form accessible through Environment Australia’s web site. This provides map-based referencing for each wetland site, incorporates additional wetiand sites and updates the State and Territory chapters. An inventory of Commonwealth wetlands was also completed, identifying

20 additional Commonwealth owned or managed sites for inclusion in the directory.

An extension to the Macquarie Marshes was nominated and listed under the Ramsar Convention. This was the second site voluntarily nominated by private landholders in Australia. Substantial progress was made towards nomination of four wetland sites in Western Australia, two sites in New South Wales, and one site each in Tasmania, Victoria and the Commonwealth external territories.

The Asia-Pacific Wetland Managers Training Programme commenced under contract through the N orthern Territory University, including delivery of the inaugural wetland managers training course in Darwin and courses conducted in Fiji, Vietnam and Irian Jaya.

A comprehensive review of wetland management training needs and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region was completed to guide planning and delivery of future courses under the programme.

Training was given to wetland managers of Kakadu National Park, Tonda Wildlife Management

Area in Papua New Guinea and Wasur National Park in Indonesia. This was done under contract with the World Wide Fund for Nature to support the tri-national memorandum of understanding on wetlands management between Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

The Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy 2001-2005 was prepared under contract with Wetlands International. Under the Shorebird Action Plan, two new sites were nominated to the East Asia-Australasian Shorebird Site Network in Japan and China and a dedication ceremony was held for the six Chinese network sites. Substantial progress has been made towards nomination of nine Australian sites, five sites in the N orthern Territory, three in Victoria and one in Western Australia. Training activities included three shorebird training workshops in China and Indonesia, and a management planning workshop for shorebird network sites in China.

The Australian Ramsar Management Principles were prepared for release as regulations under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

The Australian Ramsar Management Principles are designed to set consistent standards for the management and wise use of Australia’s Ramsar wetlands.

The mid-term review of the National Wetlands Programme was completed. The review identified the National Wetlands Programme as being an efficient, effective and responsively managed programme meeting the objectives of the programme and the Trust. The major conclusion from the review was that the programme is able to meet the changing needs and

emphasis from government and stakeholders.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 41

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WATERWATCH AUSTRALIA PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Support community-based waterway monitoring to foster environmental action.

Result Environment Australia contributed $2.6 million towards 74 projects through the Natural Heritage Trust Waterwatch Australia programme. M ost of these projects are community-based regional waterway monitoring projects that raise awareness about catchment and water quality issues in urban and rural communities across Australia. Waterwatch Australia operates in all

States and Territories, in capital cities and in major rural centres.

Waterwatch Australia contributed to the employment and operating costs of a Waterwatch Australia facilitator in every State and Territory and more than 100 Waterwatch Australia coordinators in major regional centres.

Through Waterwatch Australia, more than 50 000 people were involved in waterway monitoring and other awareness raising events and programmes. T he Waterwatch Australia network of facilitators and coordinators provided training, sought sponsorship, liaised with schools and others and helped the community to take action on water quality issues and increase the health of their local waterways.

Data from the 5000 monitoring sites and over 200 catchments across Australia were incorporated into local and regional databases for application in water resource management and local planning processes. Approximately 75 per cent of regional Waterwatch Australia monitoring programmes were incorporated into broader catchment or regional plans for healthy waterways.

T he mid-term review of the Waterwatch Australia programme was completed. The review recognised Waterwatch Australia as a successful environmental education programme, meeting the objectives of the programme and the Natural Heritage Trust by providing a regional network and tools to help the community collect meaningful data and initiate action to rehabilitate and

protect waterways.

• URBAN WATERWATCH

Objective Support urban community-based waterway monitoring to foster environmental action.

Result Environment Australia has a requirement to fund emerging priorities. A number of activities were suspended to fund new initiatives. Urban Waterwatch was suspended to consider the reallocation of funds.

42 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

NATIONAL RIVER HEALTH PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Ensure sustainable management, rehabilitation and conservation of rivers outside the Murray-Darling Basin and improve the health of these river systems. This is achieved

by identifying and trialling management options for establishing environmental flow requirements; undertaking a comprehensive assessment of river health; and developing and implementing water-related environment policy, including the Council of Australian Governments Water Reform Framework.

R esult

The National River Health Programme is part of the Natural Heritage Trust. Fourteen environmental flow projects were undertaken with total expenditure of $764 737. Eleven projects involved matching funding from State agencies under Natural Heritage Trust partnership agreements, including three projects to report on national environmental flow issues.

These projects were on the importance of flood flow to productivity of dryland rivers and their flood plains; Snowy River benchmarking; environmental flows in the Paroo and Warrego rivers; assessment of the impact of farm dams on seasonal flows; productivity and water flow regulation in the Ord River of north-west Australia; environmental flow requirements for

Australian arid zone rivers; periphyton and phytoplankton response to seasonal flows in the Daly River; modelling dry season flows and predicting impact of water extraction on flagship species; inventory and risk assessment of water-dependent ecosystems in the Daly Basin; environmental flow requirements of Vallisneria nana\ groundwater utilisation of riparian and rainforest vegetation in two tropical catchments; environmental water requirements to maintain wetlands of national and international importance; environmental water requirements to maintain estuarine processes; and environmental water requirements of groundwater-dependent ecosystems.

Under the assessment of river health, a total of 1013 sites were sampled across Australia. A total amount of $888 550 was invested with matching funding provided by States and Territories in accordance with the Trust partnership agreements. In addition to the publication and graphic representation of the monitoring results by Environment Australia in the forthcoming financial year, data generated from this year’s (and previous years’) monitoring exercises are an important input to the Commonwealth’s State of the Environment Report and the National Land and Water

Resources Audit as well as numerous State and Territory monitoring and reporting exercises.

Environment Australia funded 12 projects costing $224 271, designed to help water managers enhance the capability of the biological monitoring and modelling methods used.

A related programme is Riverworks Tasmania that has improved water quality in the M t Lyell - West Coast region and the Derwent, Tamar and Huon Valley regions of Tasmania.

More details on programmes to achieve ecologically sustainable use of inland waters are given in the policy advice section of departmental outputs.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 43

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THEME: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLY MANAGE COASTS AND OCEANS

• COASTS AND CLEAN SEAS - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Provide financial support for projects that aim to: improve marine and estuarine water quality; develop and manage marine protected areas; enhance the capacity of coastal communities to manage and care for coastal and marine resources; reduce threats from human activities for selected marine species; improve coastal water quality; and establish a national marine pest incursion management system.

Result Under Coasts and Clean Seas programmes 941 applications were assessed with 460 approved for funding.

Projects funded through the Marine Protected Areas Programme assisted each State and the Northern Territory to identify, establish and manage marine protected areas as part of the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. Thirty-four projects were administered, and funding of $690 993 was provided for six new projects. T he New South Wales Marine Parks Authority received funding to identify marine protected areas to conserve rocky

intertidal communities. Seventeen projects were completed, with the submission of satisfactory final reports.

T he Coastcare programme has encouraged partnerships between the community, government and industry to achieve change on the ground. There are an estimated 1200 Coastcare community groups nationally, with about 60 000 people actively involved in coastal projects that help to manage and protect the Australian coastal and marine environment.

Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments’ combined funding provided over $3.9 million for 349 Coastcare projects approved in all States and the Northern Territory. The Commonwealth contribution amounted to over $2.25 million. A network of 29 regional Coastcare facilitators helped community groups and local land managers achieve tangible

improvements in the coastal and marine environment. Coastcare has made a substantial contribution to community, government and industry understanding of and commitment to the sustainable management of Australia’s coastal and marine resources.

Examples of projects funded through Coastcare include: the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council, New South Wales, in conjunction with the local school and community volunteers undertook beach stabilisation, improved visitor access and bitou bush removal; the Swan Bay Integrated Catchment Management Committee, Victoria, protected Swan Bay ecosystems, surrounding wetlands and waterways through fencing, regeneration, revegetation and weed control at strategic locations; and the Bremer Bay Dive Club in Western Australia installed a permanent mooring to protect a fragile reef in Bremer Bay, monitored two key sites and educated visitors to the area through an interpretive dive trail.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

The Marine Species Protection Programme funds projects that reduce threats from human activities to selected marine species. The programme provided funding of $1.28 million for 21 new projects and managed a total of 36 projects. Projects included investigating the behavioural and feeding ecology of the blue whale in western Victorian waters using aerial surveys, acoustic monitoring and collaboration with local fishermen; determining home range and rates of visitation of white sharks around primary feeding areas (seal colonies); and addressing the

decline in giant kelp beds along the east and south coast of Tasmania.

The Coastal and Marine Planning Programme supported planning projects in 38 regions, covering more than 75 per cent of Australia’s coastal population. The projects aim to improve management of potential and existing pressures on the coastal environment and pay dividends through the development and implementation of quality plans. Funds of $322 833 were provided to five new projects and five projects were completed. The Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment was funded to develop a foreshore management plan for the

Derwent estuary. The Greater Taree City Council will implement the planning components of its on-site sewage management strategy.

The Clean $eas Programme provided funding of $11.3 million for 56 new projects that will demonstrate innovative and best practice sewage and stormwater management. Stormwater is one of the major sources of marine pollution and degradation. A total of 65 contracts were managed and 18 projects were completed.

Projects funded through Clean Seas included: Wide Bay Water, a business unit of Hervey Bay City Council, for a stormwater harvesting scheme to reduce the amount of pollutants entering Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Straits Marine Park; Ulmarra Shire Council, New South Wales, for the Corindi sewerage scheme effluent reuse project which involves the construction of an

effluent reuse irrigation scheme (97 per cent of the tertiary-treated effluent will be re-used on nearby banana plantations and pasture); and, in Queensland, the Department of Primary Industries for investigating methods of reducing nutrient-rich discharge from prawn farms into the marine environment by developing innovative wastewater treatment and recycling techniques.

Coastal Monitoring Programme funding of $899 284 for 16 new projects will identify threats affecting the marine environment and make recommendations for managers. In the Northern Territory, funding was provided to assess the water quality and biological diversity of marinas and selected areas of Darwin harbour to determine their susceptibility to future invasions of aquatic pests and their capacity to recover from chemical treatments to eradicate pests. The project will build on the N orthern Territory Government’s substantial control and monitoring programme to eradicate and prevent further infestations of the black striped mussel, a highly invasive marine pest.

The Introduced Marine Pests Programme provided funding of $928 600 for seven new projects including the national introduced marine pests information system, a comprehensive national database on introduced marine pests; the national priority pests list of high risk marine pest species; and rapid response options for managing marine pest incursions. All seven projects contribute to the proposed National System for the Prevention and Management of Introduced Marine Pests, including emergency incursion management.

The Marine Waste Reception Facilities Programme supports the installation of best practice facilities for receiving shipping and boating wastes at ports, marinas and boat harbours. Consultants carried out 77 needs analysis assessments of ports, harbours and marinas around the country. These needs analyses are being used to identify demonstration projects for waste reception facilities.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 45

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he Coasts and Clean Seas independent mid-term evaluation was completed in October 1999. It focused on programme delivery, management and implementation. T he evaluation found that Coasts and Clean Seas programmes are funding projects that are aligned with the objectives, intended outcomes and strategies of each programme element, and that implementation has been

effective. The evaluation found that grant recipients and stakeholders are satisfied with the processes. The evaluation provided 17 recommendations covering areas for improvement and possible future directions.

Applications for the Urban Stormwater Initiative, a component of Living Cities, were called for in February, with one project approved in June. T he Parafield Partnerships project is a long-term water quality management approach involving a partnership between local and Commonwealth governments, industry and the community. Through sustainable water management, G H Michell’s wool scouring plant is implementing solutions to the pressures on water quality in the Barker Inlet, the Gulf of St Vincent and the River Murray. The project will use the innovative technique of wetland detention combined with aquifer storage to capture, treat and re-use large volumes of stormwater.

• AUSTRALIA'S OCEANS POLICY

Objective Set in place a framework for integrated and ecosystem-based planning and management for Australia’s marine environment.

Result In December 1999 the National Oceans Office was established as an executive agency under the Public Service Act 1999. T he office has responsibility for coordinating the implementation of Australia’s Oceans Policy, and carriage of the development of large ecosystem-based regional marine plans, the first of which is in the south-east region of Australia’s area of marine responsibility.

The marine environment protection programmes under Australia’s Oceans Policy comprise the following elements administered by Environment Australia.

The National Moorings Programme was established to reduce anchor damage in sensitive marine areas. Funding of $929 000 was provided for seven new projects including $246 000 to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s plan to target recreational hot spots across five key areas, and $168 000 to the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage’s project to

protect sensitive habitat associated with historic shipwrecks.

T he Coastal Acid Sulfate Soils Programme was established to provide catalytic funding for on-ground projects that demonstrate management of coastal acid sulfate soils. Twenty-two applications were received and assessed. Approved projects will demonstrate innovative

techniques to manage coastal acid sulfate soils in different localities and environmental conditions, and promote partnerships among key stakeholders.

46 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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scoping paper and draft National Environment Protection Measure for Marine and Estuarine Water Quality were prepared for consideration by the National Environment Protection Council.

Consultations were undertaken on the Government’s policy of removing the general exemption granted to exporters of marine fish under the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982. Consultations focused on guidelines for assessing ecological sustainability in commercial fisheries. The fishing industry, fishery managers, environment organisations and the

scientific community were involved in commenting on, and testing, the draft guidelines. Final guidelines were submitted to the Minister for his consideration.

The Antifouling Programme was established to assist in the identification of environmentally friendly antifouling alternatives to harmful tributyl tin antifoulants. This will assist in the implementation of the Government’s policy to ban the use of tributyl tin antifoulants in Australia as early as 2003. An antifouling working group was established to provide technical advice on industry and research needs, and the most appropriate areas to direct funding, including looking at the efficacy of new alternatives to tributyl tin antifoulants, and to educate industry and the community.

More details on programmes that conserve and sustainably manage coasts and oceans are given in the policy advice, strategies and international participation sections of departmental outputs and in outcome 3, Antarctica.

THEME: CONSERVE COM MO NWEAL TH RESERVES AND PROGRESS THE NATIONAL RESERVE SYSTEM

• NATIONAL RESERVE SYSTEM PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Support the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive, adequate and representative national system of reserves. Manage protected areas acquired or established in accordance with the World Conservation Union criteria and appropriate management plans. Increase the involvement of indigenous people in the management of existing protected areas.

Result The Natural Heritage Trust funds the National Reserve System Programme. Approvals under the National Reserve System covered 1.71 million hectares in five States. No applications were received for the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory. Three new indigenous

protected areas were formally declared during the year, adding a further 2.56 million hectares to the National Reserve System.

Projects with the State and Territory conservation agencies focused on strategic additions to the National Reserve System through land purchase. Thirty-three land purchase proposals were supported, adding a total of 1.68 million hectares to the National Reserve System. Some of the major acquisitions of land include montane grassy woodlands in Bendoc, Victoria, the Conavitra

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 47

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ilpilly properties in the Murray-Darling depression of New South Wales, the Gawler Ranges National Park in South Australia and Mooloogool pastoral lease in Western Australia.

Eight projects involving the community in the enhancement of the National Reserve System through the establishment of private protected areas were approved. These cover 35 845 hectares. Projects included the protection of threatened temperate grasslands in Victoria, poorly represented ecosystems of the New England Tableland in New South Wales, and

eucalypt woodlands and coastal lowlands under threat from clearing in Queensland.

Through the Indigenous Protected Areas Programme new management plans commenced or were completed for several proposed indigenous protected areas. These include Dhimurru in north-eastern Arnhem Land, Deliverance and Pulu Islands in the Torres Strait, Chappel Island in the Bass Strait, Guanaba near the Gold Coast and Paraku (Lake Gregory) in the Kimberley.

An agreement for joint management of the Arthur Pieman Reserve in north-west Tasmania was completed and a memorandum of understanding between the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Manjimup Aboriginal Corporation was signed in relation to the Shannon and D ’Entrecasteaux National Parks in south-west Western Australia. Another management agreement has been drafted but not finalised for Amorrduk in Arnhem Land.

Ten indigenous protected area projects resulted in increased involvement of indigenous people in the management of existing protected areas. Such projects are under way in Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. These projects generally provide resources to indigenous organisations to enable them to contribute to park planning processes and to negotiate agreements with government park management agencies.

Areas protected, some types for the first time, by the National Reserve System included:

• open woodland containing poplar box and silver-leaved ironbark in the desert uplands of Queensland;

• eucalypt woodlands and wetlands within grassy open woodland in the Murray-Darling depression and Nandewar regions of New South Wales;

• temperate grasslands and grassy woodlands in Victoria;

• mallee, mulga, arid woodlands, shrublands and hummock grasslands and lomandra tussock grasslands in South Australia; and

• heaths and shrublands of the Geraldton sandplains, and low woodlands, scrub, shrublands and grasslands in the Gascoyne and Murchison regions of Western Australia.

T he tracking of enhancements and additions to the National Reserve System was made easier by the update of the Collaborative Protected Area Database. This database contains spatial data on all formal protected areas in Australia and Australia’s external territories.

Commonwealth reserves are conserved by the Director of National Parks and Wildlife.

More details are given in the annual report of the Director.

48 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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HEME: IDENTIFY AN D PROTECT NATURAL AN D CULTURAL HERITAGE

• WORLD HERITAGE MANAGEMENT~ NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Provide or develop, by consultation, community information on World Heritage areas. Ensure World Heritage funding to Tasmania is implemented for programmes identified as priorities under management plans.

Result Environment Australia assessed Natural Heritage Trust grant proposals resulting in total funding of $8 million being provided for almost 70 projects. Projects will control weeds and feral animals in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia), Lord Howe Island and Shark Bay; increase the involvement of indigenous people in property management in

the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh), and the Willandra Lakes Region; and upgrade visitor facilities and access in the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia), Fraser Island, Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh and Naracoorte), Lord Howe Island, the Tasmanian Wilderness and Shark Bay.

Environment Australia worked on strategic management plans for the Lord Howe Island group, the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) and the Riversleigh component of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area budget of $5.1 million was approved by the Minister and directed towards implementing priority programmes agreed to by the ministerial council and consistent with the provisions of the management plan and the provisions of the intergovernmental World Heritage funding agreement.

• AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE GRANTS

Objective Assist in the effective management of Australia’s cultural and natural heritage.

Result The Federation Cultural and Heritage Programme is a $70.4 million grants programme for medium-sized capital works projects to build cultural facilities or carry out conservation works. The programme was established within the $1 billion Federation Fund to celebrate the centenary of federation. Environment Australia was given responsibility for administering 36 projects with total funding of $58.25 million.

By 30 June 2000, all but one deed had been signed for all Federation Cultural and Heritage Programme projects and the major Federation Fund projects. A significant majority of the projects had reached or were well into the conservation works phase by year’s end.

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he remaining outstanding deed under the Federation Fund is due to be signed. The assessment of applications made under the first round of the Cultural Heritage Projects Programme, which closed on 14 January 2000, was completed by 22 March 2000. In addition to one project, joint Commonwealth and State purchase of John Curtin’s house, funded under the discretionary component of this programme, 44 successful projects as multi-year grants were approved in late June 2000. All projects funded were valued at a total of $3,516 million. A formal announcement

of the 44 successful projects is due, allowing deeds to be developed and signed.

All five deeds for successful projects under the 1999-2000 round of the Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous People Programme were signed within one month of ministerial approval, which was received on 10 May 2000. All offers of funding under the 1999-2000 Grants- in-Aid to the National Trust Programme were made by early December 1999, with all but one signed within that month. The one outstanding offer was taken up by the recipient and formally signed in January 2000.

Forty-five residual projects approved under the former Taxation Incentive for Heritage Conservation were finalised through the issue of final certificates in 1999-2000. All works funded under the Heritage Properties Restoration Programme had been completed by 30 June 2000.

• HISTORIC SHIPWRECKS

Objective Ensure the protection of maritime archaeological sites while encouraging responsible public access.

Result Grants totalling $404 000 were made to the States, the Northern Territory, Norfolk Island and the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology to assist in the administration of the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 and the protection and conservation of wrecks. Applications were assessed within three months of receipt. Grant deeds were provided to State and Territory agencies within

one month of ministerial approval.

More details on programmes that identify and protect natural and cultural heritage are given in the policy advice, strategies and international participation sections of departmental outputs.

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HEME: PROTECT THE ATMOSPHERE

• MEASURES FORA BETTER ENVIRONMENT

Objective Focus on the improved management of transport emissions (and greenhouse gases) through the establishment of new vehicle emission and maintenance standards, and mandatory fuel quality standards.

R esult

In 1997 the Government set a goal of harmonising Australia with international vehicle emission standards by 2006. Measures for a Better Environment set the timetable for harmonisation and new vehicle design rules were gazetted in December 1999. The rules limit the emissions of new and continuing vehicle models and will come into effect progressively over the period 2002-2006. They address petrol, diesel and alternative fuel (liquid petroleum gas, compressed natural gas) vehicles.

The in-service performance of diesel vehicles is addressed through the development of a National Environment Protection Measure. An appropriate short in-service emissions test has been identified and is being used to establish diesel in-service emission standards. The measure will address the development of management strategies and guidelines for their adoption. Measures for a Better Environment also provides for the establishment of in-service emission testing facilities.

Environment Australia’s review of fuel requirements for Australian transport was released in March 2000. This review, together with intensive stakeholder consultation, has been used to develop proposals for national fuel quality standards for diesel and petrol. As part of the process, the Minister announced in March 2000 that leaded petrol would be banned in Australia from January 2002.

Following the passage of Australia’s first legislation to ensure national fuel quality, standards will be gazetted in 2001. T he proposed legislation will ensure that fuel of the appropriate quality is available for the high technology emission controls - including new generation catalytic systems, particle traps and fuel injection - needed to meet the new vehicle emission standards. Modelling predicts significant reductions (in excess of 20 per cent) in transport-generated pollution emissions over the next 10 years as a result of vehicle emission and clean fuel standards. More

details on Measures for a Better Environment are given in the annual report of the Australian Greenhouse Office.

• AIR POLLUTION IN MAJOR CITIES PROGRAMME- NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective Advance national and regional initiatives to improve urban air quality through national standards, national action strategies, increased monitoring, targeted research projects and community education.

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Result Environment Australia has implemented a set of 20 projects under the Air Pollution in Major Cities Programme. The Natural Heritage Trust mid-term review found the programme to be efficiently implemented, well-monitored and effective. Tangible, positive outcomes include valuable research on the quality of fuel used in road transport.

Under the programme a catalyst was developed to control emissions of oxides of nitrogen (a precursor to smog) from diesel vehicle exhausts. The catalyst will be commercialised and is expected to make a positive contribution to air quality through reduced emissions from diesel engines.

The Air Pollution in Major Cities Programme funded CSIRO to develop an air quality forecasting system for Australia’s major cities. T he forecasting system will provide daily, graphic, high-resolution forecasts of weather and air quality to suburb level. The model can forecast petrochemical smog, fine particles and air toxics.

Smogbusters, a joint community education initiative between Environment Australia and the conservation councils, operates in Australia’s five largest capital cities. An independent evaluation of the programme resulted in the continuation of funding for the programme until 2002.

T he programme is designed to increase community understanding of the effects of public transport and motor vehicle use. Achievements included: Smogbusters Way to Work, Way to School, Smogbusters Day and a national speaking tour by two internationally recognised

transport policy experts. Smogbusters Day and the speaking tour attracted broad media interest and showed that Smogbusters has great potential to raise the profile of air quality issues.

Breathe the Benefits, a national television advertising campaign targeting smoke from wood heaters, was run throughout winter 1999. The regionally based advertising campaign was reinforced by the targeted distribution of brochures and posters providing practical advice on reducing smoke through the improved operation of wood heaters.

Environment Australia continued its commitment to collaborative education programmes by also supporting Airwatch and Travel Smart. These programmes promote alternative transport strategies and foster a greater community understanding of air quality issues.

More details on programmes to protect the atmosphere are given in the policy advice, strategies and international participation sections of departmental outputs.

• OZONE PROTECTION RESERVE

Objective Administer the Ozone Protection Reserve grants and the O zo n e P ro te c tio n A c t 1 9 8 9 which enables a system of controls to be maintained for the import and export of ozone-depleting substances through the allocation of licences and quotas.

Result Three grants totalling $222 300 were funded from the Ozone Protection Reserve. Two grants were to research and trial cost-effective, sustainable alternatives to methyl bromide (an ozone-depleting substance) in soil fumigation and to communicate the research results, phase­ out policies and legislation to affected horticultural industries. One grant was for assistance with phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

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nder the Ozone Protection Act, 28 import and export licences/exemptions and 11 hydrochlorofluorocarbon quota instruments were issued. Thorough research and effective stakeholder consultation ensured ministerial approval of all licences and exemptions within the timeframe established under the Act.

More details on programmes to protect the ozone layer are given in the policy advice section of departmental outputs and in the report on the operation of the Ozone Protection Act.

THEME: IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF INDUSTRY

• WASTE MANAGEMENT AWARENESS PROGRAMME - NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST

Objective

Target recovery, recycling and re-use strategies for waste materials. Promote these strategies through several avenues including awareness raising, market development for recovered materials, and source reduction, to reduce material entering waste streams.

Result Through the Natural Heritage Trust, Environment Australia allocated $100 000 to support the Clean Up Australia Waste Reduction Accreditation Programme to encourage retailers to reduce waste in-store and to promote consumer consideration of waste in purchasing decisions. As part of the programme, a television advertising campaign promoted the environmental

benefits of reducing waste.

Funding of $100 000 was approved to provide a mentoring programme for small to medium enterprises participating in the National Packaging Covenant, which aims to reduce packaging waste.

The Waste Wise programme, which focuses on greater recovery and re-use of construction and demolition materials, published best practice guidelines. Many of the largest construction companies in Australia participate voluntarily in the programme.

A grant of $240 000 was provided for the Recycled Organic Material in Viticulture joint venture between the Commonwealth and five wine-growing States to open a market for recycled organic products in the viticulture industry. Trials were established in Victoria, South Australia and

Western Australia, with trials in Queensland and New South Wales to be established later. The project will demonstrate the benefits of recycled organic materials, encourage markets for these items and provide community awareness of the use of composted material in commercial activity.

The Clean Hunter Centre is a resource recovery initiative that demonstrates new technologies in the use of recyclable materials and finds markets for recovered materials. T he centre was provided with $150 000 in funding in 1999-2000.

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• NATIONAL POLLUTANT INVENTORY

Objective Provide governments, industry and the community with current, easily accessible information on emissions of certain pollutants from industrial sites as well as data on nutrient emissions into 10 major water catchments and particular air pollutant emissions in State capital cities. The data will be o f value in government decision-making and as an impetus for cleaner production practices.

Result After an extensive evaluation and redesign to improve user friendliness and accessibility, the first report of the National Pollutant Inventory database came online in January 2000. In its first-year report the National Pollutant Inventory provided information from nearly 1200 industry sites on

the release of 67 listed pollutant substances into the Australian environment. The average number of substances reported per site was 5.8. Environment Australia produced industry handbooks for 78 industry sectors to assist industry in estimating their emissions for the inventory.

Funding of $2 414 000 was provided to State and Territory environment agencies for the implementation of the National Pollutant Inventory. Funds were for the education of industry; the collection, assessment and transfer of industry reports; the estimation of aggregated emissions, including information on nutrient emissions into 10 water catchments and information on pollutants in the State capital city airsheds.

In all, Environment Australia managed 20 contracts on the National Pollutant Inventory, which resulted in the production of 42 industry or aggregated emission data estimation manuals, four technical reports and the database.

• ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION GRANTS

Objective Produce environmental results in domestic and international chemical management, marine protection, air quality and the promotion of sustainable industries that are measured as significant and benefit a wide cross-section of the community.

Result Environment Australia gave three grants to the Chemicals Programme of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development: the extended special programme for control of chemicals, the pesticide programme and the biotechnology programme.

The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety was funded to further the recommendations of Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 (Sound Management of Chemicals) by directing developing countries towards chemical safety practices followed in the developed world.

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Environment Australia sponsored the National Conference on Risk Assessment and Air Pollutants: Applications and Practice. The conference was the first in Australia to be dedicated to risk assessment as it applies to air pollutants.

Eight grants totalling $261 936 were given to promote eco-efficiency in business.

Environment Australia funded the Australian Food and Grocery Council to promote eco-efficiency to members. The council will undertake activities such as workshops, development of an awareness raising kit for members, and monitoring of members’ environmental performance over a period of three years.

A similar agreement operates with the Housing Industry Association. T he association held workshops on the benefits of improving their environmental performance; held its inaugural environmental awards; developed guidelines for builders on issues such as waste management and stormwater management; attracted 11 companies as leaders of environmental performance who

have contributed funds to the activities under the agreement; began building environmentally sound demonstration houses; and negotiated an agreement with Macquarie Bank to reduce interest rates on mortgages where a house is built with environmental performance in mind.

Other grants went to Eco-Futures Pty Ltd to organise and run a Business Leaders’ Forum; the Banksia Environmental Foundation for the inaugural corporate leadership Banksia Award for excellence in environmental reporting to recognise organisations who report publicly their environmental impacts and activities; the Australian Industry Group; the Hunter Region Organisation of Councils; and the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand for organising conferences on eco-efficiency.

A grant was made to sponsor the Enviro2000 Conference and Trade Fair. Enviro2000 was opened by the Minister and over 1000 delegates attended. The Australian environment business sector benefited from the national and international exposure of their technologies and services. Australia’s EnviroNET was also demonstrated at Enviro2000.

Austrade received a grant to prepare a report on market opportunities for Australia’s environment business sector in the United Kingdom, and China’s State Environmental Protection Administration was funded to conduct a joint study on China’s environment industry.

Environment Australia funded the Department of Mining in Papua New Guinea to engage the services of an Australian consultant to assist with mine closure policy. The Department of Mining organised a mine closure workshop attended by more than 80 delegates. The consultant provided advice on the social and environmental aspects of mine closure and the need to ensure sustainable land use after mining ended.

• ECO-EFFICIENCY PROGRAMMES

Objective Encourage industry to become sustainable through eco-efficiency programmes, promoting minimal use of natural resources per unit of product by doing more with less. The pursuit of eco-efficiency often results in economic as well as environmental benefits, improved relations with shareholders, regulators, consumers and the community at large.

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Result A major element of the work to promote eco-efficiency has been in developing and promoting the tools of eco-efficiency, such as environment management systems, life-cycle assessment, public environmental reporting, design for environment and environmental accounting.

Environment Australia published the first national framework for public environmental reporting, now being distributed to State and Territory agencies and industries throughout Australia. Funding was provided to major industry associations - the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

through Australian Business Limited - by employing an extension officer in each organisation to assist companies develop environment reports.

A representative from the German Institute for Management and Accounting in Augsburg worked at Environment Australia for six weeks to help develop a methodology for environmental accounting, based on work being undertaken in Germany on material flow cost accounting.

A tertiary level education module on cleaner production and environmental audits is being trialled in two tertiary institutions, the Goulburn Ovens TAPE and Griffith University in Queensland.

The new, environmentally sound waste and wastewater systems on Lord Howe Island were built at a cost of $1 183 000. Environment Australia is responsible for protection of the World Heritage status of the island; the New South Wales Government has administrative responsibility for the island. Environment Australia funded the implementation of a biowaste facility, built using innovative New Zealand technology, to take sewage sludge and putrescible waste and torn it into compost.

A report was commissioned on national material maps and resource inventories to help industry identify market opportunities.

• NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COUNCIL

Objective Establish National Environment Protection Measures by contributing to the operating costs of the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation.

Result Environment Australia paid $418 000 to the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation. Funding of the activities of the corporation is shared between the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.

Two grants were provided to the National Environment Protection Council to fund aspects of the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality that adapts world standard criteria for air quality to Australian conditions.

The National Environment Protection Measure for Used Packaging Materials and the National Environment Protection Measure for the Assessment of Site Contamination were prepared. The measure for the National Pollutant Inventory was varied. As a result the expansion of the reporting list from 36 to 90 substances will be delayed from 1 July 2000 to 1 July 2001. Monitoring protocols are being developed to measure air quality against the new standards.

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nder the Air Pollution in Major Cities programme, a pilot study on the problems associated with monitoring fine particles was completed and further work proposed.

More details on programmes that improve the environmental performance of industry are given in the policy advice and strategies sections of departmental outputs.

GRANTS AND PROGRAMMES THAT SUPPORT A NUMBER OF THEMES

• INDIGENOUS PROGRAMMES

Objective Support events that promote indigenous culture; oversee the implementation of an Aboriginal recruitment, training and career development strategy; promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and marine environment management practices; and effectively administer the Indigenous Land Management Facilitator network project.

R esult

Environment Australia organised events for the National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee week at the John Gorton Building and the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. The programme included live performances and displays of indigenous art.

The Environment Australia Indigenous Career Development and Recruitment Strategy was completed and funding allocated. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, there is a requirement to establish an indigenous advisory committee.

Four new indigenous land management fact sheets were completed and distributed to indigenous land management agencies, resource agencies, and Commonwealth, State and Territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs agencies. Information on indigenous involvement with Natural Heritage Trust programmes was produced with case studies demonstrating land management activities undertaken by indigenous groups.

The Indigenous Land Management Facilitator Network project is being funded through the National Landcare and Bushcare programmes. The network comprises 12 facilitators operating in regional Australia, employed under contract with host agencies.

This project was evaluated as part of the mid-term review of the Natural Heritage Trust.

The review recognised the vital role played by facilitators in the front line. It also noted the need for greater emphasis on the professional development of facilitators to enhance their capacity to contribute to the goals of the Trust.

Environment Australia and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia completed a 12-month evaluation of the Indigenous Land Management Facilitator Network project. The evaluation was based on reports from each facilitator’s host agency and feedback from the steering committees established to monitor each position. The reports supported the continuation of the whole project and each position specifically.

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workshop for indigenous land management facilitators was held in Cooktown to exchange information between the facilitators and with agencies involved in the administration of the Natural Heritage Trust. In addition, specific training was provided in participatory planning and in managing the media. A State Trust representative attended to advise the facilitators on the process of assessing proposals once they are lodged with the State agency.

Eleven valid applications for the protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage places were received, relating to five areas. A further five applications, relating to five different areas, were received. Three were not valid and two were related to the special provisions for Victoria. T he Minister initiated a report for an area where a declaration had previously been made.

A poster titled The Land Needs its People was produced and distributed to indigenous organisations and community groups. The poster highlights the need for indigenous involvement in environmental programmes and encourages indigenous groups to use the Natural Heritage Trust. A brochure was completed for use by the facilitators to describe their functions and the Trust.

• GRANTS TO VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE ORGANISATIONS

Objective Assist eligible organisations with administrative costs as distinct from programme, project or campaign costs. Increase the capacity of voluntary environment and heritage organisations to undertake awareness raising and on-ground activities which Environment Australia could not conduct directly. Streamline the assessment process with assessments conducted, recommendations prepared, performance monitored and funds allocated with maximum efficiency.

Result Environment Australia merged the Voluntary Cultural Heritage Organisations programme and the Grants to Voluntary Conservation Organisations programme into a single programme called the Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organisations to provide broader stakeholder access to funds. Environment Australia received a total of 174 applications for funding of which 150 organisations met the eligibility criteria. Grants totalling $1.65 million funded 85 environment and 21 heritage organisations.

Organisations applied for grants against formal criteria designed to ensure that the activities of organisations recommended for funding are most effectively focused on environmental and heritage priorities.

• TAX CONCESSIONS

Objective Encourage the community to join non-government environmental organisations. Attract a more diverse range of organisations, increased involvement and support for environmental organisations and more funding for the environment by conducting assessments and monitoring eligibility.

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esult The Register of Environmental Organisations is a list of approved environmental organisations to which donations of money or property for the conservation of the natural environment are tax-deductible. Registration allows approved environment organisations to offer their donors the incentive of a tax deduction and thereby enhances the organisations’ fundraising ability. T he register provides all eligible environmental organisations with direct access to tax-deductibility status.

Environment Australia revised the guidelines of the Register of Environmental Organisations to make them more effective, to make the register more accountable, transparent and administratively efficient, and to increase the number of eligible organisations.

Applications from over 60 environmental organisations were received. All applications were assessed for compliance with the legislative and administrative requirements of the register. Forty new organisations were listed.

More than $25 million in tax-deductible donations was contributed by the public to 177 environmental organisations in the latest reporting year. This was double the amount contributed two years earlier. Tax-deductible donations to environmental organisations in the financial year averaged $130 000, up from $80 000 two years earlier.

• INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

Objective Advance Australia’s international, regional and bilateral priorities in conserving the natural environment, focusing on the Asia-Pacific region.

Result Projects wholly or partly funded by Environment Australia through the International Conservation Programme were a contribution to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin; participation by two youth delegates in the 8th session of the United Nations Commission on $ustainable Development; a visit by the head of the Vietnam National Environment Agency; and Papua New Guinea’s participation in meetings of the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council.

The International Conservation Programme provided a separate source of funding for international activities within Environment Australia, complementing direct expenditure from other programme budgets.

International Conservation Programme funding was ended in 1999-2000 and most funds were rolled into budgets for other outputs. Only committed activities were funded under the programme this year.

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ENVIRONMENT RESOURCE OFFICERS

Objective Fund eight officers in peak local government organisations to assist in the delivery of Environment Australia programmes and to assist local government to better manage local environments. Monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the work programme through regular liaison with the officers and assessment of quarterly reports.

Result A full evaluation of the Environment Resource Officer scheme was carried out. The evaluation showed that 92 per cent of councils surveyed considered that the officers had enhanced the management capacity of their organisation. The environment resource officers also assisted with the delivery of a wide range of Environment Australia programmes. They assisted with the preparation of project applications under the Natural Heritage Trust and worked with councils and community groups to foster a better understanding of the applications process for Natural Heritage Trust project funding. Their advice significandy contributed to preparation of the Natural Heritage Trust Guide to New Applications 1999-2000. The number of approved

Bushcare projects with local government as a key proponent rose from 93 in the previous year to 130, an increase of 40 per cent.

The environment resource officers worked with groups dealing with biological diversity, Bushcare and vegetation management, global warming, state of the environment reporting and coastal management. They assisted with the organisation and conduct of several Australian Natural

Heritage Charter workshops across the country and helped councils adopt Local Agenda 21 programmes.

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UTPUTS

Focusing on broad themes:

Achieved through programmes:

Supported by departm ental outputs:

ENVIRONMENT AUSTRALIA DELIVERS A RANGE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS THAT SUPPORT MAJOR PROGRAMMES

P O L I C Y A D V I C E A N D A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y D om estic I International I State o f the environm ent I C orporate reform

P R O G R A M M E A D M I N I S T R A T I O N Schemes I Grants

S T R A T E G I E S

Agreements I Codes I Protected areas I C oordination

I N T E R N A T I O N A L P A R T I C I P A T I O N Forum s I O bligations I Representation

I N F O R M A T I O N Databases 1 W eb sites I Education

L E G I S L A T I O N

R eform I Standards I Regulations

A S S E S S M E N T A N D R E S E A R C H Science I Im pact assessments

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u p p o rte d by d e p a rtm e n ta l o u tp u ts:

POLICY ADVICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

A large part of Environment Australia’s work consists of advising the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary, the Government and intergovernmental, international, domestic and non-government organisation clients on the implications of policies as they affect the environment. During the

year key issues included the new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, implementation of Australia’s Oceans Policy, conservation of native vegetation, protection of the atmosphere, the land, inland waters, coasts and oceans, heritage issues including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, impact assessment and scientific research. T he success of the policy advice given is measured against the outcome of protecting and conserving Australia’s unique environment.

• DOMESTIC

Objective Provide timely, effective, accurate and complete advice across the range of environmental issues and scientific matters including uranium mining.

Result

Biological diversity

Environment Australia provided coordinated advice, especially relating to implementation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, peak non-government organisations, multilateral and bilateral agreements and arrangements, national strategies, ministerial visits and delegations.

Strategic input was provided at meetings of the High Level Steering Group on Water; the National Land and Water Resources Audit Advisory Council; the Ramsar Standing Committee; the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research; the Murray-Darling Basin Commission; the CSIRO Biodiversity Sector Advisory Group; and the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Standing Committee on Conservation.

A number of ministerial advisory committees were convened including the Endangered Species Advisory Committee, the Australian Biological Resources Study Advisory Committee, the Biological Diversity Advisory Council and the Threat Abatement Plan Implementation Team.

Key areas of policy development were land clearing, Bush for Wildlife, revolving funds, local government conservation incentives, regional delivery (devolved grants), dryland salinity, firewood, farm forestry, conservation agreements and incentives. A series of research reports, partly funded through Environment Australia’s Bushcare programme, influenced policy development in institutional reform, taxation and philanthropy issues. T he Australian and

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ew Zealand Environment and Conservation Council’s National Vegetation Framework was finalised and agreed by all States and Territories. Input was provided to the National Vegetation Information System, the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement Private Land Reserve Programme and the Natural Heritage Trust training initiative.

Clean air

Environment Australia provided timely policy advice on the initiatives contained in the Measures for a Better Environment package relating to vehicle emissions standards, fuel quality standards and the National Environment Protection Measure for Diesel Emissions.

After extensive review and consultation with refiners and other key stakeholders, Environment Australia finalised a set of specifications for petrol and diesel parameters that affect air quality.

Seven preparatory projects led to the development of a proposal for a National Environment Protection Measure on Diesel Emissions.

For the first time Australia has an understanding of the age and make up of the diesel fleet and a short, cost-effective test for in-service emission testing. This work paves the way for State and Territory Governments to consider a range of strategies to reduce emissions from the diesel fleets in our major cities.

The Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council review of the National Ozone Protection Programme found that the programme has been highly effective in enabling Australia to meet its international obligations under the Montreal Protocol. Phase-out targets for ozone-depleting substances were met or exceeded.

Environment Australia published the Australian Halon Management Strategy in February 2000. The strategy provides a framework for the responsible management of Australia’s halon stocks to 2030 in line with Australia’s international obligations.

Administrative guidelines for hydrochlorofluorocarbon licences and quotas were completed and distributed to licensees. The guidelines outline the licence and quota system and licensees’ responsibilities for compliance with the Ozone Protection Act.

Policy advice assisted the development of the Living Cities - Air Toxics programme. This three-year initiative represents the first time an Australian Government has sought to develop a national approach to the management of toxic air pollutants and indoor air quality.

Environment Australia worked closely with State and Territory Governments, industry and community groups (including the Australian Medical Association) to produce a state of knowledge report on toxic air pollutants, collate information on the levels of community exposure and develop a list of priority pollutants. The list will include around 30 substances such as benzene, dioxins, formaldehyde, toluene; heavy metals including mercury, cadmium

and arsenic; and a number of pollutants which affect indoor air quality like lead, carbon monoxide, particles and oxides of nitrogen.

Eco-efficiency

With the assistance of industry, Environment Australia took initiatives to improve the eco-efficiency of business and industry, including voluntary agreements with industry associations, education and information activities and the development of methodologies for performance improvement.

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ecretariat support was provided for the Eco-Efficiency Consultative Group, which gave advice from industry’s perspective to the Minister and Environment Australia on sustainability issues and actively promoted eco-efficiency to business.

In line with requests being made of industry to improve their environmental performance, Commonwealth Government agencies are being asked to improve their environmental performance. Environment Australia assisted the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet with the development of guidelines for departments on preparing reports on their environmental impacts as required by the new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. A model environment management system for government agencies was commissioned and a draft developed.

Environment Australia researched and produced a comprehensive discussion paper on oil recycling in Australia with options for encouraging increased recycling. The report includes comprehensive information on the oil recycling industry, comparisons with international recycling levels and information on different systems of product stewardship throughout the world and the suitability of those systems to Australia.

In la n d waters

Three National Water Quality Management Strategy Guidelines were completed eight months earlier than expected. The guidelines, prepared for the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and the Agriculture and Resource Management Council

of Australia and New Zealand, are:

• Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality;

• Australian Guidelines for Water Quality Monitoring; and

• Guidelines for Urban Stormwater Management.

The guidelines will enable better definition and measurement of water quality problems in Australia, including setting of water quality objectives, and will provide important tools for assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Substantial progress was made on the Water Monitoring in Australia report and database, funded by Environment Australia and the National Land and Water Resources Audit. T he report will summarise water monitoring in Australia and make recommendations for improved monitoring.The database will be a source of metadata on water monitoring.

Comments were provided on a number of proposals and plans including in Queensland: the proposed Nathan Dam; the draft and final water allocation and management plans for the Fitzroy basin; the draft water allocation and management plan for the Condamine-Balonne basin; and the draft water management plan for the Moonie catchment; and in Western Australia the draft environmental impact statement for the Ord River Irrigation Area Stage 2.

Environment Australia was actively involved in Murray-Darling policy development providing input to development of the cap on water diversions from the Murray-Darling river system in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; a draft Murray-Darling Basin salinity management strategy; environmental flow and water quality

options for the River Murray; a draft integrated catchment management policy statement for the River Murray; and development of a scoping study for the implementation of a sustainable rivers audit and its contribution to ensuring a balance between instream and consumptive uses.

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s a member of the Snowy Reference Group, Environment Australia helped develop the Commonwealth’s response to the Snowy Water Inquiry and the Commonwealth’s position on the corporatisation of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority. Environment Australia made recommendations on the remediation of former Snowy scheme sites and the development of the implementation agreements for the operation of Snowy Hydro Ltd, which will commence operations once corporatisation of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority is achieved. Environment Australia also provided a response to the Snowy water inquiry into the return of environmental flows to the Snowy River and upper montane rivers.

In partnership with State Governments and the Lake Eyre Basin community, Environment Australia worked to ensure the sustainable management of the water and related natural resources of cross-border river systems in the basin. This includes the protection of

associated environmental and heritage values. Key activities included the further development of the cross-border Lake Eyre Basin Agreement and support for the community-based catchment management work of the Lake Eyre Basin Coordinating Group and its associated catchment committees.

Environment Australia also continued to work with relevant State Governments and community stakeholders to ensure the sustainable management of the Great Artesian Basin. Key activities included support for, and participation in, the work of the Great Artesian Basin Consultative Council. In this capacity, Environment Australia contributed to the development of the Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan to minimise impacts on environment and heritage values affected by the unsustainable extraction, distribution and use of basin groundwater.

Coasts and oceans

A National Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions was convened in August 1999, following decisions of the Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council. The taskforce, chaired by Environment Australia and including representatives of relevant

Commonwealth and State agencies, tabled its final report in December 1999.

The threat of new incursions of introduced marine pests, or translocations of existing pests to new locations within Australia, is real and immediate. Areas that can be detrimentally affected by these pests include fisheries and aquaculture production, human health, shipping and ports, tourism, coastal amenity, and species and ecosystem health and diversity.

The report included 57 recommendations to remedy current deficiencies in preventing new pest incursions, responding to new pest outbreaks and controlling existing pest incursions. The taskforce also made recommendations on immediate action to establish a credible national ready-response capability within current statutory arrangements and resources, and long-term reform to establish a permanent and comprehensive national system for the prevention and management of introduced marine pests.

The Commonwealth Government has endorsed the substance of the report and provided up to $2.5 million to address emergency response requirements.

Environment Australia sought support for a proposal to establish a South Pacific whale sanctuary and to end ‘scientific’ whaling at the 52nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

The Commonwealth Government has promoted the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, including the use of marine protected areas as a tool for integrating

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onservation and sustainable use. Australia is promoting this issue through the United Nations, in particular through the recently established informal consultative process on oceans and the law of the sea.

International cooperation on conservation of marine turtles was identified as a major need and a proposal for a regional agreement was pursued. Australia hosted a regional meeting of Indian Ocean and South-east Asian countries in Perth in October. The meeting agreed on the need for regional cooperation and asked Australia to prepare a draff agreement for discussion at the next meeting.

Identifying environmentally suitable antifoulants is a priority for the Government’s policy to ban tributyl tin as early as 2003. The Antifouling Programme working group assessed ways to support the development of alternatives.

W o rld H e rita g e

Environment Australia undertook an evaluation of the Willandra Lakes region socioeconomic package. Advice was provided on the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) and Macquarie Island World Heritage properties.

Advice was also provided to the Minister on matters relevant to meeting Australia’s World Heritage obligations. Briefings, reports and associated items of correspondence on World Heritage matters were provided to the Minister, including reports on policy and international

World Heritage matters.

The Minister was advised on significant development proposals within and adjacent to World Heritage properties including the proposed Naturelink cable car in the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) and the proposed aircraft landing sites and Planter Beach ecotourism development (Tasmanian Wilderness).

Advice was provided to other areas of Environment Australia on relevant matters, including the Basslink proposal (Tasmanian Wilderness) and a proposed telecommunications tower adjacent to the Greater Blue Mountains nominated area in New South Wales. The World Heritage strategic monitoring framework was updated and restructured. Extensive preparations were made for the

implementation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Detailed tables of the World Heritage values of each World Heritage area were prepared.

Strategic policy coordination

Environment Australia worked on a national approach to promoting Local Agenda 21 and published a resource guide, Our Community Our Future: A Guide to Local Agenda 21. The guide was sent on request to more than 300 councils. Another manual Localising Agenda 21: A Guide to

Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Region was written for countries in the region. A national forum, Local Leaders in Sustainability, was established to improve the quantity and quality of local government participation in Local Agenda 21. Funding was provided to assist in the delivery of training in Local Agenda 21 in each State and the N orthern Territory.

Input was given to the development of the environmental indicators to be used in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s economic review of Australia, the 2000 Ministers’ meeting and the second cycle of environmental performance reviews.

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ustralia’s national report was provided to the 8th meeting of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. This activity ensured that the global community understands Australia’s unique environmental conditions and problems and that our environmental performance is judged by standards relevant to Australia’s particular circumstances.

A draft national set of headline sustainability indicators was developed in cooperation with other State and Commonwealth agencies. The indicators will provide a mechanism for all governments, industries and the Australian community to assess national progress towards sustainability.

The Productivity Commission report on its inquiry into the implementation of ecologically sustainable development by Commonwealth agencies was tabled in Parliament. A response to the recommendations of the inquiry is being prepared.

The National Environment Consultative Forum meeting provided an arena to build relationships between the Government and peak environment groups, identify environmental concerns and interests and discuss how to deal with them.

Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council

Environment Australia contributed to the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council by providing briefings, preparing databases and providing secretariat support.

Two ministerial meetings were serviced as well as several standing committee meetings. The secretariat provided services to members and their departments for all of these meetings and related out-of-session matters.

The priority issues were environmental and conservation matters identified by the council as being of national significance: water management, oceans policy, waste management, native vegetation and global warming.

Biotechnology

Environment Australia participated in the development of a national gene technology regulation system, including contributing to the Gene Technology Bill 2000. As a portfolio member of Biotechnology Australia, Environment Australia has ensured the Government’s environmental priorities are reflected in the National Biotechnology Strategy.

Environmental measures contained in the National Biotechnology Strategy were developed in collaboration with the Department of Health and Aged Care and other portfolios. Measures include a regulatory system, which will provide for protection of the environment, the raising of community awareness regarding biotechnology issues, development programmes for the biotechnology industry and an environmental risk project in collaboration with CSIRO.

A discussion paper, Developing Australia’s Biotechnology Future, published in August 1999, was prepared by departments including Environment Australia. Two documents, Australian Biotechnology - A National Strategy and Progress and Achievements, were published as part of the National Biotechnology Strategy.

A detailed submission was prepared for the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Regional Services Inquiry into Primary Producer Access to Gene Technology. Environment protection policy advice was prepared for the Standing Committee

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on Agriculture and Resource Management plant industry taskforce on the integration of herbicide-tolerant crops and pastures into farming systems.

Secretariat services were provided and a detailed submission was made to an inquiry into access to biological resources in Commonwealth areas. The inquiry was asked to advise on a scheme for controlling access to biological resources that could be implemented through regulations under section 301 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Uranium mining

T he Supervising Scientist advised the Minister on the protection of the environment from the potential impacts of uranium mining. Eleven reports on the environmental performance of uranium mining and the activities of the Supervising Scientist were provided to the Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee, the Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee and the

Northern Land Council and Aboriginal associations to ensure that key stakeholders were kept informed on environmental protection.

In response to a request by the World Heritage Committee, the Supervising Scientist prepared a report addressing the scientific uncertainties of the Jabiluka mine project. This report concluded that Kakadu National Park was not at risk from the development of the Jabiluka mine project subject to several recommendations being implemented. The World Heritage Committee at its meeting in July 1999 resolved not to place Kakadu National Park on the World Heritage in Danger list and asked that the Independent Science Panel of the International Council of Science continue to work with the Supervising Scientist to resolve any outstanding scientific issues. The panel provided a preliminary review of the Supervising Scientist's response report in May 2000 and reported on progress to the June 2000 meeting of the bureau of the World Heritage Committee. The Supervising Scientist helped the Independent Science Panel prepare to visit Kakadu National Park and Jabiluka in July 2000.

The Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist participated in the National River Health Programme to develop water quality guidelines for the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, producing four reports including the final report.

Science

Environment Australia provided advice to the Minister on items discussed at the Coordination Committee for Science and Technology and the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

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NTERNATIONAL

Objective Provide timely and effective advice on international environment issues including the development and implementation of Australian initiatives, proposals by other governments, multilateral meetings and negotiations, and bilateral and regional relationships through lobbying, briefing, intelligence gathering, analysis and reporting.

R esult

In Asia and the Pacific, Environment Australia identified key relationships to be developed and sustained at a high level including relations with Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, with whom Australia shares ecosystems and natural resources, and with Japan and China, two major players in the region. Relations with New Zealand are coordinated through the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, in which Papua New

Guinea also participates. Environment Australia works with Pacific island countries primarily through the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Environment Australia participated in meetings of the Standing Committee and Scientific and Technical Review Panel to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971) and prepared a national report for Australia’s delegation to the consultative meetings of the China-Australia Migratory Birds Agreement and Japan-Australia Migratory Birds Agreement.

Environment Australia participated in several meetings under the Convention on Biological Diversity including an extraordinary meeting of the conference of the parties to negotiate a protocol on biosafety, a meeting of the subsidiary body on scientific, technical and technological

advice and the 5 th conference of the parties to the convention. Australia also participated in a biosafety workshop in the South Pacific.

Beyond the Asia-Pacific region, key relationships continue to be developed with the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Commission and South Africa.

Briefings were prepared for the 6th conference of parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the 11th conference of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Briefings were prepared for Australian delegations to the eighth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, a United Nations Environment Programme high level committee of ministers and officials, the first United Nations Environment Programme global ministerial environment forum, the 14th and 15 th meetings of the Council of the Global Environment Facility, and two meetings of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Environment Policy Committee.

Briefings targeted at furthering Australia’s interests were prepared for bilateral meetings on environmental issues with other countries, at ministerial and senior official level. Bilateral meetings were undertaken with Spain, Portugal, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Community, Indonesia and China, and organisations including

the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Commission for Sustainable Development.

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An environmental cooperation action plan was signed with China in May 2000.

Environment Australia hosted a ministerial roundtable, a seminar on trade and the environment, and a seminar on environmental issues in connection with the visit of a delegation from the European Commission.

Regular briefings were provided to Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council ministers and officials on international environment issues and strategy.

Briefings, advice and information were provided to the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary, senior officials, other Commonwealth and State and Territory agencies, committees of the Parliament, industry and conservation peak bodies and the Australian public on international environment issues.

• STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Objective Develop a reporting system for the national 2001 State of the Environment Report and implement key environmental indicators. Submit state of the environment core environmental indicators to the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council.

Results Four reports were prepared on the implementation of key environmental indicators for the Australian State of the Environment Committee.

T he Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council State of the Environment Task Force published the core environmental indicators for reporting on the state of the environment.

Three technical papers were completed on climate extremes, interaction between habitat conditions, ecosystem processes and biodiversity, and the distribution of pest species.

The Australian State of the Environment Committee began work on the 2001 State of the Environment Report.

• CORPORATE REFORM

Objective Advise on the corporate plan reform agenda, including evaluations and audits strategically supporting reform issues including new environmental legislation and reform of internal audit procedures. The broader departmental and government reform agendas are

supported by providing economic and environmental information on issues such as land degradation, water quality and urban air quality through publications, advice and analysis.

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esult A rigorous and comprehensive corporate reform agenda, as part of a process of performance improvement, was undertaken, using a number of mechanisms including output pricing reviews and market testing. Stage 1 of the output pricing review was completed, and stage 2 has started. As a result of stage 1, a comprehensive process of market testing of corporate services is being undertaken as well as action to streamline grant administration processes. In conjunction with

these initiatives, revision of the corporate plan and the outcomes-outputs structure was undertaken.

Thirteen audits and 23 evaluations were completed. The latter consisted mostly of the Natural Heritage Trust mid-term reviews.

Support and advice to the Executive has made possible effective analysis, implementation and management of portfolio and public sector-wide reform.

Projects undertaken (that encompassed economic information and analysis, and instruments contributing to positive environmental, social and economic outcomes) included the successful revision of taxation measures to encourage philanthropy for nature conservation, the development of incentive measures for oil recycling, and the convening of a trade and environment ministerial roundtable. Economic analysis of the costs of clearing of vegetation on private land was completed.

Full details of corporate reform are contained in the Corporate Governance section of this report.

*

PROGRAMME ADMINISTRATION

Details of programme administration have been included in the previous section reporting on programmes.

STRATEGIES

Protecting and conserving the environment is consolidated by Environment Australia making agreements with stakeholders including State and Territory Governments, the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, and industry. If these arrangements are managed successfully then effectiveness increases.

• ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGREEMENTS

Objective In consultation with industry, complete agreements on National Environment Protection Measures and voluntary industry agreements.

Result Environment Australia took over responsibility for the National Halon Bank on 1 July 1999. In February 2000 the Australian Halon Management Strategy was released. This foresees the development of the bank as a regional environmental management facility.

Environment Australia has instituted a review of contracts and management arrangements associated with the bank to improve its efficiency and capacity to service the global market.

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More than 95 per cent of outstanding long-term debt inherited with the bank has been recovered. The Government has decided that all revenue from the National Halon Bank will be directed to ozone protection.

In parmership with the members of the Drycleaning Institute of Australia, Environment Australia implemented a vapour recovery code of practice for the drycleaning industry in January 2000. More than 1200 copies of the standards and the associated booklet were distributed and a ffeecall hotline and web site were established. The code will help reduce harmful vapour emissions from solvents used by the industry.

A vapour recovery code of practice and environmental management plan was also developed with the Australian Flexo-graphic Technical Association to reduce solvent emissions for the printing industry.

Agreement was reached with all States and Territories except the Australian Capital Territory to commence the ChemCollect programme. This is a national, three-year programme under the Living Cities initiative, for the collection and destruction of unwanted pesticides (particularly

persistent organochlorines) in rural areas. The programme is joindy funded by the Commonwealth, the States and the N orthern Territory. The Australian Capital Territory has completed a similar programme. Financial agreements were signed with the South Australian, Queensland and Western Australian Governments with other jurisdictions expected to sign shortly.

The memorandum of understanding between all States and Territories and the Commonwealth for the National Pollutant Inventory National Environment Protection Measure was implemented effectively, resulting in public access to information on emissions of certain listed pollutants across Australia, and emissions into priority airsheds and water catchments.

Two parmership agreements have been developed or administered this year. These voluntary agreements with industry associations - the Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Housing Industry Association - promote improved environmental performance and eco­ efficiency approaches to association members. N o outcomes have occurred yet from the Australian Food and Grocery Council agreement as it was signed only in June, but the Housing Industry Association agreement has been running for a year. Changes in its members’

views of the importance of environmental performance to long-term economic performance have been marked.

The positive relationship between Environment Australia and the Housing Industry Association has led to a programme of voluntary eco-efficiency agreements with other industry associations, to begin in 2000-2001.

• REGIONAL FOREST AGREEMENTS

Objective Enhance biological diversity conservation and natural and cultural heritage protection and ensure ecologically sustainable forest management within those forest regions where wood production is the predominant resource use.

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esult Regional forest agreements have now been completed for 10 of the 12 major forested regions in Australia, with southern New South Wales and south-east Queensland not completed.

The regional forest agreements have been undertaken in accordance with the objectives of the National Forest Policy Statement. They provide for the protection, both on and oE reserve, of environmental and heritage values, while giving industry the certainty needed to encourage investment, add value and increase employment.

Key environment and heritage outcomes of the completed regional forest agreements include:

• a substantial increase in knowledge and mapping of the environmental, as well as social and economic, values in the regions;

• the addition to reserves of over 2.5 million hectares of land. This establishes a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system with a total of 9 million hectares of forest, which represents 60 per cent of the public forest estate;

• robust, ecologically sustainable forest management practices outside formal reserves;

• the protection of 2.83 million hectares of old growth forest in formal and informal reserves, with additional old growth forest protected though oE-reserve prescription; and

• the protection in formal reserves of close to 90 per cent of the high quality wilderness on public land.

• AUSTRALIAN GREENHOUSE OFFICE

Objective Meet the challenge of climate change by funding the Australian Greenhouse Office in accordance with the agreement.

Result Environment Australia paid $21,775 million to the Australian Greenhouse Office, in accordance with the agreement between the two organisations. Full details are contained in the annual report

of the Australian Greenhouse Office.

• NATIONAL OCEANS OFFICE

Objective Establish the National Oceans Office as an important milestone in implementing Australia’s Oceans Policy and as a major step towards achieving the conservation, sustainable use and management of Australia’s marine resources.

Result The National Oceans Office was established in Flobart in December 1999. Full details are contained in the separate annual report of the National Oceans Office.

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• NATIONAL SYSTEM OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS

Objective Obtain agreement from the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, the Standing Committee on Conservation, or the Taskforce on Marine Protected Areas to reports and recommendations from the strategic plan of action for the National

Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. Issue notices of intent for marine protected areas in Commonwealth waters.

Result T he establishment of a national system of marine protected areas involves Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and other primary stakeholders working together to expand the existing system of marine parks and reserves. Protected areas are declared following statutory and consultative procedures.

The Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council endorsed a strategic plan of action in July to assist in creating the National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. The plan includes a range of projects and prescriptions relating to protected area declaration to be implemented by the council’s Standing Committee on Conservation and the Taskforce on Marine Protected Areas.

The work programme for the first stage of the strategic plan involves 14 actions. Three reports relating to five of the 14 actions have been accepted: the application of comprehensive, adequate and representative principles; benthic habitat mapping coverage; and ecosystem mapping methodologies.

Two notices of intent for marine protected areas in Commonwealth waters were issued, leading to the declaration of Lord Howe Island Marine Park and Cartier Island Marine Reserve. Macquarie Island Marine Park was also declared. Primary stakeholders, including industry and conservation groups, were consulted closely on the declaration process.

The Commonwealth currently manages 12 marine protected areas outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. O f these, six are adjacent to parks declared under State legislation and are managed cooperatively with the relevant State Government and stakeholders such as the fishing, tourism and petroleum industries.

• INDUSTRY AGREEMENTS FOR MARINE CONSERVATION

Objective Reach marine conservation agreements in consultation with the fishing industry and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.

Result Effective processes are in place to reach marine conservation agreements with industry. Discussions with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and member companies progressed on a conservation agreement (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) covering the Commonwealth waters around the Montebello

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lands off Western Australia. These discussions build on the 1998 memorandum of understanding between Environment Australia and the association.

Cooperative arrangements progressed with fishers for the collection of baseline data to assist in the management of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. A fisheries liaison officer, funded by the Commonwealth, the South Australian Government and industry, was appointed.

• COORDINATION TO REDUCE MARINE PESTS

Objective Gain endorsement by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council on a national coordination process for managing introduced marine pests, and provide funding for projects that contribute to that process.

Result A National Taskforce for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions was established under the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and the Ministerial Council for Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture. The final report of the taskforce

contained 57 significant recommendations on the establishment of national emergency management arrangements for marine pest outbreaks. The Commonwealth has endorsed the substance of the report and provided up to $2.5 million for emergency responses. The Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council has endorsed the report in principle, subject to financial considerations.

Four of the seven projects approved under the Coasts and Clean Seas Introduced Marine Pests Programme directly contribute to emergency response arrangements. This includes the development of detection kits for community-based monitoring of marine pest incursions.

• MARINE PROTECTION CODES AND AGREEMENTS

Objective Reduce ship-based marine waste and identify needs for marine waste reception at selected ports, marinas and boat harbours.

Result The Marine Waste Reception Facilities Programme supports the installation of best practice facilities for receiving shipping and boating wastes at ports, marinas and boat harbours. Seventy-

seven needs analysis assessments of ports, harbours and marinas around the country were carried out to identify demonstration projects.

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WORLD HERITAGE PROPERTIES AGREEMENTS

Objective Develop intergovernmental consultative arrangements and facilitate the production of management plans consistent with World Heritage Convention requirements.

Result Total funding of $8 million was provided for almost 70 projects addressing a wide range of priority programmes identified in property management plans and by consultative and advisory bodies. World Heritage management grant proposals were assessed and advice provided to the Minister on funding priorities under the Natural Heritage Trust.

Consultative and advisory arrangements began for the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) and Macquarie Island World Heritage properties.

Strategic management plans progressed for the Lord Howe Island Group, the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) and the Riversleigh component of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites.

The Minister was advised on significant development proposals within and adjacent to World Heritage properties including the proposed Naturelink cable car in the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia), and the proposed helicopter/floatplane landing sites and Planter Beach ecotourism development in the Tasmanian Wilderness.

• NATIONAL HERITAGE AGREEMENT

Objective Reach agreement with all State and Territory Governments on the preparation of a National Heritage Places Strategy.

Result Environment Australia entered into detailed discussions with the States and Territories to develop a cooperative national heritage places strategy. It was not possible to reach a common position and Environment Australia, on behalf of the Commonwealth, decided to proceed with a new Commonwealth heritage reform plan focusing on protecting places of national significance, increasing Commonwealth compliance with State laws, and protecting heritage in Commonwealth lands and waters.

• ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Objective Provide an effective communications link with scientific agencies.

Result The science carried out within Environment Australia was showcased by monthly science seminars. Memorandums of understanding were established with the National Science and Technology Centre, the Bureau of Rural Sciences and the Australian Academy of Science.

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TERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION

International activities are undertaken in Environment Australia as an adjunct to domestic environment policies and programmes. Actions by other countries, particularly our neighbours and the world’s larger economies, affect environmental outcomes in Australia. A range of other factors, including assessments of Australia’s broader national interests, foreign policy objectives and commercial opportunities, guides strategic engagement in international affairs. Positive bilateral relationships reinforce these approaches and provide direct opportunities for the achievement of better environmental results.

Australia has much to offer and much to gain from participating internationally in environmental issues. In particular, Environment Australia has sought a renewed focus on international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

• BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

IUCN - the World Conservation Union

Objective Present Australia’s perspectives through IUCN and its commissions. IUCN aims to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. Administer Australia’s obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Result Environment Australia is the Australian member for IU C N and its commissions.

An Environment Australia officer continued in the role of vice-chair for the Australian and New Zealand Region of the World Commission on Protected Areas. In conjunction with its partner agencies, the commission has continued the task of developing guidelines on the best management practice for protected areas and on sustainable financing of protected areas.

Environment Australia represented Australia and New Zealand at a meeting of the steering committee in Moscow. At that meeting the first steps were taken for the World Parks Congress to be held in South Africa in 2002.

The Director of National Parks and Wildlife attended the World Commission on Protected Areas World Protected Area Leadership Forum held in Washington to discuss emerging issues in park management and preparations for the World Parks Congress. The United States National Parks Service sponsored the meeting.

Staff from Environment Australia attended the second World Commission on Protected Areas Oceania regional members’ meeting in March 2000. Staff are members of a number of Species Survival Commission working groups, which come under the auspices of the World Commission on Protected Areas.

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T he Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora regulates international trade (export, transit and import) in specimens of wild fauna and flora to protect and conserve endangered and threatened species of terrestrial and marine animals

and plants from over-exploitation through international trade. An officer chaired the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Australia was elected at the 11th conference of parties to represent the Oceania region on the standing committee.

Convention on Biological Diversity and National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity

Objective Improve biological diversity conservation by promoting the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity. This includes engaging in the development, financing and

delivery of the work programme under the convention and its subsidiary technical bodies.

Result Environment Australia provided Australia’s assessed payment for 2000 of $ 185 000 to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It led the Australian delegations to and coordinated preparation of policy briefs for the 5 th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s

Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and the 5th meeting of the conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

This culminated in agreed work plans for the global taxonomy initiative for dry and sub-humid land ecosystems; interim guiding principles for the management of alien species; improvements to the functioning of the Convention on Biological Diversity and work on access to genetic

resources and indigenous knowledge. Environment Australia also part-funded a programme officer position within the Convention on Biological Diversity secretariat to advance the global taxonomy initiative.

International negotiations were conducted on the Cartagena (Biosafety) Protocol under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Environment Australia part-funded a South Pacific Regional Environment Programme workshop on biosafety issues held in Fiji.

Secretariat services and policy support were provided for meetings of the Biodiversity Strategy Executive Group of the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and for four meetings of the Biological Diversity Advisory Council. Secretariat support was also provided to the Inquiry into Access to Biological Resources in Commonwealth Areas.

Australia’s Internet biological diversity clearing-house was established with a link to a similar Convention on Biological Diversity web site. The clearing-house provides information on how Australia is meeting its obligations and implementing the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity.

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amsar Convention

Objective Participate in the implementation of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971) to achieve its broad aim of halting the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve those that remain through wise use.

Result Environment Australia upholds the implementation of the Convention on Wetlands at the international level, representing the Oceania region on the Ramsar standing committee and the scientific and technical review panel. Australia’s delegate to the standing committee also chairs the committee. T he Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist also has a delegate on the scientific and technical review panel.

The Wetlands Policy of the Commonwealth Government provides the framework for implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Australia. National coordination is achieved through the Wetlands and Migratory Shorebirds Taskforce, representing State, Territory and Commonwealth nature conservation agencies. Environment Australia convenes the taskforce.

• ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION

Objective Take an active role in international negotiations that cover treaties and protocols on environmental protection in which Australia has an interest.

Result Environment Australia participated in negotiations in Geneva in September 1999 and Bonn in March 2000 to develop a binding international treaty on persistent organic pollutants. These are chemical substances that persist in the environment, accumulate through the food web and pose a risk of having adverse effects on human health and the environment. With the evidence of long-range transport of these substances to regions where they have never been used or produced, the international community has been working to develop a legally binding treaty

to reduce emissions of persistent organic pollutants.

Negotiations were conducted to further activity on the Rotterdam Convention on procedures for certain hazardous chemicals in international trade. Australia signed the Rotterdam Convention in July 1999 and is participating in the interim prior informed consent procedure that will be in operation until the convention enters into force. This will occur when 50 countries have ratified it.

Environment Australia is Australia’s designated national authority for industrial chemicals and represents Australia at international negotiating committee meetings, liaising with other parties and the secretariat on prior informed consent-related industrial chemicals matters. The Australian delegation to the first session of the Interim Chemical Review Committee was briefed.

Australia chaired the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development chemicals programme meetings. These focused on development of agreed test guidelines and biotechnology

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policies. Environment Australia is Australia’s national coordinating authority for the guidelines, which are a collection of the most relevant methods used by governments, industry and independent laboratories for testing the safety of new and existing chemicals as well as chemical preparations such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and food additives.

Environment Australia co-hosted, with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a technical workshop on pollutant release and transfer registers in Canberra in December 1999 and made presentations to Chinese and Indonesian delegations in Australia on Australia’s pollutant release and transfer programme.

Delegates attended four Basel Convention and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development meetings on hazardous waste. The major outcomes in Basel were the adoption of the protocol on liability and compensation, and the setting of the agenda for the next decade for promoting environmentally sound management of hazardous waste. New rules governing waste shipments within member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development were also negotiated.

In 1999 Australia was elected to chair the principal working group of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This placed Australia in a strategic position to raise the profile of its achievements in ozone layer protection. Australia also became an executive member of the United Nations Multilateral Fund which will disburse close to US$500 million over 2000-2002 to ozone protection activities in developing countries.

During the year, Australia was among the first nations to ratify the Montreal amendment to the protocol (bringing forward phase-out dates on methyl bromide). Environment Australia hosted the main meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme South-east Asia-Pacific Ozone Officers Network and held a Regional Ozone Symposium (funded by Epson Australia).

T he Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and Environment Australia ran an eco-efficiency workshop in Sydney. Progress reports on case studies have been supplied to assist in development of a policy paper on mechanisms to promote eco-efficiency. Officers

attended two meetings of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Working Party on Pollution Prevention and Control in Paris at which countries exchanged information on policies and programmes to prevent pollution. This information resulted in revamping of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development policy paper on promoting eco-efficiency.

Reports were prepared for the United Nations Environment Programme on Australia’s activities in support of the International Declaration on Cleaner Production.

Environment Australia was at the forefront of those rebuilding business relationships with Indonesia. In April, three secretaries-general from the marine, environment and infrastructure portfolios were funded to visit Australia. They attended the Enviro2000 conference where Australian environment industry capabilities were showcased.

The Minister led an 18-member environment business delegation to China in May 2000. The visit built on Environment Australia’s cooperation with China’s State Environmental Protection Administration to improve industry links between the two countries. T he highlights of the visit were the signing of an environmental cooperation action plan with China, the signing of

contracts by Australian environment industry companies and the raising of the profile of Australia’s capabilities.

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Objective

Achieve greater forest conservation and increase the area of forests under sustainable forest management both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region. Establish a partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature/World Bank Global Forest Alliance to advance forest protection in the Asia-Pacific region. Ensure a favourable outcome for Australia from the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.

R esult

Environment Australia’s participation in the United Nations Intergovernmental Forum on Forests contributed to international arrangements for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests. These reflected Australia’s preference for a non-legally binding outcome.

Environment Australia, in consultation with Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, provided funding for a South Pacific consultative meeting on future international arrangements on forests and on priority regional forest actions.

Proposals for action identified in Environment Australia’s international discussion paper for the forum on international forest conservation protected areas were included in the final proposals for action as endorsed by the Commission on Sustainable Development.

Funding and policy advice were provided for the East Asia-Pacific consultations on the World Bank’s Forest Policy Review and Implementation Strategy. This ensured a regional input to the Bank’s new global forest strategy.

Policy advice was provided to multilateral and regional meetings on forests: the International Tropical Timbers Organisation and the meetings associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Environment Australia had substantial influence on the

direction of the forest work programme of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

On behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission’s ad hoc working group on sustainable forest management, funding was provided for the preparation of a draft implementation strategy for the code of practice for forest harvesting in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia’s commitment to protecting international forests in the Asia-Pacific region focused on bilateral initiatives. Sustainable forest management projects were supported both on a regional basis and in selected countries - Western Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and China.

Funding was provided for a code of practice for forest harvesting in Samoa.

The Vanuatu Biodiversity Mapping and Training Project was based around the Australian Government-developed EcoPlan software planning tools. Australian experts provided training to officers of two Vanuatu government departments. The project also provided essential hardware to ensure effective use of the planning tools.

Liaison with AusAID and the World Bank affected the design of forest management projects being developed by both organisations.

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Visits by Environment Australia officers to China prepared for future project work using the EcoPlan tools. The Chinese State Academy of Forests invited Australia to assist in a forest management planning project in the Hainan province.

Staff of Environment Australia were actively involved in Indonesia’s preliminary work on a national forest programme. Australia is supporting the preparation of a national strategy study on the clean development mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. As part of the visit of Indonesia’s Minister for Sea Exploration and Fisheries, Environment Australia identified an opportunity for cooperation on the application of biotechnology to mangrove and coral reef rehabilitation and use.

• MARINE

Objective Protect the marine environment through participation and influence in international forums.

Result Through participation in international forums on the marine environment, Environment Australia achieved significant objectives in relation to international cooperation and coordination of oceans issues; marine biological diversity conservation; the reduction and control of marine pollution; and the improvement of bilateral relationships in the region.

Australia hosted:

• the scientific committee and a number of sub-committees and working groups of the 52nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission;

• a workshop on the prevention of marine pollution in the Asia-Pacific region;

• the 23rd scientific group meeting of the International Maritime Organisation’s London Convention; and

• regional consultation on the conservation and management of marine turtles and their habitats in the Indian Ocean and South-east Asia.

Environment Australia has gained results in a number of international forums. One result is agreement to develop a regional oceans policy in the South Pacific. Environment Australia placed on the international agenda the conservation of marine biodiversity on the high seas, including through the establishment of marine protected areas, at the first meeting of the United Nations informal consultative process on oceans and the law of the sea. Environment Australia chaired the

14th meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme Coordinating Body for the Seas of East Asia.

Support was sought for a proposal to establish a South Pacific whale sanctuary and to end ‘scientific’ whaling. Australia hosted a regional meeting of Indian Ocean and South-east Asian countries in Perth in October 1999 where agreement was reached on the need for regional cooperation. Australia was asked to prepare a draft agreement for discussion at the next meeting.

In international marine pollution issues, a draft treaty to control harmful antifoulants (including tributyl tin) was prepared, the global programme of action for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities was reviewed and draft training sets on sea dumping were completed.

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nvironment Australia contributed to the development of an environmental vulnerability index for small island states, and endorsement by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation marine resource conservation working group of two cooperative projects: the development of a regional risk management framework for the control and prevention of introduced marine pests; and a workshop on integrated oceans management in the region. Marine protected area training and

capacity building was also provided in South-east Asia.

Environment Australia submitted resolutions for consideration at the 11th Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora conference of parties to clarify the interpretation of the term ‘introduction from the sea’ and to improve the conservation of seahorses. Proposals to list the great white shark and change the status of the dugong were also prepared.

• HERITAGE

Objective Protect Australia’s interests in World Heritage matters through the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, and representing Australia’s positions to the World Heritage Bureau and the World Heritage Committee. Protect historic shipwrecks and underwater cultural heritage.

Result Environment Australia represented Australia’s interests in World Heritage matters through participation in two meetings of the World Heritage Bureau, two meetings of the World Heritage Committee, a meeting of the general assembly and several meetings associated with World Heritage Committee reform processes. Australia paid its $85 984 contribution to the World

Heritage Fund of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

This active participation in the World Heritage process resulted in Australia being elected to the World Heritage Bureau, being chosen to host the World Heritage Committee meeting in late 2000, and chairing the World Heritage Committee for 12 months from that time. At a special meeting in July 1999 the World Heritage Committee recognised the extensive information and

analysis provided by Australia and declined to place Kakadu National Park on the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Environment Australia helped the Australian Committee of IU C N produce monitoring reports for a number of Australian World Heritage properties, two of which have been completed to the satisfaction of the World Heritage Committee. As a member of the World Heritage Bureau and rapporteur of two special working groups, Environment Australia contributed to the committee’s reform process. An Asia-Pacific focal point for World Heritage managers was established to promote the convention.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culmral Organisation is preparing a convention on the protection of underwater cultural heritage. Australia’s position on the draft convention text was prepared and Australia participated in two international meetings.

The existing agreement between the Netherlands and Australia on Dutch shipwrecks was reviewed and an agreement with the United Kingdom regarding Admiralty wrecks in Australian waters was pursued. Letters and faxes were prepared on issues relating to historic shipwrecks and administration of the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.

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•

S C I E N C E

Q J

Objective Present Australia’s and the Supervising Scientist’s scientific views, research programmes and performance at international science forums.

Result Environment Australia delivered 11 scientific papers and presentations at international forums: at the Ramsar Convention Scientific and Technical Review Panel meeting, advice was provided on inventory, assessment and monitoring of wetlands; at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a contribution was made to the third assessment report sections on Australia and New Zealand; the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Atomic Energy Agency working group meetings on environmental restoration of uranium mining and milling facilities; and the International Atomic Energy Agency working group to develop a safety guide for the management of waste from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores.

Other topics presented at international forums were the rehabilitation of uranium mines; environmental risk management; best practice tailings management; ecological risk assessment of a herbicide and of Mimosa pigra; and wetland planning and research.

A paper was presented at the intergovernmental meeting of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, held in Japan.

I N F O R M A T I O N

The collection of information and the preparation of databases support management decisions and policy directions. Such information has been vital to the introduction of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Australia’s Oceans Policy, the National Pollutant Inventory, the Register of the National Estate, national land and water audits, regional forest agreements, the regulation of trade in endangered species, the management of national parks, reserves and areas of international environmental significance.

Environment Australia has raised the level of community awareness on environmental issues by communicating information on all aspects of the environment. Through community information liaison almost a quarter of a million items of information were sent out, an almost four-fold increase on the previous year; and 24 900 inquiries were answered.

The United Nations Environment Programme World Environment Day in June 2000 was hosted for the first time by Australia. Adelaide was the host city for the presentation of the nominations to the Global 500 Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement. Three Australian winners were the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Fuji-Xerox Australia and the Adnyamathanha Nepabunna people.

The Prime Minister presented 10 environment awards to Australians chosen from 400 entries in nine categories. Winners included Professor Ian Lowe, Bovis Lend Lease, for their work on sustainability in the construction industry, Charlie Carp, for producing fertiliser made from the

84 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

European carp, and Mount Thomas Primary School, for the participation of their students in conservation activities.

Other activities included the Global 500 Forum, a meeting of non-government environment organisations with the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, a formal luncheon with the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, a meeting of the Australian Youth Parliament for the Environment, Olympic Landcare tree-planting, Smogbusters air quality awareness raising activities, features on Channel 10’s Totally Wild television programme, and an industry leaders meeting. A total of 11 500 information kits were distributed and 100 000 copies of an environmental tips booklet were distributed in video stores.

In June 2000 Environment Australia assisted in the promotion of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park during the arrival in Australia of the Olympic flame. The national park is jointly managed by its Anangu traditional owners and Parks Australia. It contains two of Australia’s foremost icons, Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Senior Anangu participated in the lighting ceremony with the first torchbearer, Aboriginal Olympian Nova Peris-Kneebone, carrying the torch through the park, past its unique cultural centre, towards Uluru. Over 250 members of the news media, representing more than 75 organisations, covered the event.

The number of Australian schools participating in the GLOBE programme rose to 308. GLOBE allows school students to transmit measured environmental information via the Internet and receive back vivid environmental images.

Other major communication campaigns included Biodiversity Month in September 1999, the Natural Heritage Trust grants promotion, and Breathe the Benefits, a television campaign to reduce woodsmoke. The Community Biodiversity Network received a grant to promote the

conservation of biological diversity - particularly the use of local provenance native vegetation to restore landscape productivity - using community service announcements on radio and television.

Waterwatch Australia data was collected by the community from nearly 5000 monitoring sites on waterways across Australia. Environment Australia continued to maintain the Waterwatch database system, ensuring a uniform approach to recording data across Australia and enabling Waterwatch Australia data to be easily used and interpreted by the broader community. Information collected through regional community-based monitoring programmes was shared between catchments and made available to the public on the network of Waterwatch Australia web sites.

• E N V I R O N M E N T A L R E S O U R C E S I N F O R M A T I O N N E T W O R K

Objective Provide improved access to environmental information for the community, industry and governments through the Environment Australia web site and databases. Improve environmental outcomes by developing and managing a comprehensive, accurate and accessible information base for the government’s environmental decisions and for community use. Support the collation, storage, analysis and presentation of information. Ensure the integrity and security of data.

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Result The Environmental Resources Information Network provided general environmental information management and analysis services to Environment Australia, the Australian Greenhouse Office and the National Oceans Office.

Databases and online systems were designed and developed to support implementation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Species and other data were obtained and distribution maps were prepared. Information from these systems will be made available to the public using online mapping systems.

An expert online interview and associated administrative databases were built to assist industry and to inform the public on referrals under the Act.

The network supported Environment Australia’s other key initiatives, including the National Pollutant Inventory database which was released to the public ahead of schedule; and mapping support for six comprehensive regional forest assessments, which led to five regional forest agreements and data agreements with two States.

The network also helped the National Land and Water Resources Audit develop a vegetation classification scheme and create a data compiler and database for stage 1 of the National Vegetation Information System. These projects were delivered on time and within budget.

T he network managed the further development and improvement of the Natural Heritage Trust database. This enhanced the ability of officers from the Trust and other programmes to manage projects. The database has enabled Environment Australia to routinely report on a range of

project statistics.

Accessibility and useability of the network’s core environmental data was significantly enhanced during the year by moving 95 per cent of Environment Australia’s primary spatial data to the Geocentric Datum of Australia, loading more than 500 spatial data layers into the latest spatial

data infrastructure, and documenting this data in the Environmental Data Directory. The network coordinated the technical maintenance and provided an upgrade to the Australian Spatial Data Directory in preparation for the transfer of these functions to the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group.

Community and industry access to environmental data was further enhanced through the development of an online data dissemination facility, featuring fully automated legal transaction documents. Over 250 datasets were downloaded using this facility through the year.

Nodes of the Australian Coastal Atlas were established in all States and the Northern Territory to improve access to marine and coastal information. All of the nodes are online, collectively providing access to about 500 data layers and their descriptions. To improve the access to environmental data by Environment Australia staff for use in the analysis of referrals and assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the Environmental Resources Information Network conducted training for 90 staff with these responsibilities.

86 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

• N A T U R A L H E R I T A G E T R U S T W E B S I T E

Objective Provide a web site that is a key tool for rapidly distributing a wide range of information to Natural HeritageTrust clients.

Result The Natural Heritage Trust web site proved particularly useful for the publication of the mid-term review that would otherwise have required printing and extensive distribution. The web site provides links to the wide range of programmes under the Natural Heritage Trust, facilitating communication between individuals, Landcare groups, State agencies and the Commonwealth, and provides information on approved projects and on applying for funding under the Trust.

A Bushcare extension kit was produced to meet the network’s need for up-to-date information on best practice techniques for managing native vegetation. An Internet discussion group accessible to all Bushcare network members was established as an efficient means of delivering news and documents.

New Bushcare publications included: Talking to the Taxman about Nature Conservation, Incentives for Sustainable Land Management, Landholder Perceptions of Remnant Vegetation on Private Land in the Box-Ironbark Region of Northern Victoria and the proceedings of the grassy landscapes conference, Balancing Conservation and Production in Grassy Landscapes.

The Bushcare home page was launched to provide public access to information and reports about native vegetation management and the Bushcare programme.

The publication series, Biodiversity: Nature's Variety, Our Heritage, Our Future, encouraged better management of remnant vegetation and reductions in vegetation clearance, giving examples of successful activities.

• A U S T R A L I A N B I O L O G I C A L R E S O U R C E S S T U D Y

Objective Ensure that the Australian Biological Resources Study participatory programme grant scheme is efficiently managed and that Australian Biological Resources Study research projects are funded.

Result Over $1.64 million was approved by the Minister for 73 taxonomic research grants, comprising 41 continuing and 32 new projects. The projects funded will allow scientists to discover, describe and classify a wide range of Australia’s flora and fauna, including orchids, microfungi, insects and

octopuses.

Other grants included three postgraduate scholarships, two international travel bursaries for postgraduate students, the Australian Botanical Liaison Officer project (to send a taxonomist to the Royal Botanic Gardens in England for 12 months) and plant specimen loan costs incurred at various Australian herbariums. External and internal audits identified the participatory

programme as best practice in grants administration within the portfolio.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 87

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he Australian Biological Resources Study produced several scientific publications that continued to set world benchmark standards. Rushes of Australia was nominated for two awards, one for printing and design and one for excellence in scientific publishing. The Australian Biological Resources Study also published three volumes of Species Plantarum, a series on world flora. The production of Species Plantarum was allocated to the Australian Biological Resources Study in recognition of its international standing in high quality scientific publications.

Polychaetes and Allies: The Southern Synthesis. Fauna of Australia Vol. 4A Polychaeta, Myzostomida, Pogonophora, Echiura, Sipunula was published. This volume gives the most comprehensive account of polychaetes (segmented marine worms) ever published. Although its focus is Australian, the volume has strong international relevance through the inclusion of 83 per cent

of polychaete families.

The Australian Biological Resources Study produced other posters and books:

• Grasses of Australia, a set of four posters;

• Mites in the Rainforest, a poster;

• Lichens of Rainforest in Tasmania and South-Eastern Australia·,

• Flora of Australia Volume 17A Proteaceae 2 Grevillea.

The Australian Biodiversity Information Facility, incorporating the Australian Faunal Directory, an Internet-based facility available to the public, was launched in December 1999. It includes a checklist of Australian fauna to family level (over 5000 taxa) and taxonomic databases to species

level for 44 faunal groups (about 11 per cent of the estimated described fauna). Planning for new and existing data for vascular plants, fungi, lichens and algae commenced in June 2000.

Two volumes of the Fauna of Australia series have been adapted to and published on the Internet. Mammalia Volume IB and Amphibia and Reptilia Volume 2A are presented in chapter format with additional recent references, a full colour picture gallery and an extensive glossary. Also on the Internet site is Calaby’s Mammal Bibliography which includes 10 600 mammal literature citations. These electronic publications provide a significant resource for the study of mammals.

The Australian Biological Resources Study released other products containing high quality taxonomic data.

• The Australian Marine Algal Name Index and The Checklist of Australian Lichens and Allied Fungi became available on the Internet in December 1999.

• Platypus, a database software package for taxonomists, was upgraded and made available on the Internet in 2000.

» The Families of Flowering Plants of Australia was published on CD-ROM.

• E N V I R O N M E N T P R O T E C T I O N D A T A B A S E S

A N D I N F O R M A T I O N T O O L S

Objective

Provide information and databases that will be of use to industry and the community in taking decisions on the protection and conservation of the environment.

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esult

The Australian Environmental Impact Assessment Network Internet site provides relevant public information on Commonwealth assessment legislation and notifications about major projects undergoing Commonwealth environmental impact assessment under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1914. A separate site has been established to support the full spectrum of

the new scheme introduced with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Both sites also provide links to relevant State, Territory and international sites to promote public understanding of environmental impact assessment in Australia and internationally.

The Safe Handling of Organochlorine Pesticides on Farms and Organochlorine Pesticides Waste Management Plan were published on behalf of the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council.

EnviroNET Australia was renamed and redesigned to provide a better focus on and support for the environment business sector. Australia’s EnviroNET, the premier gateway to Australian environment industry capabilities, came online in April 2000, following a launch by the Minister at the Enviro2000 conference and trade fair. This included the development of Internet advertising banners, exhibition displays and a CD-ROM.

Australia’s EnviroNET’s two online databases - the Environment Industry Expertise Database and the Environmental Education Database - were updated through an annual census. A total of 709 environmental education courses from 79 educational institutions, and 940 environment

industry organisations were registered on the databases.

Fact sheets, posters, displays and stickers were distributed to publicise Australia’s efforts in protecting the ozone layer. The ozone protection web site was redesigned and updated.

A state of knowledge draft report on toxic air pollutants and indoor air quality was released for public comment under the Living Cities - Air Toxics Programme. Environment Australia completed the toxicants, agricultural and physical-chemical databases for the water quality guidelines of the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand.

The eco-efficiency and cleaner production web site provided a range of information for business and industry with over 100 case stodies on the economic and environmental benefits of cleaner production. Six new case studies on environmental management systems were developed. A kit promoting eco-efficiency to industry and a brochure advertising the web site

were distributed.

Environment Australia distributed 2000 copies of a National Framework for Public Environmental Reporting, produced in consultation with industry.

Two issues of the newsletter, Envirobusiness update, were distributed, providing information to the environment business sector. The circulation of the second issue doubled to 3500 and was also distributed widely at the Enviro2000 conference in Sydney.

The publication Australia’ s Leading Edge Environmental Technologies formed part of the kit developed to promote Australia’s environment industry capabilities and technological innovations in the lead-up to and during the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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parallel report, Best Practice Environmental Management in Mining, was published on 61 Australian environmental technologies that have primary applications in the mining sector.

The report was released at the 2000 Minerals Council of Australia seminar in Parliament House.

The Best Practice Environmental Management in Mining Programme was evaluated by Sinclair Knight & Mertz. The evaluation provided Environment Australia and the Best Practice in Mining Steering Committee with an independent viewpoint as to the cost-effectiveness of the programme and lessons for similar programmes in future.

Environment Australia and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources jointly funded a feasibility study of a framework for market development of the Australian environment industry and of an integrated biennial environment industry conference and trade fair.

In January 2000 the first report of the National Pollutant Inventory database was launched on the Internet. The web site provides information from nearly 1200 industry facilities Australia-wide on 67 substances as well as emission estimation information for industry. The inventory provides information on diffuse and mobile sources of pollutants into priority airsheds and on nutrient emissions into 10 major water catchments.

• M A R I N E A N D C O A S T A L C O M M U N I T Y E D U C A T I O N

Objective Support marine and coastal community education through education and awareness events and products, skills development training courses and workshops for coastal managers, and the maintenance of a marine web site.

Result Through the capacity building programme, Environment Australia provided the Marine and Coastal Community Network with funding of $2 million over three years. The Marine and Coastal Community Network’s primary objective is to assist community involvement in caring for Australia’s oceans and coasts. This is done through a variety of media including national and State-based publications (Waves and Ripples), radio shows in some States and a web site. Nearly 8000 individuals, groups and agencies are now participating in the network. Apart from

a key role in information dissemination, projects include facilitating community input to the implementation of Australia’s Oceans Policy and the coordination of workshops on seagrasses, oil spill response plans, marine protected areas, aquaculture and fisheries.

Recfish Australia, the peak body of State recreational and sport fishing organisations, was funded for the development and implementation of a national environment strategy. T he strategy aims to improve environmental performance of recreational and sport fishers by encouraging adherence to a national code of practice and by promoting ecologically sustainable management of the environment by fishers.

Environment Australia facilitated the formation of the Australian Marine Education Alliance, an overarching national body of marine educators. T he alliance developed national goals and an innovative action plan for marine education.

Professional development through short courses for coastal and marine managers continued to increase their technical and management expertise in areas such as strategic planning, risk management, information management, communication and consultation.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

An outcome of the South Australian course was the development of a handbook on marine and environment emergencies, which is being distributed free to seaside councils, governments and community groups.

The marine pages on the Environment Australia web site provided comprehensive coverage of coastal and marine activities and programmes.

‘Have a Coastcare Holiday’ was the theme of Coastcare Week held in December 1999. The programme encouraged visitors to the coast to act responsibly and promoted important coastal protection messages. Coastcare Week received a significant amount of media coverage through the involvement of personalities such as whale watcher, Mimi Macpherson. Major corporations such as Pioneer and Uncle Toby’s sponsored Coastcare.

In some regions, Coastcare community conferences were held to provide opportunities for Coastcare groups to come together to share experiences and ideas and to provide up-to-date and useful coastal and marine information. T he inaugural Tasmanian Coastcare Festival was held during Coastcare Week 1999 and drew community groups and local and State Government representatives to a three-day forum on Coastcare and associated marine and coastal issues. The

Coastcare Festival was successful in communicating important messages and providing delegates with relevant workshops. The festival is planned to run every two years.

The Coastcare ‘D on’t Bag the Ocean’ message was promoted for World Environment Day 2000. This campaign highlighted the problems created by plastic bags and other debris in the marine environment and the dangers these pose to marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins and turtles.

• H E R I T A G E C O M M U N I T Y E D U C A T I O N

O bjective

Make readily accessible information to Australian and international communities about World Heritage in Australia and ensure that the material is accurate, comprehensible and effectively promoted.

Result Eighteen products on Australian World Heritage areas were produced and distributed, including the Australia’s World Heritage booklet and video, a leaflet for each of the 13 Australian World Heritage properties, the draft strategic overview for the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves

(Australia) and a new web site for the Asia-Pacific focal point for World Heritage managers.

The World Heritage web site was redesigned and upgraded.

Comprehensive advice on best scientific practice and government commitments for World Heritage assessments and nominations was provided to other governments and to community and other organisations.

To help protect underwater cultural heritage, a brochure, poster, leaflet and a new web site design were produced under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Programme.

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S C I E N T I F I C I N F O R M A T I O N

Objective Ensure that the activities of the Supervising Scientist are reported through the distribution of reports and other forms of information.

Result T he Supervising Scientist published a further nine reports in the Supervising Scientist Report series on aspects of research programmes and environmental assessment including techniques for enhanced wetland inventory and monitoring; a review of mine site revegetation in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia; the chemistry of Magela Creek; and the investigation into the Ranger tailings water leak.

To enhance the understanding of wetlands conservation in Northern Australia and the research programmes of the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist, a wedands module was developed jointly between the institute and the Northern Territory University.

To support community interaction in wetlands conservation, a report was prepared on management planning for the Blyth/Liverpool wetlands in Arnhem Land. To improve the way in which the institute exchanges information with Aboriginal communities and associations of the Alligator Rivers region a protocol for communication was developed for staff.

Six information sheets and newsletters were provided to Aboriginal associations. These reported on the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist research programmes and topical issues. Nine community fact sheets were prepared for the Supervising Scientist web site and one note on aquatic ecotoxicology in the Australian wet-dry tropics was printed in the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist notes series.

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E G I S L A T I O N

• E N V I R O N M E N T P R O T E C T I O N A N D B I O D I V E R S I T Y

C O N S E R V A T I O N A C T

Objective Take effective action to support the Minister and the Government in achieving passage of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and preparing supplementary mechanisms and instruments, communication activities and compliance measures. Prepare to effectively implement the Act on commencement.

Result The year saw major changes in the legislative structure within which Environment Australia operates. The new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, in particular, represents the most fundamental reform of Commonwealth environment laws since the first

environment statutes were enacted in the early 1970s. It is the first comprehensive attempt to define the environmental responsibilities of the Commonwealth.

The Act enables the Commonwealth to join the States and Territories in providing a national scheme of environmental protection and conservation of biological diversity. It does so by providing for Commonwealth leadership, while recognising and respecting the responsibility of the States for managing natural resources. It is user friendly, with predictable, transparent and timely environmental assessment and approval processes.

Following passage of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Environment Australia undertook work on the development of subordinate legislation and administrative guidelines. To ensure that the Act is administered in the most efficient and effective manner Environment Australia put in place a range of structures and systems, including the establishment of a new division. Pre-commencement trials of these systems were undertaken and fine-tuning carried out as necessary.

Regulations and guidelines supporting the Act have been completed and bilateral agreements to accredit State and Territory environmental assessment processes are well advanced. Information and materials for public audiences and specific client groups were prepared and a comprehensive communication and training programme conducted. An innovative online

decision support and information system to assist clients as well as staff was developed. A review of compliance and enforcement activities was undertaken.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act received Royal Assent on 16 July 1999. Until it comes into effect Environment Australia continues to implement the legislation that the Act will replace: Endangered Species Protection Act 1992; Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1914; National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1915; Whale Protection Act 1980, and World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983.

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E N V I R O N M E N T P R O T E C T I O N

Objective Ensure that all actions and decisions are in line with statutory obligations, including timeliness, and that effective standards and regulations are developed.

Result A total of 314 projects were referred to Environment Australia for assessment under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act. Full details of these projects are at Appendix 2.

Under the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982, two existing management programmes were approved to continue. Six annual quota submissions on approved management plans were approved. Nineteen controlled specimen proposals were approved.

A total of 44 001 import and export permits and authorities were issued, an increase of 4435 from the previous year. Eleven captive breeding operations and 11 artificial propagation operations were approved.

The Australian Customs Service seized 4525 illegal wildlife imports and exports at Australian international barriers. Full details are in the report by the Director of National Parks and Wildlife.

Environment Australia undertook a review of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 and commenced a review of the Ozone Protection Act 1989.

The Minister granted 17 export and two import permits for hazardous waste. Four permits were refused and there were no variations to existing permits. Seven permits are being processed.

The Minister issued 39 instruments under the Ozone Protection Act and Environment Australia directed the seizure of approximately 1.5 tonnes of refrigerants containing ozone-depleting substances imported without licence.

The Australian Customs Service, in consultation with Environment Australia, implemented amendments to customs regulations conditionally prohibiting the import of non-refillable containers containing hydrofluorocarbons designed for use in the maintenance of refrigerative units. Hydrofluorocarbons do not deplete the ozone layer but do contribute to global warming. This measure encourages the responsible use of hydrofluorocarbons.

New environmental legislation governing the oil production and recycling industries was researched and developed. The legislation was enacted to meet the Prime Minister’s commitment, under the Measures for a Better Environment package, to implement product stewardship arrangements for waste oil.

T he legislation - encompassing the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000, the Customs Tarijf Amendment (Product Stewardship for Waste Oil) Act 2000, the Excise Tariff Amendment (Product Stewardship for Waste Oil) Act 2000 and the Product Stewardship (Oil) (Consequential Amendments) Act 2000 - establishes a 5 cent per litre environmental levy on oils and lubricants, and provides

for the levy’s distribution to eligible operations involved in the environmentally sustainable recycling of waste oil.

94 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

These product stewardship arrangements are designed to encourage increased recovery and recycling of waste oil, reduce the risk of environmental damage from waste oil and ensure that there are sustainable options for the re-use of waste oil. The legislation was passed in June 2000 following extensive research, consultation with oil production and recycling industries, and with assistance from the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Customs Service. The arrangements will commence on 1 January 2001.

Together with other agencies, Environment Australia formulated the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Contaminated Sites) Measure which was successfully implemented. The measure builds on the foundation laid by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council guidelines for the assessment and management of contaminated sites and

enables a consistent national approach to contaminated site assessment. This agreed common basis will help assessors, environmental auditors, developers and regulators avoid costly duplication in method development.

Amendments were also made to the National Pollutant Inventory Measure.

• U R A N I U M M I N I N G

Objective Enhance the protection of the environment by assisting in the revision of regulatory instruments related to uranium mining and nuclear issues, and by providing tools to assess the standard of environmental remediation.

Result Environment Australia and the Supervising Scientist led the consultative process that produced the revision and upgrade of the environmental requirements for Ranger uranium mine under section 41 of the Atomic Energy Act 1953 and the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978. The process included consultation with the Northern Land Council, the Northern

Territory Department of Mines and Energy, the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources, and Energy Resources Australia. The new environmental requirements, which came into effect in January 2000, are clear and comprehensive and aim for world’s best practice in

protecting the environment surrounding the Ranger mine. As a step towards improving the Jabiluka environmental requirements to a standard comparable with the Ranger environmental requirements, a preliminary revision was carried out by the Office of the Supervising Scientist

and draft environmental requirements produced that will be subject to stakeholder review.

The Supervising Scientist provided a detailed report on investigations of a tailings water leak at the Ranger uranium mine.

Environment Australia’s Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist reviewed the Australian Water Quality Guidelines and provided a final report on this revision to the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, and the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand.

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• M A R I N E

Objective Enforce statutory requirements for sea dumping and ship-based pollution, and harvesting of marine species for export.

Result Under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981, 39 applications for permits to dump wastes and other matter were received. Thirty permits were issued; in four cases a permit was not required for the proposed activity; one permit application was refused; and four permit applications were still under assessment.

Amendments to the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act were passed by Parliament. These amendments implement the 1996 protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other M atter 1972 (London Convention). The protocol replaces the London Convention with an improved regulatory approach.

Environment Australia provided secretariat support and participated in the Maritime Accidents and Pollution Implementation Group of the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council. This group has carriage of the Strategy to Combat Pollution in the Marine Environment and endeavours to protect the marine environment from ship-sourced pollution. Working groups dealing with the six target areas identified in the strategy have completed five of six projects including a code of practice for antifouling and in-water hull cleaning and maintenance, an auditing strategy for waste reception facilities, and communicating with the maritime industry about sea areas sensitive to shipping and boating operations in Australia.

Thirteen assessments were completed on the impact of harvesting on species by commercial fisheries and on other proposals for export approval under the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act. The assessments were undertaken to ensure that species exported under the Act were harvested in a sustainable manner. Nine section 10A approvals and four section 44 approvals were granted. A further three proposals received during the year were still undergoing assessment.

• S Y D N E Y H A R B O U R F E D E R A T I O N T R U S T

Objective Prepare regulations to ensure compliance with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust legislation.

Result The Minister opened the office of the interim Sydney Harbour Federation Trust at Chowder Bay and announced the appointment of an Executive Director.

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Bill 1999 was introduced, without changes, in the Senate. The Bill was referred to the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee. At the committee’s invitation, Environment Australia commented on

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e submissions made before the committee. To take account of committee and community concerns, 41 amendments were drafted to be moved on behalf of the Government. A total of 101 Opposition and Democrats amendments were adopted in the Senate. The amended Bill is expected to be debated in the House of Representatives during the Spring 2000 sittings.

An announcement was made that two further properties, Macquarie Lightstation and Snapper Island, would be transferred to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

A S S E S S M E N T S A N D R E S E A R C H

e

Environment Australia recognises that while the overall strategy to protect and conserve the environment is in place, there is a need to assess some activities against objectives and, agreed parameters and to plan future directions with targeted research. Environmental assessments ensure that activities (such as mines and airports) planned with other objectives (commercial and social) do not impinge on the environment in a way that would be unacceptable to the community. Research helps analyse in detail what is actually happening and indicates where objective decisions must override opinion.

• E N V I R O N M E N T A L I M P A C T A S S E S S M E N T S

Objective Meet requirements under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act and the Telecommunications Act by effective, timely and professional environment impact assessments. Environment Australia also seeks to coordinate input to major investment projects under the Government’s investment promotion and facilitation initiatives.

Result A total of 314 projects were referred to Environment Australia for assessment. There were no breaches of the statutory timeframes. Some of the more significant assessments included the following.

Uranium mining: The Honeymoon uranium mine proposal in South Australia involves the in-sim leach method of uranium recovery in which uranium-bearing liquor is extracted directly from an ore body using injection and recovery wells, and treated at a surface production plant to

produce uranium oxide. The draft environmental impact statement for the proposal was issued for a public review period of eight weeks.

Satellite launch facilities: An environmental impact statement on the proposal to construct and operate a satellite launching facility on Christmas Island, proposed by Asia-Pacific Space Centre Pty Ltd, was prepared. The final statement, which took into account public submissions, was submitted to Environment Australia which requested additional information from Asia-Pacific Space Centre in March 2000. The Minister advised that, provided the recommended conditions were met, the satellite launching facility could proceed with no significant threat to the environment.

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reat Barrier Reef World Heritage area and would be a significant source of greenhouse emissions. The draff environmental impact statement was issued for public review.

Naval ammunitioning facility at Twofold Bay: The Minister concluded from the final environmental impact statement that there were no environmental reasons preventing the granting of environmental approval for the project.

Basslink 300-megawatt cable interconnection from Tasmania to Victoria: The proposal is being assessed through the preparation of an environmental impact statement in accordance with an agreed joint environmental assessment process between the Commonwealth, Tasmanian and Victorian Governments.

Other major assessments included:

• the sale of Australian Defence Industries;

• the construction of a multi-user integrated terminal at Adelaide Airport;

• the Lancelin training area in Western Australia;

• the proposed Tugun bypass in Queensland;

• the Antarctic Krill Fishery Management Plan;

• the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme Corporation;

• the Upstart Bay aquaculture development;

• the Craigieburn to Metropolitan Ring Road alignment in Melbourne;

• the Alice Springs to Darwin railway (previously assessed);

• the Abt railway in Tasmania;

• the Shepparton bypass;

• the Murrin M urrin nickel mine; and

• briefings on cyanide spills in Romania and Papua New Guinea.

Projects assessed are listed in Appendix 2.

A commission of inquiry was established under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act to examine the environmental aspects of a proposal by Airservices Australia to introduce a precision runway monitor for landings from the north at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport. A precision runway monitor is a radar-based air traffic control aid that allows landing rates of aircraft to be maintained during periods of bad weather. Environment Australia provided

the secretariat to support the Commissioner, D r DF McMichael CBE.

The commission of inquiry recommended a trial of the precision runway monitor be carried out to determine the full nature and extent of its environmental impacts. The trial will compare the noise effects of aircraft under present instrument procedures as against precision runway monitor operations. The system will be implemented progressively until mid-August 2000 and will be available for use in bad weather during the Olympics.

Major changes in the statutory basis for Commonwealth involvement in the environmental approval of development projects under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act required significant work during the year. This included changes in structures, systems and processes requiring the design, development and implementation of a database and communication system to administer referrals and assessments. Procedural manuals were prepared.

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nvironment Australia continued to promote cooperative assessment with the States and Territories to streamline environmental assessment processes. These arrangements have provided a smooth progression to the new Commonwealth assessment and approvals regime.

Chemicals, biological products and genetically modified organisms

Environment Australia provided advice on proposals for the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment in field trials, through attendance at release subcommittee meetings of the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee. Advice was also given to the committee and the Interim Office of the Gene Technology Regulator on the general release proposal for Roundup-ready cotton.

The National Registration Authority was advised on biological product applications and genetically modified organisms for field trials, in particular insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant crops. Environmental assessment advice was prepared on the use of herbicides on herbicide- tolerant crops and on rabbit calicivirus bait (leading to a full assessment).

Under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 environmental hazard assessment reports for 179 new chemicals were completed and published. T he environmental parts of these reports were completed within statutory timeframes. All new industrial chemicals marketed in quantities above 100 kilograms per annum have to be assessed for their environmental impact before their introduction.

Assessments of two existing industrial chemicals were completed, and reports for four others drafted. The latter included the first comprehensive Australian assessment of benzene, which should provide a firm basis for any regulatory action taken on this toxic air pollutant.

Environmental assessment reports were completed and published for 16 new agricultural and veterinary chemicals under the National Registration Scheme of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994. A further 25 assessments were completed on extensions of use of existing agricultural and veterinary chemicals. Several of these were new chemicals or combinations of chemicals for use on cotton and rice, and another was a new rodenticide to control mice plagues in cereals.

Environment Australia’s involvement in the registration process ensures that all new agricultural and veterinary chemical proposals undergo a thorough assessment of their likely environmental impact before being placed on the market.

A comprehensive final report for one existing agricultural and veterinary chemical under the National Registration Authority’s Existing Chemicals Review Programme was completed. This has resulted in the chemical, a very toxic one with a history of bird kills, being withdrawn from the market and having its registration cancelled. Reports were drafted for a further four

chemicals under review and Environment Australia continues to be involved in the negotiations following three reports drafted in 1998-99.

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O R L D H E R I T A G E A S S E S S M E N T S A N D N O M I N A T I O N S

O bjective

Provide accurate independent evidence for all assessments of World Heritage projects using the best available scientific practice.

R esult

Environment Australia provided extensive supplementary information on the World Heritage values of the Greater Blue Mountains Area to the World Heritage Centre. The proposed nomination of a series of Australian convict sites was added to Australia’s tentative World Heritage list.

Government commitments were identified and addressed in relation to the submission of five World Heritage nominations: the Sydney Opera House, convict sites, the Greater Blue Mountains Area, Purnululu and an extension to the Riversleigh Fossil Mammal Sites.

Advice was provided to governments, organisations and the community on the best scientific practice and on government commitments for World Heritage assessments and nominations.

Detailed technical analysis was provided for the World Heritage Committee’s review of procedures and operational guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

• S C I E N T I F I C R E S E A R C H

Objective Assess the environmental performance of uranium mines, both existing and rehabilitated, and report to stakeholders. Research is to be carried out on the impact of uranium mining on the environment and on the protection and conservation of wetlands in the Alligator Rivers region. Reports are to be prepared on the research programme of the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist with findings presented at national forums.

R esult

Research provided a factual base for management decisions on the environment, including the environmental impact of mining and the protection and conservation of wetlands.

The National Centre for Tropical Wetlands Research, based in Darwin, established a network of continuous radon and meteorological monitoring stations in the Alligator Rivers region to measure the contribution to radon levels from the Ranger mine and eventually those from the proposed Jabiluka mine; investigated the use of herbicides as a control measure for the wetland weed, Mifnosa pigra; reviewed the Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water quality; investigated suspended sediment loads in Swift Creek, downstream of the proposed Jabiluka mine; conducted a review of the environmental management of 11 major mining

operations in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya; and completed an assessment of the impact of the exotic pasture species Paragrass on the ecology of floodplain wetlands.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 101

environment

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ά

■ i

α Three environmental performance reviews were carried out, including reviews of the Ranger, Jabiluka and Nabarlek mines. It was agreed that a report on best practice technology for the use of paste fill for tailings at Ranger be prepared by the mining company, Energy Resources Australia, and that the Supervising Scientist review the findings. The Office of the Supervising

Scientist reported at the Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee meeting on its participation in the minesite technical committee meetings for Ranger, Jabiluka and Nabarlek mines.

Eighty-four reports, including published journals, internal reports and unpublished papers, were prepared as part of the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist research programmes on the environmental impact of mining and on wetlands ecology and conservation. Fifteen presentations were made at national environmental science forums, including:

• the Northern Australian Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems Conference;

• a hydrology and water resources symposium;

• a Nabarlek mine rehabilitation workshop;

• a workshop on the Aboriginal use and management of wetlands;

• a tailings storage and management conference; and

• a conference on operational risk management procedures within the Australian mining industry.

Other research activities of Environment Australia are described under the Environmental Resources Information Network and the Australian Biological Resources Study in the earlier section on departmental outputs.

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UTCOME 2

M E T E O R O L O G Y

P

URPOSE

The purpose of the Bureau of Meteorology is to contribute to

Australia’s social, environmental, economic and cultural goals

through the performance of the functions of a national meteorological

service in the public interest generally and in particular:

• for the purposes of the defence force;

• for the purposes of navigation and shipping and of civil aviation; and

• for the purpose of assisting persons and authorities engaged in primary production, industry, trade and commerce.

MISSION

The overall mission of the Bureau is to observe and understand

Australian weather and climate and provide meteorological,

hydrological and oceanographic services in support of Australia's

national needs and international obligations.

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U S T R A L I A B E N E F I T S F R O M M E T E O R O L O G I C A L

A N D R E L A T E D S C I E N C E A N D S E R V I C E S

The Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for the provision of meteorological and related hydrological and oceanographic services to the Australian community, under the authority of the Meteorology Act 1955. The Bureau operates as a self-contained agency within the department and the Director of Meteorology presents a separate detailed annual report on the discharge of his

responsibilities under the Act.

In order to ensure that Australia is well served by contemporary meteorological and related information, science and services, the Bureau maintains extensive, high quality meteorological observation networks and data archives and undertakes scientifically based prediction of weather, climate and the state of the atmosphere, oceans and inland waters, drawing heavily on arrangements under the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization for free and unrestricted international exchange of meteorological and related data and information. These

activities are underpinned and complemented by a strong in-house and externally cooperative research programme to advance meteorological knowledge and understanding.

The Bureau’s head office in Melbourne serves as both an administrative and operational headquarters. It provides overall national strategic planning, management and coordination of the Bureau’s integrated observations, telecommunications and data-processing infrastructure as well as of its weather, climate and hydrological service provision. It also includes the National Meteorological Operations Centre, the National Climate Centre, the Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre and the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre.

Regional offices are located in each State capital and Darwin. Each regional office includes a regional forecasting centre and a flood warning centre, and the Perth, Darwin and Brisbane offices also include tropical cyclone warning centres. These offices are responsible for all the operational and service activities of the Bureau in the State or Territory concerned, and liaise closely with relevant State and Territory Government departments and agencies.

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Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 105

T H E B U R EA U O F M E T E O R O L O G Y D E L IV E R S A R A N G E O F O U T C O M E S

o u T P u T

s

M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A N D R E L A T E D D A TA A N D P R O D U C T S

M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A N D R E L A T E D R E SE A R C H

M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A N D R E L A T E D SE R V IC E S

IN T E R N A T IO N A L M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A C T IV IT IE S

• M E T E O R O L O G I C A L A N D R E L A T E D D A T A A N D P R O D U C T S

To meet present and future national and international needs for raw and processed meteorological and related data.

Result Meteorological and related data and products are the major outputs of the basic observation, communications and data-processing systems established to maintain an around-the-clock nationwide weather watch and to meet present and future national and international needs for meteorological data. T he basic observational, communications and data-processing systems that deliver this output also provide the common foundation on which virtually all the research, services and international outputs of the Bureau depend.

In general, the observations programme performed satisfactorily in delivering data of a sufficient density, representativeness, accuracy, homogeneity, continuity and reliability to meet the basic requirements of other elements of the Bureau’s operations and to meet essential internal and external needs for Australian climate data. Due to the large area to be covered and the high cost of observation in sparsely populated regions, some of the Bureau’s networks operate at standards significantly below international benchmarks for station density and data accuracy as set by the World Meteorological Organization. T he most difficult standards to achieve are related to the density of upper air observations. This year saw a general increase in the percentage of scheduled observations performed on time and within prescribed accuracy limits within the surface, upper air and space-based network. Performance targets of 85-95 per cent of scheduled observations were met or exceeded for the upper air wind-measuring network (88 per cent), for the surface synoptic network (88 per cent) and for the spaced-based network (98 per cent). Though marked improvement in the quality of the upper air temperature and humidity (radiosonde) observations was evident again this year and the network provided sufficient data for essential Bureau operations, radiosonde observations remained below target at 80 per cent of scheduled observations due, among other things, to difficulties experienced in staffing remote observing stations.

T he effective operation of the Bureau’s extensive observation networks relies upon the satisfactory installation and maintenance of observation equipment and facilities within time and cost

Objective

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onstraints. Following a rigorous annual planning exercise, schedules and budgets were established for all new facilities, strategic upgrades and ongoing maintenance. All equipment installations that were not delayed by external influences outside the control of the Bureau were completed on time, within budget and to user requirements. Where influences external to the Bureau forced delays, plans were adjusted within established budgetary constraints. Major works included: the installation of 21 new automatic weather stations; the relocation of the Brisbane Airport weather radar to the site of the new field meteorological office; the installation of a Doppler weather radar in the Sydney area in support of the forecasting effort for the 2000 Olympic Games; and the installation of automatic weather balloon facilities (autosondes) at Eucla and Charleville. All major equipment faults were repaired according to the Bureau’s equipment maintenance strategy, which establishes a priority for repair, based on the criticality of the site for the successful delivery of services in the short term (days to weeks).

The timely and accurate transmission of meteorological observations, exchange of data and graphical information between Bureau offices, and dissemination of the Bureau’s services such as forecasts, warnings and specialised products, are dependent on the effective and efficient operation of the Bureau’s communication systems. The Bureau’s computer message switching system receives and forwards meteorological data and processed products both domestically and

internationally. In recognition of the increased productivity and improved services made possible through the system, the Technology in Government Committee awarded the Bureau a joint silver award in the 2000 Government Technology Productivity Awards. This was the fourth such award presented to the Bureau in the past 13 years. During the year, 99 per cent of surface data and 95 per cent of upper air data were received at the National Meteorological Operations Centre before the nominated cut-off times for input into the Bureau’s analysis and prediction systems and 95 per cent of output products from these systems were delivered to the regional forecasting centres before the scheduled deadlines for dissemination. These performance levels were sufficient for the effective communication of meteorological information, forecasts and warnings to users.

The Bureau’s computing systems infrastructure includes centralised systems, which support the large scale numerical modelling research and prediction operations, distributed systems, which support the individual head office programme activities, and regional systems in support of

regional operations. T he ability of all these systems to meet the requirements of the operations that they support is a critical component of the Bureau’s overall efficiency and productivity. T he newly completed Australian Integrated Forecast System in particular proved extremely reliable this year. There was some loss of efficiency within the supercomputing facility during the latter part of 1999 as the memory requirements for the high resolution numerical models approached

the limit of the facility’s resources, but this issue was subsequently addressed through a strategic plan for scaling operational and research systems through to 2003. The strategy included the replacement of the N E C SX-4 supercomputer with an SX-5 by August 2000 and the addition of a second SX-5 by November 2000.

The National Meteorological Operations Centre continued to serve as the central hub of the Bureau’s analysis and prediction operations, running the centralised operational numerical models and providing the meteorological and oceanographic analyses and forecast guidance products

upon which most of the Bureau’s weather services are based. During the year, the National Meteorological Operations Centre continued to exceed service levels for timely delivery of forecast guidance, with 98 per cent of forecasts received before the scheduled deadline for dissemination. In particular, thorough Year 2000 planning and implementation ensured a smooth

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ransition from 1999 to 2000, with no impact on essential centre operations and services and no significant international data losses. Despite an increase in volume, the distribution of analysis and forecast guidance products improved during the year due to the high level of automation of the dissemination systems and improved computing and communications systems.

Through the integrated operation of the National Meteorological Operations Centre and the regional forecasting centres, the Bureau was able to maintain a comprehensive and responsive national and regional weather watch network during the year. The integrated operation of the observations, engineering, communications, computing and analysis and prediction functions all contributed effectively towards providing a reliable output of high quality meteorological and related data and products and a sound foundation for the provision of routine basic and special weather services, and timely warning of developing dangerous weather situations.

• METEOROLOGICAL AN D RELATED RESEARCH

Objective To advance the science of meteorology and develop an integrated, comprehensive description and scientific understanding of Australia’s weather and climate.

Result Meteorological and related research includes both research undertaken in fulfilment of the Bureau’s responsibilities, as a national research agency, to contribute to the advancement of meteorological science in Australia, and research aimed at developing the application of meteorology to the needs of the Australian community. The Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre in collaboration with the operational areas of the Bureau carries out the main research activities.

The activities of the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre embrace pure research, strategic research, applied research and supporting research and development. T he pure, strategic and applied components fulfil the Bureau’s statutory responsibility for the advancement of meteorological science and the development of the useful application of meteorology to community needs. They also provide the foundation for research and development that supports

the Bureau’s operations and services through the development of advanced systems and techniques.

The second major external review of the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, which was carried out in August 1999, attested to the quality of the centre’s research and its contribution to national and international atmospheric science. The review commended the centre on the progress achieved since the earlier review in 1992 and on the extent to which the recommendations of the first review had been implemented. The review committee’s report recognised the high international standard of Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre research:

W hether measured in international, national or internal Bureau terms, the quality of the research conducted in the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre is attested to be of the highest standard. This judgement is based not only on submissions to the Review, but also on parameters such as the esteem with which Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre scientists are regarded by their peers within Australia and around the world; the high

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epresentation of Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre scientists on international scientific bodies; the Centre’s publication record; the high calibre of visitors to the Centre; the significance of collaborative ventures with other leading international research centres; and the successful implementation of Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre research results into the operational areas of the Bureau and the service improvements that have ensued.

(Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre Review: Report of the Review Committee, Bureau of Meteorology, December 1999, p. 8.)

Within the pure research component of Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre activity, important progress was achieved towards understanding and quantifying the nature of inter­ annual climate variations. New statistical techniques, developed for determining the relative significance of weather noise (the daily weather fluctuations), low-frequency internal variability (chaotic climate fluctuations) and external forcing (potentially predictable variations) within inter-annual climate variations, suggest that long-range climate predictability may be largely confined to the world’s tropical and subtropical regions.

Due to the chaotic nature of the atmosphere, small differences in the specification of its initial state can lead to substantial changes in its predicted state a few days ahead. In the Southern Hemisphere, where there are large expanses of ocean, satellite data are used to specify the initial temperature and moisture distribution in the atmosphere. A variational technique, developed during the year to assimilate spectrometer data from the United States polar-orbiting satellites into the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre global weather prediction model, was able to optimise the impact of the data, leading to significant improvements in prediction accuracy in the Australian region.

The Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre led a study to analyse trends in extremes in tempera tore and rainfall across the Asia-Pacific region. Participants from 15 countries took part in a workshop in December hosted by the centre in which daily rainfall and temperature data were quality-controlled and analysed in a consistent manner. The study found significant increases in the annual number of hot days and warm nights across the whole region over the last 30 years.

The impact of the Pacific Ocean on Australian climate variability has long been recognised, but increasing attention has been focused over the past decade on the role of the Indian Ocean. Analysis conducted during the year showed, however, that the apparent influence of the sea-surface temperature patterns in the Indian Ocean are largely linked to the El Nino phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean. There is a residual independent impact of the Indian Ocean on Australian climate, but its behaviour is complex and not yet well understood.

Following extensive testing, nine major model upgrades and improvements were transferred from research to the Bureau’s operational areas during the year. These ranged from new processing systems for data from geostationary meteorological satellites to major upgrades of the limited area prediction system and the implementation of a new analysis scheme for smaller spatial scales, as part of the Australian Integrated Forecast System. An average of six changes per year were transferred from research to operations over the past five years.

The Sydney Olympics in September 2000 will have provided a focus for an international nowcasting (very short-range forecasting) demonstration project under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Research Programme. Trials of the demonstration project, involving systems from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as

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rom the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, were successfully conducted in September 1999 and February 2000, ensuring that products from the radar-based systems can be effectively fed into the Bureau’s operational procedures for the generation of very short-range forecasts and warnings.

The Bureau’s commitment to nurturing high quality research within the tertiary sector continued, through direct collaboration and teaching roles and through the Cooperative Research Centre programme. As well as contributing to the overall health of Australian atmospheric science

research, these efforts contributed to a higher quality pool of potential operational and research staff for the Bureau.

• METEOROLOGICAL A N D RELATED SERVICES

Objective To contribute effectively, through the development and provision of meteorological and related services, to reduction of the social and economic impact of natural disasters; economic development and prosperity of industry; safety of life and property; national security; preservation and enhancement of the quality of the environment; community health, recreation and quality of life; and efficient planning, management and operation of government and community affairs.

Result The Bureau’s meteorological and related services include weather services for the community at large and for marine users, civil aviation, defence and primary, secondary and tertiary industry; climate services including archived climate data, climate monitoring and prediction; consultative services including the provision of meteorological advice and the conduct of special investigations; and hydrological services including national water resources assessment, national flood warning services and the provision of hydrometeorological advice.

Weather services

Weather services encompass a wide range of forecast, warning and information services to the general public, national and international shipping and aviation, the Department of Defence and other users.

Services are provided mainly through the regional forecasting centres in the State capital cities and Darwin, and through the National Meteorological Operations Centre in Melbourne. All these centres maintain a 24-hour weather watch every day of the year, issuing forecasts, warnings and other weather information as required.

Weather services are also provided through 45 other service outlets with 43 throughout Australia and two at Australian bases in Antarctica. The primary function of most of the Bureau’s offices in rural and remote areas is to provide high quality weather observations (surface, upper air and weather watch radar) but they also have an important complementary role in providing current

weather information and a range of other services to their local communities.

A large part of the Bureau’s weather services is available to the Australian community through the mass media (radio, television, newspapers) but services are also accessible via recorded telephone, marine high frequency radio, facsimile and World Wide W eb/Internet systems.

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eather services are provided in line with the Bureau of Meteorology’s Service Charter for the Community. A broad range of consultative mechanisms are in place, involving Commonwealth and State authorities and major commercial and community user groups, to help ensure that services evolve and continuously improve in accord with user needs.

Perhaps more than any other single element of Bureau operations, weather services have a direct and visible impact on the lives and day-to-day decisions of most Australians. Quarterly surveys conducted during the year showed that 90 per cent of users surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with the weather forecast, warning and information services they received.

One hundred per cent of rural and 94 per cent of metropolitan respondents considered that weather forecast and warning services are essential services.

Severe weather warning services were provided effectively during the year and made a substantial contribution to the community and emergency services’ response to severe weather situations. While the bushfire season was relatively uneventful in most of Australia, the tropical cyclone

season was very active, with 11 cyclones, including four which reached category 5, the most powerful on the severity scale.

The performance of the Bureau’s warning services for tropical cyclones was highly satisfactory, with the accuracy of the 24-hour forecast position estimates for the season being the highest on record. Pre-season planning and ongoing liaison with State and Territory emergency service

authorities, throughout the high-risk seasons and during particular severe weather events, were important factors in the effectiveness with which the Bureau’s service was provided.

In all areas of weather service provision, user liaison and consultation continued to be high priorities in ensuring the delivery of appropriate levels of service. Aviation weather services aim to enhance the safety and efficiency of national and international aviation operations, and a range of formal consultative arrangements are in place to monitor the service provided and guide its further development. Extensive consultation with the aviation industry was a key ingredient in the development of new and improved operating procedures in 1999-2000.

Expansion of marine services and service access was based on intensive nationwide liaison and consultation at State and industry level. T he new Australian marine forecasting system proceeded through its development phase this year and it is clear that the system will substantially enhance both the quality and range of marine services. Preparation of a strategic plan for the Bureau’s marine observing activities commenced, with the aim of providing an integrated framework for the development of marine meteorological and oceanographic observing networks over the next five years.

The recent changes to the defence weather service, in particular the establishment of the Defence Meteorological Support Unit in Darwin, were an important element in the high quality support provided to the International Force - East Tim or (INTERFET) during the year. As acknowledged by the Air Component Commander of INTERFET, the quality of the forecast information provided by the Bureau contributed directly to the efficiency and effectiveness of aircraft operations in East Timor.

Users are the best judges of the extent to which forecasts, warnings, information and advice are accurate and timely. Through routine surveys, more than 80 per cent of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that weather information was always given in time and was sufficiently accurate

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or them to make decisions. This reflects the considerable efforts that have been made to improve the accessibility of Bureau services and the range of access options, as well as efforts to improve the quality of the underlying information.

The full implementation of the Australian integrated forecast system and ongoing implementation of the Australian meteorological data and information service system were important contributors to this result.

Changes in the role and operation of special weather services during the year were a reflection largely of the changes taking place in service delivery and accessibility of meteorological and related information. The growth in the range of information accessible through the Bureau’s web pages and the increasing market penetration of Internet technology have changed the balance between usage of the various access options (fax, telephone, Internet and dedicated communications links). The average weekly hit rate to the Bureau’s web site during 1999-2000 was 2 million and reached 5.5 million per week in early April when Cyclone Tessi and Cyclone Vaughan threatened N orth Queensland. T he Bureau web site consistently rated in the top three Federal Government sites in Australia for the year.

The extent to which the Bureau was able to respond to specific user requirements for forecasts and weather information to underpin decision-making in a wide range of government and industry sectors was enhanced through the operation of the Special Services Unit. The activities of the Special Services Unit broadened in 1999-2000 both in terms of the number of users served and in the scope of services provided.

C lim a te serv ices

Climate services encompass the provision of climatic data, information and advice to the general public and a wide range of specialist users. Long-term climatic data, obtained from both basic and special observation networks and stored in the National Meteorological Data Bank, are published in the form of climate summaries and atlases, and made available in both hard copy and computer-compatible form for use in research, design and applications to all walks of life. Climate services also include the month-to-month and year-to-year monitoring of major climatic fluctuations such as drought and flood rains and, to the extent possible, the prediction of climatic anomalies likely to affect agriculture and other sectors of the economy.

T he Bureau of Meteorology’s climate services are coordinated by the National Climate Centre located in the Bureau’s head office and provided through the National Climate Centre and through regional offices and field meteorological offices around Australia.

Government, community and industry planning have always included some consideration of the local climate and its variability, but this consideration has increased substantially in recent times, with planners demanding more detailed, more application-specific and more accessible climate information and using climate monitoring updates to adjust their plans in the short term. Responding to these demands, the National Climate Centre has increased substantially its range of automated analyses of climate elements over the past few years and improved accessibility by making these available on the Bureau’s web site. This year efforts were concentrated on meeting modern needs for high resolution mapping of the basic climate elements such as rainfall, temperature and evaporation, as well as maps with specific practical applications, such as frost frequency and comfort indices. To-date analyses (month-to-date, season-to-date and year-to-date

112 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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s), which are particularly useful for monitoring rainfall variability on intraseasonal time scales, were also added to the range, and were useful in monitoring the failure of early season rainfall in the cropping areas of south-west Western Australia.

Information on user satisfaction with climate services and their requirements for new products is gathered through regular surveys, through feedback facilities on the Bureau’s web site and through direct contact with regular and high-volume service users. Feedback provided this year indicated a high level of satisfaction with the services and appreciation particularly for the new products provided. Three new projects were initiated this year in direct response to feedback from the users of the SILO web site, a facility established specifically to provide a focal point for access to agrometeorological data. Feedback from representative end-users of the Bureau’s Seasonal Climate Outlook, who were this year invited to attend monthly climate meetings, will be used to guide the continued improvement of this particular service.

To assist users of climate data and information in making the best use of the data, climate services staff take part in a wide range of user liaison activities, including rural field days, farm management seminars, major agricultural shows, National Science Week, conferences, and presentations to schools and other groups. One challenge is to present probability-based seasonal forecasts in easily understood terms, and resources were directed specifically to addressing this issue during the year.

The National Meteorological Data Bank is the central repository for the meteorological and related data obtained from the Bureau’s basic and special observation networks. The climate elements held are those required to satisfy the basic climate service as well as a growing number of specialised services. All data is subjected to multi-level quality control procedures, starting at the point of observation and concluding at the point of use. Quality control standards are those

appropriate for the uses to which the data are put and are therefore updated as new elements are added and as user requirements change. Significant progress was made this year on developing new techniques for the improvement of the quality of newly added elements, including those from automatic weather stations and daily rainfall totals from flood warning networks. Most of

the data is stored, managed and accessed through a relational database, which provides a high standard of data security and effective backup and recovery support. Direct access to the database requires proficiency in database language skills, but user interface utilities have been developed for use by climate services staff and a web-based system, which will eventually be available to the public through the Bureau’s web site, is well advanced.

C o n su lta tiv e se r v ic e s

Consultative services include the provision of advice and the conduct of investigations involving the application of meteorology and related disciplines to such fields as agriculture, engineering, architecture, health, tourism, transport, urban planning and design. Services are provided to government and private users on a public interest, cost recovery or commercial basis, as appropriate. The Bureau head office in Melbourne coordinates the services but draws on expertise from throughout the organisation.

Consultative services encompass two specific outputs: meteorological advice and special investigations. Meteorological advice includes professional advice on meteorological and related oceanographic issues and applications, particularly where there is a national need. Special investigations include theoretical, experimental or field studies undertaken to meet consultancy

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equests. These are delivered in the main by the Bureau’s Special Services U nit which operates on a commercial basis and is essentially financially separate from the public interest operations of the Bureau. T he Special Services U nit has offices in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane and a staff of 32.

Much of the meteorological advice provided through consultative services is used to enhance community and individual health and safety. W ork practices, building design and urban planning all include some consideration of the local climate and weather conditions from the perspective

of the health and well-being of the people they affect. Requests for safety-related meteorological advice this year ranged from climatologies of tropical cyclones, lightning and extreme winds, to information on rates of pollutant dispersal.

Understanding of climate variability and change is of vital importance to a wide range of planning activities. Government and community interest in climate-responsive urban planning and building design in particular is growing. In response to this growing interest the Bureau has sought to build a comprehensive bank of knowledge and a useful level of expertise in these areas to ensure that it can meet the needs of planners for the climate information on which these plans and designs are based. Information kits in the form of brochures, display stands and web pages were published, many talks were delivered to community organisations and student groups, and presentations were made to conferences on the potential use of meteorological information in planning and design activities.

The Special Services U nit operates on the basis of competitive neutrality with the private sector and non-interference in the public good functions of overseas national meteorological services. The continued growth in the Special Services U nit’s revenue has exceeded projections and reinforces its role as a quality provider of specialised meteorological and related services on both the national and international scene. T he international activities of the Special Services Unit provided the most significant contribution to its revenue. These were usually undertaken in collaboration with firms from the Australian private sector and represented a significant growth in export income. Three of these projects were carried out under contract to Mitsubishi Corporation, under the auspices of the Japan Weather Association, and were funded by Japanese Government grant-in-aid.

The provision of consultative services generally involves close interaction with the client.

For those services delivered in 1999-2000, unsolicited opinion received from clients was overwhelmingly positive.

Hydrological services

The Bureau’s hydrological services include water resources assessment, the provision of flood forecasting and warning services, and hydrological and hydrometeorological advice for design. These services depend heavily on the information collected through the Bureau’s basic national meteorological observation networks. The flood warning service also operates a special purpose network of rainfall and river level stations in cooperation with State and local

government agencies.

Hydrology sections, incorporating flood warning centres, are included in all regional offices of the Bureau. Overall coordination is provided by the head office Hydrology Unit which also provides some services. Regional service delivery depends on cooperation with State and Territory water and emergency service authorities and local government agencies.

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lood forecast and warning services, designed and delivered in conjunction with local emergency service agencies, are key strategies for enhancing community safety and minimising the human and economic cost of the floods that are a recurrent feature of Australia’s climate. These services were delivered effectively to communities in all States and the N orthern Territory this year, particularly following resurgent La Nina conditions in late 1999 and the associated widespread flooding. There were 1445 flood warning messages issued during 1999-2000, which is slightly above the average for the last decade. This service covered flooding in small creeks as well as in the longer slow-flowing inland river systems. Forecast flood heights were accurate to within 0.3 metres on 75 per cent of occasions and feedback from the specialised agencies involved in flood response revealed a high level of satisfaction with these services.

A particular feature of the flood warning service this year was the increased number of products (river height bulletins) available on the Bureau’s web site and faxed to service users during floods. The total number of accesses to automated hydrological service delivery systems was some 260 000, of which 10 000 were enquiries to facsimile systems and 250 000 were enquiries to the

Bureau’s web site.

Government and community planning for a secure water supply and the safety of the infrastructure that supplies it relies on credible advice about the long-term variability of rainfall and associated streamflows. The development of robust techniques for the analysis of these elements and the provision of pertinent hydrometeorological advice to planners were a major component of the Bureau’s hydrological services again this year. Significant developments included the compilation of a national set of streamflow data to be used in developing techniques

for forecasting seasonal streamflow, with data provided by State and Territory water agencies; and the completion of development work on a method for estimating probable maximum precipitation for the west coast region of Tasmania and its application to two catchments. Liaison and collaboration with State water agencies ensured the relevance of these developments and increased the likelihood that the best use was made of the advice provided.

• INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL ACTIVITIES

Objective To meet Australia’s international obligations and advance Australia’s interests in, and through, international meteorology.

Result Meteorology is one of the most inherently international of all fields of science and human endeavour and international cooperation plays a vital role in the operation of the Bureau, enabling it to draw on and benefit from scientific, technological and operational

developments and expertise in other countries while contributing, within its own capability, to the effectiveness of the total international effort from which all countries benefit. This helps to ensure that the Australian community receives the best services possible within the limitations of available resources and the international state of the art in meteorological science and technology.

The Bureau’s international meteorological activities encompass Australia’s involvement with the programmes and activities of the World Meteorological Organization and in a range of other

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ultilateral and bilateral activities with neighbouring countries in the South-west Pacific and South-east Asia. Australia is particularly active in the World Meteorological Organization World Weather Watch and benefits greatly under this system, particularly through free access to the meteorological satellite data of Japan, the United States, China, the Russian Federation and Europe.

The National Meteorological Operations Centre in Melbourne is an important and integral part of the World Weather Watch and the closely linked Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Integrated Global Ocean Services System (IGOSS) and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s World Area Forecast System (WAFS) through its incorporation of the role of a World Meteorological Centre, a Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre with activity specialisation in environmental emergency response, an IGOSS Specialised Oceanographic Centre and a WAFS Regional Area Forecast Centre. The Darwin Regional Forecasting Centre of the Bureau is designated as a Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre with geographic specialisation for the tropical area in the surrounding region. These various roles carry specific international obligations for the provision of global and regional meteorological products such as tropical cyclone or pollution dispersion predictions. Both the Melbourne and

Darwin centres fulfilled their formal international obligations.

Australia continued to maintain its active involvement and influence in World Meteorological Organization programmes this year through membership of 11 World Meteorological Organization constituent bodies and participation in a number of important international meetings. Fourteen Bureau staff held senior World Meteorological Organization positions during the year, including the Director of Meteorology, whose current term of office as the President extends through to the 14th World Meteorological Congress in May 2003.

This year’s World Meteorological Day on 23 March commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization. The occasion was marked by a 21 March address by the former President of the Organization and retired head of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Dr Roman Kintanar, and distribution of a media release, poster and booklets as well as display panels for the Bureau’s head office and all regional offices.

Technical assistance to developing countries in our region, particularly in the area of surface and upper air observations, is one of the means of increasing the flow of essential observational data to Australia as well as contributing to the overall effectiveness of meteorological service provision in the region. The Bureau provided a barometer to Niue and seven Stevenson screens to the

Solomon Islands. In addition, a DigiCora upgrade kit to provide global positioning system capability for upper-air measurements was provided to Papua New Guinea under the World Meteorological Organization Voluntary Cooperation Programme.

The Bureau also continued to maintain and develop existing bilateral programmes with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in other countries. These programmes enabled cost-effective application of pooled regional resources and expertise to new challenges and opportunities in meteorology through research and development, and transfer of new

technology for the collective benefit of the countries concerned. They also provided exposure to Australian meteorological technology in the Asia-Pacific region and helped further Australia’s foreign policy. A memorandum of understanding between the Bureau and the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization, on cooperation in meteorology and particularly in the areas of

climate, weather forecasting, meteorological applications and new technologies, was signed in

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Geneva in May 2000. During 1999-2000, the Bureau collaborated with eight countries under formal memoranda of understanding: China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and Vietnam.

The Bureau continued its support for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the South Pacific by providing the team leader and several officers to assist in the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme Pacific meteorological service needs analysis project, funded

by the Australian Agency for International Development, AusAID. This included preparation of a report, Pacific Meteorological Services: Meeting the Challenges which recommended a comprehensive set of development projects aimed at upgrading weather and climate services in Pacific island

countries and territories.

THE BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY DELIVERS A RANGE OF OUTPUTS * •

Four key output groups contributed to the achievement of outcome 2 - Australia benefits from meteorological and related science and services - aligned directly with the four key elements of the outcome as follows:

• Meet present and future national and international needs for raw and processed meteorological and related data.

- Meteorological and related data and products.

• Advance the science of meteorology and develop an integrated, comprehensive description and scientific understanding of Australia’s weather and climate. - Meteorological and related research.

• Contribute effectively, through the development and provision of meteorological and related services, to reduction of the social and economic impact of natural disasters; economic development and prosperity of industry; safety of life and property; national security; preservation and enhancement of the quality of the environment; community health, recreation and quality of life; and efficient planning, management and operation of government and community affairs. - Meteorological and related services.

• Meet Australia’s international obligations and advance Australia’s interests in, and through, international meteorology. - International meteorological activities.

For full details of the outputs of the Bureau of Meteorology see the Bureau’s Annual Report 1999-2000 or refer to the Bureau’s web site at www.bom.gov.au.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 117

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UTCOME 3

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ISION T hat Antarctica is valued, protected and understood

MISSION To advance Australia’s antarctic interests

The Australian Antarctic Division is responsible for:

• leading Australia’s Antarctic Programme

• managing Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions

• conducting antarctic and subantarctic research activities

• administering the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard and McDonald Islands

• being the primary Australian source of antarctic information.

AUSTRALIA’S INTERESTS IN ANTARCTICA ARE ADVANCED

HHHHouP Influencing the Antarctic C onducting scientific work uTsT reaty systemo f practical, economic o r national significanceA D M I N I S T E R I N G T H E A U S T R A L IA N A N T A R C T I C T E R R I T O R Y A N D T H E T E R R I T O R Y O F H E A R D A N D M C D O N A L D IS L A N D SA D M I N I S T E R I N G A N T A R C T I C S C I E N C E G R A N T S• MA INTAINING THE ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM AND E N H A N C IN G AUSTRALIA’S INFLUENCE ON ITObjectiveNegotiate positions in international forums based on well researched policy proposals. The aims are to enhance Australia’s influence in the Antarctic Treaty system and to have Australia’s position adopted in the decisions of the Antarctic Treaty partners. The AAD seeks to produce high standard research proposals and reports for international forums.ResultThe Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) develops and promotes Australia’s policies on Antarctica. These are implemented through the forums of the Antarctic Treaty system: the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the Committee for Environmental Protection, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes, the Standing Committee on Antarctic Logistics and Operations, and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.The AAD contributed to policy that advances protection of the antarctic environment and ecologically sustainable use of the region’s resources, including the marine living resources, and the use of Antarctica for tourism.At the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, Australia was instrumental in progressing negotiations aimed at developing rules on liability for environmental damage in the Antarctic. Comprehensive delegation briefings were provided for meetings of all forums of the Antarctic Treaty system. The Australian Antarctic Division provided leadership in forums discussing the future monitoring and management of non-governmental activities in the Antarctic so that the evolution of tourism and adventure activities continue to comply with environmental and safety requirements.Information was provided to support decisions of the Antarctic Treaty system organisations, notably the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the Committee for Environmental Protection. A large body of research papers provided support for decisions of Antarctic Treaty organisations.120 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty entered into force in 1998. The Australian Antarctic Division has ensured that the protocol’s environmental protection obligations are fully implemented for all Australian antarctic activities, particularly ensuring appropriate assessment of environmental impact.

The focus of the AAD’s work in the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources was on developing effective responses to illegal, unregulated and unreported catching of Patagonian toothfish. An Australian proposal, unanimously adopted by the 27 commission

parties at their 1999 meeting in Hobart, requires all parties to verify the origins of toothfish catches and prohibits them from accepting imports which are not accompanied by valid catch documentation. T he scheme has already restricted the market availability and prices for toothfish caught in an illegal, unregulated and unreported manner.

Australian Antarctic Division staff continued to play a role in the Commission’s Fish Stock Assessment Working Group and its scientific committee, of which Australia holds the deputy chair. T he sustainable harvesting of fish and krill in the Southern Ocean and the effects of fishing on other antarctic species were addressed.

The AAD was on the steering committee for a new international terrestrial biology programme - Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change in Antarctic Ecosystems - and on the international steering committee of the Ecology of the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone programme of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. It also provided the secretary of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Bird Biology Working Group.

AAD scientists provided advice to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes on diseases of antarctic wildlife.

Meteorological information included reports to the World Meteorological Organisation for the Antarctic Basic Synoptic Network, weather forecasting for antarctic operations, and publication of the Weather Forecasting in Antarctica handbook. Atmospheric data were also provided for the world data centres, Ionospheric Prediction Services and other international organisations.

• PROTECTING THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT

Objective

The AAD seeks to protect the environment of Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and the Territory of Heard and McDonald Islands through measures designed to minimise environmental impacts, through undertaking research to ensure that environmental and fisheries management is based on sound scientific principles, and through remediation of past work sites. The AAD administers legislation covering environmental impact

assessment and conservation of flora and fauna.

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esu lt

T he major field-based research effort in the Antarctic Marine Living Resources Programme is the pack ice seals survey, involving over 8000 kilometres of survey track by helicopter and 2000 kilometres by ship in an area of more than 1 million square kilometres. This multinational project is one of the most ambitious wildlife surveys ever undertaken and the largest in antarctic waters. Establishing numbers of these top predators is fundamental to the development of sustainable targets for fish and krill extraction from the Southern Ocean.

The Human Impacts Programme focused on the remediation of old sites, notably at the former Casey station tip. O ther studies examined the effects of pollution on antarctic marine ecosystems, diseases of antarctic wildlife and the identification of protected areas. Remediation experiments indicated that, with the addition of a little water and nutrients, naturally occurring

antarctic bacteria could degrade spilt fuel within a reasonable time. A toxicity experiment suggested that antarctic species might be more susceptible to pollutants than similar temperate species because they spend longer in the vulnerable larval stages.

Experimental studies of the behavioural response of penguins to disturbance by helicopters have been used as the basis for new operational guidelines. New software has been developed for automatically counting penguins from aerial photographs; this will significantly reduce the effort and cost of routine monitoring and will increase scientists’ ability to detect subtle changes.

Midwinter investigations of the biology of the M ertz Glacier Polynya revealed it to be low in biological activity at that time of year. Continuous plankton recorder surveys showed that from spring to autumn the permanently open ocean zone has consistently much higher zooplankton

species diversity than the marginal ice zone. Analysis showed a marked decline in zooplankton abundance within half a degree of latitude between the northern limit of the pack ice zone and the antarctic divergence, which may be evidence of a frontal zone not currently defined. The value of antarctic mosses in mutagenesis studies was explored, especially in response to climate change.

Energy consumption at all antarctic stations was reduced by 3.5 per cent following a 7 per cent reduction in the previous year. The increased efficiency is due primarily to the installation of a computer-based building monitoring and control system. A consolidated waste management contract has resulted in a more efficient and systematic waste disposal and recycling regime.

Planning and other environmental management work continued for the abandoned Wilkes Station in East Antarctica and the old Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions station on Heard Island.

Work began on the clean-up of the old Australian station at Atlas Cove on Heard Island with 17 tonnes of waste material being put on pallets for removal.

The AAD assessed 129 projects for environmental impact, of which 115 were projects in Antarctica and 14 on Heard Island. Of the 115 projects in Antarctica, 10 were for tourist visits. A total of 55 research projects required authorisation under tht Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 or the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands Environment Protection and Management Ordinance 1987. Thirty continuing projects required variations to past authorisations.

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UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF ANTARCTICA IN THE GLOBAL CLIMATE SYSTEM

Objective Australian Antarctic Division glaciologists, atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, biologists and geologists study conditions within Antarctica and the Southern Ocean that advance understanding of the global climate system.

Result A multidisciplinary research cruise of the icebreaker Aurora Australis undertook the first detailed midwinter investigation of an antarctic coastal polynya (an area of open water within the pack ice). Processes within the large Mertz Glacier Polynya due south of Tasmania are believed to

control the production, south of Australia, of extremely cold and saline antarctic bottom water, which has a major influence on global ocean circulation. Detailed oceanographic, meteorological and glaciological data collected during this experiment, and from moored instruments, provided insight into the processes maintaining the polynya, on the rate of ice production in the polynya

and on its influence on regional climate and, through bottom water formation, global climate.

The antarctic sea ice zone is a major source of the climatically active compound dimethyl sulphide. Studies focused on the difference between exceptionally high dimethyl sulphide productivity in the fast ice zone and much lower levels in the pack ice, which is thought to be related to nutrient availability. Identification and study of the ecophysiological and biochemical characteristics of about 95 isolates of marine bacteria collected in abundance in the Mertz Glacier Polynya during the 1999 midwinter cruise continued through the year, with many new species and genera identified. Data suggests that most of these bacteria groups may have important roles in secondary production and nutrient regeneration, such as the dissolution of silica.

A new multi-year, multidisciplinary field programme began to study the processes of melt and refreezing that occur under the Amery Ice Shelf. O f all Antarctica’s ice formations, its floating ice shelves are the most sensitive to a changing climate, and melt from their undersides accounts for as much as half of the loss of the snow falling on the continent. A drilling system using hot water was tested to gain access to the underside of the ice shelf for measurements.

Ice thickness and ice movement measurements made between Davis and Mirny completed a study of the mass outflow from the ice sheet around the 2000-metre elevation of most of the western sector of the Australian Antarctic Territory (50Έ to 130°E). Techniques have been developed to measure the rate of ice sheet movement from satellite data and to map the coastal margin of the continental snow and ice cover to provide a reliable baseline against which future change can be assessed. Analysis of over 1000 metres of Law Dome ice core provided a very high-resolution record of climate changes over thousands of years.

The Joint Scientific Committee for the World Climate Research Programme - the pre-eminent international programme addressing fundamental scientific understanding of the physical climate system - established a climate and cryosphere project. Australia holds the vice-chair of the scientific steering group. Research and coordination initiatives within this project will integrate

studies of the impact and response of the cryosphere, that portion of the earth’s surface where water is in a solid form.

The major focus of palaeoenvironmental research was the development of Southern Ocean climate change records, including the study of sediment cores to monitor past temperature

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antarctica

and carbon cycle changes, with particular emphasis on sediments from the South Tasman Rise and the Chatham Rise. Ocean drilling studies in Prydz Bay revealed evidence of changes in antarctic glaciation on scales ranging from tens of thousands of years to millions of years. Antarctic glaciation began between 37 and 35 million years ago, at a time when antarctic vegetation resembled that of western Tasmania today. The programme demonstrated the presence of a cold-climate rainforest in the region between 47 and 34 million years ago and a steady cooling of the ice sheet over the past 15 million years.

A marine geoscience survey of the continental margin off George V Land identified a new type of sediment drift on the continental shelf, believed to be formed by antarctic bottom water redistributing the sediment held in depressions on the shelf.

Atmospheric studies looked at the thermosphere wind fields above Davis and Mawson, revealing steady improvements in the representation of Antarctica in global numerical weather prediction models. The remote sensing of atmospheric variables and sea ice from polar orbiting satellites continued through the year. It is now possible to specify a new standard for the provision of operational meteorological services within Antarctica.

Surface weather and upper air data was gathered for the World Meteorological Organization, augmenting a valuable historical data bank. All antarctic upper-air stations and staffed surface observation stations continued to contribute substantially to Global Climate Observing System data sets.

• CONDUCTING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH OF PRACTICAL, ECONOMIC OR NATIONAL IMPORTANCE

Objective Australian research in Antarctica of practical, economic and national importance covered cosmic ray and upper atmosphere physics, glaciology, biology (including human biology) and meteorology.

Result T he AAD deployed five new automatic weather stations on Antarctica’s ice sheet and replaced one existing station, bringing to 17 the total number of active Australian stations automatically supplying almost hourly data from Antarctica. A comprehensive data set on sea ice motion and surface meteorology measured by Australian drifting buoys in the sea ice zone was submitted to the World Data Centre for Glaciology for global distribution. Mean monthly temperature data from all occupied antarctic stations was compiled and made available on the Internet.

Antarctic ionosonde station data supported space weather services including high-frequency radio propagation. A joint Australian-Japanese study confirmed the existence of high-energy cosmic ray precursors of space weather storms. Calibrated geophysical data from magnetometers and output from station auroral imagers were made available to the international community and utilised in research work.

Further development of dynamic space weather models involved continuing studies of the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and atmosphere. This incorporated work on ionospheric absorption of galactic radio noise, the relationship between polar

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atch occurrence and surges in ionospheric plasma velocity, and mapping electron content variability and scintillation activity of signals at ‘L band’ wavelengths.

The installation of a radar array installed on southern Bruny Island provided valuable space weather data over the Southern Ocean between Tasmania and Antarctica. Space weather in the high latitude ionosphere is a result of solar-terrestrial interactions, so it is important to be able to predict space weather conditions from measurement of a few essential parameters.

Studies of antarctic mesopause temperatures and the influence of solar variability on geoelectric fields resulted in published papers. Work continued on deployment of the LIDAR stratosphere-mesosphere laser system at Davis.

Past and current data on the material properties of ice and snow at potential airfield sites were analysed for the air transport study.

The potential commercial value of Southern Ocean microorganisms was studied.

A programme for the routine recording of high altitude clouds gathered data of value in monitoring ozone loss. These clouds appear to be increasing in frequency and provide the substratum for chemical reactions resulting in ozone destruction. Precursors to major geomagnetic storms of significance to telecommunications, aviation and power generation

have been found to occur six to nine hours before the peak in solar radiation.

Seismic and magnetic data were collected to detect and locate earthquakes and nuclear explosions and to measure changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

Research into the human immune system in Antarctica indicated that dormant viruses can be reactivated, suggesting that a type of immune deficiency may occur in people living under antarctic conditions. This work is a ground-based analogy for long-term space flights.

GRANTS A N D O T H E R ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

Antarctic Science Advisory Committee Grants The Australian Antarctic Division funds and administers Antarctic Science Advisory Committee grants. T he grants are directed to research in high priority areas which contributes to the achievement of the Government’s goals in Antarctica.

The Australian Antarctic Division introduced an Internet-based submission system that improved the coordination and assessment of research proposals. O f 175 proposals received, 126 were identified as being of sufficient quality and relevance to Australia’s antarctic science programme to warrant operational support. Seventy nine of the 175 applicants sought grant funding from the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee grants scheme, which supports university scientists in research able to contribute significantly to the goals of Australia’s antarctic

programme. Grants totalling $570 000 were awarded to 49 projects from 20 Australian universities and other eligible institutions.

Australian antarctic research programmes were organised into the following theme areas relevant to Australia’s interests.

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Atmospheric sciences: meteorological observing, analysis and prediction; climate of the troposphere; tropospheric chemistry; stratospheric meteorology and ozone chemistry; and middle and upper atmosphere climate.

Biological sciences: ecosystem structure and function; conservation and biological diversity; global change and the biota; local change and the biota; and the management of antarctic living resources.

Geosciences: the geological record of past antarctic environments; geological processes on the glaciated antarctic landmass, its continental margins and neighbouring deep ocean basins; and the geodynamics of Antarctica, its continental margins and the adjacent Southern Ocean basins.

Glaciology: ice sheet mass budget; ice sheet palaeoenvironmental record; sea ice; and applied glaciology.

Human impacts: values of the antarctic; threats to the Antarctic; characteristics of the antarctic environment; the efficiency of human activities in the Antarctic; procedures to limit impacts on the antarctic.

Oceanography: ocean transport and the air-sea exchange of heat, freshwater, carbon and other properties in the Southern Ocean; the role of ocean circulation in controlling the biological productivity of the Southern Ocean; the development of ocean circulation, biochemical and climate models of the Southern Ocean.

Cosmic ray research: the study of cosmic ray anisotropies and transient events at moderately high energies using data from a neutron monitor and surface and underground muon telescopes at Mawson and from other stations in a worldwide network.

Human biology and medicine: review of the collections of all agencies collaborating with the Australian Antarctic Division; an historical review of 50 years of human biological research by Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions; collaboration with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Annual progress reports of scientific achievements as measured against the science strategic plans are published on the Internet at www.aad.gov.au/science/spmc/index.html.

Territorial administration T he AAD administers the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands. Effort is aimed primarily at protecting the antarctic environment, and includes administering environmental legislation dealing with environmental impact assessment and measures for the conservation of flora and fauna. All activities conducted in Antarctica by Australian government and non-government organisations and individuals were subjected to

environmental evaluation under the Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment in Antarctica approved by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.

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ART THREE

MANAGEMENT &

ACCOUNTABI LI TY

D

ISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF THE DEPARTMENT'S FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Environment Australia’s consolidated financial statements show an increase in accumulated surplus at the end of the reporting period of $7.811 million and an increase in net assets of $33,764 million for the 1999-2000 financial year.

A brief discussion of the budget highlights and the significant change in financial results follows.

O p e ratin g sta te m e n t

During the 1999-2000 budget and additional estimates processes, Environment Australia was provided additional funding for a number of new measures. The most significant were $10.19 million for the Living Cities Programme and $10.0 million for the Ocean Policy Implementation Programme.

In addition, $8,734 million was received in Appropriation during the additional estimates process as a result of the transfer of the National Halon Bank from the Department of Finance and Administration, effective from 1 July 1999.

T he final outcome was a $41.811 million surplus, as compared to a budgeted deficit of $29,472 million.

T he turnaround stems from unexpected delays in the delivery of outputs. This is reflected in the financial statements as reduced expenses in the current year. A further factor was a delay in receiving an injection for asset revaluations undertaken in 1998-99.

The significant movements in the Operating Statement were revenues from Government, sales of goods and services, and employee, suppliers and other expenses.

The large increase in the revenues from Government is attributable to the move from a cash- based budget to an accrual-based budget. As a consequence Environment Australia has for the first time received funding for non-cash expenses such as depreciation and amortisation. The funding for depreciation and amortisation will be used in future years for major asset replacement programmes.

There has also been a sizeable increase in the sales of goods and services. This in part is a result of Environment Australia acquiring an additional function, namely the National Halon Bank, which has a revenue earning capacity. Also, the department has been more rigorous in pursuing cost recovery for a number of its activities.

The increased operating revenue has in part been offset by increases in operating expenses.

T he bigger increases being in employee, suppliers and other expenses.

Employee expenses have increased because staff received a pay increase at the end of the previous financial year under the Certified Agreement and for the first time Environment Australia has made a provision for superannuation on-costs.

Department of the Environment and ELeritage Annual Report 1999-2000

D

iscussion and analysis of the department’s financial performance

A major contributing factor to the change in suppliers’ expense was increased shipping transport costs for the Australian Antarctic programme. There was also a general increase in suppliers’ costs.

The significant change in other expenses is a consequence of the increased funding contributed by Environment Australia to the Australian Greenhouse Office.

Balance sheet

The major asset movement was an increase in the cash held at year-end. This is another consequence of the move from a cash budget to an accrual budget. T he increased amount of cash held is the funding received for non-cash expenses which will be held in the department’s bank accounts until payments are required to be made. For instance, in the case of the funding for depreciation and amortisation, until a major asset replacement programme is undertaken.

In the case of liabilities the significant movement was in employee provisions being the flow-on effect of the pay increase and making a provision for superannuation on-cost for the first time.

In addition to the operating result, assets revaluations and equity appropriations contributed to the increase in equity. T he equity appropriations were for the balance of the 1998-1999 carryovers and net assets acquired on transfer of the National Halon Bank function and assets transferred from the Department of Finance and Administration to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The increase in equity as a consequence of the operating surplus, asset revaluations and equity appropriations has been partially offset by the capital use charge paid and payable. The capital use charge applies for the first time and is in the nature of a dividend payment the department has

made to the Official Public Account.

A dm inistered item s

The financial statements also disclose separately administered items. These are items, which are controlled by Government and managed or oversighted by Environment Australia on behalf of the Government.

The final outcome for the department was a $182.755million deficit as compared to a budgeted deficit of $225.69million.

The significant movements in the Statement of Administered Revenues and Expenses were revenues from Government, grants and suppliers expenses.

The increase in the revenues from Government reflects a funding injection for the Natural Heritage of Australia Reserve. Partially offsetting this was the one-off effect of a transfer of funds from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the Federation Fund the previous year.

The large increase in grants and suppliers’ expenses reflects two technical changes. T he first was a change in our definition of the point when a grant transaction is recorded as a liability or expense. Previously this was defined as the point when the Minister made his decision. Environment Australia now requires the signature of agreement or equivalent milestone to signify

a formal liability or expense. Transactions that have not yet reached this point at the end of the year are recorded in the Statement of Commitment. The second was the correction of the

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 129

Discussion

and analysis of the department’s financial performance

misclassification of grants as suppliers’ expenses in Environment Australia’s accounting software system that has now been rectified.

T he Statement of Administered Assets and Liabilities shows large movements in cash, receivables and grants provisions. T he movement in the grant provisions is for the reason just outlined above, namely the changed application in the grant definition. The shift to devolved banking partially offsets this by recording the balances of the special accounts as receivables rather than as cash.

130 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

S

UMMARY RESOURCE TABLES BY OUTCOMES

(1)

(2)

Actual Variation

Budget expenses (col(2) Budget**

1999-2000 1999-2000 less (1)) 2000-001 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000

ADMINISTERED EXPENSES (including third party outputs) Special Appropriation Ozone Protection 500 406 (94) 480

Product Stewardship Arrangements for Waste Oil 0 0 0 24,700

Appropriation Bill 1 Grant payments Sydney Harbour Federation Trust - Interim Trust 0 0 0 1,500

Grants-in Aid - National Trust 784 788 4 789

NEPC Service Corporation 418 418 0 418

Coastal and Marine Planning and Marine Protected Areas 1,024 853 (171) 349

Australian Biological Resource Study Participatory Grants 1,647 1,601 (46) 1,495 Payment to the Natural Heritage Trust# 128,066 128,066 0 123,934

The following grants have been reclassified as Departmental grants from 1 July 2000 and are included in 2000-01 output prices:

Cultural Heritage Projects Program 460 260 (200)

Historic Shipwrecks and Commemorative Events and Persons 409 412 3 Grants to Voluntary Environmental and Heritage Organisations 1,649 1,649 0 Biodiversity Convention and Strategy Program 300 520 220

Biodiversity ad hoc grants 441 436 U)

Environment Protection Grants 663 735 72

Heritage Program Grants 160 226 66

Ad hoc grants 165 165 0

Bill 2 Specific Payments to the States and Territories Management of World Heritage Properties 5,070 5,070 0 5,141

Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement 1,900 1,900 0 0

Sugar Coast Environment Rescue Package 3,683 0 (3,683) 0

Total Appropriations 147,339 143,505 (3,834) 158,806

Non-appropriated payments (eg Trust Accounts) Federation Fund Grants 15,305 18,980 3,675 21,714

Natural Heritage Trust expenses 324,914 294,961 (29,953) 366,812

Less appropriation to Natural Heritage Trust (see above #) (128,066) (128,066) 0 (123,934)

TOTAL ADMINISTERED EXPENSES 359,492 329,381 (30,112) 423,398

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 131

Reso

urce Tables

p -IH(1) (2) Actual Variation Budget* expenses (col (2) Budget" 1999-2000 1999-2000 less (1)) 2000-001 $’000 $’000 $’000 $’000PRICE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTSOutput Group 1 .1 - Policy advice and accountability1.1.1 International policy advice 1,089 1,468 379 1,1741.1.2 State of the Environment Reports 1,823 1,655 (168) 1,6731.1.3 Corporate plan reform agenda 383 422 39 3031.1.4 Secretariat to the Australian and New Zealand 261 313 52 0Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC)1.1.5 Strategic policy coordination 2,409 2,962 553 2,2601.1.6 Policy advice on environment protection 10,509 7,030 (3,479) 9,6921.1.7 Policy advice on protection of the marine 0 0 0 0environment (subsumed by 1.1.10)1.1.8 Policy advice on Australian and 1,135 1,782 647 451World Heritage issues1.1.9 Biodiversity Program Support and policy advice 5,815 5,438 (377) 3,0591.1.10 Marine and coastal policy advice 3,715 3,198 (517) 2,1851.1.11 Environmental Science policy advice 183 498 315 01.1.12 Supervising Scientist policy advice and 783 991 208 777reports to key stakeholders**** National Oceans Office - Policy development, 0 0 0 2,514advice and accountabilitySub-total Output Group 1.1 28,105 25,757 (2,348) 24,088Output Group 1.2 - Scheme/grant/program admin1.2.1 Tax Concession administration 153 175 22 1131.2.2 Environment Resource Officer scheme administration 74 95 21 881.2.3 Grants to voluntary environment and heritage organisations 196 222 26 1,6801.2.4 International Conservation Program Administration 132 162 30 01.2.5 Environment protection grants and programs 10,010 1,605 (8,405) 34,2201.2.6 Provision of grants - Australian Heritage 1,226 1,182 (44) 6,1361.2.7 Biodiversity Grants Programs and Program Administration14,923 7,810 (7,113)16,3931.2.8 World Heritage funding to the States 100 140 40 451.2.9 Program administration 5,244 4,544 (700) 01.2.10 Marine and coastal grants programs 5,547 4,000 (1,547) 6,9581.2.11 Administer Historic Shipwrecks grants 677 84 (593) 425Sub-total Output Group 1.2 38,282 20,019 (18,263) 66,058132 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Resource Tables

| ' ,

0}

Budget 1999-2000 $’000

(2)

Actual expenses 1999-2000 $’000

Variation (col (2) less (1)) $’000

Budget" 2000-001 $’000

Output Group 1.3 - Agreements/arrangements/policies/plans 1.3.1 Regional forest agreements 3,217 7,627 4,410 0

1.3.2 Environment protection codes and agreements 2,415 5,884 3,469 5,261

1.3.3 Environment Australia agreement with 21,775 21,791 16 0

the Australian Greenhouse Office 1.3.4 Marine protection codes and agreements 704 936 232 0

1.3.5 Management arrangements for World Heritage properties 911 703 (208) 499 1.3.6 National Heritage Places strategy 153 191 38 0

1.3.7 National system of marine protected areas 1.3.8 Australia’s Oceans Policy 2,128 10,165

1,617 3,531

(511) (6,634) 0

1.3.9 Biodiversity Cooperative Government/industry 327 3,179 2,852 605

conservation agreements 1.3.10 Cooperative Government/industry conservation 70 71 1 0

agreements for marine conservation 1.3.11 Ready response capability and strategy for 175 38 (137) 0

introduced marine pests 1.3.12 Environmental Science Coordination 181 323 142 0

**** National Oceans Office - Regional Marine Plans 0 0 0 7,543

**** National marine and Coastal Conservation Strategies 0 0 0 892

**** Provision of corporate services to portfolio agencies 0 0 0 5,842

**** Director of National Parks 0 0 0 48,344

Sub-total Output Group 1.3 42,221 45,891 3,670 68,986

Output Group 1.4 - Participation in international issues 1.4.1 International forest policy reform 919 1,211 292 1,443

1.4.2 Input to international activities on 2,443 2,436 (7) 2,320

environment protection 1.4.3 Marine environment protection international 0 0 0 0

obligations (subsumed by 1.4.7) 1.4.4 International obligations - World Heritage 744 650 (94) 660

1.4.5 Biodiversity international obligations 1,272 251 (1,021) 1,027

1.4.6 Intergovernmental and international liaison 1,884 2,112 228 1,368

and coordination 1.4.7 International marine representation 1,005 699 (306) 448

1.4.8 International Environmental Science Forums 181 284 103 0

1.4.9 Supervising Scientist participation in International Environmental Science Forums 478 466 (12) 463

Sub-total Output Group 1.4 8,926 8,109 (817) 7,729

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 133

Reso

urce Tables

OUTCOME 1 - E N V IR O N M EN T

Budget 1999-2000 $’000

(2)

Actual expenses 1999-2000 $’000

Variation (col (2) less (1)) $’000

Budget" 2000-001 $’000

Output Group 1.5 - Information/databases/education 1.5.1 Environmental Resources Information Network 3,528 3,461 (67) 3,339

1.5.2 Environment protection databases and information tools 6,499 6,480 (19) 2,883 1.5.3 Community education campaign for 268 97 (171) 80

World Heritage and National Estate 1.5.4 Knowledge generation and dissemination 2,198 3,210 1,012 1,923

1.5.5 Marine and coastal community education 324 319 (5) 437

1.5.6 Supervising Scientist information dissemination 865 963 98 903

Sub-total Output Group 1.5 13,682 14,530 848 9,565

Output Group 1.6 - Legislation/regulation/standards 1.6.1 Commonwealth environment legislation reform 1,834 2,292 458 0

1.6.2 Environment protection standards and legislation 2,729 2,720 (9) 1,770

1.6.3 Marine environment protection standards and 1,241 1,533 292 0

legislation - Sea dumping and ship based pollution 1.6.4 New heritage places legislation 93 834 741 20

1.6.5 Environmental remediation and regulation 1,232 1,428 196 833

**** Implementation of Marine components of Legislation 0 0 0 1,914

**** Administer indigenous heritage legislation 0 0 0 222

**** Administer historic shipwrecks legislation 0 0 0 24

**** Regulation of Wildlife trade 0 0 0 2,235

Sub-total Output Group 1.6 7,129 8,807 1,678 7,018

Output Group 1.7 - Assessments and research 1.7.1 Environment protection assessments and research 8,187 8,163 (24) 8,755

1.7.2 World Heritage assessments and nominations 20 183 163 50

1.7.3 Research and assessments 4,899 5,003 104 4,883

**** Marine Protected Areas - pre-declared activities 0 0 0 461

Sub-total Output Group 1.7 13,106 13,349 243 14,149

134 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Resource Tables

(>)

Budget 1999-2000 $’000

(2)

Actual expenses 1999-2000 $’000

Variation (col(2) less (1)) $’000

Budget" 2000-001 $’000

TOTAL PRICE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS 151,451 136,462 (14,989) 197,593

Revenue from Government (Appropriation) for Departmental Outputs 124,481 180,507

Revenue from other Sources 26,970 17,086

TOTAL FOR OUTCOME 1 (Total Price of Outputs and Administered Expenses) 510,943 465,843 (45,100) 620,991

1999-00 2000-01

DEPARTMENTAL STAFF YEARS (number) 880.9 868.5

(261.0)*** (261.0)***

* Full-year budget, including additional estimates

** Budget prior to additional estimates

*** StaE seconded to the Director of National Parks not included in departmental staE numbers

**** New outputs for 2000-01 - Refer PorEolio Budget Statements 2000-01

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 135

Re

source Tables

(1)

(2)

Actual Variation

Budget* expenses (col(2) Budget"

1999-2000 1999-2000 less (1)) 2000-001

$’000 $’000 $’000 $’000

ADMINISTERED EXPENSES (including third party outputs) Accrual adjustments 25 9 (16) 25

PRICE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS Output Group 2.1- Monitoring and prediction 122,829 127,192 4,363 130,942

Sub-total Output Group 2.1 122,829 127,192 4,363 130,942

Output Group 2.2 - Research 9,938 10,220 282 9,463

Sub-total Output Group 2.2 9,938 10,220 282 9,463

Output Group 2.3 - Services 62,637 63,039 402 60,001

Sub-total Output Group 2.3 62,637 63,039 402 60,001

Output Group 2.4 - International 2,486 2,427 (59) 2,355

Meteorological Activities Sub-total Output Group 2.4 2,486 2,427 (59) 2,355

TOTAL PRICE OF 197,890 202,878 4,988 202,761

DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS

Revenue from Government (Appropriation) 180,096 188,681

for Departmental Outputs Revenue from other Sources 17,794 14,080

TOTAL FOR OUTCOME 2 197,915 202,887 4,972 202,786

(Total price of Outputs and Administered Expenses)

1999-2000 2000-01

STAFF YEARS (number) 1,413.7 1,420.0

* Full-year budget, including additional estimates

** Budget prior to additional estimates

136 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

R

esource Tables

■ Jggj

(1}

(2)

Actual Variation

Budget expenses (col(2) Budget"

1999-2000 1999-2000 less (1)) 2000-001

$’000 $’000 $’000 $’000

ADMINISTERED EXPENSES (including third party outputs) Appropriation Bill 1 Grant payments Antarctic Science Advisory Committee

Grants Scheme 570 566 -4 0

PRICE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS Output Group 3.1- Influence in Antarctic Treaty System 21,885 22,006 121

Sub-total Output Group 3.1 21,885 22,006 121

Output Group 3.2 - Protection of Antarctic Environment 21,107 21,224 117 40,531

Sub-total Output Group 3.2 21,107 21,224 117 40,531

Output Group 3.3 - Understanding Global Climate System 30,386 30,554 168 24,237

Sub-total Output Group 3.3 30,386 30,554 168 24,237

Output Group 3.4 - Science of practical, economic or national significance 24,390 24,524 134 19,685

Sub-total Output Group 3.4 24,390 24,524 134 19,685

TOTAL PRICE OF DEPARTMENTAL OUTPUTS 97,768 98,308 540 100,311

Revenue from Government (Appropriation) for Departmental Outputs 93,926 97,916

Revenue from other Sources 3,842 2,395

TOTAL FOR OUTCOME 3 (Total Price of Outputs and Administered Expenses)

98,338 98,874 536 100,311

1999-2000 2000-01

STAFF YEARS (number) 338.5 343.0

* Full-year budget, including additional estimates

** Budget prior to additional estimates

15.858 15.858

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 137

C

ORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Environment Australia has an evolving corporate governance regime which emphasises the need for appropriate internal controls as well as continuing adherence to externally driven governance principles. Environment Australia began a range of activities in line with the changing nature of the organisation and to keep pace with emerging requirements. The major activities were:

• redevelopment of the corporate plan, recognising the strengths of the existing plan and the evolving focus of the organisation;

• review of the outcomes-outputs framework for Environment Australia to better focus activities, as well as more closely align the functional areas to outputs;

• first stage of a review of Environment Australia’s output prices which reported on the ‘reasonableness’ of prices for the delivery of corporate services, programme administration, and assessments and research. Streamlining of a range of activities has commenced as a result of this review. The final stage of the review will be completed during 2000-01;

• market testing of corporate services commenced and will be completed during 2000-01; and

• implementation of a flexible and robust priorities-based budgeting mechanism.

Environment Australia has a range of internal and external planning and review mechanisms:

• corporate plan, including overarching Environment Australia plan, group and branch work plans, complemented by senior officer performance agreements;

• audit plan;

• portfolio budget statements;

• annual report; and

• service charter.

Internal audit services are supplied by the department’s Programme Evaluation and Audit Unit, augmented by contracted audit services. This unit reports to the Programme Evaluation and Audit Committee. This committee is assisted by a sub-committee, the Performance Improvement Committee, which considers audits and evaluations in more detail.

Audit planning is based on an analysis of the department’s critical success factors, key processes and outputs. In consultation with senior management, those areas with higher risk or more significance are identified. T he Programme Evaluation and Audit Committee, whose membership includes senior Environment Australia executives and an external member, considers these potential audits, and sets the annual audit plan. In this way, the audit plan is aligned with the department’s corporate and business planning strategies.

Audit reports identify risks and the resulting recommendations are accompanied by management responses. T he audit reports are considered by the audit committees, which may call for additional action to address the risks identified.

Fraud risks are addressed through the Fraud Control Sub-committee, which also reports to the Programme Evaluation and Audit Committee. A departmental fraud risk assessment is nearing completion, and will be followed by a revised fraud control plan.

138 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

C

orporate governance

N am es o f sen io r executives and th e ir responsibilities

Senior executives in Environment Australia are the Secretary, the Group Heads and the Directors of the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Antarctic Division as shown in the organisation chart.

Senior m anagem ent com m ittees and th e ir roles

Senior Management Committees in Environment Australia are:

• Executive Members are the Secretary (chairperson), Group Heads and the Directors of the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Antarctic Division. The Executive sets the strategic policy direction and priorities for the department.

• Information Technology Steering Committee Members are the Chief Information Officer (chairperson), senior executive service level representatives from each of the Canberra-based groups or divisions and the Branch Heads of the Environmental Information and Technology Strategies Branch and the Corporate Relations

and Education Branch. The committee provides leadership with respect to knowledge management in Environment Australia.

• Programme Evaluation and Audit Committee Members are the Deputy Secretary (chairperson), an external member, Tom Hayes AO, and senior executive level representatives from the Canberra-based groups and the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Antarctic Division. The committee sets the annual workplan

for evaluations and audits and oversees performance improvement and fraud control.

M an ag em en t o f significant financial risk

Environment Australia has in place a control structure for the effective assessment and management of risk. This is underpinned by a Chief Executive instruction which requires that risk management techniques and principles be applied in the planning, administration and delivery of programmes. Supporting guidelines provide the procedural enablers for identifying,

quantifying and managing risks to reduce their potential impact to acceptable levels.

Environment Australia considers that managing risk is everyone’s business and that logical and systematic processes should be applied.

The department’s Programme Evaluation and Audit Unit has a role in promoting, training and reporting on risk management.

The insurable risks of Environment Australia are identified annually as part of the Comcover insurance renewal process. Comcover is the Commonwealth’s self-insurance arm. The department has developed procedures to provide for the reporting of actual and potential Comcover claims and for half-yearly reporting to Comcover. No claims relating to insured risks were made under the department’s Comcover policy in 1999-2000.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 139

C

orporate governance

In relation to the risks associated with injury to staff, Environment Australia is covered by Comcare, the Commonwealth’s workforce insurance arm. As with Comcover, Environment Australia pays an annual premium to Comcare. Actions taken to reduce the risks of claims include the maintenance of the Occupational Health and Safety Unit within the People Management Branch. This unit disseminates information to staff on occupational health and safety issues and risks, conducts and coordinates workplace assessments to identify and remove or reduce risks, and

provides rehabilitation case management to injured workers. In addition, staff are provided with occupational health and safety awareness through orientation and other training programmes. There is also an occupational health and safety committee, and a network of health and safety representatives to assist in identifying and dealing with risks in the workplace.

E thical standards

T he department’s commitment to ethical standards are set out in the Environment Australia corporate plan which states that Environment Australia shares the ethical values of the Australian Public Service and will act honestly, ethically, and lawfully, respecting confidence and being frank and forthright in our advice. This approach is further developed under the strategies for people management within the corporate plan.

Environment Australia’s Service Charter provides information to the public about rights and entitlements, and the process for gaining access to them. In its dealings with clients, Environment Australia is committed to acting ethically with integrity, responsiveness, and responsibility.

Environment Australia has a code of conduct in place which has been placed on the intranet for the information of all staff. The department has provided copies of the Australian Public Service values and code of conduct to every staff member through insertion in each member’s pay advice envelope. All new employees are also given copies of the Environment Australia code of conduct, and the issue is a topic covered in the orientation programme. The department has a policy on the receipt of gifts and other benefits which is contained in the code of conduct.

In addition Environment Australia has developed the comprehensive Guidelines for the Use of Information Technology Facilities which are available on the intranet for all staff and access to the information technology system which draws the attention of users to the guidelines and warns against inappropriate use.

The department has instituted a corporately funded training programme in contract management. This programme addresses, inter alia, the issue of standards of behaviour in dealings with contractors and general probity and ethical issues in contract management.

Whistleblowing allegations are treated seriously and investigated in accordance with the department’s interim whistleblower policy.

140 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

C

orporate governance

Staff of the Bureau of Meteorology have been made aware of the new Australian Public Service values and code of conduct through their inclusion in the certified agreement, which was distributed to all employees. A staff notice making reference to the values and code was distributed to all personnel on 3 April 2000. Web access to the new legislation, including the code

and values, has also been provided. The Bureau is represented on the Public Service Merit Protection Commission’s Performance and Conduct Network, and proceedings of meetings are minuted and distributed to relevant staff. T he Bureau of Meteorology Certified Agreement 2000-2001 refers to the Bureau’s procedural requirements for determining whether an employee has breached the code of conduct. These are currently in advanced draft form, but essentially

conform to the template provided by the Public Service M erit Protection Commission in its Advice No. 5: Breaches of the Code of Conduct. Internal Bureau training courses have been delivered to groups of staff on the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct.

The Bureau has issued a number of staff notices addressing the issue of maintaining ethical standards in the use of electronic communication. A staff notice setting out the Bureau’s policy on the receipt of gifts and other benefits and on dealings with contractors has been issued.

The Bureau’s service charter informs the community of the services it provides, and gives assurances in relation to integrity, quality, responsiveness and accessibility.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s Statement of Purpose and Values outlines its responsibilities, purpose and shared values. The Australian Antarctic Division recognises that in doing their job and making decisions, employees will uphold the laws of Australia and the ethical values of the Australian Public Service. Australian Antarctic Division employees accept professional responsibility for their part in pursuing the corporate goals and personal responsibility for their actions. In performing its functions, the organisation strives for the highest corporate standards in ethics, probity and accountability; protects the rights of its employees and provides a cooperative, supportive, non-discriminatory and openly consultative working environment.

The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions Code of Personal Behaviour establishes standards of personal behaviour which contribute to morale, teamwork and cooperation, and, ultimately, successful expeditions. The code also seeks to promote and enhance the image of Australia’s Antarctic Programme. All expedition personnel are provided with a copy of this code

and compliance is a condition for participation in Australia’s Antarctic Programme. This code and a summary of the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct are included in the Australian Antarctic Division Certified Agreement 1998-2000.

The Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct was issued to all Australian Antarctic Division employees.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 141

Corporate governance

Performance against the service charter

T he Environment Australia Service Charter was implemented on 1 July 1998 and covers all clients outside the department. The charter is posted on the intranet for staff, and on the Internet for clients.

T he charter sets out the standards of service clients can expect from Environment Australia, their rights and responsibilities and how to find out more about the department. T he charter applies to everyone who has contact with Environment Australia, including other government agencies, community organisations, industry and members of the public.

A survey was undertaken to check clients’ perceptions of Environment Australia’s adherence to the 10 standards listed in the departmental charter:

• answering telephone calls promptly;

• replying to correspondence within 20 days;

• responding to requests for publications within 10 days;

• responding in a culturally sensitive way;

• providing accurate, up to date information;

• answering fully and precisely;

• consulting widely in developing policy;

• providing reasonable time for comment on policy proposals;

• administering legislative responsibilities lawfully, fairly and objectively; and

• giving accurate information about relevant legislation.

The results showed that all standards were met but one. Only 50 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied that Environment Australia reached the standard on providing reasonable time to comment on policy proposals.

Few complaints were received by Environment Australia. Most complaints received referred to national parks matters. Those complaints have been used to enhance future service.

By July 2001, the current charter will be three years old and Environment Australia will conduct an external review to update the charter.

142 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

E

XTERNAL SCRUTINY

Judicial decisions

Decisions of courts or tribunals that significantly affected the operation of the department or which in the future could significantly affect the operation of the department are listed below.

Nevocrest Mining (Western Australia) Limited and BHP Minerals Limited v the Commonwealth of Australia and the Director of National Parks and Wildlife

In August 1997, the High Court of Australia found that the declarations of Stage 3 Kakadu National Park in 1987, 1989 and 1991 were technically invalid with respect to 23 small areas in the south-east of the park covered by existing mineral leases held by the Newcrest group of companies. T he reason for this decision was that the declaration over these areas had, with the absolute prohibition on mining activities in Kakadu under the National Parks and Wildlife

Conservation Act 1975, effected an acquisition of property without payment of just terms compensation, as required by the Australian Constitution.

The Minister has indicated that the lease areas should be incorporated within the park and that the Government will address the issue of appropriate compensation. The Government has entered a dialogue with mining company representatives about the matter. The process was still underway as at 30 June 2000.

Randwick and Woollahra Councils v Minister for the Environment and others

Botany Council v Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Minister for the Environment and others

Woollahra, Randwick and Botany Councils made applications to the Federal Court for a review of the decision of the Minister not to direct an environmental impact statement or a public environment report in regard to the Long-Term Operating Plan for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport, and related decisions by the Minister for Transport and Regional Development. Botany Council also sought an injunction against the Minister for Transport under

the Judiciary Act to stop him acting on the basis of the decision of the Minister for the Environment. Justice Finn dismissed the applications on 3 November 1998. Costs were awarded to the Commonwealth on 3 February 1999.

Botany, Randwick and Woollahra Councils appealed the judgement. T he Botany appeal was essentially for a review of the whole decision. The Randwick appeal focused on a number of matters of law including the status of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Administrative Procedures. The appeal was heard on 18 and 19 February 1999 by Black CJ, Weinberg J and Lee J. On 4 November 1999 the Federal Court full bench dismissed with costs to

the Commonwealth appeals by Botany, Randwick and Woollahra Councils against the Minister’s decisions on the Long-Term Operating Plan for Sydney Airport.

Botany Council v the Minister for the Environment

Botany Council applied to die Federal Court for review of the decision of the Minister for the Environment to issue an exemption in accordance with the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Administrative Procedures in regard to take-offs to the north from runway 34R (third runway) at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport. The action has been stood over for further directions.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 143

Ex

ternal scrutiny

Auditor-General reports • Audit Report No. 9 - Managing Pest and Disease Emergencies This audit was directed mainly to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, but there was a minor reference to the role of Environment Australia.

• Audit Report No. 10 - Financial Statement Audit Control Structures As part of Audits of Financial Statements of Major Commonwealth Agencies for the Period ended 30 June 1999 This audit summarised findings from the interim financial statement audit and focused

on financial and human resource management information systems. There was some criticism of the department’s administration of its newly implemented SAP R/3.

• Audit Report No. 18 - Electronic Service Delivery, including Internet Use, by Commonwealth Government Agencies This audit was based on a survey of 14 departments and 52 other agencies, to which the department responded. The audit found that the majority of agencies were well positioned to deliver Internet services by 2001. Key impediments experienced by some agencies were legislative restrictions, shortage of information technology skills and data security and

privacy issues.

• Audit Report No. 22 - Weather Services in the Bureau of Meteorology This audit focused on the timeliness, cost and quality of weather services to meet the needs of clients, and how well the Bureau was measuring its outputs and outcomes. Following a Ministerial request, it was extended to include benchmarking of the Sydney Regional

Forecasting Centre.

The Australian National Audit Office concluded that clients were satisfied overall with Bureau services, and the client focus had improved, but that accuracy remained an issue. Performance monitoring against timeliness standards was largely incomplete. Sectoral forecasts, such as for aviation, marine and some rural and severe weather services, were difficult to comment on because of gaps in performance verification and reporting.

The quality of the Bureau’s observation network was generally comparable with that of other meteorological agencies such as in Canada. A priority for the Bureau was improving the link between costs and outputs. This link was important to demonstrate that the mix of elements

in the observation network contributing to the Bureau’s outputs (such as the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of forecasts) was optimum. T he Bureau’s financial systems were not sufficiently developed for accrual accounting and reporting purposes and were not closely

linked to the performance information system, which made it difficult to calculate the cost-effectiveness of outputs and outcomes.

• Audit Report No. 30 - Examination of the Federation Cultural and Heritage Projects Programme T he Australian National Audit Office was satisfied that the departmental assessment processes were mostly rigorous, transparent and well documented. They noted that where Ministers, or their personal staff, are directly involved in the selection process, it is important that the process is also rigorous and transparent.

T he office encouraged an open view to be taken of the release of the reasons for decisions for successful applications. All approved projects were eligible under the programme guidelines.

144 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

External scrutiny

• Audit Report No. 41 - Commonwealth Emergency Management Arrangements The audit report was mosdy directed at Emergency Management Australia, part of the Department of Defence, but did mention, without assessing, the role of the Bureau of Meteorology.

• Audit Report No. 47 - Survey of Fraud Control Arrangements in Australian Public Service Agencies The audit was undertaken using a survey, to which the department responded. The Australian National Audit Office concluded that the majority of Australian Public Service agencies had a

framework in place that contained key elements for effectively preventing and dealing with fraud in line with Commonwealth policy.

• Audit Report No. 52 - Control Structures as Part of the Audits of Financial Statements of Major Commonwealth Agencies for the Period ended 30 June 2000 This audit summarised findings from the interim financial statement audit. The audit found that the key risk areas for the department included the successful implementation of the new

environment protection legislation, finalisation of the financial management information system platform, and the valuation and recording of assets, particularly in respect to the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Antarctic Division.

Parliamentary Committee reports

• Report 23 - Amendments proposed to the International Whaling Convention Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (August 1999)

• T he Hinchinbrook Channel Inquiry Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee (September 1999)

• Report 374 - Review of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1991 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1991 Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (March 2000)

• Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Bill 1999 Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee (April 2000)

• Gulf of St Vincent Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee (June 2000)

Comments by the Ombudsman

No formal reports were made.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 145

MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES

Legislation

The legislative framework governing the management of human resources underwent fundamental change with the implementation of the new Public Service Act in December 1999- a major element in the Government’s public service reform agenda. This impacted significandy on the workload in human resource management areas of Environment Australia.

W ithin a very compressed timeframe, the necessary changes for successful implementation of the new Act were arranged. T he changes included reworking of policies, guidelines, practices and forms to suit new terminologies, changed responsibilities of agency heads (including employment powers), enhanced accountability and reporting requirements, revised delegations, increased emphasis and legislative backing for the expanded Australian Public Sevice Values and Code of Conduct, and new review processes for actions affecting employees.

Information sessions on the implications of the new Act and its practical effects on the workplace were conducted. These were supplemented with information and advice on bulletin boards.

Overall, the transition was implemented successfully, laying the groundwork for more effective human resource management in the department as employees become more familiar with the new framework and its operational reforms.

Implementation of the Australian Public Service human resource corporate reform and the continuous improvement agenda continued throughout the year. The more significant elements of these initiatives are detailed below.

Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention

During the year Environment Australia has made considerable progress in improving its workforce planning strategies to better align resources to the achievement of the business objectives of the organisation.

This involves continuous monitoring of workforce data, including staff retention and turnover, to identify trends and develop appropriate strategies in the areas of recruitment, remuneration and conditions, and staff development. Workforce analysis has contributed significantly to the development of strategies for the second Environment Australia Certified Agreement. An important element of the strategies was to ensure that Environment Australia employment conditions were at a level which would remain competitive in attracting and retaining appropriately qualified and skilled staff.

To a substantial degree, the Bureau of Meteorology has been able to attract and retain suitably qualified staff to maintain the capabilities required. At senior management levels, the use of Australian workplace agreements, including performance bonuses, for senior executive level

employees and certain staff at executive level 2, is serving to attract and retain staff of appropriate calibre at those levels.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Management of human

The Bureau of Meteorology Certified Agreement 2000-2001 has ensured that Bureau salaries and conditions of service have remained competitive with those of other public service agencies, so that there has been no evident staff leakage attributable to inter-agency salary or conditions inequities. Judicious outsourcing of some information technology and finance functions, where

operationally effective to do so, has attracted suitable staff on fixed-term contracts. The work of the Bureau’s Research Centre has been enriched by a steady stream of visiting scientists on negotiated short-term contracts or seconded from other institutions for varying periods of time.

Training and development

Environment Australia continued to place a high priority on improving the effectiveness of its approach to people management. The Senior Officer Leadership Programme was opened to executive level 1 officers with a series of half-day seminars conducted during the year.

A major effort was made to develop a new performance management system to cover all non-senior executive service employees. The Performance and Development Scheme was designed and successfully trialled in two groups. The scheme features team planning, individual performance agreements and development plans, feedback and performance assessment. The scheme aims to foster a high performance culture by:

• improving communication and clarifying expectations between managers, staff and teams;

• ensuring staff receive regular, positive and constructive feedback;

• providing a basis for salary progression;

• providing a fair and equitable basis for recognising, rewarding and improving performance; and

• developing and improving individual, team and managerial skills.

Environment Australia continued its commitment to the Investors in People programme. A diagnostic report was considered by the Executive and was followed by a series of staff discussion groups. An action plan was developed to address performance gaps against the Investors in People standards. T he Executive aims to achieve accreditation by 1 October 2001. Many of the activities identified in the action plan have been implemented. Environment Australia is using the Investors in People programme to:

• improve development opportunities for staff and align learning and development programmes to corporate objectives;

• achieve a better integration of people management strategies and a closer alignment between them and the achievement of corporate business needs;

• demonstrate a commitment to the development of people and the improvement of career options;

• assist in changing the prevailing organisational culture so that people are better able to deal with changes in the way the department conducts its business; and

• help the department to deliver national leadership on environmental issues through excellence in programmes and policy advice.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Management of human resources

There was significant progress on the Investors in People programme to improve the effectiveness of learning and development. Priority programmes were provided during the financial year to support major changes within the agency. These included:

• training associated with the introduction of the new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act;

• accrual budgeting programme courses for senior executive and executive levels;

• seminar sessions and courses relating to the introduction of the goods and services tax;

• continued training in the new SAP R/3 corporate business system;

• contract management and project management courses; and

• training in the department’s standard software applications.

In addition a series of information sessions on the new Public Service Act, the role of human resources in the department and the development of the new certified agreement were conducted for all staff.

Twenty graduates started with Environment Australia in January 2000 to participate in a year-long development programme consisting of three work placements and specialised training. The recruitment campaign for the 2001 graduate intake is underway.

Senior executive staff at all band levels participated in the development programmes offered by the Public Service and M erit Protection Commission.

The department also continued to support staff academic development through the study support scheme.

The Bureau of Meteorology meets its specific professional and technical needs by training its meteorologists and technical officers. Complementing this, the Bureau of Meteorology has also concentrated on development of high calibre staff, so as to create pools of competent personnel drroughout the organisation capable of performing duties at higher levels.

Development has been achieved through a range of activities including the assignment of higher duties and taking advantage of cross-service and outside-of-service development opportunities (including international placement with, for example, the World Meteorological Organization). It was ensured that staff receive training that is adequate and appropriate to their developmental needs.

High performers are identified through performance appraisal and formal and informal supervisor reports, and every effort is made to assist these staff to achieve their full career potential within the Bureau.

In the Australian Antarctic Division, the performance management review systems provide the key mechanisms for supervisors and employees to identify priorities and strategies for future development. Negotiations leading to the development of the draft Australian Antarctic Division Certified Agreement 2000-2002 have included an increased recognition of learning and development, and performance appraisal. T he underlying philosophy of these initiatives is to promote a performance and learning culture, and to value and reward flexibility and skill development. Evaluation of learning and development initiatives remains largely an issue for the various performance review processes within the Australian Antarctic Division. Closer alignment between performance and learning throughout the Australian Antarctic Division should enhance existing evaluation arrangements.

148 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Ma

nagement of human resources

Key training and development strategies for the year have included an ongoing commitment to management development, plus dedicated training for information technology applications, media skills, project management and a range of short courses and conferences designed to address individual’s needs.

During the year, a total of six Australian Antarctic Division employees, including three women, attended Monash Mount Eliza Business School programmes in leadership, general management and strategic resources management. Participants have reported positively about their experiences and the personal insights that these intensive programmes can offer. Typically, they have shown a willingness to share their experiences with fellow employees and contribute to the Australian Antarctic Division’s corporate goals within their branch and beyond. A major outcome of these programmes is that the Australian Antarctic Division has more than 30 employees across all branches with a shared commitment to contemporary management principles. This core group represents an important resource in progressing initiatives through forums such as the Management Planning and Action Group.

Impact and features of certified agreements and Australian workplace agreements

Development of the policy framework and subsequent negotiations for the second round of Australian workplace agreements for all senior executive staff in Environment Australia (including the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Antarctic Division) were completed.

The second round workplace agreements build on the principles established for the initial senior executive agreements:

• relating reward directly to the agency’s success in meeting required outputs;

• matching individuals’ reward to their assessed contribution in meeting performance expectations (including support of public service values and corporate initiatives);

• streamlined remuneration arrangements to avoid unnecessary administrative costs;

• sufficient flexibility to attract and retain executives with particular skills and to meet changing business priorities.

The workplace agreements therefore continued the process of aligning individual effort to the core business of the organisation to achieve programme objectives.

Work to extend the range of staff covered by workplace agreements also continued with development work on a framework for agreements to be offered to all executive level 1 and 2 employees in Environment Australia completed and receiving Executive endorsement.

Implementation is planned in the first quarter of the next year.

Continued implementation of the Environment Australia Certified Agreement 1998-99 contributed significantly to the alignment of people management policies to the core business of the organisation to achieve programme objectives. The agreement is designed to improve the agency’s efficiency, effectiveness and productivity and enhance the quality of the working lives of its staff.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 149

M

anagement of human resources

Major milestones in implementation during the year included:

• design and trial of the new Performance and Development Scheme which emphasises the relationship between corporate, team and individual responsibilities and will foster a high performance culture in the agency;

• completion of the review of the cost and quality of living in remote localities and resolution of a new streamlined remote locality allowance;

• completion of a review of work level standards, including the incorporation of seven previously separate standards into one new standard, which is a considerable streamlining initiative; and

• effective consultation with employees and their representatives which is contributing to the effectiveness of the agency in fulfilling its objectives to:

- promote good workplace relations in Environment Australia;

- improve mutual understanding between management and employees;

- provide a forum for consultation and open discussion between management and staff aimed at resolving different points of view in a mutually acceptable manner; and

- facilitate the mutual exchange of information.

During the year a second certified agreement for Environment Australia was developed, negotiated and finalised. The second agreement builds on the achievements of the first with emphasis on a competitive and streamlined remuneration and employment conditions package enabling employees to balance work and personal responsibilities and with the implementation of the new Performance and Development Scheme designed to contribute significantly to the department’s productivity.

T he Bureau of Meteorology’s Certified Agreement 2000-2001 was developed and negotiated to finality, receiving certification from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in April.

A number of specific innovations included in the Bureau’s second certified agreement are expected to reap productivity and efficiency benefits. Initiatives include streamlining of human resource management practices and procedures, revised performance management arrangements, and changes in the manner in which various Bureau programmes operate. A key element in all cases is increased usage of evolving technology to provide operational efficiencies that will lead to greater productivity.

T he Australian Antarctic Division’s Certified Agreement 1998-2000 recognised that training and development can enhance employees’ potential to achieve organisational goals and meet career aspirations. The division is committed to development activities that assist employees to maintain

professional qualifications and support workplace change. Employees can access a range of activities designed to meet identified outcomes, including off the job training, work placements and formal study.

W ork on developing and negotiating the second Australian Antarctic Division Certified Agreement is nearly finished and the new agreement will be put to the vote in the near future.

ISO Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Ma

nagement of human

People M anagem ent Business Plan

People management issues are managed within the context of the department’s Annual People Management Business Plan. The plan reflects the role of corporate people management as:

• establishing people and performance management frameworks and setting strategic goals;

• increasing the people and performance management skills of line managers by addressing development needs;

• providing internal consultancy services to line divisions;

• identifying and addressing corporate people and performance management needs;

• monitoring organisational performance and effectiveness; and

• administering programmes where it is efficient to do so at the corporate level, for example, payroll services and the graduate programme.

The Environment Australia Executive considers people management issues on a regular basis and makes key decisions in relation to the people management policy framework, policies, priorities and resource allocation. An Investors in People committee, comprising senior executives and key stakeholders, oversees Environment Australia’s Investors in People programme. People management issues are also discussed at the monthly consultative committee meeting.

Environment Australia has evolved a people management business model where policies and programmes are designed to:

• comply with all statutory requirements;

• reinforce Australian Public Service values;

• support the achievement of the Environment Australia Corporate Plan;

• operate within a strategic people management framework which applies across the agency;

• enable Environment Australia to maintain a competitive people management advantage in relation to other agencies;

• encourage devolved decision-making by senior executives and managers on a wide range of people management matters;

• provide services cost-effectively and efficiently with minimal duplication;

• provide services centrally where there is a business case to do so; and

• be benchmarked periodically against industry best practice.

Outcomes

Outcomes achieved for different elements of the people management function are listed below.

Employment conditions and rem uneration

• A review of employment conditions in remote localities was completed and implemented resulting in a streamlined and more cost-effective allowance framework.

• New work level standards were finalised, merging standards for seven previously separate structures into one streamlined structure.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

M

anagement of human resources

• Negotiation of a new certified agreement was substantially completed with improvements to pay and conditions and further streamlining of processes.

• New Australian workplace agreements were finalised for all senior executive service employees, including a revised feedback system and revised performance management scheme documentation.

• Workplace agreements were provided for all information technology staff in scope for outsourcing to encourage continuity of staffing prior to the new service provider commencing.

Performance and development

• The Investors in People initiative progressed with the completion of the diagnostic and action planning phases, paving the way for achievement of the Investors in People standard in 2001.

• A revised performance and development scheme was designed and successfully trialled which will result in improved feedback and assessment of employees, including mandatory feedback.

• Training programmes to improve employee work skills were conducted on a variety of topics including accrual budgeting, project management, contract management and information technology skills.

• The graduate recruitment and development programme operated successfully, ensuring a continuing supply of top quality graduates for the department.

• T he transition to the new Public Service Act was successfully undertaken, resulting in further streamlining of a range of people management policies.

Personnel services

• Substantial progress was made in improving the functionality of the SAP R/3 automated personnel system, although problems with some parts of the system, particularly leave processing, continued.

Information technology outsourcing

• The outsourcing of information technology services was completed.

Market testing of corporate services

• Preliminary work was completed in preparation for the market testing of a wide range of people management services.

152 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Ma

nagement of human

Remuneration for senior executive service employees

Environment Australia has a remuneration strategy for its employees in the senior executive service which is based on the following set of principles:

• financial rewards will be directly related to the success of Environment Australia in meeting the outputs required by the Government;

• individuals will be rewarded according to their assessed contribution in meeting performance expectations;

• remuneration will be competitive with like organisations;

• remuneration arrangements will be flexible so that Environment Australia can recruit and retain staff with special skills; and

• remuneration arrangements will be streamlined where possible to avoid unnecessary administrative costs.

Almost all Environment Australia’s senior executives have Australian workplace agreements, senior executive service remuneration comprises base pay, performance pay and other benefits, such as a maintained vehicle. The Secretary reviews the remuneration package. The current workplace agreement for senior executives has a notional expiry date of December 2000.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Ma

nagement of human resources

STAFF EMPLOYED UNDER TH E PUBLIC SERVICE ACT AS AT 30 JU NE 2000

Full-time Part-time

Ongoing Non-ongoing Ongoing Non-ongoing Total

Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female

Department 372 376 30 39 10 48 8 7 890

Parks Australia and Wildlife Australia 164 107 29 26 4 18 8 15 371

Australian Heritage Commission

29 40 2 3 2 11 - 2 89

Total Environment Australia 565 523 61 68 16 77 16 24 1350

Australian Antarctic Division 122 48 94 19 2 6 6 4 301

Bureau of Meteorology 1162 188 39 21 4 27 11 6 1458

Total 1849 759 194 108 22 110 33 34 3109

E N V IR O N M EN T AUSTRALIA

STAFF BY CLASSIFICATION, G EN DER A N D LOCATION AS AT 30 JUNE 2000

Secretary Senior Executive Research Public

executive Executive assistant scientist affairs Total

Australian Capital Territory Females 12 154 407 15 588

Males 1 32 221 249 2 5 510

Total 1 44 375 656 2 20 1098

New South Wales Females 1 19 20

Males 3 27 30

Total 0 0 4 46 0 0 50

Western Australia Females 2 2

Males 2 8 10

Total 0 0 2 10 0 0 12

Tasmania Females 1 1

Males 0

Total 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Northern Territory Females 1 81 82

Males 3 14 85 5 107

Total 0 3 15 166 5 0 189

Total 1 47 396 879 7 20 1350

154 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Management o

f human resources

Male Female Total

Band 1 24 10 34

Band 2 8 1 9

Band 3 3 1 4

Includes 3 inoperative staff

Includes 7 Environment Australia executive level 2 staff acting senior executive band 1

E N V IR O N M E N T AUSTRALIA SENIOR EXECUTIVES M OBILITY AS AT 30 JU N E 2000

Commencements 8

Cessations 6

Transfers/promotions within department 8

AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC D IVISIO N STAFF CLASSIFIED BY GENDER AS AT 30 JU N E 2000

Male Female Total

Ongoing Full-time 122 48 170

Part-time 2 6 8

Non-ongoing Full-time 94 19 113

Part-time 6 4 10

Total 224 77 301

Male Female Total

Band 1 1 1 2

Band 2 1 1

Band 3

Total 2 1 3

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 155

M

anagement of human resources

B U R E A U O F M E T E O R O L O G Y

S T A F F C L A S S I F I E D B Y G E N D E R A S A T 3 0 J U N E 2 0 0 0

Male Female Total

Ongoing Full-time 1162 188 1350

Part-time 4 27 31

Non-ongoing Full-time 39 21 60

Part-time 11 6 17

Total 1216 242 1458

Male Female Total

Band 1 7 1 8

Band 2 3* 3

Band 3 1 1

Total 11 1 12

* Includes one Chief of Division

156 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Management of human resources

BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

STAFF BY CLASSIFICATIO N, G E N D E R AND LOCATIO N AS AT 30 JU NE 2000

Chief of Division

Senior executive

Administrative

Professional

Technical

General service

Information technology

2

1

. ^

j

1 Research scientist

|

£ Total

New South Wales Female 4 6 5 1 16

Male 1 6 39 71 1 118

Total 1 10 45 76 2 134

Victoria Female 1 86 51 14 16 3 1711

Male 1 8 99 215 144 3 103 1 14 25 613

Total 1 9 185 266 158 3 119 1 14 28 784

Queensland Female 5 7 1 1 14

Male 1 7 35 94 1 2 140

Total 1 12 42 95 1 3 154

South Australia Female 5 2 3 10

Male 6 22 54 1 1 84

Total 11 24 57 1 1 94

Western Australia Female 5 2 1 8

Male 1 5 25 85 1 117

Total 1 10 27 86 1 125

Tasmania Female 5 2 5 12

Male 2 18 49 1 70

Total 7 20 54 1 82

Northern Territory Female 3 4 4 11

Male 1 25 47 1 74

Total 4 29 51 1 85

Total Female 1 113 74 33 18 3 242

Male 1 11 126 379 544 5 110 1 14 25 1216

Total 1 12 239 453 577 5 128 1 14 28 1458

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 157

P

URCHASING

T he principles included in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines are incorporated into the department’s procedural rules for procurement, which are distributed throughout the department via the intranet.

The department also has a Procurement Review Board which ensures that all aspects of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, and the department’s procurement requirements, are adequately met before the department enters into any commitment or contract over $30 000.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued instructions in relation to the procurement of goods and services that oblige procurement staff to adhere to the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. In addition senior procurement staff have been appointed to oversee and exercise

delegations to the extent necessary to ensure compliance. Internal documents have been created to enable effective control and management of the process.

Australian Antarctic Division purchasing procedures have been designed to conform with the core policies and principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

ASSETS MANAGEMENT

During the year the department focused on producing a comprehensive set of asset management guidelines covering Environment Australia’s Canberra-based operations, the Australian Antarctic Division and the Bureau of Meteorology. These guidelines are close to finalisation and will improve consistency of treatment of assets across the diverse operating environments of these three management units.

In late June the department transferred its Canberra-based information technology assets to Ipex, the new Group 8 service provider for a number of Commonwealth agencies including Environment Australia. T he contract followed a comprehensive process of assessment, overseen by the Office of Asset Sales and Information Technology, which ensured that the Commonwealth was receiving best value for money under the contract.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

C

ONSULTANTS, COMPETITIVE TENDERING AND CONTRACTING

Consultancy services

The total number of consultants engaged by Environment Australia was 495, at a cost of $13 589 651.

The most common reasons to engage consultants were the need for specialised, technical and professional skills or knowledge and the need for work to be conducted independently.

The production of technical reports, handbooks and guidelines, feasibility studies and the development of databases were among the categories for which consultants were engaged during the year.

Details of consultancies are available on Environment Australia’s Internet site at www. environment, gov.au/publications .html

Competitive tendering and contracting

The department commenced a market testing programme for the range of corporate services in early 2000 and a decision on the future provision of services is expected to be made in 2000-2001.

The department is a member of the Group 8 information technology contract with Ipex. This contract has a value of $130 million over five years, covers approximately 7 500 desktops across seven Commonwealth agencies and will realise some $40 million in savings for the Commonwealth.

For the financial year ending 30 June 2000 the Bureau of Meteorology did not issue any contracts in excess of $100 000.

For the financial year ending 30 June 2000 the Australian Antarctic Division did not issue contracts in excess of $100 000.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 159

16

0 D ep artm en t o f the Environm ent and H eritage A nnual R eport 1999-2000

P

ART FOUR

LEGISLATIVE

R E QUI R E ME NT S

PORTFOLIO LEGISLATION

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 Antarctic Marine Living Resources Conservation Act 1981 Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 Antarctic Treaty Act 1960 Australian Antarctic Territory Acceptance Act 1933 Australian Antarctic Territory Act 1954 Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975*

Captains Flat (Abatement of Pollution) Agreement Act 1975 Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978* Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999* Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999**

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Environmental Management Charge - Excise) Act 1993 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Environmental Management Charge - General) Act 1993 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975* Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 Heard Island and McDonald Islands Act 1953 Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 Koongarra Project Area Act 1981 Meteorology Act 1955* National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 National Environment Protection Measures (Implementation) Act 1998 National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997

Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Act 1995 Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Manufacture) Act 1995 Ozone Protection Act 1989 Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Act 1923

(insofar as it relates to the Territory of Heard and McDonald Islands and the Australian Antarctic Territory) Sea Installations Act 1987 Sea Installations Levy Act 198 7 Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area Conservation Act 1994

Whale Protection Act 1980 Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982 World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983

* The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 received the Royal Assent on 16 July 1999 and commences on 16 July 2000. The Act replaces the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992; the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974; the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975; the Whale Protection Act 1980, and the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 from 16 July 2000. The Environmental Reform (ConsequentialProvisions) Act 1999 sets out the savings and transitional provisions.

** Most of the Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999 commences on 16 July 2000.

162 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

O

CCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

I

This report is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.

Environment Australia has continued to promote the health, safety and welfare of its employees in accordance with legislative requirements (the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act and the Safely, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988) and the provisions of the departmental Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Agreement.

The Occupational Health and Safety Committee met regularly and addressed a wide range of issues.

New designated work groups were established. Environment Australia and the unions are in the process of selecting health and safety representatives for the new groups.

The Employee Assistance Programme through Access Programmes continued during the year.

Ongoing administrative work included maintaining the accident/incident reporting system; organising arrangements and reimbursement of costs for eyesight testing for users of screen based equipment in accordance with Environment Australia’s eyesight testing policy and guidelines, and organising training of first aid officers. Due to the relocation of staff, recruitment of additional first aid officers is being undertaken.

The Occupational Health and Safety Unit conducted or coordinated 329 workplace assessments for staff during the year under the prevention programme.

Accident or incident reporting In Environment Australia and the Canberra-based divisions there were 45 accident or incidents reported under section 68 of the Act.

Within Parks Australia there were 37 accidents or incidents reported under s.68 of the Act. Fourteen of the accidents or incidents reported involved visitors to national parks.

Compensation and rehabilitation Under the rehabilitation policy and guidelines, the department continued to provide support for injured and ill employees and provided an early return to work programme.

During 1999-2000 there were nine return to work plans in place for injured staff. Three ceased during this period.

The Bureau of Meteorology has in place guidelines to complement the departmental Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Agreement. It is working with staff representatives to further improve the guidelines.

The Bureau’s head office Occupational Health and Safety Committee met every two months during the year and dealt with a wide range of issues, which included electrical safety, personal safety, the development of guidelines for driving Commonwealth vehicles, indoor and outdoor environments, and fire safety. Other guidelines are being developed to ensure that the Bureau

continues to raise occupational health and safety awareness and provide information and guidance for staff.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Occup

ational health and safety

Regional committees met less regularly, local workloads constituting a contributory factor.

The head office committee and the occupational health and safety coordinator are looking into this matter.

The coordinator continued to undertake numerous ergonomic, workplace and safety inspections covering a wide range of Bureau sites. A risk management strategy document was issued during the year, designed to cover Comcare requirements. It is expected to be fully implemented during the coming year.

T he committee established to address particular problems identified at Cape Grim has continued to meet on a regular basis. It includes representation from CSIRO, a major partner in the site. Issues addressed include hazardous substance storage, manual handling, fire safety and the alarm system, access, egress and noise.

A total of three accidents were reported to Comcare under section 68 of the Act. All cases were investigated locally and in all cases, no direct link with Bureau activity or equipment was established. There were no directions given to the employer under section 45 and no notices

given to the employer under sections 30, 46 or 47 during the year.

Occupational health and safety committees continued to function at all Australian Antarctic Division work sites. Four accidents or incidents were reported under section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act. There were no matters to report under sections 30, 45, 46 or 47.

Four retorn to work plans were initiated during the year. Four were ceased with two still open.

164 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

F

REEDOM OF INFORMATION

Environment Australia received 15 applications pursuant to the Act. T he department also conducted internal reviews in relation to one application during the year. No applications were made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The Act extends to the Australian community the right to obtain access to information in the possession of the Commonwealth Government.

Access is limited only by exemptions necessary for the protection of essential public interests and the private and business affairs of persons in respect of whom information is collected and held by departments and statutory authorities.

Section 8 of the Act requires departments and statutory authorities to make available information about their functions, organisation and operations. This information for Environment Australia is contained in the body of the annual report.

Details of the categories of documents each agency maintains and the facilities for public access are also required under section 8 of the Act.

Categories of documents m aintained by the departm ent

The department holds a large range of documents which are described in the general and policy, specific and parliamentary categories set out below. In accordance with the Archives Act 1983 documents may have been transferred into archival custody or destroyed.

General and policy:

• general administrative files, media releases (available on the Internet), working papers on all subjects, consultant reports commissioned by the department, public opinion surveys, evaluations on the impact of departmental programmes, occupational health and safety information, lease documentation;

• memoranda of understanding including those between the Minister and State and Territory counterparts, environmental agreements with other countries, other agreements, treaty documents, documents from international organisations, agreements with States and Territories on environmental matters;

• various permits, permit renewals, application forms, exemption certificates, licences including ozone protection quotas and exemptions, permits for sea dumping and sea installations, maps, photographs, negatives, transparencies and slides, scientific and technical documents relating to research and technology, environmental impact assessment documents in which the

Commonwealth has a role, commission of inquiry documents, national estate documents, submissions to parliamentary and other inquiries;

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Fre

edom of information

• guidelines for programmes administered by the department, fact sheets, grant documents, public service and finance manuals, guidelines on personnel management, the department’s service charter and certified agreement, staff notices, circulars, instructions and handbooks, , annual reports, study briefs, information retrieval manuals, training programme material, computer records, consultancy briefs, reports and databases, briefing notes, agenda papers and minutes of meetings, registry procedure documents, financial and payroll records, financial and staffing estimates, contracts;

• instructions and directions of the Secretary, agency determinations under the Public Service Act 1999, legal advice, information technology product selection reports and tender evaluations.

Specific:

• Bureau of Meteorology documents and records including handwritten records, standard meteorological observations and statistics, rainfall and river height observations, synoptic analyses, prognosis charts, satellite and remote sensing data, upper air observations, forecast advice;

• Australian Antarctic Division forms and administrative files for antarctic expeditions, research grants, purchasing, personnel recruitment and staffing, financial management and budget control, property and assets, environment impact assessments and documents evaluating the environmentalal impact of Australian activities in Antarctica, scientific and technical documents concerning antarctic research activity including unpublished papers and data, corporate planning documents for the administration and operation of the antarctic programme, annual and strategic plans, public and educational information on the antarctic programme, media releases, other published material, including Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions research notes and report series, quarterly magazines, booklets, staff and expedition newsletters, maps, training material, antarctic ship log books, voyage reports, station plans, building and equipment plans, maintenance reports, environmental guidelines and station management plans, manuals including Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions operations manual, handbook, field manual, manual for station leaders, first aid manual, code of personal behaviour, personnel and purchasing manuals, personal performance indicator guidelines, computerised databases including health register, voyage information from

1947, former antarctic expeditioners’ names, stations and occupations, polar bibliographies.

• Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council discussion papers and policies;

• court documents and records.

Parliamentary:

• briefing documents for the Minister, senior departmental officers and visitors;

• Cabinet documents, ministerial statements, ministerial submissions, replies and briefings;

• policy advice to the Minister;

• replies to ministerial representations and parliamentary questions, general ministerial correspondence, ministerial reports, ministerial press releases;

• explanatory memoranda to Acts, Ordinances and Regulations administered by the department.

166 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Freedom of information

Arrangements for outside participation

In the formulation of policy by the department and in the administration of legislation and schemes, Environment Australia welcomes views and comments from members of the public and bodies outside the Commonwealth administration.

General participation is possible by making oral or written representations to the Minister or the department, putting submissions to the various working groups on matters chaired by the department and providing expert or specialist advice on matters on an ad hoc basis.

The Antarctic Science Advisory Committee, which advises the Government on priority areas in antarctic research, solicits research proposals from the scientific community within Australia and overseas, and provides funding and logistic support for approved scientific projects.

Formal arrangements under the Sea Installations Act 1987, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and the environmental impact assessment provisions of the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 provide for proposals to be examined publicly and for comments to be received.

Formal arrangements under the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands Environment Protection and Management Ordinance 1987 provide for public consultation during the development of management plans.

Formal arrangements under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1918 provide for public consultation with respect to scientific research programmes and matters relating to the effects on the environment in the Alligator Rivers region of uranium mining operations.

Public consultation procedures

Examples of public consultation include procedures for the development of the National Pollutant Inventory; consultation arrangements relating to the development of management plans for scheduled wastes; consultation arrangements with industry and environment groups and State and Territory Governments about the Basel Convention and amendments to the hazardous wastes legislation, and consultation on the ozone protection legislation through the Ozone Protection Consultative Committee.

Procedures for gaining access to information

Freedom of information matters within Environment Australia are handled by the Legal Section in the Strategic Development Division. T he freedom of information officer may be contacted on telephone: (02) 6274 1578 or fax: (02) 6274 1587.

W ritten requests for access to documents should be addressed to:

The Director Legal Section Department of the Environment GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 167

Freedom of information

Specific enquiries may be made to:

• The Director of Meteorology The Bureau of Meteorology GPO Box 1289K Melbourne Vic 3001

• The Director Australian Antarctic Division Kingston Tas 7050.

A list of the department’s publications is available on the Environment Australia Internet site at www.environment.gov.au.

168 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Departm ent of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

I

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Australian N ational

A u d i t O f f i c e

INDEPENDENT AUDIT REPORT

To the M inister for Environment and Heritage

Scope

I have audited the financial statements of the Department of the Environment and Heritage for the year ended 30 June 2000. The financial statements comprise:

a Statement by the Chief Executive;

o Agency Operating Statement, Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows, Schedule of Commitments and Schedule of Contingencies;

= Statements o f Administered Revenues and Expenses, Assets and Liabilities and Cash Flows, and Schedules of Administered Commitments and Contingencies; and

• Notes to the Financial Statements.

The Department’s Chief Executive is responsible for the preparation and presentation of the fmancial statements and the information they contain. I have conducted an independent audit of the fmancial statements in order to express an opinion on them to you.

The audit has been conducted in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office Auditing Standards, which incorporate the Australian Auditing Standards, to provide reasonable assurance as to whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Audit procedures included examination, on a test basis, of evidence supporting the amounts and other disclosures in the financial statements, and the evaluation of accounting policies and significant accounting estimates. These procedures have been undertaken to form an opinion as to whether, in all material respects, the fmancial statements are presented fairly in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards, other mandatory professional reporting requirements and statutory requirements in Australia so as to present a view of the Department which is consistent with my understanding of its fmancial position, its operations and its cash flows.

The audit opinion expressed in this report has been formed on the above basis.

GPO Sox 707 CANBERRA ACT 2601 C e n te n a ry House 19 N a tio n a l Circuit BARTON ACT

A

udit Opinion

In my opinion,

(i) the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Finance Minister’s Orders;

(ii) the financial statements give a true and fair view, in accordance with applicable Accounting Standards, other mandatory professional reporting requirements and Schedule 2 of the Finance Minister’s Orders, of:

* the financial position o f the Department of the Environment and Heritage as at 30 June 2000 and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended; and

e the Commonwealth assets and liabilities as at 30 June 2000 and the revenue, expenses and cash flows o f the Commonwealth for the year then ended, which have been administered by the Department.

Revision and Re-issue of Financial Statements

Without qualification to the opinion expressed above, attention is drawn to the following matter. As indicated in Note 21 to the fmancial statements, the Department produced signed fmancial statements for 1999-2000 on 29 August 2000 and an audit report thereon was issued on 30 August 2000. These documents formed part of the Department’s annual report, which was tabled in Parliament on 12 October 2000. The financial statements of the Department include the operations of the Natural Heritage Tmst of Australia Account (NHT), which are reflected as administered transactions and balances within the fmancial statements. Subsequent to the tabling o f the Department’s annual report, advice received from the Australian Government Solicitor and the Department of Finance and Administration has determined the need for a change in the basis of calculation used to calculate interest due to NHT. Accordingly, the earlier fmancial statements have been revised and re-issued. The audit opinion expressed in this report has been formed on the revised financial statements.

Australian National Audit Office

Darren Box Acting Executive Director

Delegate of the Auditor-General

Canberra 19 December 2000

D

E P A R T M E N T O F T H E E N V IR O N M E N T AND H E R IT A G E S T A T E M E N T BY T H E C H IE F E X E C U T IV E

In my opinion, the attached financial statements give a true and fair view o f the matters required by Schedule 2 to the Finance M inister's Orders made under section 63 o f the Financial M anagem ent and Accountability A ct 1997.

Signed

Roger Beale Chief Executive

December 2000

D

E P A R T M E N T O F T H E E N V I R O N M E N T A N D H E R I T A G E

O P E R A T I N G S T A T E M E N T

for the year ended 30 June 2000

Notes

1999-2000 S'000 1998-1999 S'000

O perating revenues Revenues from government 4.1 399,843 292,074

Sales o f goods and services 4.2 42,126 24,345

Interest 2,602 0

Gains from sales of assets 4.3 2,538 149

Total operating revenues (before abnormal items) 447,109 316,568

O perating expenses Employees 5.1 178,690 169,138

Suppliers 5.2 147,237 132,368

Depreciation and amortisation 5.3 52,642 56,680

Write-down of assets 5.4 2,109 3,956

Losses from sales of assets 5.5 371 167

Interest 5.6 901 488

Other 5.7 23,348 7,521

Total operating expenses 405,298 370,318

Operating surplus (deficit) before extraordinary items 41,811 (53,750)

Loss on extraordinary items 6 0 (136)

Net su rp lu s (deficit) after extraordinary item s 41,811 (53,886)

Equity interests

Net surplus (deficit) attributable to the Commonwealth 41,811 (53,886)

Accumulated surpluses at beginning of reporting period 142,111 195,997

Total available for appropriation 183,922 142,111

Equity appropriation on restructuring 4,531 0

Capital use provided for or paid (32,350) 0

Other movements (6,181) 0

Accum ulated surpluses at end o f reporting period 149,922 142,111

T h e a b o v e S tatem en t s h o u ld b e read in c o n ju n c tio n w ith th e a c c o m p a n y in g n o te s .

DEPARTM ENT OF THE ENVIRONM ENT AND HERITAGE BALANCE SHEET as at 30 June 2000 1999-2000 1998-1999

Notes S'000 $'000

ASSETS

Financial assets Cash Receivables Accrued revenues T o ta l f i n a n c i a l a ssets

Non-financial assets Land and buildings Infrastructure, plant and equipment Inventories

Intangibles Other T o ta l n o n -fin a n c ia l a ss e ts

Total assets

LIABILITIES

Debt Loans Leases Other

T o ta l d e b t

Provisions and payables Capital use Employees Suppliers

Other

T o ta l p r o v i s io n s a n d p a y a b le s

Total liabilities

EQUITY Capital Reserves Accumulated surpluses

Total equity

C u rren t liabilities N on-current liabilities C u rren t assets

N on-current assets

62,091 156

7.1 8,345 15,229

7.2 445 268

70,881 15,653

8.1 187,839 198,477

8.2 183,101 173,249

8.5 17,853 14,744

8.3 9,843 6,308

8.6 8,520 6,751

407,156 399,529

478,037 415,182

9.1 11,220 11,800

9.2 153 0

9.3 1,116 0

12,489 11,800

2,614 0

10.1 75,088 57,082

10.2 7,614 5,505

10.3 6,161 488

91,477 63,075

103,966 74,875

21,676 202,473 149,922

11,770 186,426 142,111

11 374,071 340,307

54,746 20,605

49,220 54,270

84,230 31,730

393,807 383,452

T h e a b o v e S ta te m e n t sh o u ld b e read in co n ju n c tio n w ith th e a c c o m p a n y in g notes.

D

EPARTM ENT OF TH E ENVIRONM ENT AND H ER ITA G E STATEM ENT OF CASH FLOWS for the year ended 30 June 2000

Notes

1999-2000 $'000 1998-1999 $'000

OPERATING ACTIVITIES Cash received Appropriations for outputs 398,503 312,355

Sales o f goods and services 48,956 21,919

Interest 2,367 0

Total cash received 449,826 334,274

Cash used Employees 167,456 163,025

Suppliers 152,931 123,116

Interest 687 0

Other 22,446 18,361

Total cash used 343,520 304,502

Net cash fro m operating activities 12 106,306 29,772

INVESTING ACTIVITIES Cash received Proceeds from sales o f property, plant and equipment 4,088 6,383

Total cash received 4,088 6,383

Cash used Purchase of property, Diant and equipment 39,748 36,096

Total cash used 39,748 36,096

Net cash used by investing activities (35,660) (29,713)

FINANCING ACTIVITIES Cash received Equity appropriation 21,684 0

Other 770 0

Total cash received 22,454 0

Cash used Repayments of debt 1,429 0

Capital use paid 29,736 0

Total cash used 31,165 0

Net cash used by financing activities (8,711) 0

Net increase in cash held 61,935 59

Cash at 1 Julv 156 97

Cash at 30 June 62,091 156

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D

EPA R TM EN T OF T H E EN V IRO N M EN T AND H E R IT A G E SC H ED U LE OF CO M M ITM EN TS as at 30 June 2000

1999-2000 1998-1999

________ _______ ____________________________ ___________________ S’OOO S'000

BY T Y PE

O ther com m itm ents Operating leases (1) 202,031 142,603

Project commitments (2) 4,535 2,106

Other commitments (3) 37,615 6,273

Total other commitments 244,181 150,982

Less Com m itm ents receivable 14,644 1,413

Net com m itm ents 229,537 149,569

BY M A TU R ITY

All com m itm ents One year or less 56,285 46,384

From one to two years 39,743 23,195

From two to five years 60,083 37,441

Over five years 73,426 42,549

Net ail com m itm ents 229,537 149,569

O perating lease com m itm ents One year or less 35,493 40,826

From one to five years 82,954 59,228

Over five years 71,589 42,549

Net op eratin g lease com m itm ents 190,036 142,603

(1) Operating leases are effectively non-canceliable and include: . leases for office accommodation; . charter of vessels to provide transport to Australia's A N ARE stations; and . agreements for the provision of m otor vehicles to senior executive officers.

(2) Project commitments relate to amounts payable to the States and Territories under memorandum of understandings in respect of which the States or Territories have yet to provide the services required under the memorandum o f understanding.

(3) Other commitments relate to contracts for goods and services in respect o f which the contracted party has yet to provide the goods and services required under the contract.

Note: All 1999-2000 commitments are GST inclusive where relevant. The comparatives have not been adjusted to reflect the GST.

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D

EPARTM ENT OF THE EN V IRO N M EN T AND H ER ITA G E SCHEDULE O F CONTINGENCIES as at 30 June 2000 1999-2000 1998-1999

$ '0 0 0 $ '0 0 0

Contingent losses Claims fo r damages/costs (1) _______ 300_________100

Total contingent losses _______ 300________ 100

Schedule o f unquantifiable contingencies Losses The Commonwealth is required by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (M adrid Protocol) to clean up past and present waste disposal sites and abandoned work sites, providing it does n o t cause further environmental dam age. A process o f gradual removal o f rubbish from past tip sites is in effect and an internal study is currently underway to determine the scope and estimated cost o f the Commonwealth's commitment. The study is expected to be completed during the 2000-01 financial year at which stage the future costs of this exercise will be able to be reliably measured.

(1) At 30 June 2000, the Department has a legal claim against it for damages. It is not possible to estimate the probability of any eventual payment that may be required in relation to this claim.

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D

EPA RTM EN T OF TH E ENVIRONM ENT AND HERITAGE STA TEM EN T OF .ADMINISTERED REVENUES AND EXPENSES fo r the year ended 30 June 2000

Notes

1999-2000 $'000 1998-1999 $'000

O perating revenues

Taxation Other taxes, fees and fines 4.4 6,333 6,352

Total taxation 6,333 6,352

Non-taxation Revenues from government 4.1 146,180 91,672

Sales o f goods and services 4.2 15,950 16,927

Interest 4.5 60,160 289

Other sources of non-taxation revenues 4.6 2,242 103,260

Total non-taxation 224,532 212,148

T otal operating revenues 230,865 218,500

O perating expenses Grants 5.8 290,463 265,817

Suppliers 5.2 39,056 142,132

Write-down of assets 5.4 31 251

Other 5.7 406 602

Total operating expenses 329,956 408,802

N et cost to the Budget O utcom e — (99,091) (190,302)

T ransfers to the Official Public Account Amount remitted from administered receipts (23,688) (26,194)

Net deficit (122,779) (216,496)

Accumulated results at 1 July 916,721 1,133,217

Other movements 83,794 0

Accum ulated results at 30 June 877,736 916,721

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D

EPARTM ENT OF TH E ENVIRONM ENT AND H E R IT A G E STATEM ENT OF ADM INISTERED ASSETS AND L IA B IL IT IE S as a! 30 June 2000 1999-2000 1998-1999

Notes S’000 $'000

ASSETS

Financial assets Cash 12 1,014,973

Receivables 7.1 829,295 583

Investments 7.3 100,904 100,904

Accrued revenues 7.2 61,296 1,572

Total fin a n c ia l assets 991,507 1,118,032

Non-fmancial assets Infrastructure, plant and equipment 8.2 1,271 1,271

Inventories 8.5 390 160

Other 8.6 24 67

Total non-financial assets 1,685 1,498

Total assets 993,192 1,119,530

LIA BILITIES

Provisions an d payables Suppliers 10.2 635 96

Grants . 10.4 13,278 101,172

Other 10.3 639 637

Total provisions and payables 14,552 101,905

Total liabilities 14,552 101,905

EQUITY Accumulated results 877,736 916,721

Reserves 100,904 100,904

Total equity 11 978,640 1,017,625

C urrent liabilities 14,417 77,091

N on-current liabilities 135 24,814

C urrent assets 890,913 1,017,200

N on-current assets 102,279 102,330

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D EPA RTM EN T O F T H E ENVIRONM ENT AND H ER ITA G E A D M INISTERED C A SH FLOWS fo r the year ended 30 June 2000 1999-2000 1998-1999

_____ Notes $'000 $'000

O PER A TIN G A C T IV IT IE S C ash received Other taxes, fees and fines 6,265 6,352

Sales of goods and services 15,165 17,778

Interest 286 11

Cash from Official Public Account 146,180 91,672

Other 2,227 98,154

T o ta l c a s h r e c e iv e d 170,123 213,967

C ash used Grants 294,563 186,054

Suppliers 38,725 0

Cash to Official Public Account 851,396 26,194

Other 406 143,126

T o ta l c a s h u se d 1,185,090 355,374

N et cash used by o p eratin g activities 12 (1,014,967) (141,407)

IN V ESTIN G A C T IV IT IE S C ash received Other 6 20

T o ta l c a s h r e c e iv e d 6 20

N et cash from investing activities 6 20

N e t d e c r e a s e in c a s h h e ld (1,014,961) (141,387)

Cash at 1 July 1,014,973 1,156,360

C ash a t 30 June 12 1,014,973

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D

EPA RTM EN T OF THE ENVIRONM ENT AND H ERITA G E SCHEDULE O F ADM INISTERED COM M ITM ENTS as at 30 June 2000 1999-2000

S’000

1998-1999 $'000

BY TYPE

O ther com m itm ents Project commitments (1) 122,881 14,222

Total other commitments 122,881 14,222

Less Commitments receivable 562 0

Net com m itm ents 122,319 14,222

BY M A TU RITY

One year or less 103,815 7,907

From one to two years 18,082 5,967

From two to five years 422 348

Over five years 0 0

Net com m itm ents 122,319 14,222

(1) Project commitments relate to grant amounts payable under agreements in respect of which the grantee has yet to provide the services required under the agreement.

Note: All 1999-2000 commitments are GST inclusive where relevant. The comparatives have not been adjusted to reflect the GST.

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

DEP

ARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE SCHEDULE OF ADMINISTERED CONTINGENCIES as at 30 June 2000

Contingent losses Claims for damages/costs T o ta l c o n tin g e n t lo s s e s

Contingent gains Claims for damages/costs T o ta l c o n tin g e n t g a in s

1999-2000 1998-1999 S’000 S’000

363 0

363 0

0 100

0 100

Schedule of unquantifiable contingencies Gains Legal action against the Commonwealth was dismissed during the year. Costs have been awarded to the Commonwealth. The am ount has not been determined.

The above Statement should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.

D

E PA R T M E N T OF T H E EN V IR O N M EN T AND H E R IT A G E NOTES T O T H E FIN A N CIA L STA TEM EN TS for the year ended 30 June 2000

Note D escription

1 Objectives

2 Sum m ary of Significant Accounting Policies

3 Events Occurring after Balance Date

4 O perating Revenues

5 O perating Expenses

6 Extraordinary Items

7 Financial Assets

8 Non-financial Assets

9 D ebt

10 Provisions and Payables

11 Equity

12 Cash Flow Reconciliation

13 Appropriations

14 Reporting of Outcomes

15 Joint Venture Operation

16 Executive Remuneration

17 Services provided by the Auditor-General

18 A ct o f Grace Payments, Waivers, and Defective Administration Scheme

19 A verage Staffing Levels

20 Financial Instruments

21 R evision and Re-Issue o f Financial Statements

1

O B JE C T IV E S

The objectives o f the Department are to:

. advise on and implem ent policies and programs for the protection and conservation o f the environment while ensuring its use is ecologically sustainable;

. administer the Australian A ntarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard and McDonald Islands, enhance A ustralia's role in the A ntarctic Treaty System, conduct and support strategic research, and protect the A ntarctic environment; and

. undertake meteorological and related monitoring and research, and provide weather and climate services for the A ustralian community.

The Department is structured to m eet three outcomes.

O u tc o m e 1

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

O u tc o m e 2

Australia benefits from m eteorological and related science and services.

O u tc o m e 3

Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced.

2

SU M M A R Y OF SIG N IFIC A N T A CCOUNTING P O L IC IE S

(2.1) Basis o f Accounting

The financial statements are required by section 49 of the Financial M anagement and Accountability A ct 1997 and are a general purpose financial report.

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance w ith Schedule 2 to the Financial M anagement and Accountability Orders made by the Minister for Finance and Administration in August 1999. Schedule 2 requires compliance with A ustralian Accounting Standards, other authoritative pronouncements o f the Australian Accounting

Standards B oards and the Consensus Views o f the Urgent Issues Group. The financial statements h av e been prepared having regard to Statements o f Accounting Concepts and the Explanatory Notes to Schedule 2 issued by the Department o f Finance and Administration.

The financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis and in accordance with the historical cost convention, except for certain assets which, as noted, are at valuation. Except where stated, no allowance is made for the effect o f changing prices on the results or the financial position.

The continued existence o f the Department in its present form, and with its present programs, is dependent on Government policy and on continuing appropriations by Parliament fo r the Department's administration and programs.

(2.2) C h an g es in A ccounting Policy

(a) Restructuring

The net book values (less any token consideration) o f assets and liabilities transferred consequent to a Cabinet decision, an Administrative Arrangements Order change, or an Act o f Parliament is treated as contributions by, or distributions to, owners and recognised as direct adjustm ents to accumulated surpluses or deficits (under equity) for the transferor and transferee entities.

This is a change in the policy adopted in prior years when the transfer o f assets and liabilities from one entity to another in these circumstances was treated as giving rise to revenues and expenses in the financial period the transfer occurred. Amounts and other details are given in Note 6.

(b) Joint Venture Operation

An arrangement between the Bureau ofMeteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to establish and operate a High Performance Computing and Communications Centre has not in the past been treated as a joint venture.

It is now disclosed as a joint venture operation. Refer to Note 15 for details.

(

c) M inor Changes in Accounting Policy

M inor changes in accounting policy are identified in the notes under the appropriate headings. ·

(2.3) A gency a n d A d m in istered Item s

Agency assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses are those that are controlled by the Department. They are used by the Department in producing its outputs and include computers, plant and equipment used in providing goods and services, liabilities for employee entitlements, revenues from appropriations or independent sources in payment o f outputs, and employee, supplier and depreciation expenses incurred in producing D epartm ental outputs.

Administered items are those items w hich are controlled by Government and managed or oversighted by the Department on b e h a lf of the Government. These items include taxes, fees and fines collected under legislation, and grants.

The purpose o f the separation o f agency and administered items is to enable the assessment o f administrative efficiency o f the Department in providing goods and services. Administered items in the notes to the financial statements are distinguished from agency

items by boxing.

The basis o f accounting described in N ote 2.1 applies to both agency and administered items.

(2.4) Principles o f C onsolidation

In the process o f reporting the Departm ent as a single unit all intra and inter-departmental transactions and balances have been identified and elim inated during the preparation o f the

financial statements.

The financial statements o f the Natural Heritage Trust o f Australia Reserve are consolidated into the Department's financial statements. W here accounting policies differ between the Natural Heritage Trust o f Australia and the Department, adjustments are made on consolidation to bring any dissimilar accounting policies into alignment.

(2.5) R eporting by Outcom es

Actual figures by outcom e specified in the Appropriation Acts relevant to the Department are presented in Note 14. The net cost to Budget outcomes shown includes intra- govemment costs that are eliminated in calculating the actual budget outcome for the

Government overall.

2 SU M M A R Y O F S IG N IF IC A N T ACCOUNTING PO LIC IES (continued)

2

SU M M A R Y OF S IG N IFIC A N T A CC O U N TIN G P O L IC IE S (continued)

(2.6) R ev en u es from G o v ern m en t

Revenues from government are revenues relating to the core operating activities o f the Department. Policies for accounting for revenues from governm ent follow, am ounts and other details are given in N ote 4.1.

(a) A g en cy Appropriations

Appropriations to the Departm ent for its departmental outputs are recognised as revenue to the extent they have been received into the Department's bank accounts or are entitled to be received by the Department at 30 June.

Appropriations to the Department for departmental capital items are recognised directly in equity, to the extent that the appropriation has been received into the Department's bank account or are entitled to be received by the Departm ent at 30 June.

The appropriations for departmental capital item s for 1999-2000 include, as carryovers, the re-appropriation to the Department of certain unspent amounts from 1998-99. These amounts w ere recognised directly in equity in the financial statements for 1998-1999.

(b) Administered Appropriations

Appropriations for administered expenses are recognised as revenue to the extent that expenses have been incurred up to the limit, i f any, o f each appropriation. Appropriations for administered capital are recognised as the amount appropriated by Parliament.

(c) Resources Received F ree o f Charge

The fair value o f resources received free of charge, where a value can be reliably ascertained, are recognised as a revenue in the period in which they are received and as an expense period in which they are used.

(2.7) O th e r Revenue

Revenue from the sale of goods is recognised upon delivery o f goods to customers.

Interest revenue is recognised on a proportional basis taking into account the interest rates applicable to the financial assets. Revenue from disposal o f non-current assets is recognised w hen control o f the asset has passed to the buyer. Revenue from the rendering o f a service is recognised by reference to the stage o f completion o f contracts or other agreements to provide services.

Administered fee revenue is recognised when access occurs. Administered fines are recognised in the period in w hich the breach occurs.

2

SU M M A R Y OF S IG N IFIC A N T A CCOUNTING PO LIC IES (continued)

Ail revenues described in this note are revenues relating to the core operating activities of the D epartm ent, whether in its own right or on behalf o f the Commonwealth. Details of revenue am ounts are given in Note 4.2 to 4.6 inclusive.

(2.8) Grants

Grants m ade by the Department are recognised as liabilities and expenses in the year in which the grant agreements are made as the services required to be performed by the grantee have been performed or the grant eligibility criteria have been satisfied. A

commitment is recorded w hen the Commonwealth has a binding agreement to make the grants and services have not been performed or criteria satisfied.

(2.9) Employee Entitlements

The liability for employees entitlements includes annual leave, long service leave and the superannuation on-cost related to leave. No provision has been made for sick leave as all sick leave is non vesting and the average sick leave taken in future years by employees o f the Department is estimated to be less than the annual entitlement for sick

leave.

The liability for annual leave reflects the value of total annual leave entitlements o f all employees at 30 June 2000 and is recognised at the nominal amount.

The non-current portion o f the liability for long service leave is recognised and measured at the present value of the estimated future cash flows to be m ade in respect o f all employees at 30 June 2000. In determining the present value of the liability, the Department has taken into account attrition rates and pay increases through prom otion and inflation.

The liability for employer superannuation contributions in respect of leave accrued is recognised at the nominal amount payable on leave accrued at 30 June 2000.

(2.10) S uperannuation

No liability is shown for superannuation in the Balance Sheet as the employer contributions fully extinguish the accruing liability w hich is assumed by the Commonwealth.

Staff o f the Department contribute to the Commonwealth Superannuation Schem e and the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme. Employer contributions amounting to S i 8,782,808 in relation to these schemes have been expensed in these financial statements.

Employer Superannuation Productivity Benefit contributions totalled $3,334,409.

2

SU M M A R Y OF S IG N IF IC A N T A CCO U N TIN G P O L IC IE S (continued)

(2.11) L eases

A distinction is made between finance leases w hich effectively transfer from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and benefits incidental to ownership of leased no n ­ current assets and operating leases under which the lessor effectively retains substantially all such risks and benefits.

Where a non-current asset is acquired by means o f a finance lease, the asset is capitalised at the present value of minimum lease payments at the inception o f the lease and a liability recognised for the same amount. Leased assets are amortised over the period o f the lease. Lease paym ents are allocated betw een the principal component and the interest expense.

Operating lease payments are charged to the O perating Statement on a basis which is representative o f the pattern o f benefits derived from the leased assets.

A lease incentive taking the form o f a rent holiday is recognised as a liability. This liability is reduced b y allocating lease paym ents between rental expense and reduction o f the liability.

(2.12) C ash '

Cash includes notes and coins h eld and deposits held at call with a bank or financial institution.

(2.13) P ro p e rty , plant and e q u ip m en t

(a) A sset Recognition Threshold

The Department capitalises all depreciable non-current assets with a cost of $2,000 or greater in the year of acquisition. The capitalisation threshold is applied to the aggregate cost of each functional asset.

(b) A sset classification

All items or components which form an integral part o f an asset are recognised as a single functional asset.

(c) M easurem ent o f Assets

Assets are recorded at cost on acquisition except as stated below. The cost of acquisition includes the fair value of assets transferred in exchange and liabilities undertaken.

Assets acquired at no cost or for nominal consideration, are initially recognised as assets and revenues at their fair value at the date of acquisition.

2

SU M M A R Y OF SIG N IF IC A N T A CCO U N TIN G P O L IC IE S (continued)

Assets acquired as a consequence of restructuring administrative arrangements are initially recognised at the amounts at which they were recognised in the transferor departm ent’s accounts im m ediately prior to the restructuring.

(d) Revaluation o f A ssets

Buildings, infrastructure, plant and equipment are revalued in accordance with the deprival method o f valuation. Land is valued on the basis of its highest and best use, unless disposal is restricted by legislation, zoning or Governm ent policy. In the latter cases, the deprival basis is used. Assets are progressively revalued in successive 3-year cycles. Assets in each

class acquired after the commencement o f a progressive revaluation cycle are not captured by the progressive revaluation then in progress and are reported at cost for the duration of the progressive revaluation then in progress. The Departm ent recognises all land at its current buying price because disposal is restricted by legislation.

The Departm ent recognises buildings, infrastructure, plant and equipment at its depreciated

replacement cost.

Any assets which would not be replaced or are surplus to requirements are valued at net

realisable value.

Refer to N ote 8.4 for details of revaluations.

(e) Recoverable Am ount Test

In accordance with Australian Accounting Standard 10, "Accounting for the Revaluation of Non-current Assets", the recoverable amount test has been applied to departmental non­ current assets. The carrying amounts o f these non-current assets have been reviewed and it has been determined that they are not in excess o f their recoverable amounts.

(2.14) D epreciation of P ro p erty , P la n t and E quipm ent

Property, plant and equipment is depreciated to its estimated residual value on a straight line basis over the expected useful life o f the asset to the Department.

Leasehold improvements are amortised over the estimated useful life of the improvement or the unexpired period of the lease, whichever is the shorter.

Depreciation/amortisation rates (useful lives) and methods are reviewed at each balance date and necessary adjustments are recognised in the current, or current and future reporting periods, as appropriate. Residual values are re-estimated for a change in prices only when

assets are revalued.

2

SUM M ARY O F S IG N IFIC A N T A C C O U N TIN G PO LIC IES (continued)

Depreciation and amortisation rates applying to each class of depreciable asset are based on the following useful lives:

Buildings - 3 to 50 years (1998-99 3 to 50 years)

Leasehold improvements - lease term (1998-99 lease term) Plant and equipm ent - 2 to 49 years (1998-99 2 to 49 years)

(2.15) In tan g ib le Assets

Intangible assets are brought to account where their fair value can be reliably measured. These assets are amortised on a straight line basis over the expected useful life o f the asset to the Department.

Fair value is the lesser of cost or estimated market value. Where the cost or market value cannot be reliably determined the asset is not brought to account, only disclosed in the notes.

Amortisation rates applying to intangible assets are 3 to 17 years (1998-99 3 to 17 years).

(2.16) In v e n to rie s

Inventories held for resale are valued at the lower o f cost and net realisable value.

Inventories not h eld for resale are valued at cost, or estimated replacement cost, unless they are no longer required in w hich case they are valued at net realisable value. Costs have been assigned to inventory quantities on hand at balance date using the first in first out or average cost bases. "

(2.17) A d m in istered Investm ents

The Commonwealth's investment in controlled authorities in this Portfolio is valued at the aggregate o f the Commonwealth's share of the net assets or net liabilities of each entity.

Tne carrying am ount o f each investment and the associated investment reserve is fixed as at 30 June 1997.

(2.18) N atio n al Halon Bank

The Commonwealth operates the National Halon Bank which maintains sufficient stock o f halon to m eet Australia's essential use needs to 2030 and also collects, decants, recycles and destroys surplus halon. The stock of halon (an asset) and the future costs to destroy surplus halon (a liability) are not recognised as they cannot be reliably measured and/or valued.

(2.19) T a x a tio n

The Department is exempt from all forms of taxation except fringe benefits tax and the

goods and services tax.

2

SU M M A R Y OF S IG N IF IC A N T ACCO U N TIN G PO L IC IE S (continued)

(2.20) Capital Use Charge

A capital use charge o f 12% is imposed by the Commonwealth on the net departmental assets o f the Department. The charge is adjusted to take account of asset gifts and revaluation increments during the financial year.

(2.21) Foreign Currency

Transactions denominated in a foreign currency are converted at the exchange rate at the date o f the transaction. Foreign currency receivables and payables are translated at the exchange rates current as at 30 June. Associated currency gains and losses are not material.

(2.22) Insurance

The Commonwealth's insurable risk managed fund, called Comcover, commenced operations in 1998-1999. The Departm ent has insured with Comcover for risks other that w orkers' compensation, which is dealt with via continuing arrangements with Comcare.

(2.23) Comparative Figures

Comparative figures have been adjusted to conform to changes in presentation in these

financial statements where required.

Comparatives are not presented in note 14 dealing with the Reporting on Outcomes, due to 1999-2000 being the first year o f the implementation o f accrual budgeting.

(2.24) Rounding

Amounts have been rounded to the nearest $ 1,000 except in relation to the following:

• Note 13 - Appropriations; • Note 16 - Executive remuneration; • Note 17 - Services provided by the Auditor-General; and ■ Note 18 - Act of grace payments, waivers and defective administration scheme.

3

EVENTS O C C U R R IN G A F T E R BALANCE DATE

The following events have or will occur after balance date and have n o t been brought to account in the 1999-2000 financial statements. T he financial effect o f these changes cannot

be determined.

National O ceans Office

In December 1999 the Government established the National Oceans O ffice as an Executive Agency under the Australian Public Service A ct 1 9 9 9 . As an Executive Agency the National O ceans Office's financial reporting is included in the Department's. It is anticipated that in the 2000-2001 financial year the National Oceans O ffice will becom e a Prescribed A gency under the F inancial M anagement and Accountability Act 1997.

A s a Prescribed Agency the N ational Oceans O ffice will be required to meet financial

reporting obligations as a separate entity.

Environm ental Legislation

On 16 July 2000 the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 came into force. The Act establishes a legislative framework to enable the Commonwealth to deal with current and emerging environmental issues. The legislation clearly defines the Commonwealth's role in protecting the environment and it introduces a streamlined assessment and approval process w hich applies to actions likely to have a significant impact on any o f the m atters o f national environmental significance. The new legislation consolidates five existing Acts and effectively transfers staff and staff liabilities previously under the then Director of National Parks and W ildlife to the D epartm ent of Environment and Heritage. T he five Acts were:

. Environm ent Protection (Impact o f Proposals) A c t 1974 . Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 . National P arks and Wildlife Conservation A c t 1975 . World H eritage Properties Conservation A ct 1983, and . Whale Protection Act 1980.

1999-2000 S'OOO

1998-1999 , S'OOO

4 O P E R A T IN G R E V E N U E S

4.1 R evenues from G o v e rn m e n t

Appropriations for outputs 398,503

1,340

289,144 2,930

Total ==

399,843 292,074

A dm inistered

Transfers from Official Public Account 146,142 91,672

Resources received free o f charge

38 0

Total =

146,180 91,672

4.2 Sales o f Goods and S ervices (*)

Goods

23,596 18,530 42,126 24,345

(*) No comparative figures for dissecton - refer note 2.23.

A dm inistered

Services =

15,950 16,927

4.3 G ains fro m Sales of A ssets

N on-financial assets Land and buildings Infrastructure, plant and equipment Total

4.4 O th er T axes, Fees a n d Fines

335 2,203

93 56

2,538 149

A dm inistered

Licence fees

6,333 6,352

1

999-2000 $ ' 0 0 0

1998-1999 $ ' 0 0 0

4.5 Interest

A dm inistered

Natural H eritage Trust o f Australia Act 1997 interest 60,150 278

State and Territory debt 10 11

Total 60,160 289

4.6 O ther R evenue

A dm inistered

Natural H eritage Trust of A ustralia Reserve 85 2,815

Environment - Federation Fund Reserve 0 93,200

Prime M inister and Cabinet - Federation Fund Reserve 0 5,000

Contributions to environment research 1,637 1,624

Other 520 621

Total 2,242 103,260

5 O P E R A T IN G EXPENSES

5.1 Em ployee Expenses

Remuneration 172,844 166,356

Separation and redundancy payments Total

5,846 2,782

178,690 169,138

5,2 Suppliers Expenses

Supply of goods and services 108,950 100,996

Operating lease rentals Total

38,287 31,372

147,237 132,368

A dm inistered

Supply o f goods and services 39,056 142,132

5.3

D ep reciatio n and A m o rtisatio n

Depreciation o f property, plant and equipment 52,604 56,680

Amortisation o f leased assets ___________ 38_____________ 0

Total _______ 52.642_______ 56,680

1999-2000 1998-1999 $'000 $'000

The aggregate amounts o f depreciation or amortisation expensed during the reporting period for each class of depreciable asset are as follows:

Land and buildings 17,087 16,345

Infrastructure, plant and equipm ent 33,306 38,742

Intangibles 2,249 1,593

Total 52,642 56,680

5.4 W rite-d o w n of Assets

Financial assets Receivables 139 27

N on-financial assets Land and buildings 110 0

Infrastructure, plant and equipm ent 1,588 3,500

Inventories 12 227

Intangibles 260 202

Total 1,970 3,929

A dm inistered

Financial assets Receivables - other 10 233

N on-financial assets Inventories 21 18

5.5 Losses fro m Sales of A ssets

N on-financial assets Land and buildings Infrastructure, plant and equipment Total

46 125

325____________ 42

371________ 167

1

999-2000 $ ' 0 0 0

1998-1999 $ '0 0 0

5.6 In terest

Loans 883 488

Leases 18 0

Total 901 488

5.7 O ther

Contribution to Australian Greenhouse Office 21,775 6,427

Contribution to W orld M eteorological Organisation 902 1,094

W ind down o f Environment Forest Taskforce 671 0

Total 23,348 7,521

A dm inistered

Compensation and legal expenses 0 245

Ozone protection payments 406 357

Total 406 602

5.8 G rants

A dm inistered

Grants to non-profit institutions 32,769 36,431

Grants to profit making entities 928 928

Grants to other sectors in the Commonwealth 12,829 70,589

Grants to State and Territory governments 231,072 142,408

Grants to local governments 12,164 14,310

Grants to overseas entities 701 1,151

Total 290,463 265,817

1

999-2000 $ ' 0 0 0

1998-1999 $Ό00

6 EXTRAORDINARY ITEMS

Restructuring

There were no significant changes to the role or structure of the Department during the

year.

However the Department took on the responsibility for the National Halon Bank which was transferred from the D epartm ent o f Finance and Adm inistration with effect from

1 July 1999.

The National H alon Bank is a facility located in Tottenham, Melbourne that operates as a centre for the collection, decanting, purification, destruction and long term storage o f halon and other ozone depleting substances.

There has been a change in the accounting policy for restructuring which is detailed in N ote 2.2 and as a consequence there are no actuals in this Note for this restructuring.

Comparatives are for a restructuring o f administrative arrangements which resulted in the Department acquiring responsibility for built heritage and historic shipwrecks on 20 October 1998. In respect o f the functions acquired, the following assets and liabilities were transferred to the D epartm ent from the Department of Communications,

Information Technology and the Arts.

Assets Acquired Infrastructure, plant and equipment ____________ 0_____________ 8_

£ ___________ 144_

0__________ (136)

Liabilities Acquired Provisions and payables - employees N et liabilities acquired

1

999-2000 1998-1999 S'000 $Ό00

7 FINANCIAL ASSETS

7.1 R eceivables

Appropriations 0 11,770

Goods and services 8,493 3,469

less Provision for doubtful debts 148 10

Total 8,345 15,229

Age analysis o f receivables Not overdue 5,533 14,614

Overdue less than 30 days 1,623 350

Overdue 30 to 60 days 676 229

Overdue 60 to 90 days 358 36

Overdue m ore than 90 days 303 10

Total 8,493 15,239

A d m inistered

Appropriations 827,708 0

Loans to State and Territory governments 68 74

Goods and services 1,388 330

less Provision for doubtful debts 45 37

Other 177 218

less Provision for doubtful debts 1 2

Total 829,295 583 1

Age analysis o f receivables Not overdue 827,866 409

Overdue less than 30 days 1,059 55

Overdue 30 to 60 days 244 31

Overdue 60 to 90 days 11 88

Overdue m ore than 90 days 161 39

Total 829,341 622

1999-2000 1998-1999 $'000 $'000

7.2 A ccru ed R evenues

Goods and services 210 268

Interest 235 0

Total 445 268

A dm inistered

Goods and services 1,146 1,294

Interest 60,150 278

Total 61,296 1,572

7.3 Investm ents

A dm inistered

4,835 86,152 9,917

4,835 86,152 9,917

100,904 100,904

Australian Heritage Commission Director o f National Parks and Wildlife Great Barrier Reef M arine Park A uthority _

Total _

The principal activities o f each of the above are as follows.

Australian Heritage Commission - contributes to identifying, valuing and conserving heritage places through advising the Government on national estate matters, compiling an inventory of national estate places throughout Australia with natural and cultural heritage values and encouraging com m unity appreciation an d concern for the national estate.]

D irector o f National Parks and Wildlife - promotes the conservation and appreciation of w ildlife and Commonwealth protected areas.

Great Barrier R eef M arine Park A uthority - is responsible for the care and development iof the G reat Barrier R eef Marine Park and is the Commonwealth agency responsible for the conservation and preservation of the w orld heritage values associated with the Great

Barrier Reef.

8

N O N -F IN ANCIAL A SSETS

8.1 L a n d a n d Buildings

Land - at cost ·

Land - at 30 June 1994 valuation Land - at 1 July 1998 valuation Land - at 30 June 1999 valuation Land - at 1 July 1999 valuation Total Land

Buildings - at cost Less Accumulated depreciation

Buildings - at 30 June 1994 valuation Less Accumulated depreciation

Buildings - at 30 June 1996 valuation Less Accum ulated depreciation

Buildings - at 30 June 1998 valuation Less Accum ulated depreciation

Buildings - at 1 July 1998 valuation Less Accum ulated depreciation

Buildings - at 30 June 1999 valuation Less Accum ulated depreciation

Buildings - at 1 July 1999 valuation Less Accum ulated depreciation

Total B uildings

1999-2000 1998-1999 $'000 $'000

276 142

0 952

2,395 3,957

1,412 0

1,193 0

5,276 5,051

15,392 8,237

2,361 810

13,031 7,427

0 3,200

0 381

0 2,819

0 5,597

0 738

0 4,859

0 139,243

0 9,875

0 129,368

75,756 78,089

34,252 29,136

41,504 48,953

141,481 0

20,129 0

121,352 0

7,941 0

1,265 0

6,676 0

182,563 193,426

187,839 Total L a n d and Buildings 198,477

19

99-2000 1998-1999 $'000 S’000

8.2 In fra s tru c tu re , P la n t and E q u ip m e n t

Plant and Equipment - at cost 63,777 56,128

Less Accum ulated depreciation 8,974 18,158

54,803 37,970

Plant and Equipment - at 30 June 1994 valuation 0 11,166

Less Accumulated depreciation 0 10,472

0 694

Plant and Equipment - at 1 July 1996 valuation 0 '30,391

Less Accumulated depreciation 0 21,647

0 ' 8,744

Plant and Equipment - at 30 June 1998 valuation 0 26,624

Less Accumulated depreciation 0 4,247

0 22,377

Plant and Equipment - at 1 July 1998 valuation 192,276 195,308

Less Accumulated depreciation 107,584 91,844

84,692 103,464

Plant and Equipment - at 30 June 1999 valuation 26,586 0

Less Accumulated depreciation 8,533 0

18,053 0

Plant and Equipment - at 1 July 1999 valuation 1,430 0

Less Accumulated depreciation 339 0

1,091 0

Plant and Equipment - at 30 June 2000 valuation 44,860 0

Less Accumulated depreciation 20,398 0

24,462 0

Total In fra stru c tu re , P la n t and E q uipm ent 183,101 173,249

[A dm inistered

P la n t a n d E quipm ent

Heritage Plant and Equipm ent - at 30 June 1998 valuation i,211 1,271

8

.3 In tan g ib les

Purchased Computer Softw are - at cost Less Accum ulated amortisation

Purchased Computer Software - 30 June 1998 valuation Less Accum ulated amortisation

Purchased Computer Softw are -1 July 1998 valuation Less Accum ulated amortisation

Purchased Computer Softw are - 30 June 1999 valuation Less Accum ulated amortisation

Developed Computer Softw are - at cost Less A ccum ulated amortisation

Developed Computer Softw are - at 30 June 1998 valuation Less Accum ulated amortisation

Developed Computer Softw are - at 30 June 2000 valuation Less Accum ulated amortisation

Patents, B rand names and Licences - at cost Less Accum ulated amortisation

1999-2000 1998-1999 $'000 $'000

4,924 2,376

1,351 779

3,573 1,597

0 7

0 0

0 7

1,214 1,214

972 649

242 565

784 0

167 0

617 0

4,958 3,733

1,742 824

3,216 2,909

0 764

0 77

0 687

4,859 0

2,957 0

1,902 0

2,741 2,712

2,448 2,169

293 543

9,843 6,308 Total In tan g ib les

8.4

Analysis of Property, Plant, Equipment and Intangibles

8.4 (a) Movement Summary for all Assets (irrespective of valuation basis)

Item

Other

Total Land Infrastructure, and Plant and Computer

Land Buildings Buildings Equipment Software

$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000

Other

Intangibles $'000

Total

Intangibles $'000

Gross value as at 1 July 1999 5,051 234,366 239,417 319,619 8,092 2,712

Acquisition of replacement assets 134 5,682 5,816 32,951 3,995 24

Revaluations 241 (856) (615) 7,584 4,859 0

Assets transferred in 1,412 1,817 3,229 765 0 0

Disposals (1,562) (2,334) (3,896) (15,840) 0 0

Write offs 0 (124) (124) (11,496) (261) 0

Other movements 0 2,019 2,019 (4,654) 54 5

Gross value as at 30 June 2000 5,276 240,570 245,846 328,929 16,739 2,741

10,804 4,019 4,859 0

0

(261) 59

19,480

Accumulated depreciation/amortisation as at 1 July 1999 Depreciation/amortisation for assets held at 1 July 1999

Depreciation/amortisation for additions Adjustment for revaluations Assets transferred in Depreciation/amortisation for disposals

0 40,940 40,940 146,370 2,327

0 16,989 16,989 31,120 1,837

0 97 97 2,186 223

0 (18) (18) (6,742) 2,957

0 97 97 14 0

0 (331) (331) (12,077) 0

Depreciation/amortisation for write-offs Adjustment for other movements Accumulated depreciation/ amortisation as at 30 June 2000 Net book value as at 30 June 2000 Net book value as at 1 July 1999

0 (26) (26) (10,252) (4)

0_________ 259_________ 259__________ (4,791)________ (151)

0 58,007 58.007_________ 145,828________7,189

5,276 182,563 " 187,839 183,101 9,550

5,051 193,426 198,477 ” 173,249 5,765

2,169 4,496

188 2,025

1 224

0 2,957

0 0

0 0

0 (4)

90 (61)

2,448________9,637

293 9,843

543 6,308

Total $'000

569,840 42,786 11,828 3,994 (19,736)

(11,881) (2,576) 594,255

191,806

50,134 2,507 (3,803) 111 (12,408)

(10,282)

(4,593)

213,472 380,783 378,034

Total $’000

1,984 0 1,984 496,512

111 0 111 169,069

1,257 0 1,257 327,443

T

otal $'000

8.4 (d) B asis of valuation

Following are details o f the valuer, the m ethod of valuation, and the date o f valuation for the assets included in the table at 8.4(b) above:

Land Valuer Method Dates

Australian Valuation Office M arket value 30 June 1994, 1 July 1998, 30 June 1999 and 1 July 1999

Buildings Valuer Method Date

A ustralian Valuation O ffice Depreciated replacem ent cost 30 June 1994, 1 July 1998, 30 June 1999 and 1 July 1999

Valuer Method Date

A ustralian Valuation Office M arket value 30 June 1996 and 30 June 1998

Valuer Method Date

Rushton Group Depreciated replacement cost 30 June 1999

O ther in fra stru c tu re , p la n t and equipm ent Valuer Australian Valuation Office

Method Date

Depreciated replacement cost 30 June 1994, 1 July 1998, 30 June 1999, 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2000

Valuer Method Date

Australian Valuation Office M arket value 1 July 1996 and 30 June 1998

Valuer Method Date

Rushton Group Depreciated replacement cost 30 June 1999

Intangibles Valuer Method Date

Australian Valuation Office M arket value 30 June 1998

Valuer Method Date

Australian Valuation Office Depreciated replacement cost 1 July 1998, 30 June 1999 and 30 June 2000

1999-2000 $'000

1998-1999 $ '0 0 0

8.4 (d) B asis of valu atio n (continued)

A dm inistered

O ther in fra stru c tu re , p la n t and e q u ip m en t Valuer Australian Valuation Office

Method Depreciated replacem ent cost

Date 30 June 1998

8.5 In v en to ries

Inventories held for sale Inventories n o t held for sale less Provision for obsolescence

825

17,182 154

622

14,349 227

17,853 14,744

A dm inistered

Inventories held for sale 88 96

Inventories not held for sale

323 83

less Provision for obsolescence

21 19

390 160

8.6 O th er

Prepayments

8,520_________ 6,751

A dm inistered

Prepayments

24___ 67

8.7 Assets N o t Recognised

Meteorological intellectual property has not been recognised due to difficulties in the application o f the control criteria. Most o f the meteorological intellectual property is governed by provisions o f international treaties or policies on public ownership of meteorological information and therefore brings into doubt w hether the asset recognition

criteria are met.

1999-2000 S'000

1998-1999 5Ό00

9 D EBT

9.1 Loans

Loans from Govemmenl _______ 11)220_________11,800

Loan m aturity schedule Payable within one year 1,479 1,401

Payable within one to two years 2,382 1,479

Payable within two to five years 4,294 4,946

Payable later than five years 3,065 3,974

9.2 Leases

11,220 11,800

Finance Lease Commitments Not later than one year 56 0

Later than one year and not later than two years 58 0

Later than two years and not later than five years 73 0

Later than five years 0 0

Minimum lease payments 187 0

Deduct: future finance charges 34 0

Lease liability 153 0

Lease liability is represented by:

Current 41 0

Non-current 112 0

153 0

9.3 O th e r

Lease incentive

10 P R O V IS IO N S AND PAYABLE S

1,116 0

10.1 E m ployees

Salaries and wages 5,118 3,226

Leave - 61,104 53,761

Superannuation 8,066 0

Separation and redundancy 788 0

Other 12 95

Total 75,088 57,082

1

999-2000 S'000

1998-1999 $'000

10.2 Suppliers

Trade creditors Operating lease rentals Total

7,431 183

5,505 0

7,614 5,505

A dm inistered

Trade creditors 635 96

10.3 Other

Interest payable Unearned revenue Total

651

5,510

488 0

6,161 488

A d m in istered

Claims for damages/costs 639 637

10.4 Grants

[A dm inistered

Non-profit institutions Profit m aking entities Commonwealth entities State and Territory governments

Local governments Overseas entities Total

2,718 22,474

0 928

561 1,759

9,889 64,999

110 10,596

0 416

13,278________101,172

1

1 E Q U IT Y

Balance at 1 July 1999 Operating result N et revaluation increases Equity Appropriation

Capital Use Charge Other movements * Balance at 30 June 2000

A ccum ulated results A sset revaluation 1999-2000 1998-1999 1999-2000 1998-1999 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000

142,111 195,997 186,426 109,812

41,811 (53,886) 0 0

0 0 16,047 76,614

4,531 0 0 0

(32,350) 0 0 0

(6,181) 0 0 0

149,922 142,111 202,473 186,426

C ap ital T o tal equity

1999-2000 1998-1999 1999-2000 1998-1999

$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000

11,770 0 340,307 305,809

0 0 41,811 (53,886)

0 0 16,047 76,614

9,906 11,770 14,437 11,770

0 0 (32,350) 0

_________0___________0 (6,181)__________ 0_

21,676 11,770 374,071 340,307

1999-2000 S'000

12 C A S H FLO W R E C O N C IL IA T IO N

Reconciliation o f operating surplus to net cash provided by operating activities:

1998-1999 $'000

Operating surplus / (deficit) 41,811 (53,750)

Extraordinary item - restructuring 0 (136)

Net surplus / (deficit) 41,811 (53,886)

Profit on disposal of current assets (2,538) (149)

Depreciation / Amortisation 52,642 56,680

Loss on sale o f non-current assets 1,620 167

Asset adjustments 860 12,885

Interest expense capitalised 51 0

(Increase) / decrease in receivables 372 (2,765)

(Increase) / decrease in inventories (3,451) 160

(Increase) / decrease in accrued revenue (144) (39)

(Increase) / decrease in prepayments (1,615) 2,903

Increase / (decrease) in debt liabilities 0 11,800

Increase / (decrease) in employee liabilities 10,527 3,723

Increase / (decrease) in suppliers liabilities 749 (1,079)

Increase / (decrease) in other liabilities 5,422 (629)

Net cash provided by operating activities 106,306 29,772

A dm in istered

Reconciliation o f net contribution to budget outcomes to net cash provided by operating activities:

Net cost to budget outcome (99,091) (190,302)

Cash to Official Public Account from operations (23,688) (26.194)

Net surplus / (deficit) (122,779) (216,496)

(Increase) / decrease in receivables (828,719) 992

(Increase) / decrease in inventories (230) (88)

(Increase) / decrease in accrued revenue (59,723) (293)

(Increase) / decrease in prepayments 45 78

Increase / (decrease) in grant liabilities (4,100) 74,763

Increase / (decrease) in trade creditors 539 0

Increase / (decrease) in other provisions and payables 0 (363)

Net cash from operating activities (1,014,967) (141,407)1

1

1

3 APPROPRIATIONS

13.1 Agency a p p ro p riatio n s

Annual appropriations for Departmental items (price of outputs)

1999-2000 S

Balance available at 1 July 1999 0

Add: A ppropriation Acts No 1 and 3 credits . Section 6 - A ct 1 - basic appropriations 390,613,000

. Section 6 - A c t 3 - basic appropriations 7,890,000

. Section 9 - Adjustments 0

. Section 10 - Advance to the Finance Minister 0

. Section 11 - Comcover receipts 190,000

Add: Financial Management and Accountability A ct 1997 . Section 30 appropriations 2,698,958

. Section 31 appropriations 46,352,792

Total appropriations available fo r the year 447,744,750

Less Expenditures during the year 391,466,393

Balance o f appropriations for outputs at 30 June 2000 56,278,357

Annual appropriations for Departmental non-revenue items

Balance available at 1 July 1999 Add: A ppropriation Act No 2 Add: A dvance to the Finance Minister Add: A ppropriation Act No 4 Total appropriation available for the year Less Expenditure debited during the year Balance o f appropriations for capital at 30 June 2000

Loans C arry o v ers

1999-2000 1999-2000 $ $

0 0

770,000 11,770,000 0 0

0 9,906,000

770,000 21,676,000 607,695 21,676,000 162,305 0

1

3,2 Administered appropriations

A dm inistered S ta te Paym ent Expenses Items

A p p ropriation A p p ro p ria tio n Act No 1 A ct No 2

1999-2000 $

1999-2000

O utcom e 1 - E n v iro n m en t

$

Balance available at 1 July 1999 0 0

Add: Appropriation Acts N o 1 and 2 . Basic appropriations specified Acts 1 and 2 136,739,000 10,653,000

. Basic appropriations specified Acts 3 and 4 540,000 0

. Section 10 - Advance to the Finance M inister 0 0

. Section 1 1 - Comcover receipts 0 0

Add: F inancial Management and Accountability Act 1997 . Section 30 appropriations 1,369,260 0

. Section 31 appropriations 0 0

Total appropriations available for the year 138,648,260 10,653,000

Less Expenditure debited during the year 137,280,037 9,746.930

Balance unspent 1,368,223 906,070

Less Appropriations lapsing 1,149,969 906,070

Balance o f appropriations at 30 June 2000 218,254 0

O utcom e 3 - A ntarctic Balance available at 1 July 1999 0 0

Add: Appropriation Acts N o 1 and 2 . Basic appropriations specified Acts 1 and 2 570,000 0

. Basic appropriations specified Acts 3 and 4 0 0

. Section 10 - Advance to the Finance M inister 0 0

, Section 11 - Comcover receipts 0 0

Add: Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

. Section 30 appropriations 0 0

. Section 31 appropriations 0 0

Total appropriations available for the year 570,000 0

Less Expenditure debited during the year 566,000 0

Balance unspent 4,000 G

Less Appropriations lapsing 4,000 0

Balance o f appropriations at 30 June 2000 0 0

Special Appropriations (unlimited) for administered items

Budget Actual

1999-2000 1999-2000 S $

480,000 707,484 Ozone Protection Act 1989

1

999-2000 1998-1999

A ctual Actual

$ $

Special accounts comprise part o f the Department's reporting entity.

E nvironm ent - Federation F u n d Reserve

Legal A uthority - Financial M anagement and Accountability A c t 1 9 9 7 , Section 20

13.3 Special Accounts

Operating Activities*

Opening balance at 1 July 311,500 0

Add: receipts 0 93,200,000

Add: realisation of investments 90,000,000

90,311,500

0

93,200,000

Less: expenditure 15,870,000 2,888,500

Less: purchase of investments 0 90,000,000

Balance at 30 June 74,441,500 311,500

Investment activities

Opening investm ent balance at 1 July 90,000,000 0

Add: purchase o f investments 0

90,000,000

90.000. 000 90.000. 000

Less: realisation of investments 90,000,000 0

Closing investm ent balance at 30 June 0 90,000,000

Balance Cash 0 311,500

Receivables 74,441,500 0

Investments 0 90,000,000

Balance at 30 June 74,441,500 90,311,500

* In 1998-99, prior to the creation of this Fund, the Department expended $5 m illion from the D epartm ent of the Prime Minister and Cabinet administered Federation Fund on a cultural heritage Federation project.

.

1999-2000 1998-1999

A ctual Actual

• $ $

N atural H e rita g e T ru s t o f A ustralia R eserve

Legal A uthority - Natural Heritage Trust o f Australia Act 1 9 9 7 , Section 4

13.3 Special Accounts (continued)

Operating Activities

Opening balance at 1 July 3,469,814 9,373

Add: receipts from appropriations 128,066,000 0

Add: receipts from other sources 362,231 2,815,406

Add: realisation of investments 920,000,000 1,155,550,000

1,051,898,045 1,158,374,779

Less: expenditure 300,017,254 234,904,965

Less: purchase of investments 0 920,000,000

Balance at 30 June 751,880,791 3,469,814

Investment activities

Opening investm ent balance at 1 July 920,000,000 1,155,550,000

Add: purchase o f investments 0 920,000,000

920,000,000 2,075,550,000

Less: realisation of investments 920,000,000 1,155,550,000

Closing investm ent balance at 30 June 0 920,000,000

Balance Cash 2,180,563 3,469,814

Receivables 749,700,228 0

Investments 0 920,000,000

Balance at 30 June 751,880,791 923,469,814

Ozone P ro te c tio n Reserve

Legal A uthority - Ozone Protection A ct 1989, Section 65B

Ooeratins Activities

Opening balance at 1 July 1,084,563 9,029

Add: receipts from appropriations 707,484 648,863

Add: realisation of investments 0 790,000

1,792,047 1,447,892

Less: expenditure 406,060 363,329

Balance at 30 June 1,385,987 1,084,563

1

999-2000 1998-1999

Actual Actual

13.3 S pecial Accounts (continued)

$ $

Investment activities Opening investm ent balance at 1 July 0 790,000

Less: R ealisation of investments 0 790,000

Closing investm ent balance at 30 June 0 0

Balance Cash 0 1,084,563

Receivables 1,385,987 0

Investments 0 0

Balance at 30 June

13.4 Special Public Moneys

1,385,987 1,084,563

Special Public Moneys are trust account in n ature and do not comprise part o f the Department's reporting entity.

A ustralian a n d New Z ealand Environm ent a n d C onservation Council F u n d T ru s t Account

Legal A uthority - Financial Management and Accountability A c t 1997, Section 20

Operating Activities

Opening b alance at 1 July Add: receipts from appropriations Add: receipts from other sources Add: realisation of investments

Less: expenditure Balance at 30 June

Investment activities

Opening investm ent balance at 1 July Less: realisation of investments Closing investm ent balance at 30 June

113,061 1,674

0 73,000

8,806 13,776

0 540,000

121,867 628,450

43,295 515,389

78,572 113,061

0 540,000

0 540,000

0 0

1999-2000 1998-1999 Actual Actual

$ $

E nvironm ent - Services fo r o th er G overnm ents and N on-agency Bodies R eserve

Legal A uthority - Financial M anagem ent and Accountability A c t 1997, Section 20

Operating Activities

13.4 Special Public Moneys (continued)

Opening balance at 1 July 3,097,481 8,677

Add: receipts 982,623 37,783,377

Add: realisation of investments 0 4,320,000

4,080,104 42,112,054

Less: expenditure 735,684 39,014,573

Balance at 30 June 3,344,420 3,097,481

O ther T ru s t M oneys R eserve

Legal A uthority - Financial M anagem ent and Accountability A c t 1997, Section 20

Operating activities

Opening balance at 1 July 5,908 2,514

Add: receipts 76,149 914,686

Add: realisation of investments 0 20,000

82,057 937,200

Less: expenditure 71,414 931,292

Balance at 30 June 10,643 5,908

1

4 R E P O R T IN G BY O U TC O M ES

14.1 Reporting by Outcomes

Outcome 1 Outcome! Outcomes Total

B udget A ctual B udget A ctual B udget A ctual B udget A ctual

$ '000 $ '000 $'000 $'000 $ '000 $'000 $ '000 $'000

Net grants expenses 34,871 289,897 0 0 570 566 35,441 290,463

Other administered expenses ' 325,394______39,484 25________ 9_______ 0__________ 0 325,419_____ 39,493

Total net administered expenses 360,265 329,381 25 9 570 566 360,860 329,956

Add: net cost of entity outputs 119,834 106,886 165,550 172,825 77,040 78,321 362,424 358,032

N et cost to B udget O utcom e 480,099 436,267 165,575 172,834 77,610 78,887 723,284 687,988

Total assets deployed as at 30 June 789,810 1,060,591 167,258 238,855 155,794 171,783 1,112,862 1,471,229

N et assets deployed as at 30 June 759,749 1,005,757 122,448 181,383 150,310 165,571 1,032,507 1,352,711

1

4.2 M a jo r Agency R evenues and E xpenses by O utcom e

Outcom e 1 Outcome 2 O utcom e 3

A ctual Actual Actual

$'000 S'000 $'000

Major expenses

Employees 56,480 98,797 23,413

Suppliers 47,227 58,061 41,949

Depreciation 5,411 31,484 15,747

Contribution to Australian Greenhouse Office 21,775 0 0

Major sources of revenues other than from government

Sale o f goods and services 23,386 16,356 2,384

14.3 M a jo r A dm inistered R evenues a n d Expenses by O u tco m e

Major expenses

Grants

Suppliers

Major sources of revenues other than from government Interest .

Fees and fines

Sales of goods and services

289,897

39,056

60,160

6,333

0

0

0

15,950

1

999-2000 $'000

1 9 9 8 - 1 9 9 9

S ' 0 0 0

15 J O IN T VEN TU RE O P E R A T IO N

The B ureau o f Meteorology has entered into a joint venture operation arrangement to establish and operate in cooperation with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation a H ig h Performance Computing and Communications Centre.

The B ureau o f Meteorology has a 50% participating interest in the joint venture operation.

The B ureau o f Meteorology's share of the assets employed in the joint venture operation is included in the Balance S heet as follows.

Infrastructure, plant and equipm ent 6,165 6,355

16 E X E C U T IV E R E M U N E R A T IO N

The num ber o f Executives w ho received or w ere due to receive total remuneration of $100,000 or more:

1999-2000 1998-1999 Number Number

$100,000 to $110,000 2 5

$110,001 to $120,000 9 1

$120,001 to $130,000 1 ' 2

$130,001 to $140,000 3 16

$140,001 to $150,000 9 5

$150,001 to $160,000 5 0

$160,001 to $170,000 6 4

$170,001 to $180,000 3 1

$180,001 to $190,000 ’ 0 5

$190,001 to $200,000 4 1

$210,001 to $220,000 1 2

$220,001 to $230,000 1 1

$230,001 to $240,000 1 0

5240,001 to $250,000 0 2

$270,001 to $280,000 0 1

$290,001 to $300,000 1 0

$310,001 to $320,000 1 0

16

E X E C U T IV E R EM U N E R A T IO N (continued)

The aggregate amount of total remuneration of executive officers shown above:

1999-2000 1998-1999 $'000 $'000

7,129,365 7,029,956

The aggregate amount of separation and redundancy payments during the year to executive officers shown above______ 181,589_______ 271,494

17 SE R V IC E S PRO V ID ED BY TH E A U D ITO R -G EN ER A L

Financial statem ent audit services are provided free of charge to the Department. The fair value of the audit services provided was: 396,277_______ 300,000

Administered:

Audit of the Natural Heritage Trust o f Australia financial statements 38,000________ 38,000

18 A C T O F G RA CE PA Y M EN TS, W AIVERS AND D E FE C T IV E A D M IN IST R A T IO N S C H E M E

No act o f Grace payments were m ade in 1999-2000 and 1998-1999.

No waivers o f amounts owing to the Commonwealth w ere made pursuant to subsection 34(1) of the Financial Management and Accountability A ct 1997 in 1999-2000 and 1998-1999.

No payments were made under the Defective Administration Scheme in 1999-2000 and 1998-1999.

19 A V ER A G E STAFFING LEV ELS

1999-2000 1998-1999 N um ber Number

Average staffing levels for the Department 2,554 2,556

N

ature of Underlying Instrument

Moneys in the Department's bank accounts are swept into the Official Public Account nightly and interest is earned on the daily balance at rates based on m oney market call rates. Interest is paid quarterly. The

Department invests money in term deposits with the Reserve Bank o f Australia. Interest is paid on maturity o f each deposit. Rates have averaged 6% for the year.

The majority o f receivables are with entities external to the Commonwealth. Credit terms are generally net 30 days.

Loans are made pursuant to legislation. No security is required. Principle is repaid in full at maturity. Interest rates are fixed. Effective interest rates range from 9.0% to 14.4%. Interest payments are due on the last day o f July and January each financial year.

2

0,1 T erm s, C onditions a n d A ccounting Policies (continued)

F inancial In stru m e n t Notes A ccounting Policies and M ethods

Accrued revenue

F in a n c i a l L ia b ilitie s

Debt - Loans

Finance leases

Trade Creditors

7.2 Accrued revenue is recognised at the nominal amounts due.

9.1

Financial liabilities are recognised when a present obligation to another party is entered into and the amount o f the liability can be reliably measured.

Loans are recognised at the amounts borrowed. Interest is credited to expenses when paid.

9.2 Liabilities are recognised at the present value o f the minimum lease payments at the beginning o f the lease. The discount rates used are estimates o f the interest rates implicit in the leases.

10.2 Creditors and accruals are recognised at their nominal amounts, being the amounts at which the liabilities will be settled. Liabilities are recognised to the extent that the goods or services have been received (and irrespective o f having been invoiced).

Multi-year grants to State and Territory governments and other grants are recognised as liabilities and expensed in the year in which the grant agreements

are made.

N atu re of U nderlying In stru m e n t_______

Accrued revenue for goods and services as for leceivables. Accrued revenue for interest as for cash. Also interest is accrued on the 30th June balance o f the Natural Heritage Trust o f Australia Reserve at the rate

specified in the Natural Heritage Trust o f Australia Act 1997.

Loans are m ade from Government. No security is required. Principle is repaid in frill at maturity. Interest rates are subject to review each year based on the 10 year bond rate. Current interest rates range from

6.24% to 6,35%. _______________ ■ __________

At reporting date the Department had finance leases with terms averaging 4 years and a maximum term o f 4 years. The interest rate implicit in the leases is 12.5%. The lease assets secure the lease liabilities.____________

The majority o f creditors are entities that are not part ol the Commonwealth legal entity.

The Department administers grants, which in some cases involves payments over more than one financial year.

2

0,3 Net F a ir V alues of F in a n c ia l Assets and Liabilities

1999-2000 1998-1999

T otal A ggregate Total Aggregate

carrying net fa ir carrying net fair

N otes am ount value amount value

S'000 $'000 $'000 $'000

Financial A ssets Cash 62,091 62,091 156 156

Receivables 7.1 8,345 8,345 15,229 15,229

Accrued revenue 7.2 445 445 268 268

T otal F in a n c ia l Assets 70,881 70,881 15,653 15,653

Financial L iabilities Debt - Loans 9.1 11,220 11,220 11,800 11,800

Trade Creditors 10.2 7,431 7,431 5,241 5,241

Finance leases 9.2 153 153 0 0

Total F in an cial Liabilities 18,804 18,804 17,041 17,041

A dm inistered Financial A ssets Cash Receivables Investments Accrued revenue

7.1 7.3 7.2

12

829,295 100,904 61,295

12

829,295 100,904 61,295

1,014,973 583 100,904 1,572

1,014,973 583 100,904 1,572

T otal F in an cial Assets 991,506 991,506 1,118,032 1,118,032

Financial L iabilities Trade creditors 10.2 635 635 96 96

Grant liabilities 10.4 13,278 13,278 101,172 101,172

T otal F in an cial Liabilities 13,913 13,913 101,172 101,172

20.4 C red it R isk Exposures

The Department's maximum exposures to credit risk at reporting date in relation to each class of recognised financial assets is the carrying amount o f those assets as indicated in the Balance Sheet and Statement o f Administered A ssets and Liabilities.

The Departm ent has no significant exposures to any concentrations o f credit risk.

All figures for credit risk referred to do not take into account the value of any collateral or other security.

Note 21 R evision and Re-Issue, o f Financial Statem ents

The Departm ent produced signed financial statements for 1999-2000 on 29 August 2000 and an audit report thereon was issued on 30 August 2000. These documents formed part of the Department’s Annual Report, which was tabled in Parliament on 12 October 2000. The financial statements have now been revised and reissued for the reason set out below.

The financial statements o f the Department include the operations of the Natural Heritage Trust o f A ustralia (NHT) Account, which are reflected as administered transactions and balances w ithin the financial statements.

Sub-section 6(2) of the N atural Heritage Trust o f Australia A ct 1997 requires that within 28 days after the end of a financial year, there is to be transferred to the NHT Account from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, in respect o f the financial year, an amount equal to the fixed- income percentage of the uninvested money in the Account as at the end of the financial year.

In the financial statements dated 29 August 2000, the interest amount ($174,000) was calculated w ith reference to the balance o f the Environment Australia NHT bank account.

Subsequently, advice received from the Australian Government Solicitor and the Department of Finance and Administration has determined that ‘uninvested’ money represents the balance of the NHT Account held as part o f the Official Public Account (OPA), to the extent that it is not invested in accordance with Section 39 o f the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, as well as any balance o f funds in the Environment Australia NHT bank account.

Accordingly, the earlier financial statements have been revised and re-issued. These revised and re-issued financial statements include interest receivable as at 30 June 2000 o f $60,150,000, which has been calculated on the balance o f the NHT Account.

I

1

R E P O R T S

T

HE OPERATION OF THE OZONE PROTECTION ACT 1989

In accordance with section 68 of the Ozone Protection Act 1989 (the Act), this report covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 1999 until 30 June 2000. The main purpose of the Ozone Protection Act is to implement the provisions of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, adopted on 22 March 1985, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, adopted on 16 September 1987 and amended in 1990, 1992,

1995 and 1997.

For the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000 the main elements of the control system under the Act for ozone-depleting substances were:

• administration and enforcement of the licence system controlling the manufacture, import and export of chlorofluorocarbons, halons, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide; and

• administration of the exemption system controlling the manufacture or import of certain ozone-depleting substance-based products and equipment for which practical alternatives are not available in Australia.

The Act is administered by Environment Australia.

M ontreal Protocol

T he Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted as a global framework to enable countries to protect human health and the environment against increasing ultraviolet radiation resulting from depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. Australia ratified the convention in September 1987.

T he Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was established under the Vienna Convention. T he protocol aims to promote international cooperation in developing and implementing specific measures to control the consumption of ozone-depleting substances.

Australia ratified the protocol in May 1989. As at 21 June 2000 there were 176 parties to the Vienna Convention and 175 parties to the Montreal Protocol. T he original Montreal Protocol set limits on controlled substances but did not require their total elimination by any specific date. Subsequent reviews of the protocol established tighter controls on all ozone-depleting substances, and added to the list of controlled substances. A summary of the Montreal Protocol

control measures on ozone-depleting substances is set out in the table below.

230 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

T

he operation of the O zo n e P rotection A c t 1 9 8 9

Ozone-depleting substances Developed countries Developing countries

chlorofluorocarbons phased out end of 1995a total phase out by 2010

halons phased out end of 1993 total phase out by 2010

carbon tetrachloride phased out end of 1995a total phase out by 2010

methyl chloroform phased out end of 1995a total phase out by 2015

hydrochlorofluorocarbons freeze from beginning of1996b

35 per cent reduction by 2004

65 per cent reduction by 2010

90 per cent reduction by 2015 freeze in 2016 at 2015 base level

total phase out by 2020c total phase out by 2040

hydrobromofluorocarbons phased out end of 1995 phased out end of 1995 methyl bromide freeze in 1995 at 1991

base leveld

25 per cent reduction by 1999

50 per cent reduction by 2001 freeze in 2002 at average 1995-1998 base level

70 per cent reduction by 2003 20 per cent reduction by 2005e

total phase out by 2005 total phase out by 2015

a W ith the exception of a very small number of internationally agreed essential uses that are considered critical to human health and/or laboratory and analytical procedures.

b Based on 1989 hydrochlorofluorocarbon consumption with an extra allowance (ozone-depletion potential weighted) equal to 2.8 per cent of 1989 chlorofluorocarbons consumption,

c Up to 0.5 per cent of base level consumption can be used until 2030 for servicing existing equipment,

d All reductions include an exemption for pre-shipment and quarantine uses,

e Review in 2003 to decide on interim further reductions beyond 2005.

O p eratio n o f th e O zone P ro te c tio n Act

The Ozone Protection Act:

• prohibits the import, export or manufacture of chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and hydrobromofluorocarbons without an essential-uses or used-substances licence;

• establishes a system of controlled-substances licences and reporting requirements for the import, export or manufacture of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide consistent with Australia’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol;

• establishes an Ozone Protection Reserve to allow revenue from the licensing system to be directed towards the cost of its administration, and industry awareness programmes for the phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide; and

• introduces administrative fees for licences issued under the Act, with the fees set under the Ozone Protection Regulations 1995 No. 389.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 231

T

he operation of the O zo n e P rotection A c t 1 9 8 9

• provides for the payment of fees in respect of the importation of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide under controlled-substances licences, with the fees set under the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Regulations 1995 No. 390.

T he Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Regulations Act 1995:

• provides for the payment of fees in respect of the manufacture of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide under licences granted under the Ozone Protection Act.

The Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) A ct 1995:

E n fo rc em e n t

Nine apparent breaches of the Ozone Protection Act were investigated in 1999-2000.

Im p o rt and export licences

Licences granted under the Act are issued within a two-year licence period that is currently 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2001. T he previous licence period was 1 January 1998 to 31 December 1999.

There were 21 licences in force during 1999 as follows:

• 15 controlled-substances licences (12 for hydrochlorofluorocarbons, 3 for methyl bromide);

• 5 essential-use licences (2 for the import of chlorofluorocarbons for the manufacture of metered-dose inhalers for asthma treatment, 3 for the import of small quantities of chlorofluorocarbon-113, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform for essential laboratory purposes); and

• 1 used-substances licence for the import of a limited quantity ofhalon and chlorofluorocarbons for destruction.

There were 18 licences in force during 2000 as follows:

• 14 controlled-substances licences (10 for hydrochlorofluorocarbons, 4 for methyl bromide);

• 2 essential-use licences (for the import of chlorofluorocarbons for the manufacture of metered-dose inhalers for asthma treatment); and

• 2 used-substance licences for the import of a limited quantity of halon for destruction and/or re-use and chlorofluorocarbons, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride for destruction.

C ontrolled substances - hydrochlorofluorocarbon licences and quotas

Australia’s annual importation of hydrochlorofluorocarbons was frozen at 250 ozone-depleting potential tonnes from 1 January 1996, about half the quantity allowed under the Montreal Protocol limits. Controlled-substances licences were issued to 12 importers of hydrochlorofluorocarbons for the licence period 1998-1999. For the 2000-2001 licence period, controlled substances licences were issued to 10 importers of hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

232 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

Rep

orts: Operation of the O zo n e P rotection A c t 1 9 8 9

In accordance with section 26 of the Ozone Protection Act, a quota system for the import of hydrochlorofluorocarbons was introduced on 1 January 1999. Using the formula set out in the Act, the quantity of hydrochlorofluorocarbons that each licensee can import during a quota

period is calculated. In 1999, 12 companies were issued with transferable import quotas totalling 250 ozone-depleting potential tonnes. In 2000, 10 companies were issued with import quotas totalling 220 ozone depleting potential tonnes. This regime will ensure that the Government’s phase-out schedule for hydrochlorofluorocarbons is maintained.

C o n tro lled substances - m eth y l b ro m id e licences

Australia’s annual importation of methyl bromide for purposes other than non-quarantine and pre-shipment uses was frozen at 679 metric tonnes (1991 level) from 1 January 1995. Except for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes, methyl bromide is subject to phase out under the Montreal Protocol. In 1999, imports of methyl bromide subject to phase-out controls totalled 505.52 metric tonnes and imports for quarantine and pre-shipment uses totalled 425.26 metric tonnes.

There were three licences with restricted import limits for methyl bromide in force during 1998-1999 and four are in force for the period 2000-2001.

Im p o rt exem ptions

Section 40 of the Act allows exemptions from compliance to the Act to be granted by the Minister for the import or manufacture of products containing ozone-depleting substances listed in Schedule 4 of the Act, where they are essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, or where no practical alternatives are available.

In 1999, there were seven exemptions in force allowing seven companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers (asthma puffers) and three exemptions in force for the import of aircraft fire extinguishers containing halon.

In 2000, there were five exemptions in force allowing five pharmaceutical companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers. Four exemptions are in force allowing companies to import aircraft fire extinguishers containing halon. One exemption was issued allowing a company to import a product containing halon and traces of chlorofluorocarbons for the purpose of testing and calibration of equipment.

Licence and activity fees

The Ozone Protection Act provides for a fee to be levied for the grant of a licence. The fee is set by the Ozone Protection Regulations 1995 at the following levels:

Type of licence Fee

controlled substances (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) $10 000

controlled substances (methyl bromide) $10 000

used substances $10 000

essential uses $2 000

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 233

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he operation of the O zo n e P rotection A c t 1 9 8 9

Activity fees on import activity under a controlled-substances licence are levied each quarter under the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Act according to the quantity and ozone-depletion potential of hydrochlorofluorocarbons imported or manufactured, or the

quantity of methyl bromide imported or manufactured. The level of activity fees is set by the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees-Imports) Regulations at the level estimated to be the cost to the Commonwealth of administering the ozone protection legislation and management programmes associated with the phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide. The fees in 1999-2000 were as follows:

Licence activities Fee

hydrochlorofluorocarbons import $2000 per ozone-depleting potential tonne

methyl bromide import $90 per metric tonne

T h e O zone P ro te c tio n R eserve

T he Ozone Protection Reserve was established by the 1995 amendments to the Ozone Protection Act. The purpose of the reserve is to reimburse the Commonwealth for the costs associated with:

• furthering the hydrochlorofluorocarbon and methyl bromide phase-out programmes;

• providing information about those programmes; and

• administering of the licensing and quota systems established by the Act.

An industry advisory body was established in June 1997 to advise the Minister on priorities for expenditure from the reserve. The period of committee membership expired on 31 December 1999. Under its terms of reference, at least half of the members of this committee are to be replaced after three years. Environment Australia is preparing advice on the future composition of this body. The industry experts from this body assist Environment Australia in determining which Australian industry sectors are most likely to be affected by the phase-out schedule for

hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide.

The following projects received funding during 1999-2000:

PROJECTS F U N D E D FROM TH E O Z O N E P R O TE C TIO N RESERVE

Approved projects

Ozone Protection Reserve expenditure ($) Total budget ($)

methyl bromide national communication strategy 43 400 124 340

field trials into the application of methyl bromide-alternative soil fumigants 171 400 603 450

hydrochlorofluorocarbon voluntary industry agreement limiting imports in 1998, Australian Competition and Consumer Council authorisation fees 7 500 7 500

Total 222 300 735 290

234 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he operation of the O zo n e P rote ction A c t 1 9 8 9

C ost recovery

After an amendment to the Ozone Protection Act came into force on 1 January 1995, an improved cost-recovery mechanism was implemented. It is expected that the revenue raised from licence fees will facilitate full cost recovery. An amount equal to the revenue collected from 1 July 1999 has been transferred from consolidated revenue to the Ozone Protection

Reserve. The fees received during 1999-2000 were as follows:

OZO NE PR O TE C TIO N RESERVE RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURE 1999-2000

Reserve R eceipts

Licence and activity fees

hydrochlorofluorocarbon licence fees $100 000

essential uses licence fees $4 000

methyl bromide licence fees $40 000

used substances licence fees $20 000

hydrochlorofluorocarbon activity fees $447 633

methyl bromide activity fees $95 850

Total $707 483

Programmes Expenditure

approved items (grants) $222 300

administration/ advertising $760

salary at 3 ASL* $183 000

Total $406 060

* Government approval was given for the reimbursement from the Ozone Protection Reserve of the salaries of three staff. During 1999-2000 Environment Australia was reimbursed for the cost of one year’s salaries of three ozone protection officers employed during the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000.

F reedom o f in fo rm atio n

One request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 was received.

A dm inistrative Appeals T rib u n al

No applications under section 66 of the Act, for review of a decision made by the Minister, were received by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal during 1999-2000.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 235

T

H E O P E R A T I O N O F T H E H A Z A R D O U S

W A S T E ( R E G U L A T I O N O F E X P O R T S

A N D I M P O R T S ) A C T 1 9 8 9

In accordance with section 61 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989, this report covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 1999 until 30 June 2000.

P u rpose o f th e A ct

The main purpose of the Act is to regulate the export and import of hazardous waste to ensure that exported or imported hazardous waste is disposed of safely so that human beings and the environment, both within and outside Australia, are protected from the harmful

effects of the waste.

The Act was passed to enable Australia to comply with specific obligations under the Basel Convention (Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal) by regulating the export and import of hazardous waste. The original

Act of 1989 only controlled movements of wastes that lacked financial value, usually destined for final disposal operations, mirroring the then understanding of the convention’s scope.

The Act was amended when it subsequently became apparent that the convention also encompassed movements of wastes destined for recycling and recovery of valuable constituents. The Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Amendtnent Act 1996 was passed in June 1996 and entered into force on 12 December 1996. The amendments aligned the scope of the Act with that of the Basel Convention, enabling Australia to meet all its obligations under the

convention. The period 1999-2000 covers the third full year in which the amended legislation has been in force.

T h e Basel C o n v e n tio n

The Basel Convention was developed by the United Nations Environment Programme and adopted on 22 March 1989.

The convention imposes two kinds of obligations on members:

• specifically, to control the export and import of hazardous and other wastes (other wastes being household wastes or incinerator residues), to provide for notification and/or consent, as required by the convention, and to track shipments to environmentally sound disposal; and

• more generally, to minimise the movement and generation of hazardous and other wastes, and to see to their environmentally safe disposal, wherever this occurs.

Australia ratified the convention on 5 February 1992. T he convention came into force on 5 May 1992.

236 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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he operation of the H a z a r d o u s W a ste (R eg u la tio n o f E x p o rts a n d I m p o rts) A c t 1 9 8 9

The fifth meeting of the conference of the parties to the Basel Convention was held in Basel, Switzerland on 6-10 December 1999. The meeting adopted the Protocol on Liability and Compensation. The protocol aims to provide a uniform set of rules to govern the pursuit of claims for damage arising from the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes covered by the Basel Convention. The Australian Government is concerned about the insurance limits set out in the protocol and is currently investigating their implications. This meeting also set out the agenda for the next decade in promoting environmentally sound management of hazardous waste.

Regulations

Regulations made under the amended Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 provide for:

• the setting of fees for permit applications;

• the operation of arrangements under Article 11 of the convention (which allows transboundary movements to take place between parties and non-parties or under modified control procedures); and

• general administrative arrangements required by the Act.

There were no new sets of regulations made in the 1999-2000 reporting period. The existing Waigani Convention Regulations were amended on 8 December 1999 to defer the commencement date. This was to ensure that the regulations do not enter into force before the Waigani Convention itself.

Permits

The Minister granted 17 export and two import permits. Four permits were refused and there were no variations to existing permits. Details of permit applications received, including those not resolved by the end of the reporting year, are presented in the tables below.

Fee income

During the year $25 450 was received in fee income. Fees are set to cover the costs of administration, in line with government policy.

Breaches, enforcement and suspension of permits

There were no prosecutions under the Act. One investigation of a suspected illegal export of hazardous waste under section 38 of the Act started.

There were no ministerial orders issued in accordance with section 38 of the Act. However, monitoring of two ministerial orders that were issued in accordance with section 34 of the Act in 1997-98 continued during the year.

There was no evidence that waste subject to permits was lost or spilled, or that people or the environment were contaminated by it.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 237

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he operation of the H a za r d o u s W aste (R e g u la tio n o f E x p o n s a n d Im p o rts) A c t 1 9 8 9

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

At 30 June 1999 no appeals had been received by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal under section 57 of the Act for a review of a decision made by the Minister.

Freedom of information

There was one application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 for the release of documents regarding a decision to refuse a permit application.

Publications

Under section 33 of the Act particulars of all applications, permits and variations to them were published in the Government Notices Gazette. Information Paper No 2, which industry is using to distinguish wastes from non-wastes under the Act, was updated and is currently being published. A guidance document on the hazardous status of electrical and electronic waste or scrap under the Act was published, and is assisting industry in determining when these materials are considered to be hazardous wastes.

E X P O R T P E R M I T S G R A N T E D B Y T H E M I N I S T E R

F O R T H E E N V I R O N M E N T A N D H E R I T A G E

Applicant

Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit

Type of waste, disposal operation and destination

SaftNife Power Systems Pty Ltd 120 23.07.99-31.12.99 Nickel-cadmium batteries from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal

compounds at Saft Nife AB, S-57201 Oskarshamn, Sweden.

P W T Australasia Pty Ltd 100 19.08.99-30.06.00 Solder dross from Victoria for recycling/

reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Hydrometal SA, Zoning Industrie! D ’Ehein, 8-4490 Engis, Belgium.

Metal Traders International Pty Ltd

500 03.09.99 - 30.04.00 Gun metal dross from Victoria and Western Australia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Siegfried Jacob, Ennepetal, Germany.

Lewer Corporation Pty Ltd 150 03.09.99 - 01.08.00 T in ashes and residues from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia for recycling/reclamation of metals at Hydrometal SA, Engis, Belgium.

Sims Metal Limited 3 000 10.09.99-01.08.00 Fully drained lead-acid batteries from Queensland,

South Australia and Western Australia for recycling/reclamation of lead at Britannia Refined Metal Limited, Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom.

Euromet Australia 500 15.09.99-29.03.00 Spent catalyst from Western Australia for recovery

of components from catalysts at Metrex BV, Sourethweg 13, 6422 PC Heerlen, The Netherlands.

continued

238 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

The operation of the H a z a r d o u s W aste (R egulation o f E x p o rts a n d Im p o rts) A c t 1 9 8 9

E X P O R T P E R M I T S G R A N T E D B Y T H E M I N I S T E R

F O R T H E E N V I R O N M E N T A N D H E R I T A G E

Applicant

Quantity (tonnes)

Period of permit

Type of waste, Disposal operation and destination

Pasminco Metals Pty Ltd - Sales and Marketing 180 05.10.99-31.01.00 Lead bismuth crust residue - alkaline from P ort Pirie for recycling/reclamation of

metals and metal compounds at Sidech SA, rue de la Station 7, B-1491 Tilly, Belgium.

GNB Battery Technologies Limited 15 000 01.12.99-30.11.00 W et used lead-acid batteries and lead scrap from Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or

Perth for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at GNB Technologies Limited (NZ), Wellington, New Zealand.

TREDI Australia Pty Ltd 100 31.12.99- 31.05.00 Nickel-cadmium batteries from N SW for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at SNAM Viviez, BP4 Avenue Jean Jaures, 12110 Viviez, France.

Pasminco Metals Pty Ltd 3 100 15.02.00-31.05.00 Copper and lead middlings dross from N S W for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at UM-BU Precious Metals (Hoboken), Hoboken, Belgium.

Pasminco Limited 1.2 18.04.00-10.04.01 Paragoethite for experimental test work on

recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Heyl & Patterson, 600 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh PA, 15220, USA.

Mount Isa Mines Limited 15 000 04.05.00-30.04.01 Lead dross from Queensland for recycling/ reclamation of metals at Union Miniere, Hoboken, Belgium.

HydroMet Operations Ltd 7.1 14.05.00-31.03.01 Precious metal concentrates for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Union Miniere, Hoboken, Belgium.

Pasminco Metals Pty Ltd 7 000 14.05.00-31.12.00 Lead sulphate leach concentrate for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at UM -BU Precious Metals (Hoboken), Hoboken, Belgium.

Beaver Metals Pty Ltd 250 15.05.00- 31.12.00 Brass dross/skimmings for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Metallic Extractors, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Pasminco Metals Pty Ltd 60 17.06.00-09.03.01 Paragoethite for experimental test work on

recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Pyrometallurgy Division, Mintek, 2000 Hans Strijdom Drive, Randburg 2125, South Africa.

Sims Metal Limited 3 000 22.06.00- 15.06.01 Fully drained lead-acid batteries for recycling/

reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Britannia Refined Metals Limited, Botany Road, N orth Fleet - Gravesend, Kent DA 11 9BG, United Kingdom.

No variations were issued to export permits granted by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 239

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he operation of the H a z a r d o u s W aste (R e g u la tio n o f E x p o rts a n d Im p o rts) A c t 1 9 8 9

E X P O R T P E R M I T S R E F U S E D B Y T H E M I N I S T E R

F O R T H E E N V I R O N M E N T A N D H E R I T A G E

Quantity Date Type of waste, disposal

Applicant (tonnes) refused operation and destination

Nuplex Special 30 000 litres 27.06.99 Waste grinding sludges and oil/water mixes from

Waste Pty Ltd the Philippines to be blended or mixed before

deposit into land, oil/water mixes (also from the Philippines) to be subjected to used oil re-refining or other re-uses of used oil, or used as a fuel.

Beaver Metals Pty Ltd 250 29.09.99 Brass dross/skimmings from New South Wales

for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Metallic Extractors, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd

100 27.10.99 Aluminium dross from Japan for recycling/

reclamation of metals and metal compounds and uses of residual materials obtained from the recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds to Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd, Mitchell Avenue, Weston, NSW, 2326.

Kangs Vine 6 000 27.10.99 Used lead-acid batteries from New South Wales

International Pty Ltd for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal

compounds at Joong-Il Metals Inc, 635-6 Sunggok-Dong, Ansan City, Kyungki-Do, Korea.

IMPORT PERMITS GRANTED BY THE MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE

Quantity Period of Type of waste, disposal

Applicant (tonnes) permit operation and destination

Pasminco Metals Pty Ltd 350 02.02.00 -31.12.00 Zinc ashes and residues from M CK Metals, New Plymouth, New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter, Bullaroo, New South Wales.

Sims Aluminium Pty Ltd 1200 01.06.00 -31.05.01 Aluminium ashes and residues from New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Sims Aluminium, St Marys, New South Wales.

N o import permits were refused by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage.

240 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

The operation of the H a za r d o u s W a ste (R egulation o f E x p o rts a n d Im p o rts) A c t 1 9 8 9

APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BUT N O T RESOLVED BY T H E E N D OF THE YEAR

Applicant

Quantity (tonnes)

Date received and status on 30.06.00 Type of waste, disposal operation and destination

Plastral Fidene Pty Ltd 2 858 30.03.00 Waiting

on import consent Diethylaluminium chloride/heptane mixture for disposal by high temperature incineration and landfill at Bovar Waste Management, Swan Hills Treatment Centre, Swan Hills, Alberta, Canada.

Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd

600 05.04.00

Processing

Zinc ashes and residues from Malaysia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, New South Wales.

Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd

600 05.04.00

Processing

Zinc ashes and residues from Vietnam for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, New South Wales.

Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd

600 05.04.00

Processing

Zinc ashes and residues from Indonesia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, New South Wales.

Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd

600 05.04.00

Processing

Zinc ashes and residues from the Philippines for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road,

Port Kembla, New South Wales.

Intercontinental Metals Pty Ltd

250 05.04.00

Processing

Zinc oxide baghouse dust from A W Fraser, Christchurch, New Zealand for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter, Main Road Boolaroo, New South Wales, 2284.

TREDI Australia Pty Ltd 50 08.06.00

Processing

Nickel-cadmium batteries from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at SNAM Viviez, France.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 241

242 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

S

upervising Scientist

18 August, 2000

Senator the Hon Robert Hill Minister for the Environment and Heritage Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with subsection 36(1) of the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 (the Act), I submit to you the twenty second Annual Report of the Supervising Scientist on the operation of the Act during the period of 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000.

Yours sincerely

Dr A Johnston Supervising Scientist

Darwin Office Jabiru Field Station

GPO Box 461 Darwin NT 0801 Australia Tel (08) 8982 9100 Fax (08) 8982 9103 (Briggs St) Tel (08) 8981 4230 Fax (08) 8981 4316 (OSS - TCG Centre)

Locked Bag 2 Jabiru NT 0886 Australia Tel (08) 8979 9711 Fax (08) 8979 2076 E-mail enquiries@eriss.erin.gov.au

E-mail enquiries@eriss.erin.gov.au

The Supervising Scientist is part o f Environment Australia

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 243

An

nual Report of the Supervising Scientist

THE SUPERVISING SCIENTIST

CONTENTS Glossary Foreword Supervising Scientist’s overview

1 I N T R O D U C T I O N

1.1 Role of the Supervising Scientist 1.2 Functions of the Supervising Scientist 1.3 Performance Outcomes 1.4 The Alligator Rivers Region and its uranium deposits

2 E N V I R O N M E N T A L A S S E S S M E N T S O F U R A N I U M M I N E S

I N T H E A L L I G A T O R R I V E R S R E G I O N

2.1 Ranger Mine 2.1.1 Tailings water leak 2.1.2 Developments 2.1.3 Assessment methodology 2.1.4 Environmental Performance Reviews 2.1.5 Water management 2.1.6 Water quality in Magela Creek 2.1.7 Tailings and waste rock management 2.1.8 Radiological exposure to employees and the public 2.1.9 Minesite Technical Committee 2.1.10 Changes to the Ranger General Authorisation 2.1.11 Incidents

2.2 Jabiluka Mine Project 2.2.1 World Heritage issues 2.2.2 Developments 2.2.3 Assessment methodology 2.2.4 Environmental Performance Reviews 2.2.5 Water management 2.2.6 Water quality in Swift Creek 2.2.7 Waste rock and mineralised material management 2.2.8 Radiological exposure to employees and the public 2.2.9 Minesite Technical Committee 2.2.10 Authorisations and Approvals 2.2.11 Incidents

2.3 NabarlekMine 2.3.1 Developments 2.3.2 Assessment methodology 2.3.3 Environmental Performance Reviews 2.3.4 Minesite Technical Committee 2.3.5 Incidents 2.3.6 Surface and groundwater quality 2.3.7 Rehabilitation workshop

244 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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2.4 Other activities in the Alligator Rivers Region 2.4.1 Exposed tailings adjacent to the Gunlom Road 2.4.2 Exploration

3 E N V I R O N M E N T A L R E S E A R C H

3.1 Environmental Impact of Mining 3.1.1 Programme objectives 3.1.2 Erosion and Hydrology 3.1.3 Radiological impacts of mining 3.14 Ecosystem protection 3.2 Wetiand Ecology and Conservation

3.2.1 Programme objectives 3.2.2 National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research 3.2.3 Ecology and Inventory 3.2.4 Risk identification and assessment

4 C O M M U N I T Y R E L A T I O N S

- I N T E R A C T I N G W I T H T H E A B O R I G I N A L C O M M U N I T Y

5 G E N E R A L R E S E A R C H A N D N U C L E A R I S S U E S

5.1 Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality 5.2 Multicities air particulate monitoring programme 5.3 Contribution to national and international environmental policy on nuclear issues

6 A D M I N I S T R A T I V E A R R A N G E M E N T S

6.1 Organisational structure and staffing 6.2 Legislative and institutional arrangements relating to uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region 6.2.1 Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee

6.2.2 Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee 6.2.3 Environmental Requirements and other requirements 6.2.4 Ministerial directions 6.2.5 Reporting of mine events and monitoring results 6.3 Reporting and publications 6.4 Information Systems

A P P E N D I X A

Recommendations of the Supervising Scientist Report 153, Investigation of tailings water leak at Ranger uranium mine

A P P E N D I X B

Additional recommendations arising from the report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee and the review of the Independent Scientific Panel of ICSU

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 245

An

nual Report of the Supervising Scientist

GLOSSARY

ARRAC

ARRTC

ANZECC

ARMCANZ

ARR

DISR

EIS

EPR

ERA

eriss

IAEA

ICRP

ISP

IU C N

M TC

N C TW R

N EC

N TD M E

OSS

PER

Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee

Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee

Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council

Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand

Alligator Rivers Region

Department of Industry Science and Resources

Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Performance Review

Energy Resources of Australia

Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist

International Atomic Energy Agency

International Commission on Radiological Protection

Independent Scientific Panel

International Union for Nature Conservation

Minesite Technical Committee

National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research

Northern Land Council

Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy

Office of the Supervising Scientist

Public Environment Report

T he contact officer for queries relating to this report is:

Meryl Triggs Office of the Supervising Scientist Environment Australia GPO Box 461 Darwin N T 0801

Telephone 08 8981 4230 Facsimile 08 8981 4316 Email merylt@eriss.erin.gov.au

Supervising Scientist homepage address http://www.environment.gov.au/ssg/ssg.html Annual Report address http://www.environment.gov.au/publications.html

246 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

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nnual Report of the Supervising Scientist

FOREWORD

Subsection 36(1) of the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 (EP[ARR] Act) requires the Supervising Scientist to provide an annual report to Parliament on the operation of the Act and on certain related matters. As a result of an amendment to the EP(ARR) Act in December 1993, the Supervising Scientist and his support organisation have been incorporated into the Department of the Environment. Since 1997-1998 the reporting to Parliament as required under the EP(ARR)Act has been provided as part of the Annual Report of the Department of the Environment and Heritage. T he EP(ARR) Act requires the following information to be reported:

• any directions given to the Supervising Scientist by the Minister;

• accounts of the collection and assessment of scientific data relating to the environmental effects of mining in the Alligator Rivers Region;

• standards, practices and procedures in relation to mining operations adopted or changed during the year, and the environmental effects of those changes;

• measures taken to protect the environment, or restore it from the effects of mining in the region;

• requirements forming prescribed instruments which were enacted, made, adopted or issued and which relate to the environment;

• implementation of the prescribed instruments related to the environment;

• a statement of the cost of operations of the Supervising Scientist.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 247

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nnual Report of the Supervising Scientist

SUPERVISING SCIENTIST'S OVERVIEW

T he year 1999-2000 has been a year of change for the staff of the Supervising Scientist. It has been a successful year in which the work of the Supervising Scientist and his staff has received national and international recognition. It has also been a year in which the excellent record of environmental protection from the effects of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region has continued.

Following my appointment to the position of Supervising Scientist in June 1999, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator the H on Robert Hill, decided that the activities of the Supervising Scientist should, as far as possible, be located in the N orthern Territory at Darwin and Jabiru. All positions in the Office of the Supervising Scientist (oss), with the exception of two liaison positions, were transferred from Canberra to Darwin. The Minister also approved the relocation of the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss) from Jabiru to Darwin. By the end of the year, twelve eriss positions had been relocated to temporary accommodation in Darwin and the first stage of the tender process for the construction of new facilities in Darwin was underway. These changes were

accompanied by a transfer of Canberra based Science Group programmes not associated with the core responsibilities of the Supervising Scientist to other Divisions of Environment Australia. I would like to congratulate my staff on the implementation of these changes in a productive manner that allowed our programmes to continue and to achieve our planned outcomes. I would also like to thank those former staff of the Supervising Scientist who were displaced in the change process for their outstanding contribution to the success of the organisation over the years.

The development of the uranium mine at Jabiluka has been the focus of public attention throughout the year. In July 1999, the World Heritage Committee considered the report of the Supervising Scientist on the Jabiluka Project, submitted to the Committee in April 1999, and

the review of that report by the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) of ICSU. The Committee also noted the Supervising Scientist’s response to the ISP review in June 1999. T he Committee decided not to inscribe Kakadu National Park on the List of World Heritage Properties in Danger but requested that the ISP be reconvened to consider the Supervising Scientist’s response to its review. This process was incomplete by the end of the year but a highly successful visit by the ISP to Kakadu took place in early July 2000. The ISP will complete its report to the World Heritage Committee in September 2000.

Following the completion of the portal and decline development, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has, in line with its commitments to the World Heritage Committee, placed the Jabiluka mine on an environmental management and standby phase. Nevertheless, the oss supervisory and assessment programme for Jabiluka and the eriss research programme continued. These programmes demonstrated that developments to date at Jabiluka have not caused adverse impact on downstream ecosystems or given rise to radiological impact on people living in the region. For example, detailed measurements of suspended sediment loads in streams of the Swift Creek catchment revealed that any changes arising from construction of the facilities were very small and studies on the community structure of small aquatic animals demonstrated that these changes had no biological impact.

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The principal issue that attracted public attention to operations at the Ranger mine during the year was the leak of tailings water (or process water) from the tailings water retorn pipeline in the bunded tailings corridor and the subsequent leak of some of this water to the external

environment. This incident occurred during the 1999-2000 wet season, starting in February and continuing until early April, but it was not reported to the authorities until the end of April. The Minister for the Environment and Heritage and the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources requested that I prepare a report on the incident. This report was tabled in the Senate on 27 June 2000.

The principal conclusion of the report was that no adverse impact occurred on the ecosystems of Kakadu National Park as a result of the tailings water leak nor was there any significant radiological impact on members of the public, particularly local Aboriginal people living downstream from the mine. Nevertheless, a number of deficiencies were identified in ERAs

management of the site, in its maintenance procedures, and in its communications with stakeholders. Deficiencies were also identified in the inspection programme of the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy and in the supervisory programme of the oss.

Seventeen recommendations were made to address these issues; all of these recommendations were accepted by the Commonwealth Government and by ERA. O f particular significance for my staff is the Government’s decision that the role of the Supervising Scientist should be amended to include an on-site inspection and audit programme and a routine environmental monitoring programme. This decision was made in recognition of the public perception that such programmes are necessary to enhance the credibility in the eyes of the community of assurances provided by the Supervising Scientist.

Of significance for the future operation of the Ranger mine was the issue of a new Authority under Section 41 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1953. T he new Authority was issued on 9 January 2000 and extends the period of mining for 26 years from that date. Incorporated within the Authority are revised Environmental Requirements (ERs) for the Ranger mine which had been

developed through a consultative process involving the principal stakeholders. The new ERs are less prescriptive than their predecessors, focussing on environmental objectives and outcomes rather than detailed procedures and practices. For example, water at the mine site will, in future, be managed on the basis of quality rather than on the basis of source. In this way the new ERs place a greater onus on the mining company to demonstrate that it is meeting the Primary Environmental Objectives whilst providing more flexibility in the way in which these objectives can be met.

The principal issue at Nabarlek during 1999-2000 was an assessment of the extent to which revegetation of the site had progressed towards the issuing of a Revegetation Certificate. The operator applied for such a certificate in April 2000 following receipt of a report from an independent assessor whose appointment had been agreed by the site lessee and the Northern

Land Council. The Supervising Scientist organised a workshop on this issue in April. It was agreed that the revegetation success demonstrated so far was not adequate for the issuing of a Revegetation Certificate and that further assessment of revegetation success using alternative techniques would be necessary. This will be implemented in 2000-2001.

The water quality in Kadjirrikamarnda Creek on the Nabarlek lease, affected in previous years by the slow ingress of water from a land irrigation site, continues to improve. Despite elevated concentrations of some chemical constituents, research on the community structure of fishes in

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the creek has demonstrated that biological impact has been very small. Research reported this year has provided some insight into the absence of adverse effects. It has shown that the concentrations of aluminium observed in the creek, in excess of Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) water quality guidelines, do not cause adverse effects on biota because the presence of silica in the water ameliorates the toxicity of aluminium.

T he regular inspection programme carried out by the Supervising Scientist at old mining and milling sites in the South Alligator River valley revealed, in August 1999, that tailings dispersed from the decommissioned South Alligator Mill had become exposed at the land surface adjacent to the Gunlom Road. Parks Australia N orth (PAN) was notified and a detailed radiation survey of the site was carried out by staff of the Supervising Scientist. A full report on the survey was submitted to PAN in February 2000. The report concluded that the radiological risks associated with the tailings are low. In particular, radiation exposure levels for tourists and PAN staff driving on the road are very small. Nevertheless, given the risk of dispersal of the tailings into the South Alligator River, the report recommended that rehabilitation works be carried out. The Director of National Parks considers this to be an issue requiring urgent attention and work will be undertaken to minimise dispersion of tailings during the 2000-2001 Wet season and to begin rehabilitation of the site.

The National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research (nctw r), an initiative of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, was formally established through the signing of the Heads of Agreement on 16 December 1999. T he Centre is a collaborative venture between eriss and three university partners; James Cook University, Northern Territory University and the University of Western Australia. The Centre conducts research and training to provide information and expertise that will assist managers and users of tropical wetlands in the

sustainable use these valuable habitats.

The Hon Bob Collins was appointed Chair of the Board of the n ctw r for a period of two years and Dr Max Finlayson, head of the eriss Wetland Ecology and Conservation Branch, was appointed Director of the Centre. We are currently establishing an Advisory Committee to provide advice on the issues considered of importance to stakeholders, to assist in the

determination of research and training priorities and to provide ongoing review of the programme of the centre. The Advisory Committee is expected to meet in September 2000.

eriss contributions to the work of the Centre during 1999-2000 included: an assessment of the impact of paragrass, an exotic pasture grass, on the faunal biodiversity and ecosystem processes in the wetlands of Kakadu National Park; a review of the effects and appropriate management techniques for Mimosa pigra in Australia and south-east Asia; a review of environmental management of eleven major mining operations in Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya; and, in cooperation with Wetlands International Asia/Pacific, development of an Asia-wide wetland inventory based on protocols previously prepared by eriss under the

Environment Australia Wetland R&D Programme. An assessment of the risks for the biota of Kakadu National Park arising from the expected arrival of cane toads is almost complete.

A milestone was reached in July 1999 with the release for public comment of the draft revised version of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, eriss has been managing the revision of the guidelines on behalf of ANZECC. Changes arising from the public comment stage were incorporated and the guidelines were forwarded to the

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Standing Committee for Environment Protection in May 2000. It is expected that the final Guidelines will be published in October 2000.

During 1999-2000, we built on our experience over the past two years in Aboriginal communications by establishing an Aboriginal Communications Unit, located at eriss. The unit was established to develop and implement communications programmes to ensure that all stakeholders, especially the local Aboriginal communities and associations, are kept informed on the programmes of the Supervising Scientist and, where possible, participate in those programmes. Substantial progress was made during the year. T he traditional owners of the Ranger and Jabiluka lease areas, the M irrar people, took part in biological monitoring programmes on their land and M urrumburr landowners collaborated with eriss staff at control sites on their land. Aboriginal people from Arnhem Land and adjacent areas worked with eriss staff and Mirrar people on billabongs in Arnhem Land. We all gained valuable experience from working in this cross-cultural environment. We also produced a bi-monthly newsletter, written in plain english, summarising the work of eriss and oss and distributed the newsletter to all Aboriginal stakeholder groups. Overall, the feedback we have received is positive; we appear to be bridging the gap between the Supervising Scientist and local people of the region. This complements the successful cooperation that has been established by staff of the Wedand Ecology and Conservation Branch with local community groups elsewhere.

Dr Arthur Johnston SUPERVISING SCIENTIST

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1 INTRODUCTION

The organisation of the Supervising Scientist consists of the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss) and the Office of the Supervising Scientist (at.vj.'Ib assist the Supervising Scientist in performing his role successfully, the oss carries out audit and policy functions, whilst eriss conducts vital research work into the impact of uranium mining on the

environment and people of the Alligator Rivers Region. During the year the Supervising Scientist continued to ensure that the environment of the Alligator Rivers Region remained protected to a very high standard from the potential impacts of uranium mining. Well established processes are in place to assess the environmental management performance of mining companies in the region, including Environmental Performance Reviews and evaluation of monitoring data collected by the companies and the Northern Territory Supervising Authority. T he Supervising Scientist provided high level technical advice to enhance environmental protection in the region through the Minesite Technical Committees and direct interaction with stakeholders.

The Supervising Scientist oversees the implementation of legislation relevant to uranium mining activities in the Alligator Rivers Region. T he primary mechanism by which the Supervising Scientist meets this responsibility is through assessing applications made by mining companies for approvals under N orthern Territory legislation. In providing comments on applications, the Supervising Scientist considers relevant Commonwealth legal instruments such as the Commonwealth’s Environmental Requirements applicable to the mine site. New Environmental Requirements for the Ranger uranium mine were introduced under Commonwealth legislation in January 2000. T he new Environmental Requirements improve upon the original ones which were drafted over 20 years ago, and will enhance environmental protection at Ranger.

eriss conducts research under two programmes: ‘Environmental Impact of Mining’ and ‘Wetland Ecology and Conservation’. The Environmental Impact of Mining programme provides advice to the Supervising Scientist and other stakeholders on standards, practices and procedures to protect the environment of the Alligator Rivers Region from the effects of mining. In 1999-2000 the programme included some new areas of project work, particularly in relation to possible mine development at Jabiluka. T he Wetlands Ecology and Conservation programme provides advice to stakeholders on the ecology and conservation of tropical wetlands. The programme takes into account international activities to further bridge the gap between wetland research and management practice by consulting with wetland owners, users and managers, eriss also carries out other research as required by the Australian government, such as the review of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality and involvement in national research projects.

Keeping stakeholders, particularly Aboriginal communities, well informed about the status of environmental protection and the essential activities of the Supervising Scientist is achieved through the Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee and other forms of information dissemination including publications, newsletters and direct interaction with Aboriginal people.

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The Supervising Scientist also provides advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, the Department and the Australian community on uranium mining and nuclear issues and contributes to the development of national and international environmental policy on the

nuclear fuel cycle.

The philosophy of the organisation is one that promotes continuous improvement in performance. As such the organisation’s processes are open to review and enhancement.

1.1 Role of the Supervising Scientist

The primary role of the Supervising Scientist is to ensure, through research, assessment and the provision of technical advice, that the environment of the Alligator Rivers Region is protected from the effects of uranium mining to the very high standard required by the Commonwealth Government and the Australian people.

1.2 Functions of the Supervising Scientist

In summary, the functions of the Supervising Scientist, as specified in the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act, 1978, are to:

• develop, coordinate and manage programmes of research into the effects on the environment of uranium mining within the Alligator Rivers Region;

• develop standards, practices and procedures that will protect the environment and people from the effects of uranium mining within the Alligator Rivers Region;

• develop measures for the protection and restoration of the environment;

• coordinate and supervise the implementation of laws applicable to environmental aspects of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region;

• provide the Minister for the Environment with scientific and technical advice on mining in the Alligator Rivers Region;

• provide the Minister for the Environment with scientific and technical advice on environmental matters elsewhere in Australia if requested.

1.3 Performance outcomes

The Supervising Scientist developed and implemented strategies during 1999-2000 to ensure that the functions promulgated in the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 were successfully undertaken. Performance outcomes for each of those strategies are summarised below.

Apply mechanisms for environmental protection at uranium mines in the Alligator Rivers Region in a manner which meets the expectations of key stakeholders

The Supervising Scientist conducted Environmental Performance Reviews (EPRs) of the Ranger, Nabarlek and Jabiluka sites jointly with the Northern Territory Department of Mines

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and Energy. Ranger and Jabiluka are subject to two Environmental Performance Reviews per year whilst Nabarlek is subject to one plus a site inspection. Every Application for an approval under Northern Territory legislation made by the operators of Ranger, Jabiluka and Nabarlek was scrutinised by the Office of the Supervising Scientist (oss), and comments provided to the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy. In many cases, such applications were considered by the applicable Minesite Technical Committee (MTC) which includes representation of the mining company, Supervising Scientist, Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy and Northern Land Council. All approvals issued by the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy adequately addressed the views of the oss. The M TCs also considered other issues of significance in relation to environmental protection,

particularly water management at Ranger and Jabiluka, progress of rehabilitation at Nabarlek, and the implementation of the revised Commonwealth Environmental Requirements for the Ranger mine. The outcomes of the processes described above were discussed by key stakeholders at meetings of the Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee.

T he Supervising Scientist completed an investigation into a tailings water leak which occurred on the Ranger site during the 1999-00 W et season. T he report, which was tabled in the Commonwealth Senate on 27 June 2000, made seventeen recommendations designed to improve environmental management at Ranger. T he Commonwealth accepted each of these recommendations.

T he value and effectiveness of the oss inspection regime for sites associated with historic uranium mining practices in the South Alligator River Valley was demonstrated when the August 1999 inspection revealed a deterioration in the stability of a site containing tailings. Appropriate follow-up investigations were completed with the assistance of eriss and recommendations made to rehabilitate the site as a matter of priority. Planning is underway in response to those recommendations.

The 1999-00 financial year saw the relocation of elements of the oss that were previously in Canberra to Darwin, intensifying the focus of the supervisory functions of the Supervising Scientist and facilitating a closer working relationship between oss and eriss. The use by oss of eriss expertise in completing its supervisory and assessment activities has increased significantly. The investigation of the tailings water leak at Ranger was a clear demonstration of the benefits of this closer liaison.

The mechanisms applied by the Supervising Scientist, in consultation with key stakeholders, succeeded in ensuring that there were no significant environmental impacts on Kakadu National Park as a result of operations at Ranger or the development of Jabiluka.

Conduct a collaborative programme o f research on the impact o f mining with other research providers which is relevant to environmental protection in the Alligator Rivers Region

Ecosystem Protection: To further develop a baseline for the Jabiluka mine development, investigations of macroinvertebrate and fish communities of Jabiluka streams were conducted. These data will be added to similar jointly collected data from 1998-99 and contribute to an

accruing baseline that will be used to detect and assess any impact arising from mining. The macroinvertebrate work was carried out collaboratively with consultants engaged by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA). Biological monitoring continued in the vicinity of the Ranger

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minesite. These data add to the existing baseline that has been accumulated for the site and provide a broader perspective of the aquatic biodiversity in catchments in nearby locations within Kakadu National Park. A third year of monitoring data for chemical indicators was acquired from the Jabiluka lease area and a preliminary assessment undertaken and further sampling recommended. These programmes continue to demonstrate the absence of adverse biological impacts downstream of the Ranger and Jabiluka projects.

Erosion and Hydrology: Stream monitoring continued, in collaboration with external agencies, to obtain information on the hydrology and sediment movement in the catchment containing the Jabiluka minesite. This information will be used to develop models for proactive management of any mining related impacts and will assist with analysis of stream macro­ invertebrate data collected by the Ecosystem Protection programme. A Geographic Information System that incorporates landform evolution modelling is being developed as one component of this work. Two years of data collected to date were used to estimate background stream sediment fluxes and conduct an impact assessment of erosion from proposed waste rock dumps on stream water quality. This assessment was presented to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Independent Scientific Panel (ISP). Following a review of rehabilitation progress at Nabarlek and a subsequent workshop, an assessment of erosion at the Nabarlek mine site was initiated and will assist with the development of a model of site stability to assess future impacts on downstream water quality. Projects assessing the effect of vegetation and ecosystem and soil development on mine site landform evolution are nearing completion. These effects can now be quantified, which is a significant advance in landform evolution modelling.

Environmental Radioactivity: Implementation of a regional network of radon/meteorological stations was completed. This network records data half-hourly and is designed to enable determination of the contribution of the Ranger and, eventually, Jabiluka mines to radon levels in the region. Measurement of the geographic variability of radon emanation rates over the site of the former Nabarlek uranium mine was undertaken collaboratively with the University of

Adelaide. The application of airborne radiometrics to derive sediment discharge rates from the Nabarlek mine site also commenced with collaboration from the Rehabilitation of Minesites programme and N orthern Territory University. These two projects form an important part of an overall programme to establish the radiological conditions of the site post-mining and to

field-validate eriss models of radon and sediment transport.

Conduct a research programme for wetlands ecology and conservation

Wetland ecology and inventory: The impact of exotic weeds and herbicide control measures on the ecology of tropical wetlands was investigated in a collaborative project and the results publicly presented to stakeholders. A review of environmental management of some major mining operations in tropical Oceania and their risk for downstream wetlands was carried

out to assist the World Wildlife Fund Australia in developing collaborative environmental programmes with local communities and mining companies. Work on remote sensing methods of mapping of wetland features using radar imagery as a basis for monitoring change in wetlands continued and will be extended. An inventory of wetlands in the Daly River Basin, Northern Territory, commenced and will provide the basis for a risk assessment to these habitats from existing use of groundwater and forecast future use. These tasks provided an

extended base for developing a protocol for an Asian-wide wetland inventory and for providing advice to international conventions, governmental agencies and local community groups.

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T he National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research (nctw r)—a collaborative venture between COT, the Northern Territory University, James Cook University and University of Western Australia—was formally established with the appointment of a Board and a Chairperson. Joint applications for research funding have been submitted through nctwr. Training of wetland managers continued with two courses held for wetland scientists and

managers from Asian countries.

Risk Identification and Assessment: An assessment of the aquatic toxicity of aluminium and the potential ameliorating effect of silica was undertaken to help assess aluminium toxicity in relation to acid-mine drainage, natural fish kills and for rehabilitation of the Nabarlek uranium mine. The toxicity of uranium to a native freshwater cladoceran was assessed and the results used for deriving a revised site-specific trigger value for uranium in the Magela Creek catchment.

T he ecology and control of the major wetland weed Mimosa pigra were investigated and used to assist wetland managers in Viet Nam develop a mimosa management plan. Along with a completed risk assessment of the herbicide Tebuthiuron, the information on mimosa is being used to undertake a management-oriented wetland risk assessment of the weed in northern Australia. A predictive risk assessment of the impacts of cane toads on Kakadu National Park

commenced and will form an integral component of Parks Australia N orth’s management strategy for cane toads in Kakadu. The results of an assessment of the vulnerability of two major wetlands in the Asia-Pacific region to climate change and sea level rise, undertaken in 1998-99, were published and distributed to a number of international agencies.

Develop and implement a programme to ensure a high level of communication with stakeholders especially Aboriginal people in the region

The Supervising Scientist formed the Aboriginal Communications Unit during the second half of the reporting year. The unit is responsible for developing and implementing communications programmes to ensure that all stakeholders especially the local Aboriginal communities and associations, are kept informed about work eriss and oss undertake in the region. It is also responsible for establishing an Aboriginal employment and training programme within eriss including implementation of an employment programme of traditional owners to assist with the collection and identification of fish and the recording of data in billabongs on and surrounding the ERA mining lease. Traditional owners of Kakadu National Park were involved in eriss research into the impact of cane toads through a survey that was conducted at Aboriginal communities in the Katherine region. Bi-monthly newsletters were produced to help keep the Aboriginal associations informed of the research work underway and that planned for the future. Information sessions were conducted for Aboriginal groups and associations on topical issues. An internal communications protocol to ensure that the methods and approach used to communicate with Aboriginal people and associations are appropriate and consistent was implemented and is part of the induction programme for new staff. Cross cultural training was provided for all staff.

Contribute to and support the achievement o f the corporate objectives o f Environment Australia

The Supervising Scientist Group was managed in accordance with Environment Australia corporate requirements and its work programmes were consistent with the Environment Australia vision and values. The Supervising Scientist worked with other areas of the Department to achieve corporate objectives.

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In particular, the Supervising Scientist directed an extensive programme of work to assist Environment Australia to meet the needs of the World Heritage Committee in relation to scientific issues associated with the development of Jabiluka. A series of scientific investigations, information collation and logistical exercises were undertaken in preparation for the visit of the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) convened by the International Council of Science Unions (ICSU) at the request of the World Heritage Committee. The ISP visited Kakadu National Park in the week of 3 to 7 July 2000. The role of the ISP is to review the response of the Supervising Scientist (June 1999) to the first report of the ISP (May 1999) and report back to the World Heritage Committee on scientific issues associated with the development of the Jabiluka project.

The Supervising Scientist Group actively participated in Environment Australia human resource, financial and information management initiatives including the implementation of the Investors in People programme, Output Pricing Review and redevelopment of the Environment Australia web site.

Report on performance of the Supervising Scientist Group in relation to outputs, contribution to outcomes, and performance targets set out in the Portfolio Budget Statement/Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement is provided in the Annual Report of the Department of the

Environment and Heritage.

1.4 T h e A lligator Rivers R egion and its u ra n iu m deposits

The Alligator Rivers Region is centred about 220 km east of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. Comprising an area of about 28000 square kilometres, it includes the catchments of the West, South and East Alligator Rivers, extending into Arnhem Land and south into the Gimbat and Goodparla pastoral leases. The World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park is wholly enclosed within the Alligator Rivers Region.

There are four mineral leases within the Alligator Rivers Region that pre-date the proclamation of Kakadu National Park: Ranger, Jabiluka, Koongarra and Nabarlek (see fig 1.1). Ranger is currently the only operational uranium mine in the Alligator Rivers Region. Jabiluka is in the early development stage and mining of the orebody has not commenced. Koongarra is a significant uranium deposit but permission to develop a mine has not yet been sought. Mining at Nabarlek ceased in the late 1980s. The mine was decommissioned in 1995-96 and the performance of the rehabilitation and revegetation programme continues to be monitored prior

to final close-out. There are also a number of former uranium mines in the South Alligator River Valley that date back to mining and milling activities in the 1950s and 1960s. These mines were subject to a hazard reduction programme in the early 1990s and the need for further rehabilitation is the subject of negotiations between Parks Australia North and the Jawoyn traditional owners.

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) operates the Ranger mine, 8 km east of the township of Jabiru. T he mine lies within the 78 sq km Ranger Project Area and is adjacent to Magela Creek, a tributary of the East Alligator River. T he Ranger Project Area is surrounded by, but

does not form part of, Kakadu National Park or the area inscribed on the World Heritage List. Ranger is an open cut mining operation and mining and commercial production of uranium concentrate have been underway since 1981. Orebody no. 1 was exhausted in December 1994

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Figure 1.1 The Alligator Rivers Region

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and excavation of ore from Orebody no. 3 began in May 1997.

Jabiluka is 20 km north of Ranger and, unlike the other deposits, lies beneath a cover of cliff­ forming sandstone. It is in the East Alligator River catchment, adjacent to Swift Creek, which drains north to the Magela wetland. It is also in a mine lease area not included in, but surrounded by, Kakadu National Park and the World Heritage Area. The Commonwealth

Government completed its assessment of ERA’s Environmental Impact Statement, which provided for milling of Jabiluka ore at Ranger, on 22 August 1997. Since Traditional Owners have not agreed to the milling of Jabiluka ore at Ranger, ERA subsequently submitted a Public Environment Report (PER) based on a proposal to construct a new mill on the Jabiluka lease. The PER was accepted subject to a number of conditions. Construction of the portal, decline

and ancillary facilities, elements common to both proposals, commenced on 15 June 1998 after the required approvals from the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments were granted. Stage 1 of the main decline was completed in June 1999, including a ventilation raise

and associated surface facilities comprising workshops, offices and water management and erosion control structures. Development of Jabiluka ceased in September 1999 and the site has been in an environmental management and standby phase since then.

The Koongarra deposit is about 25 km south-west of Ranger, in the South Alligator River catchment. An Act providing for change of boundaries of the project (and thus the area of excision from Kakadu National Park) was passed in 1981 but was never proclaimed. The Koongarra deposit is owned by Cogema Ltd.

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2 E N V I R O N M E N T A L A S S E S S M E N T S

O F U R A N I U M MI NES I N T HE A LLIG A TO R RIVERS R E GI ON

2.1 R anger M ine

2.1.1 Tailings water leak

The incident

During the 1999-2000 Wet season, a leak occurred in the Tailings Water Return Pipeline at Ranger uranium mine. ERA reported the leak to the Office of the Supervising Scientist, the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy, the Northern Land Council and the Department of Industry Science and Resources on 28 April 2000. It was reported that approximately 2000 cubic metres of tailings water had leaked from the Tailings Water Return Pipeline located in the Tailings Dam Corridor between late December 1999 and 5 April 2000.

Further information provided by ERA indicated that some of the process water had entered the Very Low Grade Corridor Road Culvert (VLGCRC) built under the Tailings Dam Corridor and had thus escaped from the Tailings Dam Corridor which is designed to act as a secondary containment system. The VLGCRC flows into the constructed Corridor Creek Wetland filter,

then into Corridor Creek, Georgetown Creek and finally Magela Creek. Figure 2.1 shows the site of the leak and the potential surface water pathway between the source of the tailings water leak at the Ranger mine and the entry point to Kakadu National Park.

Supervising Scientist investigation

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage and the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources requested that the Supervising Scientist investigate the incident and provide a report. The report produced was Supervising Scientist Report 153 Investigation of tailings \water leak at the Ranger uranium mine, (Supervising Scientist, Environment Australia June 2000) and is available in hard copy and at www.environment.gov.au/ssg/ranger-leak. The investigation established that the volume of water that leaked from the Tailings Water Return Pipeline was about 2000 cubic metres. O f this, about 85 cubic metres entered the VLGCRC that flows into the Corridor Creek wetlands. The remaining water was collected in the Tailings Corridor

Sump and returned to the water management system.

T he Supervising Scientist conducted assessments of the possible radiological and ecological impact arising from the leak using both actual monitoring data and modelling.

Chemical monitoring data from the gauging stations on the Magela Creek upstream of the point at which the Creek enters Kakadu National Park and in Georgetown Billabong just downstream from the mine showed that no change occurred during 1999-2000 in the

concentrations of principal constituents of concern compared to similar observations in previous years. The concentrations of all constituents were within the natural range observed previously. Similarly, biological monitoring at the gauging station and at a point upstream from the mine showed no difference in the response of animals exposed to water at the

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downstream and the upstream sites.

As chemical and biological monitoring failed to detect any impacts caused by the leak, a modelling approach was also employed. An assessment of the ecological impact of the leak was carried out by calculating the likely increase in concentrations of contaminants in Magela Creek caused by the leak upstream of the point where it enters Kakadu National Park.

The modelling supported the chemical and biological monitoring results. Even if it is assumed that all 2000 cubic metres of tailings water escaped the Tailings Dam Corridor, and the attenuation of contaminants such as uranium, manganese and radium in wetland systems on the Ranger Project Area is ignored, the calculated increase in the concentration of all constituents is small compared to the naturally observed concentrations at this point.

Figure 2.1 Site of the leak and the potential surface water pathway between the source of the tailings water leak at the Ranger mine and the entry point to Kakadu National Park

•Tailings Dam Corridor Sump

Shows Potential Contaminant Route

Lease Boundaty

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T he radiological impact was assessed using the information derived in this study on the quantity of water released and the concentrations of radionuclides in tailings water together with the results of the past research programme of the Supervising Scientist on the dispersion of radionuclides in the surface water system and the uptake of radionuclides in animals and plants. The maximum conceivable dose received by members of the public as a result of the leak is lower than the public dose limit by more than a factor of 1000.

Findings

The overall conclusion reached from these assessments was that the leak of tailings water had a negligible impact on people and the environment.

T he cause of the leak was determined to be corrosion and the subsequent failure of three bolts that secured the jointing of two flanges in the Tailings Water Return Pipeline. The principal cause of corrosion was burial of this section of pipe by silt. It is evident that the section of pipe

may have been buried by silt for eighteen months. T he silt would have been moist for up to six months of the year creating conditions conducive to corrosion. A contributing factor to the failure may have been the use of undersized bolts in the joint. Other contributing factors were the reduction in the standard of maintenance in the pipeline corridor carried out by ERA, the failure of Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy’s mine inspection programme to detect the gradual burial of the pipeline and, to a lesser extent, the failure of the oss to observe and require remediation of the buried section. It was also found that the leaked water reached the external environment as a result of the failure of the bunded corridor system. The cause of this failure was that the engineered structure between the roadway and a culvert that drains water from the nearby waste rock dump was not impermeable.

The statutory monitoring system was found to be deficient in two ways. Firstly, it has not been designed to include monitoring locations within secondary containment systems that would indicate the failure of primary containment systems. N o statutory reporting of the quality of

water in the tailings corridor sump is required under the Northern Territory Ranger General Authorisation. Secondly, there is no systematic monitoring programme designed to check the integrity of the secondary containment systems. If these monitoring systems had been in place,

the leak could well have been identified and repaired much more quickly, and none of the tailings water would have escaped the Tailings Dam Corridor.

It was concluded that Commonwealth Environmental Requirement 3.4, which requires that process water be contained within a closed system, and Commonwealth Environmental Requirement 16.1, which requires ERA to report breaches or incidents which could be of concern to Aboriginal people or the broader public, were breached. From discussions with senior ERA staff, the Supervising Scientist was satisfied that there was no deliberate attempt to deceive the authorities.

Recommendations

Seventeen recommendations (see Appendix 1) were made to address the deficiencies identified through the investigation, including reviewing and amending the Working Arrangements between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory Governments.

Significantly there were recommendations to alter the role of the Supervising Scientist. It was recommended that the Supervising Scientist ensure that there is an adequate and independent on-site audit process concentrating on issues that have a potential to cause off-site impact, and

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that the Supervising Scientist should develop and implement a routine environmental monitoring programme with a focus on providing advice on the extent of protection of the people and ecosystems of Kakadu National Park.

Recommendations relating to the company included: that maintenance procedures in the Tailings Dam Corridor be improved; the efficacy of secondary containment of the Tailings Dam Corridor be reviewed; communication between ERA and its stakeholders be improved; and that environment protection staff at Ranger be upgraded. ERA accepted all recommendations and has commenced their implementation.

Recommendations directly involving the N orthern Territory Supervising Authority were that the statutory monitoring programme should be extended to enhance its capacity to provide early warning of unplanned releases of contaminants, and that its site inspection regime should be reviewed and improved.

A recommendation was made to the Commonwealth Minister for Industry, Science and Resources to consider what action should be taken in response to the established breach of the Environmental Requirements taking into account the findings of the report.

Government Response

On 27 June 2000, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources tabled the Supervising Scientist report on the incident in Parliament. T he Commonwealth Government accepted the seventeen recommendations made in the report. T he Minister for Industry, Science and Resources decided that the mining company, ERA, would not be prosecuted in this instance. The Government also stipulated that the Supervising Scientist should increase its on-site

inspection role. The report was made available to the World Heritage Bureau at its June 2000 meeting in Paris.

2.1.2 Developments

A major development at Ranger during 1999-00 was the introduction of the new Commonwealth Environmental Requirements. T he Ranger General Authorisation issued by the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy was amended extensively to account for the new Environmental Requirements. Section 6.2.3 contains more information on the revised Ranger Environmental Requirements.

Operational developments at Ranger included:

• mining of Ranger no.3 orebody which continued throughout the year;

• draining of Retention Pond 4 and creation of a very low grade stockpile in its place;

• continued research into both tailings management and excess water disposal options.

Revegetation of the capped low-grade ore stockpiles to the east of the tailings dam continued. Ground water intercepted prior to entering pit no. 3 was pumped onto the capped very low grade waste rock stockpiles and allowed to flow in an open drain to the constructed Corridor Creek Wetlands as part of a trial to determine the efficacy of these wetlands in removing contaminants from the water column. T he trial was undertaken to provide data in relation to a proposal to discharge water from Retention Pond 2 in a similar manner. ERA intends to make

an application to discharge Retention Pond 2 water to the constructed Corridor Creek Wetlands during 2000-2001.

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2.1.3 Assessment methodology

The adequacy of environmental protection and the level of environmental impact arising from uranium mining at the Ranger site were measured through a number of mechanisms, mainly:

• Environmental Performance Reviews of the minesite conducted in association with the Northern Territory Supervising Authority;

• assessment of reports and plans produced by the mining company:

- Ranger Amended Plan of Rehabilitation no.24 - Ranger Mine Water Management System Operation Manual - Ranger Mine Water Management System Operation Reports - Ranger Mine Water Management Strategies - Ranger Mine Annual Environmental Report - Review of Revegetation Studies at Ranger Mine 1983-98 - Ranger Mine non-Restricted Release Zone W ater Release Report - Ranger Mine Annual Tailings Dam Inspection Report - Ranger Mine Radiation Protection Monitoring Programme Annual Report

• monthly monitoring data and quarterly reports as provided by ERA in accordance with the General Authorisation;

• evaluation of applications by the mining company for variations to the General Authorisation and provision of technical advice to the regulating authorities regarding such applications;

• assessment of reports from the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy Environmental Surveillance Monitoring in the Alligator Rivers Region Reports 34 and 35;

• participation in technical discussion forums, principally the Minesite Technical Committee.

2.1.4 Environmental Performance Reviews

The environmental management performance of the mining company is assessed regularly through the Environmental Performance Review (EPR) process. This takes the form of bi­ annual environmental audits, conducted jointly with the Northern Territory Department of

Mines and Energy. Each review involves: development of a questionnaire seeking information on issues outstanding from the previous review; general environmental management performance; and special focus issues; interviews with senior mining company staff; an assessment of the company’s responses to the questionnaire, and; a site visit to examine new developmental works and sites which may have been identified as problematic. The review

team includes certified environmental auditors from oss and the N orthern Territory Department of Mines and Energy. An Environmental Performance Review (no. 12) was conducted for the Ranger mine on 9 December 2000 and the next review (no. 13) is planned for 22 July 2000 as a consequence of some statutory reporting dates for environmental monitoring data and the timing of the next meeting of the Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee.

In December 1999 the Environmental Performance Review concentrated on matters arising from the previous review (no.l 1), general environmental management performance and the focus topics of water management and groundwater protection. In summary, the review team found that the environmental and water management systems at Ranger had been operating satisfactorily and that that there had been no adverse environmental impact away from the site

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during the period under review. It was noted that efforts continued to address die issue of reducing the inventory of excess process water on site. Also, tailings management options were under investigation, particularly the use of central deposition in pit no.l and the potential to introduce thickened tailings technology to Ranger.

2.1.5 Water management

The introduction of the new Environmental Requirements in January 2000 has meant that the Restricted Release Zone concept is no longer applicable to minesite waters at Ranger. Instead water is to be managed on the basis of quality. Waters formerly in the Restricted Release Zone are still impounded and mechanisms and processes for release are formulated on the basis of water quality rather than origin. This will enable good quality waters to be managed in such a way as to ensure they will not be degraded through mixing with poorer quality water, as was

sometimes the case under the previous Restricted Release Zone management programme.

Process water system

The water which is in direct contact with the ore during mineralogical processing is maintained in a closed circuit system. This comprises the mill, the tailings dam and the tailings repository in Pit 1, Retention Pond 3 and the pipelines joining these locations. Process waters may never

be released from the site except by evaporation or after treatment in a manner and to a quality approved by the Supervising Scientist.

The succession of above average W et seasons in recent years has resulted in the accumulation of an excess of water in the process circuit. At the end of the reporting period it was estimated that, assuming average Wet seasons and normal evaporation conditions, it would take approximately seven years for the system to return to balance. As this is an unacceptably

long time, ERA has been investigating options for water disposal. A multiple effect evaporator has been tried in a number of configurations; however, none has proved satisfactory to date. Other enhanced evaporation options using irrigation of Pit 1 walls and a snow making machine which produces a very fine spray have also been examined. In addition to enhanced evaporation, ERA has investigated reverse osmosis as a technology which could be used to treat water to a standard suitable for release. The final solution is likely to be a combination of all or

some of these components.

Restricted Release Zone

The water management system operated within a Restricted Release Zone until the introduction of the new Environmental Requirements in January 2000. Since that time water has been managed on the basis of its quality and not origin. In order to distinguish between the classes of water on site, waters which were previously part of the Restricted Release Zone have been given the preliminary title of Actively Managed Water. The quality of Actively Managed Water is such that it must be contained on site unless it has been treated in some manner, such as wetland filtration. N o water from the former Restricted Release Zone was discharged from the site during the reporting period.

In the 1999 dry season, 327 ML (mega litres) of Retention Pond 2 water was treated by passing it through the Retention Pond 1 wetland filter before the water was irrigated in approved areas (total ~46 ha) to the west of Retention Pond 1. Relatively small volumes (71 ML) were also applied within the Magela Land Application Area at the end of the 1999 Dry season to assist

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with the balancing of the water inventory on site. Retention Pond 2 water was also treated through the Djalkmara wetland filter in the 1999 dry season with 171 ML being passed through the system prior to being applied to the 38 ha of irrigation area north of the access road.

The process of developing a release process and release criteria for Actively Managed Water in accord with the provisions of the new Environmental Requirements is an on-going item in meetings of the Ranger Minesite Technical Committee, and is due to be completed by December 2000.

Waters outside the Restricted Release Zone

Waters which were previously designated as non-Restricted Release Zone waters have been given the preliminary title of Passively Managed Water. Generally, Passively Managed Water may be released from the site subject to the implementation of sediment control measures. Throughout the 1999-2000 wet season Passively Managed Water was released from the Ranger site by three pathways:

• via the Retention Pond 1 spillway (1772.9 ML);

• by controlled pumped release from Djalkmara Billabong to Magela Creek (653.8 ML);

• by pumped discharge of groundwater intercepted prior to entering Pit 3 over the capped very low grade waste rock stockpile to the constructed Corridor Creek wetland system. Water passes through this system to Magela Creek via Georgetown Billabong (96.4 ML).

The dewatering bore for pit no.l, MBL, also discharged about 285 M L over the reporting period. During the Dry season this water is used to maintain vegetation in the Corridor Creek wetland system; in the Wet season the water discharges via land application through the Corridor Creek system and Georgetown Billabong to Magela Creek.

Since Retention Pond 4 was decommissioned before the onset of the 1999-2000 Wet season, there was no release of water from that source. All references to Retention Pond 4 have now been withdrawn from the water management system and the General Authorisation.

There was a recurrence of abnormally high uranium (U) concentrations in Retention Pond 1 relative to background levels. An increase in U levels occurred suddenly in mid-January 2000 reaching a maximum of 40 pg/L (micro grams per litre) in early February and falling in March 2000 to half that value. T he uranium concentration at the end of the reporting period was

12 pg/L, similar to that measured in early January 2000. Water from Retention Pond 1 spills into Coonjimba Creek and thence into the Magela system. Importantly, however, this episode has had no effect on water quality in the Magela system as monitored at the exit point from the Ranger lease (GS 821009).

The reason for the sudden increase in the concentration of uranium is unclear but follows a similar pattern to that observed during the 1998-1999 W et season when uranium concentrations increased from background levels in late January 1999 to reach a maximum of 70 pg/L in mid February 1999. At that time, the U entering Retention Pond 1 was sourced to waste rock. ERA responded to the problem by making changes to waste rock dumping methods

and runoff retention and management. It may be that the latter requires further refinement but it is possible that the most recent increase in uranium concentrations in Retention Pond 1 may be linked to its release from sediment contained in the pond. Research is currently being

conducted by ERA to determine the cause and, in support, research to elucidate why this episode occurred is to be undertaken by eriss who will examine the potential mobilisation of uranium from Retention Pond 1 sediment.

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2.1.6 Water quality in Magela Creek

The primary mechanism by which operations at Ranger may impact upon the environment of Kakadu National Park or the health of Aboriginal people is via the transport of mine-derived contaminants in Magela Creek. These contaminants have the potential to adversely affect aquatic ecosystems. T he radioactive contaminants may also deliver a radiation dose to

Aboriginal people living downstream of the Ranger Mine who drink water or eat foods taken from the Magela system. Consequently, water quality in Magela Creek serves as a very important indicator of the extent to which the environment is protected from the potential

impacts of mining at Ranger.

The Ranger General Authorisation issued by the Northern Territory Government sets water quality requirements that the company must meet downstream of Ranger. T he company must ensure that the concentration of downstream contaminants does not exceed the concentration

of upstream contaminants of Ranger by more than the Maximum Allowable Addition. Maximum Allowable Additions are set for uranium, heavy metals (copper, lead, zinc and manganese), calcium, magnesium, sulphate, nitrate, phosphate and turbidity, and are used in conjunction with additional annual load limits which refer principally to radionuclides.

Table 2.1 summarises the key water quality parameters upstream and downstream of Ranger for the 1999-2000 Wet season which are described as concentration medians and ranges. The median is preferred to the mean because the former provides a better description of the central point when data form part of a skewed distribution. Table 2.1 shows that there

are minor increases in the concentration of most parameters in Magela Creek attributable to mining operations however these increases are well within the Maximum Allowable Additions and well below concentrations that may cause adverse environmental impacts.

TABLE 2.1: SUMMARY OF WATER QUALITY PARAMETERS UPSTREAM AND DOW NSTREAM OF THE RANGER URANIUM M INE OVER THE 1999-2000 W ET SEASON

M EDIAN RANGE

Parameter Units Upstream Downstream Upstream Downstream

pH Units 6 6.10 3.97-6.75 4.8 - 6.8

EC (pS/cm) 9.76 11.14 5.17-46.8 4.54-35.7

Turbidity (NTU) 3 3.62 1-21.1 1.5-9.61

Sulphate^ (mg/1-) 0.25 0.85 0.15-3.54 0.12-6.06

Nitrate"*" (mg/I-) <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 - 0.20 <0.02 - 0.04

Magnesium"*" (mg/L) 0.49 0.68 0.29-0.93 0.30-1.99

Copper^ (gg/L) <0.2 <0.2 <0.2-0.33 <0.2-0.34

Manganese"*" (gg/L) 4.29 4.44 <1-41.48 <1-32.16

Lead"*" (gg/L) <0.1 <0.1 <0.1-0.45 <0.1-0.13

Uranium"*" (gg/L) <0.1 <0.1 <0.1-0.22 <0.1-1.04

Zinc"*" (gg/L) <2 <2 <2-13.46 <2 - 8.29

t Denotes dissolved constituent

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T he introduction of the new Commonwealth Environmental Requirements for the Ranger mine in January 2000 has initiated a review of water quality requirements. T hat review is described in section 6.2.3.

2.1.7 Tailings and waste rock management

Tailings from the Ranger mill continue to be routinely deposited into Pit 1. T he pipeline to deposit tailings into the tailings dam was decommissioned during the year. The dam is now used as an evaporation pond to assist the balancing of the process water system. Tailings are pumped from the mill as a neutralised slurry and deposited in the pit via spigots located at several points around the pit perimeter. The tailings cascade down the walls and settle beneath the water in the pit below. From time to time beaches of tailings develop above the water level. This tends to give higher settled density for tailings around the edges of the pit and more dispersed mass in the centre. The Supervising Authorities require that the overall average density of tailings in the pit is greater than 1.2 tonnes/m 3. ERA has achieved this target at each stage of filling the pit. Towards the end of the reporting period a trial using a floating pipeline to deposit tailings at the center of the pond in the pit was begun. There are no results available as yet. In the pit and in samples of tailings located within the mill area, trials are underway to assess the efficacy of wicks inserted into the tailings to speed up the settling process.

Waste rock continues to be dumped according to ore grade with materials containing greater than 0.02% U 30 8 being managed within water control zones. Materials containing between 0.02 and 0.12% U 30 8 are regarded as sub-economic and are generally being placed in final

locations and then capped with clean waste rock. T he site of the former Retention Pond 4 has been used as a dump for the next lowest grade of ore, which may be used for blending purposes in the mill. The waste rock capped sites in the former eastern corridor of the tailings dam are being progressively revegetated. The areas planted in the 1999 Dry season appear to be progressing well.

2.1.8 Radiological exposure to employees and the public

T he Ranger mine is a potential source of radiological exposure to the local community and mine employees. There are three levels of radiation dose limits established in the Australian Code of Practice for the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores (1987) which specify the maximum allowable effective dose for:

• the public;

• non-designated workers;

• designated workers.

These dose limits, in milli Sieverts (mSv), are based on the 1977 recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP 26). In 1990, the International Commission on Radiological Protection published ICRP 60, which significantly reduced the radiation dose limits for workers. The National Health and Medical Research Council

(NHMRC) formally adopted the ICRP 60 limits into its recommendations in 1995. ERA applies the ICRP 60 limits (table 2.2), although they are not yet reflected in the Codes of Practice established under the Environment Protection (Nuclear Codes) Act 1978, which are currently under revision.

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TABLE 2.2: RADIATIO N DOSES ASSOCIATED WITH TH E RANGER URANIUM M INE

Subject group Radiation dose limits Radiation doses for the 1999 calendar year mSv per year (Radiation doses for the 1998 calendar year)

Australian Code o f practice IC R P 60 & N H & M R C

Average dose mSv M axim um dose mSv

Collective dose person Sv

Public 1 1 Adult-0.01

(Adult-0.03) n o t calculated1 no t calculated

N on-designated w orker 5 no provision2 n o t calculated3 1.3

(1.4)

0.7 (1.42)

Designated worker 50 20 averaged over

5 consecutive years with a maximum of 50 in any one year

2.2 (3.2)

7.6

(10.9)

0.37 (0.62)

1 Dosimetric modelling assumes all individuals in the critical group have the same characteristics. Thus all members of a critical group are ascribed the same dose, which is the average dose for the critical group. T he concept of maximum dose has no application.

2 ICRP 60 does not provide for non-designated workers. If the ICRP 60 and N H M R C definition of occupational exposure is applied literally to non-designated workers, they would be subject to the 100 mSv per 5 year dose limit.

3 Radiation doses for non-designated workers are calculated using gamma exposure results from the Emergency Services Group, and radon progeny and radioactive dust concentrations measured at the Acid Plant. T he dose thus calculated is highly conservative and would exceed actual doses received by any non-designated workers on site. Doses calculated for non-designated workers are hence considered to be maximum doses.

Table 2.2 indicates that radiation doses to workers and members of the public were below the applicable dose limits during 1999, and that they were less than during 1998. The reduction in dose compared with 1998 is primarily due to the adoption of dose conversion factors for ore dust and radon progeny which are based on the most recent recommendations of the

International Commission on Radiological Protection. The dose conversion factors introduced at Ranger on 1 January 1999 are lower than those previously in use. T he reduction in the collective dose to non-designated workers is due to a reduction, by approximately 50%, of the number of non-designated workers on site in 1999 compared with 1998.

The most significant radiation exposure pathway for workers at the Ranger mine continues to be the inhalation of radioactive dust, followed by gamma ray exposure then inhalation of radon progeny. T he inhalation of radon progeny is the principal contributor to radiation exposure of members of the public residing at Jabira due to mining operations at Ranger. Radioactive dust and gamma ray exposures to members of the public attributable to mining operations at Ranger are negligible.

2.1.9 Minesite Technical Committee

Mine related technical issues are resolved by a Minesite Technical Committee (MTC) established for each site. Each M TC is made-up of representatives from the Supervising Scientist, Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy, N orthern Land Council and the mining company concerned. They are required to meet within eight weeks of Alligator

Rivers Region Advisory Committee meetings to discuss technical issues arising from that meeting and the related Environmental Performance Review. The committees may co-opt other organisations or expertise from time to time as required. Additional M TC meetings are

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called as needed to discuss specific technical issues such as applications for changes to the Ranger General Authorisation, or to undertake an assessment of infringements. Meetings are chaired by the N orthern Territory Department of Mines and Energy, but can be requested by any member. The Ranger M T C met six times during the year. Table 2.3 provides information on the meetings held and the major points of discussion during 1999-2000.

Date Significant Agenda Items

9 September 1999 Status of water quality in Retention Pond 1 (uranium levels), outlet modifications and bunding; tailings dam seepage characterisation; update on process water tailings density and water balance; Djalkmarra flood irrigation areas; toxicity testing protocols; quality control of water monitoring programmes; final land form design; quality assurance of soil analyses in Magela land application area; 1999 excision of wetland filters from the Restricted Release Zone.

29 October 1999 Final land form design.

3 November 1999 Status of studies on Retention Pond 1; Process water balance models; Djalkmarra flood irrigation area groundwater monitoring programme; soil radium data analyses for Magela land application area; tailings dam remedial work; new Commonwealth Environmental Requirements; monitoring philosophy; update on programme to reduce process water inventory; application to alter authorisation— redundant observation bore; access permit issues.

3 February 2000 Status of review of water quality parameters for Magela Creek in new Commonwealth Environmental Requirements; status of redraft of Ranger Authorisation; Retention Pond 2 water treatment trials; tailings dam seepage monitoring; progress on tailings paste trials; progress on rehabilitation, status of water quality in Retention Pond 1 (uranium levels).

25 February 2000 New Commonwealth Environmental Requirements; status of water quality in Retention Pond 1 (uranium levels); water management strategy review.

19 May 2000 Review of ERA interim investigation report into tailings water return pipeline leak.

21 June 2000 Review of water quality parameters and triggers for assessing impacts on Magela Creek; status of mining and milling manuals; status of draft explanatory notes on Best Practicable Technology definition; hazardous materials; research status into Retention Pond 1 (uranium levels); status and scope of water management sub­ committee; draft guidelines on reporting thresholds; water management; waste rock stockpile; reverse osmosis trials, interpretation of environmental requirements relating to process water; Supervising Scientist report on tailings water leak.

2.1.10 Changes to the Ranger General Authorisation

T he Ranger General Authorisation is issued under Section 13 of the Northern Territory Uranium Mining (Enviromnental Control) Act 1979. T he Act provides for alterations to the authorisation to be issued by the Northern Territory Minister for Resource Development. A revised Ranger General Authorisation was issued on 13 March 2000 to account for the new Commonwealth Environmental Requirements.

The Authorisation requires that ERA seek approval for certain activities from the Northern Territory Supervising Authority. Depending upon the nature of the application, approvals may be issued by the Minister, the Director of Mines or a Mines Inspector.

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Approvals issued under the Ranger General Authorisation during the reporting period

14 July 1999

Modification of the Restricted Release Zone boundary.

12 November 1999

Removal of observation bore OB(A) from the table of designated observation bores.

7 December 1999

Annual Water Management System Operations Manual accepted.

16 December 1999

Appointment of Statutory Radiation Officer.

13 March

Issue of a revised General Authorisation to account for a new set of Commonwealth Environmental Requirements

2.1.11 Incidents

During 1999-2000 there were five incidents. None was regarded as having a significant environmental impact. ERA is required to report breaches of the Commonwealth’s Environmental Requirements or the Ranger General Authorisation and environmental mine related events which could be of concern to Aboriginal people in the region or the broader community.

5 August 1999

Retention Pond 2 water was used outside the Restricted Release Zone to fight a bush fire. It is estimated that less than five cubic metres of water was used. The fire damaged a joint in the tailings line allowing a small quantity of tailings to enter into the tailings corridor where it was contained. The area was cleaned and tailings were placed into the pit in accordance with

accepted procedures.

7 October 1999

Four new, unused empty drums used by ERA to transport uranium were lost whilst in transit from Perth to Darwin.

2 February 2000

Reoccurrence of abnormally high dissolved uranium concentrations in Retention Pond 1. No effect from enhanced uranium in Retention Pond 1 was observed in water quality at downstream monitoring point (GS8210009) with no difference being demonstrated upstream or downstream from the mine.

28 April 2000

ERA reported that approximately 2000 cubic metres of tailings water (process water) had leaked from the tailings water return pipe during the 1999-2000 Wet season. This incident has been addressed in detail in section Section 2.1.1.

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12 May 2000

A leak was discovered in ‘B’ tails line between the processing plant and Pit 1. T he failed spool piece was replaced and the rest of ‘B’ line was inspected along with other lines in process water system to ensure their integrity. The total contents of the leak were contained within the

secondary containment system.

15 May 2000

Weeping was detected between two pipe joints in the Tailings Water Return Pipeline. The line was shutdown and joints were disassembled, checked, reassembled and the complete line was pressure tested. The estimated volume of water lost was 5 litres.

2.2 Jabiluka Mine Project

2.2.1 W orld Heritage issues

At the request of the World Heritage Committee, the Supervising Scientist submitted a report to the Committee in April 1999 on the Jabiluka Project. This report was assessed by the Independent Science Panel (ISP) of ICSU in May 1999 and the Supervising Scientist provided a response to the ISP review to the World Heritage Committee in June 1999.

The World Heritage Committee met in Paris in July 1999 and resolved not to place Kakadu National Park on the list of World Heritage in Danger. In making its decision, the World Heritage Committee asked the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) of the International Council for Science (ICSU) to continue to work with the Supervising Scientist and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to resolve any remaining scientific issues and to provide a report on that work to the World Heritage Centre by April 2000. T he role of the ISP is to review the response of the Supervising Scientist to the first report of the ISP and report back to the World Heritage Committee on scientific issues associated with the development of the Jabiluka project.

In April 2000, following a request from the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources required that recommendations contained in Supervising Scientist Report and in the ISP review of that report be implemented (section 6.2.3 discusses these recommendations in detail).

Funding for the further work of the ISP was not made available by the World Heritage Committee until its November/December 1999 meeting. As such, the ISP had insufficient time to complete its deliberations and provide a final report to the World Heritage Centre by April 2000 as requested. Instead, the ISP reviewed the Supervising Scientist’s response in May 2000 and provided a report on the progress of the ISP which was considered at the June 2000 meeting of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee.

Since August 1999, the Supervising Scientist has worked with the World Heritage Centre to make arrangements for a visit of the ISP to Kakadu National Park, Jabiluka and Ranger. The planned visit was in response to concerns raised by the ISP in July 1999 that it had not had the opportunity to visit Jabiluka and that such a visit would greatly assist it in determining whether the development of Jabiluka posed a threat to the natural World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park. Those arrangements were finalised in June 2000.

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The ISP visit occurred during the week of 3 to 7 July 2000. A representative of the IUCN accompanied the ISP. The programme for the visit, developed in consultation with the ISP, included tours of Ranger and Jabiluka, a flight over Ranger, Jabiluka and Kakadu National

Park, and meetings with the Supervising Scientist and his staff, Energy Resources of Australia, Park Managers, and various Australian scientists. These meetings were structured to address particular scientific issues and allow the ISP to obtain additional information sufficient for it to report on whether the development of the Jabiluka uranium mine poses a threat to the natural

World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park.

2.2.2 Developments

Over the past twelve months there has been little development of the Jabiluka project on site. The completion of stage 1 of the underground development was followed by the completion of a geotechnical borehole and some underground work in the vicinity of the ore body. Development work at Jabiluka ceased in September 1999 after which the site entered an

environmental management and standby phase.

The major changes to environmental management systems and infrastructure undertaken at Jabiluka during the environmental management and standby phase have been the placing of an impermeable cover over the mineralised rock stockpile in November 1999, the reduction in

area of the Total Containment Zone, the removal of redundant plant and buildings, the establishment of vegetation in areas formerly cleared but no longer required and the trialing of reverse osmosis as a potential water management strategy.

2.2.3 Assessment methodology

The adequacy of environmental protection and the level of environmental impact arising from uranium mining at the Jabiluka site were measured through a number of mechanisms, mainly:

• Environmental Performance Reviews of the minesite conducted in association with the Northern Territory Supervising Authority;

• assessment of reports and plans produced by the mining company:

-Jabiluka Mine Development Project Acid Rock Drainage Management Plan -Jabiluka Mine Development Project Water Management System Operation Manual -Jabiluka Mine Development Project Plan of Rehabilitation no.2 -Jabiluka Project Contingency Plans for Stage 1 - monthly monitoring data and quarterly reports as provided by ERA in accordance with the Authorisation for Jabiluka • evaluation of applications by the mining company for variations to the Jabiluka General

Authorisation issued by Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy and the provision of technical advice to the regulating authorities regarding such applications;

• assessment of reports from the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy Environmental Surveillance Monitoring in the Alligator Rivers Region Reports 34 and 35;

• participation in technical discussion forums, principally the Minesite Technical Committee.

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2.2.4 Environmental Performance Reviews

The fourth Environmental Performance Review (EPR) for the Jabiluka Project was undertaken on 10 December 1999. The EPR followed the established format of an interview based on the audit protocol (described in 2.1.4), followed by a site inspection. The review considered matters arising from the previous EPR and the general environmental management performance of the

site. In summary the team found that there were no unacceptable environmental impacts arising from operations at the site and that the environmental and water management systems were performing satisfactorily. The introduction of the stockpile cover, the erosion control works programme and the reduction in area of the Total Containment Zone were all noted as particularly significant events during the year. T he next EPR is scheduled for 21 July 2000.

2.2.5 Water management

T he Interim Water Retention Pond at Jabiluka was designed to contain runoff from the Total Containment Zone arising from a single W et season with a return frequency of 1 in 10000 years. The permanent water retention structures were to have been constructed during the following Dry season as part of the ongoing development of Jabiluka. However, development at Jabiluka has not progressed. Consequently, the Interim Water Retention Pond has been in operation for two complete Wet seasons when it was originally designed for one.

ERA took action in the second half of 1999 to ensure that the Interim Water Retention Pond would continue to meet the 1 in 10000 year criterion throughout the 1999-2000 Wet season by reducing the catchment of the Interim Water Retention Pond. This was facilitated by the covering of the mineralised material stockpile. At the end of the 1999-00 Wet season, despite above average rainfall, the Interim Water Retention Pond continued to meet all regulatory requirements. However there is a significant risk that the Interim W ater Retention Pond will fail to meet the

1 in 10 000 year criterion during the 2000-2001 Wet season unless its inventory of water is reduced.

In order to identify options for the disposal of water from the Interim Water Retention Pond, ERA trialled the use of a reverse osmosis plant at Jabiluka. The trial involved passing water from the Interim Water Retention Pond through the reverse osmosis plant and returning it to the Interim Water Retention Pond. The final results of the trial were not available at the end of June 2000 but preliminary results were very encouraging. If successful, the treated water would

be of a very high quality, making various disposal options available for consideration.

2.2.6 Water quality in Swift Creek

T he company is required to implement a water quality monitoring programme in Swift Creek to demonstrate that the development is not having an adverse impact on aquatic ecosystems downstream of Jabiluka. Table 2.4 summarises key water quality parameters upstream and downstream of Jabiluka over the 1999-2000 Wet season.

It is evident that the development of Jabiluka did not cause any changes in the water quality of Swift Creek that could be of ecological significance. Values of parameters upstream and downstream of the site, with the exception of turbidity, are not significantly different. It should be noted that variations in natural peak concentrations of some constituents are evident such as manganese, which exhibited a higher peak concentration upstream than downstream of the Jabiluka site. However, as the median values demonstrate, overall the concentrations of

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TABLE 2.4: SUMMARY OF WATER QUALITY PARAMETERS IN SWIFT CREEK UPSTREAM A N D DOW NSTREAM OF THE JABILUKA PROJECT AREA OVER T H E 1 9 9 9 -2 0 0 0 W ET SEASON

M edian Range

Parameter Units Upstream Downstream Upstream Downstream

pH Units 4.92 5.2 4.31-5.46 4.33-6.45

EC (pS/cm) 11.22 10.26 7.61-20.05 7.13-20

Turbidity (NTU) <1 1.4 <1-2.6 <1-5.69

TSS (mg/L) 2 3 <1 - 11 <1-13

Sulphate* (mg/L) 0.58 0.53 0.34-1.86 0.28-1.14

Nitrate* (mg/L) 0.52 0.12 <0.02 - 0.97 <0.02-0.36

Magnesium* (mg/L) 0.35 0.46 0.20-0.59 0.30-0.59

Copper* (pg/L) <0.2 <0.2 <0.2-0.27 <0.2-0.57

Manganese* (pg/L) 3.52 3.78 2.50-14.81 2.66-11.30

Lead* (pg/L) <0.1 <0.1 - -

Uranium* (pg/L) <0.1 <0.1 - <0.1-0.11

Zinc* (pg/L) <2 <2 - <2-2.89

t Denotes dissolved constituent

manganese upstream and downstream are not significantly different. Zinc exhibited a single data point peak downstream, however, the levels observed this Wet season are within the range documented in baseline data for Swift Creek.

eriss conducted research on sediment loads in Swiff Creek that could be attributable to Jabiluka during the 1999-2000 Wet season. This work is described in section 3.1.2 of this report. The research found a small increase in the suspended sediment load in Swift Creek downstream of Jabiluka. However, the interpretation of the data is complicated by a fire that

occurred in the catchment in 1998. Fires in a catchment are known to result in increased sediment transport and hence increased sediment loads in streams.

eriss also collected samples of benthic macroinvertebrates upstream and downstream of Jabiluka during the 1999-2000 Wet season. This work (described in section 3.1.4 of this report) did not reveal any significant difference between upstream and downstream macroinvertebrate communities indicating that the development of Jabiluka did not adversely affect the aquatic

ecosystem downstream of Jabiluka.

2.2.7 Waste rock and mineralised material management

The waste rock arising from the stage one development is located in two main dumps dependent on the level of mineralisation present. Clean waste (below 0.02% U 3Og) is essentially all sandstone and has been placed in a dump outside the Total Containment Zone to the south of tributary central but within the fenced area of the site. The runoff from

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this waste rock dump reports to drains equipped with silt fences and silt traps to restrict the movement of sediment off site. Based upon the water quality results presented in section 2.2.6, the performance of these features to date has been satisfactory.

Mineralised material containing uranium at concentrations exceeding 0.02% U 3O g was placed on a lined pad. Prior to the impermeable cover being placed over the mineralised material stockpile, rainfall runoff from it drained directly to the Interim Water Retention Pond. After it was covered, rainfall runoff from the mineralised material stockpile was diverted away from the Interim Water Retention Pond through sediment control structures to natural drainage lines. The mineralised material stockpile cover is designed to withstand 250 km/h winds and contingency plans are in place to divert rainfall runoff back to the Interim Water Retention Pond if the site is threatened by a cyclone of sufficient strength to damage the cover.

2.2.8 Radiological exposure to employees and the public

The Jabiluka project is a potential source of radiological exposure to mine employees and a potential source of exposure to the local community. As noted in section 2.1.8, there are three levels of radiation dose limits established in the Australian Code of Practice for the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores (1987), which specify the maximum allowable effective dose for the public, non-designated workers and designated workers.

The calendar year 1999 was the first full year for which radiation doses were calculated for employees at Jabiluka. Although development of the decline commenced in September 1998, material containing significantly elevated levels of uranium and other naturally occurring radioactive substances was not intersected until March 1999.

T he development of the ore drive and footwall drive commenced on 3 June 1999 and ceased on 4 July 1999. The exposure of uranium ore in these drives allowed ERA to undertake investigations to determine by direct measurement parameters which significandy influence the radiation doses which workers could potentially receive, and consequently the radiation

protection measures which are required. Those parameters are the gamma ray dose rate and the radon emanation rate as a function of ore grade. ERA also investigated the gamma ray

TABLE 2.5: COMPARISON OF M EASURED RADIATION PARAMETERS W IT H ESTIMATED R AD IATIO N PARAMETERS

Parameter Value assumed in EIS Value determined by Measurement

Average Ore Grade (%U30 8) intersected to date 0.74 in the first year 1.15

Gamma doserate factor (mSv/h/%U3Og)a

109 70

Radon emanation rate (Bq/m2/s/% U30 8 )b

49 10-15

Shotcrete gamma shielding factor 57% for 60 mm 50% for 50 mm

Mining equipment gamma shielding factor rate)

50% 40-65%

a Micro Sieverts per hour per percent U 3O g

b Becquerels per square metre per second per percent U 30 8

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shielding provided by shotcrete and by the cabins of mining equipment, and determined the average grade of the ore intersected to date. Table 2.5 lists the results of those investigations together with the values assumed in the Jabiluka Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The average grade of the ore intersected to date is higher than that predicted in the EIS. However, both the gamma dose rate factor and radon emanation rate are significantly lower than predicted in the EIS. Also, the EIS assumed that the average concentration of radioactive dust in air throughout the mine would be 0.1 Bq/m3 (Becquerels per cubic metre). Personal

monitoring results for underground workers at Jabiluka show that the average concentration of radioactive dust in drives being excavated in ore was 0.103 Bq/m3 and that average radioactive dust concentrations at other times and in other areas such as the decline were 0.01 to 0.025 Bq/m3. Hence measurements to date indicate that the average radioactive dust concentration throughout the mine will be less than was assumed in the EIS.

Caution must be applied in interpreting the data collected to date as underground development in ore has been minimal. However, if mining of uranium ore commences at Jabiluka, the results indicate that:

• the estimates made in the EIS of gamma radiation doses to workers are not expected to be exceeded if appropriate radiological management practices are observed; and

• the radiation doses to workers arising from the inhalation of radioactive dust and radon progeny are expected to be significantly less than predicted in the EIS.

Table 2.6 records the results of the occupational radiological monitoring programme at Jabiluka for the 1999 calendar year. Radiation doses are well within recommended dose limits, as would be expected considering the minimal development in ore to date.

ERA is required to ensure that radiation doses to members of the public from the operations at Jabiluka remain below dose limits and are as low as reasonably achievable. The critical group, that is the group of people who would receive the largest radiation dose, are the residents of Mudginberri, approximately 10 km south of the site. ERA has not been successful in obtaining

permission from the Aboriginal traditional owners to undertake environmental radiological monitoring at Mudginberri. However the results of environmental radiological monitoring on the Jabiluka lease have been consistent with natural background levels.

TABLE 2.6 RADIATION DOSES ASSOCIATED W IT H T H E JABILUKA PROJECT

Subject group Radiation dose limits mSv per year Radiation doses for the 1999 calendar year

Australian Code IC R P 60 & Average dose M axim um dose Collective dose

o f practice N H & M R C mSv mSv person Sv

N on-designated worker 5 no provision 1 0.05 0.7 0.007

D esignated worker 50 20 averaged over

5 consecutive years

1.1 3.5 0.067

w ith a maximum o f 50 in any one year

1 ICRP 60 does not provide for non-designated workers. If the ICRP 60 and NH&MRC definition of occupational exposure is applied literally to non-designated workers, they would be subject to the 100 mSv per 5 year dose limit.

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T he average radon progeny concentration (potential alpha energy concentration) and radioactive dust concentration (long lived alpha activity concentration) at Jabiluka Hill during 1999 were 0.036 m j/m 3 (micro Joules per cubic metre) and 120 madps/m3 (micro alpha

disintegrations per second per cubic metre) respectively. Considering these results, no member of the public could have received a radiation dose due to operations at Jabiluka which was detectable above natural background radiation doses.

2.2.9 Minesite Technical Committee

As mentioned in section 2.1.9, mine related technical issues are resolved by a Minesite Technical Committee (MTC) established for each site. The Jabiluka Minesite Technical Committee met three times during the year. Table 2.7 provides information on the meetings held and the major points of discussion during 1999-2000.

2.2.10 Authorisations and Approvals

Authorisations and Approvals made by the N orthern Territory Minister for Resource Development for Jabiluka during the reporting period are shown in table 2.8.

2.2.11 Incidents

There were no reported incidents during the year.

2.3 Nabarlek Mine

2.3.1 Developments

Throughout the year little has changed at the Nabarlek site. The revegetation assessment by the independent assessor, Adams Ecological Consultants, was finalised and submitted for evaluation by the Minesite Technical Committee in September 1999. No progress has been made on the removal of remnant infrastructure or debris from the site and revegetation proceeds slowly in some areas.

In April 2000, oss hosted a workshop to discuss the status of rehabilitation at the Nabarlek site (see section 2.3.6).

In April, the lessee, Pioneer Construction Materials Pty. Ltd., made an application to the Supervising Authorities to be released from the site but approval was not granted. At the end of the year discussions on the final site clean up and future management options were continuing.

2.3.2 Assessment methodology

The adequacy of environmental protection and the level of environmental impact arising from uranium mining at the Nabarlek site were measured through a number of mechanisms, mainly:

• an Environmental Performance Review and mid-year check of the minesite conducted in association with the Northern Territory Supervising Authority;

• the Nabarlek Project Annual Environmental Report;

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Date Significant Agenda Items

10 September 1999 Radiation monitoring site at Mudginberri; issues arising from EPR, Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy check-monitoring programme; radiological management plan; general update

3 November 1999 Update of radiation monitoring site at Mudginberri; general update and status of additional studies; scope and terms of reference for aquatic surveys; silt trap monitoring, stockpile cover.

3 February 2000 Status report on performance of ore stockpile cover; future works programme; update of radiation monitoring site at Mudginberri; check-monitoring programn review/assessment; status of additional studies; water treatment.

TABLE 2.8 AUTHORISATIONS A N D APPROVALS MADE BY THE N T M IN ISTER FOR RESOURCE D EV ELO PM EN T FOR JABILUKA

Date Approval

5 July 1999 Restricted Release Zonel boundary extension to incorporate workshop area and fuel bay.

25 October 1999 Re-definition of Restricted Release Zone1 to exclude areas not required to be in Restricted Release Zone during the Standby Environmental Management and Planning phase.

14 December 1999 Re-definition of Restricted Release Zone to provide for diversion of uncontaminated runoff from the covered ore stockpile to the sediment control zone.

Date Authorisation .: ,ττΤ ■

1 October 1999 Modification of surface water monitoring - deletion of redundant section of authorisation and extension of creek monitoring programme.

1 The term ‘Restricted Release Zone’ is used in the Jabiluka Authorisation issued by the N orthern Territory Government. It is, however, a Total Containment Zone.

• assessment of reports from the N orthern Territory Department of Mines and Energy Environmental Surveillance Monitoring in the Alligator Rivers Region Reports 32 and 33;

• participation in technical discussion forums, principally the Minesite Technical Committee.

2.3.3 Environmental Performance Reviews

Environmental Performance Reviews for Nabarlek were adjusted to one per year with a mid­ year inspection to check the impact of the W et season. The ninth Environmental Performance Review for Nabarlek took place at the site on 8 December 1999. The early start to the Wet

season prevented road access and so the team was obliged to fly in and walk around the site. This restricted the ability to study features away from the main area due to time limitations. However, the team did manage to visit most of the site in the time available and noted that a

boring insect had attacked many of the trees at the pit and waste rock pile but this was regarded as a namral process. Over the remainder of the pond area, tree growth was still patchy and generally poorer than for the other areas. Some minor erosion features on the site were noted.

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The team noted that there had been little change in conditions at the site since the previous inspection in mid-1999. It is understood that the N orthern Land Council is trying to advance the issue of the removal of remaining infrastructure items by their purchasers. However, there are still likely to be considerable amounts of waste materials and debris to be dealt with before the site could be considered clear. This issue together with the final determination of the state of revegetation was carried forward to be discussed at the December 1999 Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee meeting and the workshop held in April 2000. T he team agreed that there were no adverse environmental impacts arising from the site.

2.3.4 Minesite Technical Committee

As mentioned in section 2.1.9, mine related technical issues are resolved by a Minesite Technical Committee (MTC) established for each site. The Nabarlek M TC met once during the year. Table 2.9 provides information on the meeting and the major points of discussion.

2.3.5 Incidents

There was one breach of the Authorisation relating to the requirements to make a photographic record of vegetation growth in May each year that is then submitted in an annual report. Photographs for the vegetation report were not taken in May 1999. Consequently, a report was compiled and submitted with photographs taken in December 1999.

2.3.6 Surface and groundwater quality

Surface and ground water quality continues to improve at Nabarlek. In the 1980s, irrigation of pond water resulted in the localised deterioration of groundwater quality as shown by the generation of acidity, and high electrical conductivity from elevated nitrate, sulphate and aluminium. Results from borehole sampling in 1999 indicate that the concentrations of these parameters continue to decline and that pH remains stable at around pH 4.1-4.4. Also, in the last few years, water quality in Kadjirrikamarnda Creek has recovered to near background values from the impact of pond water irrigation. Electrical conductivity and nitrate

concentration remain slightly elevated (Table 2.10).

2.3.7 Rehabilitation workshop

T he oss organised and chaired a workshop on the rehabilitation of the Nabarlek mine site in April 2000. Nabarlek is significant as it represents the first comprehensive rehabilitation of a modern uranium mine in Australia. All major stakeholders were invited as well as some outside experts. The workshop was an opportune time to examine the success of rehabilitation and focused on three principle issues:

TABLE 2.9: NABARLEK M INESITE T EC H N IC A L C OM M ITTEE M EETINGS

Date Significant Agenda Items

8 September 1999 Remaining works required for final mine closeout; status and legal responsibility and stewardship after lease expiry; environmental monitoring; standards for final clean up; criteria for issue of revegetation certificate; assessment of revegetation; eriss radiological studies.

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TABLE 2.10: DRY SEASON WATER QUALITY (DISSOLVED C O N STITU E N T S) IN KADJIRRIKAMARNDA CREEK AT G1079

Parameter

July 1986 (Pre-impact)

July 1989 (Impact) August 1999

pH 6.2 4.7 5.0

EC (pS/cm) 18 302 53

Sulphate (mg/L) - 68 11

Nitrate (mg/L) 0.03 45 0.30

Aluminium (pg /L) 14 - 46

Uranium (pg/L) <0.1 - <0.1

• whether rehabilitation had reached a stage where the mining company could be discharged of its responsibility;

• whether adequate monitoring data had been collected to allow some measure of rehabilitation success to be determined;

• what lessons had been learnt which are applicable now, and what further research should be done.

The workshop was an open forum for discussion. The outcomes, including recommendations for the review or further development of plans for fire management and weed control, erosion control, site clean up, feral animal control and further research into revegetation will be presented to the Nabarlek Minesite Technical Committee.

2.4 O ther activities in the Alligator Rivers Region

2.4.1 Exposed tailings adjacent to the Gunlom Road

In August 1999, oss undertook its annual inspection of sites associated with historic uranium mining activities in the South Alligator River Valley (figure 1.1). These annual inspections were initiated after the then Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy completed a programme of hazard reduction works at these sites in 1991. The goal of the hazard reduction programme was to significantly reduce the physical and radiological hazards

at sites associated with uranium mining activities of the 1950s and 1960s.

Environmental protection requirements at the time operations ceased at these sites were very poor by today’s standards and in many cases the sites were simply abandoned. The hazard reduction programme completed in 1991 involved activities to make the sites physically safe (such as sealing shafts) and also the collection and burial of material with elevated

concentrations of radioactive substances.

During the August 1999 inspection, the oss noted that tailings had become exposed at the surface between the Gunlom road and the South Alligator River. At the time of the 1991 hazard reduction programme, these tailings were covered and not prone to dispersion in Wet seasons. Consequently, considering that the occupancy of the site by members of the public and therefore the radiological hazard to the public was extremely low, and also considering the

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disturbance to natural bushland that would be required to remove the tailings, no remedial action was taken in respect of this site as part of the hazard reduction programme.

However, the exposure of tailings at the surface due to erosion represented a significant change in the condition of the site compared with previous years. The oss immediately informed Parks Australia North of its observations and requested a comprehensive radiation survey of the site by eriss. This issue was also reported at the December 1999 meeting of the Alligator Rivers

Region Advisory Committee, eriss undertook the survey in September 1999 and provided a final report to Parks Australia North in February 2000. The report recommended that the tailings be removed from the site.

T he site could cause a person to receive a radiation dose in excess of the dose limit if that person resided continuously on the site for more than two weeks, or if a person disturbed the site in a manner which created significant amounts of airborne dust which was then inhaled. Based on the location and characteristics of the site, the probability of either of these scenarios occurring is extremely low.

The oss also considered the radiological hazard posed to people driving past the site. Potential exposure pathways are direct gamma irradiation from the tailings by the side of the road, and the inhalation of tailings dust generated by vehicles. The oss calculated that the dose received by a very regular user of the road due to the inhalation of tailings dust, such as a Parks Australia

N orth employee, would be more than a factor of 100 below the background radiation dose received by Australians from natural sources every year. The dose due to direct gamma irradiation would be at least a factor of 20 lower again.

To confirm this calculation, direct measurements of dust concentrations were made in a vehicle with open windows driving past the tailings, following in the dust cloud created by another vehicle. This represented a worst case scenario. T he dose calculated using the results of these measurements confirmed the earlier calculation.

Even though the radiological hazard presented by the tailings was extremely low, the Supervising Scientist was concerned that there should be no significant dispersion of the tailings into the South Alligator River. The site is inundated by water in the W et season when the South Alligator River is in flood. Observations of the site indicate that there was no significant dispersion of tailings during the 1999-2000 Wet season, however, without appropriate action, there could be no guarantee that there would also be no significant dispersion of the tailings during the 2000-2001 W et season.

Under the conditions of the lease between the Director of National Parks and the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of the area, Parks Australia N orth is responsible for establishing a rehabilitation plan for all the historic uranium mining sites in the South Alligator River Valley, including the tailings site, by the end of calendar year 2000. Parks Australia N orth then has

15 years to implement the rehabilitation plan. T he Director of National Parks considers this to be an issue requiring urgent attention and work will be undertaken to prevent dispersion of tailings and to begin rehabilitation of the site during the 2000-2001 Wet season.

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2.4.2 Exploration

During the Dry season of 1999 there were three exploration programmes related to uranium resources. All were continuations of programmes from previous years with the same operators and in the same general areas. No new exploration licences were granted during the year, oss visited all three operational areas during the exploration season to inspect the environmental

management procedures in place, including the rehabilitation of drill sites and to check on progress of sites rehabilitated in previous years. In all three operational areas performance was found to be satisfactory with standards still improving as operators paid more attention to detail in dealing with environmental issues. The visits were undertaken jointly with an inspector from the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy so that operations were inconvenienced as little as possible. This joint programme also ensured that there was agreement on the level of performance between the two organisations. T he issues raised were minor adjustments to some procedures for handling fuels and some Occupational Health and Safety issues raised by the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy mining engineer.

A significant change to the programme came during the early part of 2000 when it was announced that PN C would cease exploration as an operator and the continuing activity on their former exploration licences would be carried out under the management of Cameco (Australia) Limited.

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3 ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH

The Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act, 1978 established an Alligator Rivers Region Research Institute (eriss) to undertake research into the environmental effects of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region and into other environmental issues elsewhere as appropriate.

eriss research is organised into two major programmes:

• research for the protection of people and the environment, focussing on the effects of mining in the Alligator Rivers Region;

• research on the ecology and conservation of tropical wetlands.

In addition eriss carries out general environmental research that meets specific needs identified by the Australian Government.

The programme of eriss is reviewed annually by the Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee.

3.1 Environmental Impact of M ining

3.1.1 Programme objectives

T he objective of the eriss programme on the environmental impact of mining is to provide advice, based on research and monitoring, to the Supervising Scientist and stakeholders on standards, practices and procedures to protect the environment from the effects of mining, particularly uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region.

In 1999-2000 the majority of research projects carried out within this programme were focused in one or more of the following areas:

• projects related to Jabiluka, particularly collection of baseline biological, chemical and radionuclide data for groundwater, air quality, Swift Creek, and for other potentially affected streams and suitable control streams;

• research on the environmental impact of the Ranger mine, with particular emphasis on rehabilitation issues;

• research on the site of the former Nabarlek mine. This work will provide a detailed description of the environmental (especially radiological) condition of the site, as well as provide information that will help in the rehabilitation of other minesites in the Region.

3.1.2 Erosion and Hydrology

Temporal trends in erosion and hydrology characteristics for a post-mining rehabilitated landform at Energy Resources of Australia Ranger Mine

T he aim of this research is:

• to assess how soil and ecosystem development affect input parameter values for the landform evolution model;

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• to assess the effect of temporal changes in input parameter values on long-term landform evolution simulations of Ranger mine.

An important part of rehabilitation planning for mines is the design of a stable landform for waste rock dumps or spoil piles at the completion of mining. To successfully incorporate landform designs in planning there is a need to be able to predict the stability of the final landform.

In the long term, weathering, soil forming processes, ecosystem development and even climate change may affect the stability of a rehabilitated landform. It is necessary to take these processes into account when predicting how a rehabilitated landform will behave in the long term, and whether it will meet rehabilitation objectives.

Rainfall data were collected from a site on a batter slope on the waste rock dump at Ranger; two sites on the waste rock dump of the abandoned Scinto 6 mine in the South Alligator River valley; two natural, undisturbed sites at Tin Camp Creek, Arnhem Land; and a natural site

near Pit 1, at Ranger. T he age of the surface at the batter site, the Scinto 6 sites, the Tin Camp Creek sites and the Pit 1 natural site are estimated to be approximately 0 years, 50 years, 2.1 million years and 3.2 million years respectively.

The erosion model SIBERIA was used to predict the stability of the proposed rehabilitated landform at Ranger. SIBERIA input parameter values were derived for each study site to determine the rate of change in parameter values with time under both concentrated flow and

sheet flow conditions.

Soil and ecosystem development and surface armouring have a very clear temporal effect on erosion rate parameters (fig 3.1). T he change is rapid and occurs within the first 50 years after mining is completed, after which the parameter values reach a stable equilibrium and remain relatively constant for millions of years. SIBERIA landform evolution simulations of a proposed rehabilitated landform at Ranger were conducted incorporating the rate of temporal change in input parameter values due to ecosystem development (fig 3.2). T he erosion rate and valley development on the simulated landforms with input parameters that change with time decline relatively quickly in the short-term, particularly on the landform with sheet flow conditions where sediment movement stabilises almost completely after 50 years of simulation.

The incorporation of temporal change in input parameter values, due to soil and ecosystem development and surface armouring, into the SIBERIA model is a significant advance in landform evolution modelling.

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Figure 3.1 SIBERIA input parameters (discharge exponent and erosion rate coefficient) at various times after rehabilitation at Ranger. Approximate lines of best fit for the concentrated flow and sheet flow conditions are also shown.

2.6

C oncentrated flow

1.8

S h eet flow

0 50

batter Scinto 6 site site site natural site

Time after rehabilitation (y)

1E+5

site site

4E+6

ite site natural

"Time alter rehabilitation (y)

Figure 3.2 SIBERIA simulations for the originally proposed rehabilitated landform at Ranger at 1000 y for concentrated flow (1) and sheet flow (2) conditions incorporating temporal change. The predicted landform at 1000 y using initial zero year parameter values assumed to remain constant throughout the simulation period is also shown (3). Dimensions are in kilometres.

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Suspended sediment loads in Swift Creek downstream of the Jabiluka mine

The investigation of suspended sediment loads in Swift Creek is part of a comprehensive project investigating the hydrology, sediment transport and sediment sources in the Swift Creek Catchment in which the Jabiluka mine is located.

The aim of this part of the project is to determine the suspended sediment loads within the Swift Creek catchment and what impact the development of the Jabiluka mine might have had on these loads.

Natural or background suspended sediment loads are the loads carried by the stream system in an undisturbed state. To determine these loads, long-term monitoring is required to gain an understanding of the effects of natural changes and variability in the catchment. There are limited data on background suspended sediment loads in the Swift Creek catchment.

In 1998 eriss established a stream gauging network in the catchment by installing gauging stations on the main channel downstream of the mine site (Swift Creek), on the main channel upstream of the mine site (Upper Main) and on the main right-bank tributary between these two stations (East Tributary) (fig. 3.3). Both Upper Main and East Tributary sites are above any influences that mining operations may have. Due to the braided and discontinuous nature of the West Branch channel it could not be gauged accurately. The rationale of the gauging network was that any significant changes measured in parameter values at the downstream Swift Creek site, not observed in the Upper Main and East Tributary sites, could be due to mine development activities. Parameters measured at these gauging stations for the 1998-99 and

1999-00 Wet season include rainfall, stage height, water velocity, discharge, channel geometry and bedload. Water samples were collected and analysed to determine total suspended sediment concentration as sand (>63 pm) and mud (silt+clay <63 pm >0.45 pm), solutes (<0.45 pm), turbidity, pH and conductivity. Table 3.1 shows, rainfall, runoff and total suspended sediment yield and specific suspended yield for the sites on Swiff Creek and also results collected in the

1980s for nearby sand bed streams that were described as relatively undisturbed.

From the initial two years of data, the suspended sediment results show that for the Swift Creek site downstream of Jabiluka, there was a decrease in average mud concentration from 1998-1999 to 1999-2000 of 13 mg/L to 6 mg/L whilst there was an increase in average sand

concentration of 25 mg/L to 30 mg/L from 1998-1999 to 1999-2000. The upstream sites did not exhibit the same changes suggesting that the source of these variations is from areas between the sites, perhaps the portal construction for Jabiluka. If this increase is due to portal construction in 1998 it would appear that the mud component, an increase of 7 mg/L, passed through the system in 1998-1999 and that the sand component, an increase of 5 mg/L, passed through the system in 1999-2000. This is a plausible explanation since mud is the most mobile component and there would be a time lag between mud and sand movement. However, the concentrations may not be totally due to portal construction which occurred in mid to late

1998. A large fire occurred in the western part of the catchment in September 1998 that would increase sediment movement into the stream system contributing to an increased sediment yield. It should also be stressed that the suspended sediment concentrations are all relatively small.

Suspended sediment loads have been determined for each of the gauging stations on Swift Creek for the 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 W et seasons. There was a small change in average suspended sediment loads between the seasons, however, it is difficult to draw long-term conclusions based on two years of data. The suspended sediment loads are similar to

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undisturbed sand bed streams with similar sized catchments in the immediate vicinity. An initial suspended sediment baseline has been determined for various points along the Swift Creek catchment and data should continue to be collected to obtain a detailed understanding of catchment conditions as a basis for catchment management strategies.

Figure 3.3 Location of gauging stations on Swift Creek

♦ Gauging Station

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T A B L E 3 . 1 : T O T A L R A I N F A L L , R U N O F F A N D T O T A L S U S P E N D E D

S E D I M E N T Y I E L D A N D S P E C I F I C S E D I M E N T Y I E L D F O R T H E

3 S W I F T C R E E K S I T E S A N D O T H E R N E A R B Y S T R E A M S

S ite

(k m 2)

S e a s o n R a in fa ll R u n o f f

(ML)

T o t a l S u s p e n d e d S p e c ific S e d im e n t

S e d im e n t y ie ld (t) y ie ld ( t.k m -2)

ET 8.3 1998-99 1776 7546 475 57.3

1999-00 2069 8446 526 63.4

Koongarra 1 15.4 1981-82 1452 13173 489 31.8

1982-83 1206 8216 439 28.5

UM 19 1998-99 1828 15703 659 34.7

1999-00 2105 17422 653 34.4

SC 42.8 1998-99 1780 33760 1334 31.2

1999-00 1997 34943 1364 31.9

7J1 53.5 1981-82 1451 14413 505 9.4

Gulungul1 61.9 1984-85 1781 31109 3607 58.27

1985-86 967 14227 697 10.97

1 Data from Duggan K (1994) Erosion and sediment yields in the Kakadu region o f northern Australia. International Association of Hydrological Sciences. Publ. No. 224, 378-383.

3.1.3 R adiological im pacts o f m in in g

Regional radon project

This project aims to provide detailed time-series data on concentrations of radon-222 (Rn-222) in air at various locations within the Alligator Rivers Region, over a time frame of several years. Radon arises from the decay of uranium which is present naturally in soils and rocks, and these data will be important in assessing the effects of uranium mining operations on radon levels in the region, both in providing baseline data and in calibrating and verifying predictive models.

Until this project, few data were available on radon levels at sites more than a few kilometres distant from uranium mines.

During 1999-2000, a station was established at Mudginberri, bringing the total number operating in the region to four. It is now intended to operate the four stations at locations for one year intervals, at the end of which three will be moved to new locations (Mudginberri acting as a constant control station). Each station logs radon concentrations and relevant meteorological data (wind speed, direction and variability, air pressure and temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture and temperature, rain and sunshine rates).

Table 3.2 shows annual average Rn-222 concentrations obtained at Djarr Djarr, East Alligator Ranger station and at the former Nabarlek minesite, together with data from Jabiru Town and Jabiru East from an earlier project conducted by eriss. The averages obtained vary by more than a factor of ten, this is probably due to a combination of factors. For example, Djarr Djarr

and East Alligator are close to large floodplain areas which are inundated with water for a large part of the year, this water cover being likely to reduce the radon emanation rate from these areas. The Nabarlek and Ranger minesite areas have higher uranium mineralisation than surrounding landscapes, and a conclusion of the 1990-1991 study was that 1 and 7 Bq/m3 of the

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average Rn-222 concentrations observed at Jabira Town and Jabiru East, respectively, could be attributed to a contribution from the Ranger minesite. A combination of strategic location of measurement stations and statistical data analysis will be needed to separate the most important factors for each location.

3 . 1 4 E cosystem p ro te c tio n

Effects of runoff from the disturbed Jabiluka mine site on macroinvertebrate communities of Swift Creek

Following disturbance of the mine site at Jabiluka in 1998 (land clearing, pond and portal construction) there was potential for the increased suspended solids loads that would arise in Swift Creek downstream of the mine in the ensuing 1998-99 W et season, to adversely affect the aquatic biota. While eriss and Earth Water and Life Sciences (EWES) had conducted some preliminary baseline sampling in the streams around Jabiluka in the previous (1997-98) Wet season, more strategic baseline sampling was initiated in the 1998-99 Wet season. The experimental design adopted in the 1998-99 Wet season enabled an assessment of the impact of mine disturbance on Swift Creek fauna, even though very few pre-dismrbance data were available.

Benthic macroinvertebrates have been selected as a key ‘indicator’ group to monitor and assess potential impacts upon aquatic ecosystems arising from the Jabiluka mine. Elsewhere in the Alligator Rivers Region, macroinvertebrates have been successfully used to detect and assess

impacts arising from a variety of human-related disturbances, including effects of increased turbidity. In both the 1998-99 and 1999-00 W et seasons, macroinvertebrate samples were gathered from sites in Swift Creek upstream and downstream of Jabiluka, and also from paired upstream and downstream sites in three adjacent streams currently unaffected by any mining activity at Jabiluka (control streams). Samples were collected from each site at three to four weekly intervals throughout each Wet season.

For each sampling occasion and for each pair of sites for a particular stream, a dissimilarity index was calculated. This index is a measure of the extent to which macroinvertebrate communities of the two sites differ from one another. A value of ‘zero’ indicates identical macroinvertebrate communities while a value of ‘one’ indicates totally dissimilar communities, sharing no common taxa. Research elsewhere in the Alligator Rivers Region has shown significantly ‘higher’ dissimilarity values for locations upstream and downstream of point sources of disturbance compared to undisturbed control streams.

Jabiru Town 1990-1991 24

Jabiru East 1990-1991 38

Nabarlek 1996-2000 75

DjarrDjarr 1997-2000 12

East Alligator 1998-2000 5.5

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Suspended sediment loads in Swift Creek downstream of the Jabiluka mine

The investigation of suspended sediment loads in Swift Creek is part of a comprehensive project investigating the hydrology, sediment transport and sediment sources in the Swift Creek Catchment in which the Jabiluka mine is located.

The aim of this part of the project is to determine the suspended sediment loads within the Swift Creek catchment and what impact the development of the Jabiluka mine might have had on these loads.

Natural or background suspended sediment loads are the loads carried by the stream system in an undisturbed state. To determine these loads, long-term monitoring is required to gain an understanding of the effects of natural changes and variability in the catchment. There are limited data on background suspended sediment loads in the Swift Creek catchment.

In 1998 eriss established a stream gauging network in the catchment by installing gauging stations on the main channel downstream of the mine site (Swift Creek), on the main channel upstream of the mine site (Upper Main) and on the main right-bank tributary between these two stations (East Tributary) (fig. 3.3). Both Upper Main and East Tributary sites are above any influences that mining operations may have. Due to the braided and discontinuous nature of the West Branch channel it could not be gauged accurately. T he rationale of the gauging network was that any significant changes measured in parameter values at the downstream Swift Creek site, not observed in the Upper Main and East Tributary sites, could be due to mine

development activities. Parameters measured at these gauging stations for the 1998-99 and 1999-00 Wet season include rainfall, stage height, water velocity, discharge, channel geometry and bedload. Water samples were collected and analysed to determine total suspended sediment concentration as sand (>63 pm) and mud (silt+clay <63 pm >0.45 pm), solutes (<0.45 pm), turbidity, pH and conductivity. Table 3.1 shows, rainfall, runoff and total suspended sediment yield and specific suspended yield for the sites on Swift Creek and also results collected in the

1980s for nearby sand bed streams that were described as relatively undisturbed.

From the initial two years of data, the suspended sediment results show that for the Swift Creek site downstream of Jabiluka, there was a decrease in average mud concentration from 1998-1999 to 1999-2000 of 13 mg/L to 6 mg/L whilst there was an increase in average sand

concentration of 25 mg/L to 30 mg/L from 1998-1999 to 1999-2000. The upstream sites did not exhibit the same changes suggesting that the source of these variations is from areas between the sites, perhaps the portal construction for Jabiluka. If this increase is due to portal

construction in 1998 it would appear that the mud component, an increase of 7 mg/L, passed through the system in 1998-1999 and that the sand component, an increase of 5 mg/L, passed through the system in 1999-2000. This is a plausible explanation since mud is the most mobile component and there would be a time lag between mud and sand movement. However, the concentrations may not be totally due to portal construction which occurred in mid to late

1998. A large fire occurred in the western part of the catchment in September 1998 that would increase sediment movement into the stream system contributing to an increased sediment yield. It should also be stressed that the suspended sediment concentrations are all relatively small.

Suspended sediment loads have been determined for each of the gauging stations on Swift Creek for the 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 W et seasons. There was a small change in average suspended sediment loads between the seasons, however, it is difficult to draw long-term conclusions based on two years of data. The suspended sediment loads are similar to

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undisturbed sand bed streams with similar sized catchments in the immediate vicinity. An initial suspended sediment baseline has been determined for various points along the Swift Creek catchment and data should continue to be collected to obtain a detailed understanding of catchment conditions as a basis for catchment management strategies.

Figure 3.3 Location of gauging stations on Swift Creek

Catchment

w a v Iw Y ' v

X Floodplain

SI

x ' χ

. .

41 B° ^ 3 Km

Magela

Φ Gauging Station

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T A B L E 3 . 1 : T O T A L R A I N F A L L , R U N O F F A N D T O T A L S U S P E N D E D

S E D I M E N T Y I E L D A N D S P E C I F I C S E D I M E N T Y I E L D F O R T H E

3 S W I F T C R E E K S I T E S A N D O T H E R N E A R B Y S T R E A M S

Site Area

(km2)

Season Rainfall Runoff

(ML)

Total Suspended Specific Sediment Sediment yield (t) yield (t.km"2)

ET 8.3 1998-99 1776 7546 475 57.3

1999-00 2069 8446 526 63.4

Koongarra 1 15.4 1981-82 1452 13173 489 31.8

1982-83 1206 8216 439 28.5

UM 19 1998-99 1828 15703 659 34.7

1999-00 2105 17422 653 34.4

SC 42.8 1998-99 1780 33760 1334 31.2

1999-00 1997 34943 1364 31.9

7J‘ 53.5 1981-82 1451 14413 505 9.4

Gulungul1 61.9 1984-85 1781 31109 3607 58.27

1985-86 967 14227 697 10.97

1 Data from Duggan K (1994) Erosion and sediment yields in the Kakadu region of northern Australia. International Association o f Hydrological Sciences. Publ. No. 224, 378-383.

3.1.3 R adiological im pacts o f m in in g

Regional radon project

This project aims to provide detailed time-series data on concentrations of radon-222 (Rn-222) in air at various locations within the Alligator Rivers Region, over a time frame of several years. Radon arises from the decay of uranium which is present naturally in soils and rocks, and these data will be important in assessing the effects of uranium mining operations on radon levels in

the region, both in providing baseline data and in calibrating and verifying predictive models. Until this project, few data were available on radon levels at sites more than a few kilometres distant from uranium mines.

During 1999-2000, a station was established at Mudginberri, bringing the total number operating in the region to four. It is now intended to operate the four stations at locations for one year intervals, at the end of which three will be moved to new locations (Mudginberri acting as a constant control station). Each station logs radon concentrations and relevant meteorological data (wind speed, direction and variability, air pressure and temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture and temperature, rain and sunshine rates).

Table 3.2 shows annual average Rn-222 concentrations obtained at Djarr Djarr, East Alligator Ranger station and at the former Nabarlek minesite, together with data from Jabiru Town and Jabiru East from an earlier project conducted by eriss. The averages obtained vary by more than a factor of ten, this is probably due to a combination of factors. For example, Djarr Djarr

and East Alligator are close to large floodplain areas which are inundated with water for a large part of the year, this water cover being likely to reduce the radon emanation rate from these areas. The Nabarlek and Ranger minesite areas have higher uranium mineralisation than

surrounding landscapes, and a conclusion of the 1990-1991 study was that 1 and 7 Bq/m3 of the

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average Rn-222 concentrations observed atjabiru Town and Jabira East, respectively, could be attributed to a contribution from the Ranger minesite. A combination of strategic location of measurement stations and statistical data analysis will be needed to separate the most important factors for each location.

3 . 1 4 E cosystem p ro te c tio n

Effects of runoff from the disturbed Jahiluka mine site on macroinvertebrate communities of Swift Creek

Following disturbance of the mine site at Jabiluka in 1998 (land clearing, pond and portal construction) there was potential for the increased suspended solids loads that would arise in Swift Creek downstream of the mine in the ensuing 1998-99 W et season, to adversely

affect the aquatic biota. While eriss and Earth W ater and Life Sciences (EWLS) had conducted some preliminary baseline sampling in the streams around Jabiluka in the previous (1997-98) Wet season, more strategic baseline sampling was initiated in the 1998-99 Wet season. The experimental design adopted in the 1998-99 Wet season enabled an assessment of the impact of mine disturbance on Swift Creek fauna, even though very few pre-disturbance data were available.

Benthic macroinvertebrates have been selected as a key ‘indicator’ group to monitor and assess potential impacts upon aquatic ecosystems arising from the Jabiluka mine. Elsewhere in the Alligator Rivers Region, macroinvertebrates have been successfully used to detect and assess impacts arising from a variety of human-related disturbances, including effects of increased

turbidity. In both the 1998-99 and 1999-00 W et seasons, macroinvertebrate samples were gathered from sites in Swift Creek upstream and downstream of Jabiluka, and also from paired upstream and downstream sites in three adjacent streams currently unaffected by any mining

activity at Jabiluka (control streams). Samples were collected from each site at three to four weekly intervals throughout each Wet season.

For each sampling occasion and for each pair of sites for a particular stream, a dissimilarity index was calculated. This index is a measure of the extent to which macroinvertebrate communities of the two sites differ from one another. A value of ‘zero’ indicates identical macroinvertebrate communities while a value of ‘one’ indicates totally dissimilar communities, sharing no common taxa. Research elsewhere in the Alligator Rivers Region has shown significantly ‘higher’ dissimilarity values for locations upstream and downstream of point sources of disturbance compared to undisturbed control streams.

' ’ - ’ ' ...........

Rn-222

Site Measurement Period (Bq/m3)

Jabiru Town 1990-1991 24

Jabiru East 1990-1991 38

Nabarlek 1996-2000 75

DjarrDjarr 1997-2000 12

East Alligator 1998-2000 5.5

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Figure 3.4 plots the paired-site dissimilarity values for Swift Creek and the three control streams for each of the sampling occasions of the past two W et seasons. The figure shows that the mean dissimilarity value for each stream across both Wet seasons is approximately the same (~0.3) and that the values are reasonably constant over time. This indicates that increased suspended solids concentrations in Swift Creek downstream of Jabiluka in the Wet season were not sufficient to have adversely affected macroinvertebrate communities.

In the 1998-99 Wet season, turbidity in Swift Creek downstream of Jabiluka was approximately 6 N T U units above a relatively low background. In a portion of another Alligator Rivers Region stream affected by elevated suspended solids (not related to mining activities) and studied previously, adverse effects upon macroinvertebrate communities were observed at turbidities of between 30 to 60 N T U units above a low background. These latter results lend some support to the observations in Swift Creek of no observed biological effects.

Figure 3.4 Paired upstream-downstream dissimilarity values measured for macroinvertebrate community data in several streams near the Jabiluka mine in the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 Wet seasons. The dashed vertical line between the 7th and 8th sampling occasions delineates the two W et seasons.

0.0

1 0

S w i f t C k

re oo

1 10

7 J C k

0.0

1.0

Catfish C k

~ / X -

v " >

North M agela Ck

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

1 9 9 8 -9 9 Sampling event 1999-00

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3.2 W etland E co lo g y and C o n se rv a tio n

3.2.1 Programme objectives

In 1999-2000, the Wetland Ecology and Conservation programme, through its two sub­ groups, ‘Ecology and Inventory’ and ‘Risk Identification and Assessment’, and now also through the National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research (nctwr), continued to undertake research, offer services and provide advice to the community and other clients.

The primary objective of the Wetlands Ecology and Conservation programme is to provide advice, based on research and monitoring, to key stakeholders on the ecology and conservation of tropical wetlands. This research is of direct relevance to assessing the environmental impact of mining in the Alligator Rivers Region as the part of the environment most at risk from mining are aquatic ecosystems including wedands.

Sub-Objectives

Develop an information base for the wise use of tropical wedands:

• develop techniques to classify wedands and to enhance at a national and regional scale, the collection of ecological and sociological information for wetland management;

• identify and quantify the value and role of wedand components, processes, functions, products and attributes;

• develop data and information management systems to assist tropical wetland managers.

Identify and assess threats to tropical wedands:

• identify relevant threats to wedands through consultation with community associations and government agencies;

• develop and apply techniques to assess and monitor the ecological risk of specific threats to tropical wedands;

• develop and apply techniques to assess and monitor the extent and consequences of adverse change in tropical wetlands.

Provide advice and training for the wise use and conservation of wedands:

• collate information and provide advice on management planning and implementation of wetland management programmes;

• develop procedures to assess and audit the effectiveness of wedand management actions and planning processes;

• develop new, and enhance existing research and management programmes on Aboriginal lands in collaboration with local communities and traditional land owners;

• coordinate training programmes for tropical wetland managers and researchers.

Promote the research programme and its outcomes:

• produce a range of technical and research publications, specifically targeted at relevant interest groups;

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• prepare and present material on the research programme at relevant conferences, workshops, meetings and open days;

• participate in relevant wetland advisory and technical panels.

3.2.2 National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research

The National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research (nctw r) is an initiative announced by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on 27 August 1998 to develop a collaborative venture between the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss) and three university partners: James Cook University, Northern Territory University and the University of Western Australia. The Centre conducts research and training with the aim of providing information and expertise to assist managers and users of tropical wetlands to use these valuable habitats in a sustainable manner.

On 19 October 1999 a meeting of representatives from the four partner organisations was held to discuss the draft Heads of Agreement for the Centre. The Heads of Agreement document was finalised and signed by all parties on 16 December 1999. In early 2000 the Supervising Scientist, Dr Arthur Johnston, appointed Dr Max Finlayson as Director of the Centre, and

arrangements began to establish an nctw r Board of Management.

On 31 March 2000 the nctw r Board of Management met for the first time and formally appointed the Hon. Bob Collins as Chair of the Board for a period of two years. The Board comprises Dr Arthur Johnston and Dr George Begg (eriss), Prof Richard Pearson and Dr George Lukacs (James Cook University), Assoc Prof Charles Webb and Prof Greg Hill (Northern Territory University), and Prof John Dodson and Dr Ian Eliot (University of Western Australia).

The Board of Management agreed that the Centre needed a proactive Advisory Committee to guide its activities and to advise on research and training priorities, research issues and directions. Eleven agencies and individuals, representing a variety of tropical wetland

management interests across northern Australia, have been invited to join the Committee. The inaugural annual meeting of the Committee will be held in Darwin in September 2000, prior to the next Board of Management meeting.

In order to help fund nctw r operations in the initial stages of its establishment, all four partners have contributed an equal sum o f ‘seed funding’. Corporate image development and promotion of the Centre is well underway with an nctw r logo and letterhead, business plan, capability statement and research strategy for the Centre developed to date. A training strategy is currently being discussed, and opportunities to submit joint research proposals and

incorporate existing projects under the nctw r banner are being explored.

During May-June 2000, nctw r prepared for ASL2000, the 39th Annual Congress of the Australian Society for Limnology, held in Darwin on 7-10 July 2000. T he Congress attracted 170 delegates from throughout Australia. Staff from eriss and the Northern Territory University collaborated with the Northern Territory Department of Lands, Planning and Environment to organise and sponsor the Congress. ASL2000 included the inaugural Australian Wetland Forum, which brought wetland scientists, managers and non-government

organisations together to develop a strategy to ‘Stop and reverse the loss and degradation of Australian wetlands’.

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3.2.3 Ecology and Inventory

Review of environmental management and impacts of mining in tropical Oceania

A review of environmental management of eleven major mining operations in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya was undertaken for the Tropical Wetlands of Oceania programme of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia. The project provided an outline of the mining operations and their environmental management and evaluated the risks

for wetlands downstream to assist W W F in developing collaborative environmental programmes with local communities and mining companies. Because of the different topography and rainfall regimes, the risks to wetlands from Australian mining operations were quite small compared with those in New Guinea.

The impact of Para grass on faunal biodiversity and ecosystem processes of wetlands in Kakadu National Park

Weeds are a major potential threat to wetlands and their control must be included in management strategies. A project assessing the impact of the exotic pasture species Para grass on the ecology of floodplain wedands and the impact of herbicide control measures was completed. This was funded by the National Wetland Research and Development Programme and eriss and involved collaboration of Parks Australia North, N orthern Territory University, Griffith University, University of Western Australia and eriss. T he information obtained provides a basis for ecological risk assessment for this weed in Kakadu National Park and elsewhere. Workshops informing stakeholders of the outcomes are being held in July and August 2000. The study found that Para grass reduced plant biodiversity and increased biomass production which increases the potential risk of fires to fauna in the dry season. However, there were no adverse effects of Para grass or herbicide control measures used on the communities of aquatic invertebrates and fish. Food chain studies found that Para grass material did not enter the food chains of aquatic invertebrates and fish. Community metabolism studies indicated a potential increased risk of oxygen depletion in Para grass.

3.2.4 Risk identification and assessment

Several major projects commenced in 1999-2000 including an assessment of the toxicity of uranium to a local freshwater alga, the further development of a rapid bioassay for screening complex effluents for toxicity, and a predictive risk assessment of the potential impacts of cane toads to Kakadu National Park. The latter project is a joint venture between eriss and Parks Australia North. Several major projects were completed, two of which are described below.

Prevention of aquatic aluminium toxicity by naturally occurring silica: Field and laboratory evidence

Kadjirrikamarnda Creek (Gadji Creek), in northern Australia, receives groundwater seepage contaminated by water from the decommissioned Nabarlek uranium mine. T he acidity of the groundwater has resulted in the release of aluminium (Al) from soil minerals. Thus, A1 is usually present in Gadji Creek at concentrations well in excess of the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) water quality guideline value for the protection of aquatic ecosystems, as well as toxicity values for a large range of aquatic organisms. However, silica, which is present naturally in groundwater and Gadji Creek water, has previously been shown to bind to, and ameliorate the toxicity of Al to fish. Thus, it was hypothesised that silica in Gadji Creek could be reducing or preventing aquatic Al toxicity.

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Laboratory toxicity tests on Gadji Ck water were carried out using three local aquatic organisms (purple-spotted gudgeon, Mogumda mogurnda·, green hydra, Hydra viridissima·, freshwater cladoceran, Moinodaphnia macleayi) in August 1997 and September 1998, periods when groundwater influence to the creek was high. No toxicity was observed, even though total and filterable A1 concentrations were approximately 18 and 7 times (1997), and 30 and 20 times (1998) the ANZECC Water Quality Guideline value (for < pH 6.5), respectively. However, silica concentrations were around 84 and 55 times the molar concentration of total Al, potentially explaining the absence of toxicity.

To further understand this relationship, manipulative laboratory experiments were carried out in 1999-2000 to assess the effects of silica on the aquatic toxicity of Al. Specifically, the influence of silica on the acute toxicity of Al to the fish, M. mogurnda, in soft, buffered, low pH water was investigated. The laboratory results confirmed that elevated silica did in fact result in a reduction in Al toxicity. Subsequent speciation modelling indicated that bioavailable Al remained stable, regardless of the silica concentration, not supporting the hypothesis that Al- silicate complexation reduced Al toxicity. An alternate hypothesis, that silica actually inhibits Al uptake is proposed for further work. This project also demonstrates the importance of site- specific studies for ecological risk assessment.

Mimosa pigra and its control in northern Australia and south-east Asia: A review and some recommendations

In 1999, a literature review on the effects, extent and control/management of the major wetland weed, Mimosa pigra, in northern Australia was compiled by the Wetland Ecology and Conservation section as part of a case study to apply a wetland risk assessment framework to a major wetland threat. This review has since been published as an Internal Report. Armed with this information, Dr Max Finlayson attended a workshop on the management of the Tram Chim National Park in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam, in mid 1999, to provide advice on the management of Mimosa. The content of the presentation and details of recommendations are currently being published in the peer-reviewed journal, Wetlands Ecology and Management.

Following a recommendation for further advice and training, the Wetland Ecology and Conservation section coordinated a study tour of northern Australia in April 2000 by six wetland managers from the Mekong Delta. The tour was funded by the Northern Territory University’s Asia Pacific Wetland Managers Training Programme. Staff from eriss and Parks Australia North, with various other wetland experts from the Top End of the Northern Territory presented and exchanged information on tropical wetland management with the visiting group. T he purpose of the tour was to provide Viet Namese wetland managers with an opportunity to learn more about management of national parks, particularly in relation to weed control.

As a timely follow-up to the study tour, consultant Mr Michael Storrs visited Viet Nam for two weeks in May 2000 to spend time with local staff in Tram Chim National Park and U Minh Thuong Reserve, to develop a weed management strategy for these areas. The visit was again coordinated by eriss and a representative from the International Crane Foundation in Viet

Nam, while funding was again provided under N T U ’s Asia Pacific Wetland Managers Training Programme. A draft weed management strategy for Tram Chim National Park and U Minh Thuong Reserve was developed and will be finalised over the next few months, with further discussions on implementation and progress expected.

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4 C O M M U N I T Y R E L A T I O N S -

I N T E R A C T I N G W I T H T H E A B O R I G I N A L C O M M U N I T Y

Building meaningful relations with the Aboriginal communities of the Alligator Rivers Region is an important element of the Supervising Scientist’s role. Research work conducted inside or outside the Jabiluka and Ranger mine lease areas is on Aboriginal land and, in recognition of this, the organisation has an obligation to keep the landowners informed about its research and findings.

In order to facilitate better two-way communication with the Aboriginal community of Kakadu, the Supervising Scientist formed the Aboriginal Communications Unit with the appointment of a manager in February and an officer in April 2000. The unit was established to develop and implement communication programmes to ensure that all stakeholders, especially the local Aboriginal communities and associations, are kept informed about research work eriss undertakes. The unit is also responsible for establishing an Aboriginal employment and training programme within eriss.

The unit’s first priority is to establish effective communication links with the Aboriginal communities of the Alligators Rivers Region, including Kakadu National Park, after which it will also become involved in communication programmes for the wider community.

Creation of the unit in the later half of the reporting year has meant that the programmes are in the early stages of development. However, substantial progress has been made towards a number of initiatives both internal and external.

One such initiative has been the involvement of landowners in a fish counting and monitoring programme in billabongs on the Ranger mining lease and in the surrounding Kakadu National Park. While this programme has been running for a number of years, this is the first time local Aboriginal people have been involved in the programme in its entirety.

eriss recognises the importance of utilising the experience and knowledge of traditional landowners in the collection and identification of fish and the recording of data. The traditional owners of the mineral leases, the Mirrar People, were employed to work at billabongs on their country, and the M urrumburr landowners collaborated with eriss at the control sites which are upstream of any possible mining impact. Aboriginal people from Arnhem Land and adjacent

areas also worked alongside eriss and Mirrar traditional owners on billabongs in Arnhem land. All parties involved in the programme gained valuable experience from working in a cross cultural environment. The programme also provided an opportunity for eriss to demonstrate some of its scientific work to a very important stakeholder, the traditional owners of the land.

As part of a cane toad impact study, the unit coordinated a collaborative research and liaison survey on the impact that cane toads have had on Aboriginal people in some parts of the Northern Territory. T he survey was conducted at Aboriginal communities from the Katherine to Borroloola region to hear first hand what impact, if any, the cane toad is having on their lives with the decline of certain bushfoods. The survey was conducted by Parks Australia North,

eriss and some traditional owners of Kakadu National Park. The information gathered on the survey will be used to develop a communication programme for the traditional owners of

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Kakadu to inform the community about the possible impacts that the cane toad could have on bush tucker in their region.

To help keep the Aboriginal people and associations of Kakadu informed about the range of research work ertss undertakes, the Aboriginal Communications Unit produces a bimonthly newsletter summarising work that has been undertaken and that which is proposed for the near future. These newsletters are written in plain English and outline the reason for the research and not the scientific methodology behind it. It is distributed to all Aboriginal stakeholder groups, as well as local and Commonwealth government agencies and the Ranger mine. An invitation for full briefings on the topics summarised in the newsletter is extended

with each edition.

The Supervising Scientist organisation continued to take an active role in community festivals and cultural events with displays and interactive educational activities. Staff volunteer their time to run educational programmes at these events which provides eriss with an opportunity to demonstrate some techniques used in scientific research, such as the use of microscopes and the sorting of macroinverterbrates.

Individual displays and information sessions are also conducted for Aboriginal communities for issues as they arise. T he Supervising Scientist organisation conducts an annual information session at the Aboriginal community of Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) to discuss with traditional owners progress on plans for the rehabilitation of the Nabarlek mine site.

Internal initiatives have included the implementation of a communications protocol to ensure that the approach taken and the methods used to communicate with traditional landowners and associated groups are appropriate and consistent. Cross cultural training was made available to

all staff along with training on working with Aboriginal people for staff who would be involved in the employment and training programme. A cross cultural and protocol briefing has been included in the induction programme for new staff.

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5 GENERAL RESEARCH AND NUCLEAR ISSUES

5.1 Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and M arine W ater Quality

T he Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, through Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) and the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ), have developed a National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS) for the sustainable use of Australia’s water resources. The Australian Water Quality Guidelines, released by ANZECC in 1992, are an important component of the strategy. In 1996, eriss was given the task of managing the first review of the Guidelines on behalf of ANZECC.

The review of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality has been comprehensive, involving a large number of scientists from across Australia and New Zealand. Early drafts of the Guidelines were reviewed by ANZECC and ARMCANZ committees in 1998 and 1999, after which they were released for a three month public consultation phase, in July 1999. Between December 1999 and March 2000, Guidelines

authors incorporated changes arising from the 96 public submissions. After further ANZECC/ARMCANZ agency review, the Guidelines were forwarded to the Standing Committee for Environmental Protection in May 2000 and to ANZECC for Ministerial approval in June. Following ANZECC endorsement of the Guidelines in July 2000, the Guidelines ‘package’, including a CD-ROM of support material, and a short user-friendly ‘Introduction’, is now being prepared for publication in October (2000).

By world standards, the new Australian and New Zealand Guidelines are ground-breaking. The most significant advance in these Guidelines is the move away from applying global ‘magic number’, default guideline values. Instead, the Guidelines encourage formulation of, and provide guidance for deriving, local, site-specific guidelines. Such locally relevant guidelines will provide the same high protection but with less restrictive options for industry. The support

databases and a software package are provided to help users develop their own site specific water quality guidelines. Other novel features of the Guidelines include:

• guidelines relevant to New Zealand users;

• a move to incorporate other drivers of aquatic ecosystem health, not just water quality;

• a move away from a confrontational, regulatory and litigious system to promotion of a cooperative best management approach where all parties work together to maintain or improve water quality;

• comprehensive, holistic and integrated water quality assessment, measuring physical, chemical and biological indicators in water and sediment;

• consideration of water quality issues (e.g. algal blooms) and not simply concentrations of individual chemicals (e.g. nutrients);

• guidelines for aquaculture and human consumers of aquatic foods;

• a loose-leaf format that will streamline and reduce costs of future revisions.

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5.2 Multicities air particulate m onitoring programme

This ongoing project aims to provide detailed data on air quality and environmental dynamics of the South East Asian region. Analysis and interpretation of data collected over the past decade were completed this year and are summarised here. T he Gippsland Centre for

Environmental Science, Monash University in collaboration with eriss has established a sampling site at Jabiru East as part of a network of regional sampling stations. This network includes Darwin, Samarinda in East Kalimantan (Indonesia), Dili in East Timor and Kuala Belalong in Brunei. There are also sites in the major cities of Jakarta, Bangkok, Hong Kong and

Seoul. The Jabiru East site is also an important contributor to the South-East Asian Fire Research Experiment (SEAFIRE), a major project of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project.

In late 1994 a High Volume Air Sampler began sampling for twenty-four hour periods on a six day rotational sampling programme. This programme is continuing, with chromatographic analysis of samples being performed at Monash University on a regular basis. In May 1995 a

low volume stacked filter cassette sampler unit was relocated to Jabiru East and operated until December 1996 in tandem with the High Volume Air Sampler unit. Spectrometric analysis for some 30 elements, using nuclear related analytical techniques were performed on the samples at the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Of the five regional stations, Jabiru East recorded the lowest average total suspended particulate matter concentrations. Figure 5.1 shows the monthly average fine (PM2 5), coarse (2.5-10 mm) and total (PM10) particulate mass data at Jabiru East between May 1995 and December 1996, with Wet and Dry seasons indicated. The mean summed particulate matter of

PM10 at Jabiru East was 12.6 mg/m3 with a maximum of 44.5 mg/m3. T he fine range of PM2 5 average was 5.7 mg/m3 with a maximum of 21.4 mg/m3. Median coarse and fine black carbon levels were at 97 ng/m 3 and 570 ng/m3 respectively. Strong seasonal dependencies were obtained for coarse and fine PM and for fine Black Carbon at Jabiru East. These dependencies are attributed to the seasonal nature both of the dominant source in the region (biomass burning) and of particulate removal by rainfall.

I ! 1 ί ! 1 i I I 3 $ i < ! %

-Total PM Coarse PM Fine PM

Figure 5.1 Monthly average fine, coarse and total particulate mass data at Jabiru East with W et and Dry seasons

indicated.

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5.3 Contribution to national and international environmental policy on nuclear issues

The Office of the Supervising Scientist (oss) provides advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and other parts of the Department on nuclear issues, oss also contributes to the development of national and international environmental policy on nuclear issues.

An oss officer represents the Department of the Environment and Heritage on the Visiting Ships Panel (Nuclear). The Panel is an interdepartmental committee, chaired by the Royal Australian Navy, which advises the Minister for Defence on policy and technical issues associated with visiting nuclear powered warships. During 1999-2000, the Visiting Ships Panel (Nuclear) sought information on the capabilities of the Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory at eriss. The Panel was considering whether the laboratory could be added to the list of analytical facilities which provide support to Visiting Ships Panel (Nuclear) programmes. The requested information was provided and negotiations are continuing.

An oss officer attended a week long meeting in April at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria to assist in drafting an IAEA Safety Guide on the Management of Waste from the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores. The officer was invited by the IAEA to work on the draft Safety Guide for the second time after having

attended a similar meeting in 1998-1999. All costs associated with the meeting were borne by the IAEA.

An officer from oss represented Australia at two meetings of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Nuclear Energy Agency/International Atomic Energy Agency joint working party preparing a document on the remediation of world uranium mining and milling facilities. The Australian representative was a leader for one of the working groups. The final report is due to be completed and published in December 2000.

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6 ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS

6.1 Organisational structure and staffing

The Supervising Scientist is a statutory position created under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978. The position is currently held by Dr Arthur Johnston. Offices are located in Darwin and Jabira with two liaison and corporate support staff based in Canberra. Following a decision by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage that the uranium mining activities of the Supervising Scientist should be focused in the Northern Territory, a review of the structure of the organisation was undertaken.

The Office of the Supervising Scientist in Darwin was strengthened by the relocation of positions from Canberra. The position of Assistant Secretary, oss, located in Darwin was filled, as were other positions in the Darwin office. These relocation and recruitment initiatives have resulted in an increase in staff in the Darwin office.

e r is s commenced its relocation to Darwin where the National Centre for Tropical Wetlands

Research (nctw r) has been established. The location of the more senior research scientist positions from Jabiru to Darwin will facilitate improved interaction with the Australian scientific community and assist in attracting and retaining high quality research staff. The number of e r is s staff based in Jabiru will ultimately be reduced to about five individuals required for regular field work and liaison with Aboriginal people. These changes have already enhanced the coordination of supervision and research functions of the Supervising Scientist.

Towards the end of the financial year, Canberra-based Science Group programmes not associated with the core functions of the Supervising Scientist in the Alligator Rivers Regions were transferred to other groups within the Department of the Environment and Heritage. These programmes were part of the Science and the Environment branch of the Supervising

Scientist Group. The organisational structure of the Supervising Scientist is shown in figure 6.1. Staffing numbers, locations and resources are given in table 6.1.

Figure 6.1: Organisational structure of the Supervising Scientist

SMpsmsing Scientist Arthur Johnston tel: (09 3982 9100 fax: (09 3982 9103

B-rvircrmmti fcnpact of N*ing Branch Head (vacant) W eland Ecdogy & GxisefVEikn Branch Head Max Finlayson

tel: (09 8979 9711 tax: (09 8979 2076

Oflce cfthe ScpBrngng Scientist Branch Head Alex Zapantis tel: (09 8981 4230 fax: (09 8981 4316

Rsk Identil cation & Assessment Rick van Dam tel: (08) 8979 9711 fax: (08) 8979 2076

Ecdogy & Inventor y George Begg tel: (08) 8979 9711 fax: (08) 8979 2076

Ccmmuricaticns Jacqui Rovis-Hermann tel: (08) 8979 9711 fax: (08) 8979 2076

Environmental Radoaotivity Paul Martin tel: (09 8982 9100 fax: (09 8982 9103

Ecosystem Protection Chris Humphrey tel: (09 8982 9100 fax: (09 8982 9103

Erosion & Hyctdogy Ken Evans tel: (09 8982 9100 fax: (09 8982 9103

Supervision, Audt & Policy Peter Waggitt/ David Hessa tel: (08) 8981 4230 fax: (08) 8981 4316

Q-ctp Support Mike Gilbert tel: (02) 6274 2036 fax: (C2) 6274 2060

Carter ra Liason Patrick McBride tel: (02) 6274 2044 fax (i02) 6274 2060

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Budget (1999-2000) $ 8.228 million

PBS Output Group

1.1.12 $0.921 million

1.4.9 $0,433 million

1.5.6 $0,895 million

1.6.5 $1,328 million

1.7.3 $4,651 million

Actual staff (as at 30 June 1999)

Canberra 3

Darwin 3

Jabiru 33

Total 39

6.2 Legislative and institutional arrangements relating to uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region

6.2.1 Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee

The Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee is established under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 to facilitate communication between community, government and industry stakeholders. The Committee is a forum for exchange of information

and policy consultation on environmental issues associated with uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region.

Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee meetings were held after the Environmental Performance Reviews (EPRs) of Ranger, Nabarlek and Jabiluka in August and December 1999. Some of the topics discussed included: results of the EPRs; environmental monitoring results

particularly water management systems at Ranger and Jabiluka; the progress of Ranger lease negotiations and revised Environmental Requirements; World Heritage issues such as the Independent Scientific Panel review of the Supervising Scientist Report 138; the portal and

decline development at Jabiluka; progress on the implementation of the Kakadu Region Social Impact Study; rehabilitation of the South Alligator Valley mines including exposed tailings beside the Gunlom Road; Minesite Technical Committee meeting issues; assessment of rehabilitation of Nabarlek, and; the establishment of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

6.2.2 Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee

The Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee, established under the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978, examines research needs of the region, recommends research programmes, and examines methods for the efficient coordination and integration of research. It meets once each year.

T he sixth meeting of Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee was held in December 1999. Discussions took place on the continuing work of the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP)

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for the World Heritage Committee to resolve outstanding scientific issues at Jabiluka, including a visit by the ISP in 2000. The research priorities for eriss were reviewed, including; assessment of rehabilitation at Nabarlek through a soil survey for revegetation; development of a radiological exposure model; erosion survey, and; continuation of a joint project with Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy on uranium isotopes in groundwater. Further research at Ranger reviewed included; examination of the areas of radiation protection of people; ecosystem protection, and; final landform options and rehabilitation. At Jabiluka, further research reviewed was the continuation of a study on concentrations of radionuclides and sediment transport in Swiff Creek. A radiometric survey was planned for Koongarra and hazard reduction and safety issues in the South Alligator Valley were discussed. ERAls research programme for 1999-2000 was discussed including the decommissioning phase of Ranger and

addressing the requirements from the Environmental Impact Statement, Public Environment Report and commitments to the World Heritage Committee for Jabiluka.

6.2.3 Environmental Requirements and other requirements

New Ranger Section 41 Authority and Environmental Requirements

A new Section 41 Authority under the Commonwealth Atomic Energy Act 1953 was conferred on ERA for a period of 26 years commencing on 9 January 2000. The revised Environmental Requirements for Ranger uranium mine also came into effect on this date as part of the Authority. The revised Environmental Requirements were developed through a four-year

consultative process involving the Supervising Scientist, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, N orthern Land Council, Northern Territory Government and Energy Resources of Australia. The Authority and Environmental Requirements are also incorporated into an agreement under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976, and as part of the lease renewal this agreement was required to be renegotiated. The agreement has been extended until the renegotiations process can be completed by stakeholders.

The Environmental Requirements, in addition to being attached to the Commonwealth Government Authority, are largely incorporated into the Ranger General Authorisation issued under the Northern Territory Uranium Mining Environment Control Act 1979. This is the principal legislation under which the N orthern Territory Government carries out day to day regulation of the mine. A revised Ranger General Authorisation was issued on 13 March 2000 to encompass the new Environmental Requirements.

The revised Ranger Environmental Requirements are a significant improvement on the previous Environmental Requirements. They are clear and comprehensive, setting out environmental objectives that provide world best practice in protecting the environment surrounding the Ranger uranium mine. The Environmental Requirements set out Primary Environmental Objectives that include protection of the attributes for which Kakadu National

Park was inscribed on the World Heritage list and the protection of Ramsar listed wetlands. The Environmental Requirements are comprehensive in scope, addressing all environmental issues. T he Environmental Requirements reflect current regulatory techniques and place a greater onus on the mining company to demonstrate that it is meeting the Primary Environmental Objectives whilst providing more flexibility in the way in which these objectives can be met.

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In the new Environmental Requirements for Ranger, water quality forms an integral part of the Secondary Environmental Objectives. O f particular significance is that the new Environmental Requirements, in comparison to the previous ones, do not categorise mine waters on the basis

of source but rather the focus is placed on the water quality. The new Environmental Requirements interpretive framework establishes that the Supervising Scientist will determine background values for key variables in water quality and communicate these values to the mining company and other major stakeholders. Information for this framework is gained from the long-term and continuing record of monitoring of Magela Creek upstream and downstream of Ranger mine. In addition, the development of a National Water Quality Strategy (section 5.1) provides the philosophy of approach by which change in water quality from baseline conditions can be recognised and evaluated.

A Supervising Scientist Report 151 has been published in accordance with Ranger Environmental Requirement 19.2 entitled The chemistry of Magela Creek: A baseline for assessing change downstream of Ranger. The report assesses baseline water quality in Magela Creek necessary for the Supervising Scientist to define ‘water quality trigger levels’, which are related to baseline water quality. This work is required to implement certain provisions of the revised Ranger Environmental Requirements 3.3.

Jabiluka Requirements of the ISP

In April 2000, following a request from the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources required the implementation of the recommendations contained in Supervising Scientist Report 138, and in the Independent Scientific Panel review of that report ‘Review of an Independent Scientific Panel of the scientific issues associated with the proposed mining of uranium at Jabiluka in relation to the state of conservation of Kakadu National Park’. A combined list of these recommendations is provided in Appendix 2. ERA agreed to implement these recommendations in addition to the Environmental Impact Statement and Public Environment Report Requirements.

Recommendations 1-7 relate to aspects of the stochastic water balance model which should be the basis for the ongoing development and implementation of the Jabiluka Water Management System. These recommendations address shortcomings in the earlier water balance modelling by ERA to ensure that a high level of environmental protection is achieved.

Recommendation 8 requires increased pond evaporation rather than enhanced evaporation in the ventilation system, as proposed by ERA, to ensure total containment of all contaminated water within the Total Containment Zone.

Recommendation 9 is linked to recommendation 8 and arose from a consideration of the means by which a degree of control could be introduced into the water management system if enhanced evaporation in the ventilation system of the mine is not included in the final design of the Jabiluka project.

Recommendations 10, 11 and 12 relate to the structural integrity of the water retention ponds and arose from assessment of risks associated with dam failure from; (a) overtopping of the pond if the various con tingency measures fail; (b) static failure of the embankment, and; (c) the occurrence of a severe earthquake.

Recommendations 13 and 14 require that the Jabiluka Water Management System be under periodic review and that any recommendations arising from the Supervising Scientist’s assessment of such reviews will be implemented by ERA.

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Recommendation 15 requires that the additional tailings silos required to ensure that 100% of tailings are disposed of underground be located in the Kombolgie sandstone to the east of the orebody as it is a more suitable geological formation than the schists in the vicinity of the orebody and to the west.

Recommendation 16 aims to ensure that the ultimate tailings disposal strategy addresses current uncertainties with the objective to ensure that Jabiluka tailings pose no significant risk to the environment for at least 10 000 years after disposal.

6.2.4 Ministerial directions

There were no ministerial directions issued to the Supervising Scientist under section 7 of the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 in 1999-2000.

The Uranium M ining (Environment Control) Act 1979 provides for the Northern Territory Minister to direct the mining company to undertake specific practices. In December 1999 the required wet season collection and analysis of mussels by ERA from Mudginberri Billabong was

unable to occur. ERA advised that the traditional owners did not grant permission for sampling. ERA sought to amend the Ranger Authorisation to remove this requirement in order to avoid a technical breach, however the oss suggested that the N T Minister for Resource Development issue a Direction to ERA not to collect mussels from Mudginberri Billabong this season. Subsequently, the traditional owners granted permission but this came after rising water levels prevented safe collection of freshwater mussels and sampling did not occur.

6.2.5 Reporting of mine events and monitoring results

In a Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth Government and the Northern Territory Government, the N orthern Territory Department of Mines and Energy requires mining companies to notify the Supervising Scientist, Northern Land Council and

Department of Industry, Science and Resources immediately of any events or incidents having the potential to cause:

• adverse impact on the environment surrounding the mine;

• harm to people living or working in the area; or

• concern to traditional owners or the broader public.

All monitoring programmes and related data reports required under the Ranger General Authorisation, issued under the Northern Territory Uranium Mining (Environment Control) Act 1979, are copied to the Supervising Scientist for independent assessment. This includes monitoring data from the Ranger mine and the Jabiluka site. Other information is monitored at

intervals ranging from daily to annually, depending on its environmental significance, the risk of rapid change and the potential for adverse environmental impact. Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy undertakes a check monitoring programme which is reported formally every six months, and also reviewed by the Supervising Scientist. The

Supervising Scientist reports annually to Parliament, twice yearly to Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee and may prepare ad hoc reports on significant events such as the tailings water leak detailed in 2.1.1.

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6.3 Reporting and publications

Results of research and investigations undertaken by the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss) and the Office of the Supervising Scientist (oss) are disseminated by publications in external journals, and in-house reports. During 1999-2000, 9 reports were published in the Supervising Scientist Report series, 18 Internal Reports were prepared, 48 papers were published in scientific literature and 26 national and international

conference and workshop presentations were given.

In addition, upward of 200 new web pages have been written for Supervising Scientist’s section of the new Environment Australia internet site.

6.4 Information Systems

The Supervising Scientist Group uses a Windows N T 4 network with one domain in Darwin and another in Jabiru. T here are 2 domain controllers and 2 additional file servers in Jabiru, and 2 domain controllers in Darwin. There are about 30 Gbytes of data stored on these machines.

Connection between Jabiru and Darwin is via a 128 kbps frame relay to Canberra and thence through a 64 kbps frame relay to Darwin shared with Parks Australia North. These links have been heavily loaded for some time. The transfer of 12 staff from Jabiru to Darwin has increased this load substantially.

The loss of a temporary IT staff member has meant that there has been little development of the system over the past year. A second domain controller was installed in Darwin and Windows 2000 and Office 2000 have been installed on several machines on an experimental basis. Further developments will depend on the result of discussion with the recently

appointed outsourcer. It is likely that the next year will see the many older workstations upgraded, Windows N T 4 network changed to Novell Netware and Microsoft Exchange mail server changed to Novell Groupwise.

T he eriss library in located in Jabiru and provides library services to Supervising Scientist staff based in Jabiru and Darwin. The library is open to the public by appointment.

T he subject matter of the collection reflects the research interests of the Supervising Scientist. T he collection includes 11 500 books, reports and audio-visual items (407 added 1999-2000), and scientific journals (66 current subscriptions).

The library in-house database, ARRI, dedicated to material published on the Alligator Rivers Region, now contains 2840 records (409 added 1999-2000).

In April 2000 the Library established a database to index newspaper clippings of interest to the staff of the Supervising Scientist. This database currently contains 730 entries.

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APPENDIX A

Recommendations of the Supervising Scientist R eport 153, Investigation of tailings water leak at Ranger uranium mine No. Recommendation

1 ERA should undertake a full review of the Tailings Dam Corridor with particular emphasis on the efficacy with which it performs the task of providing secondary containment. The Terms of Reference for the Review should be approved by the Supervising Scientist.

2 All Recommendations on maintenance procedures in Tailings Dam Corridor made in the Sinclair Knight Merz Review of the Tailings Dam Corridor should be implemented.

3 ERA should strengthen the Ranger Management Team to ensure that there is an effective interface with external stakeholders and that decisions are made quickly to meet the expectations of the stakeholders.

4 ERA should take immediate steps to put in place an employee training programme designed to ensure that all employees appreciate the need to keep the authorities informed of any event that could be perceived to be of concern to the local Aboriginal people or the broader community, not just incidents that are acknowledged infringements of the Ranger General Authorisation or the Environmental Requirements.

5 The Supervising Scientist should offer to assist ERA in the above training programme. In particular, the Supervising Scientist should provide a briefing to ERA employees on issues of significance in this report, and any other issues that are considered to be of concern to members of the public.

6 ERA should upgrade the environment protection staff structure at Jabiru to ensure that the company has the on site ability to effectively identify, interpret and rectify environmental incidents.

ERA should complete a comprehensive investigation of the additional sources of manganese, including previous tailings spills in the Tailings Dam Corridor, and provide a report to the Minesite Technical Committee.

8 The Minister for Industry Science and Resources should consider what action should be taken in response to the established breach of the Environmental Requirements 3.4 and 16.1 taking into account: • The radiological and ecological impact arising from the leak of tailings water to the environment has been negligible

• The leak resulted from poor maintenance practices in the Tailings Dam Corridor • The view of the traditional owners of the Ranger Project Area is that Aboriginal people will only believe that the Government takes their concerns seriously if substantive action is taken.

9 The statutory environmental monitoring programme should be extended to enhance its capacity to provide early warning of unplanned releases of contaminants. This extension should include the establishment of additional monitoring locations within secondary containment systems that would indicate the failure of primary containment systems.

10 The Minesite Technical Committee should review the inspection and monitoring system at Ranger to establish and implement measures that will detect failures in the secondary containment systems and structures.

11 ERA should provide the Supervising Scientist and the Supervising Authorities with all research data as they become available rather than at the end of research projects. Protocols should be developed for the appropriate use of research data.

12 The Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy should undertake a comprehensive review of its site inspection regime in light of deficiencies identified in this report, and design and implement a new proactive inspection regime within a risk management framework.

13 The Supervising Scientist should ensure that there is an adequate and independent on-site audit programme related to potential off-site environmental consequences arising from operation of the Ranger mine and mill.

14 The Supervising Scientist should develop and implement a routine environmental monitoring programme whose focus should be the provision of advice on the extent of protection of the people and ecosystems of Kakadu National Park. A component of the programme could also provide support to the on-site audit

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programme referred to in Recommendation 13.

15 The Working Arrangements between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory regarding the regulation of uranium mining activities in the Alligator Rivers Region should be reviewed and amended to take into account changes in the activities of the Supervising Scientist arising from this report.

16 The Mine Site Technical Committee should develop guidelines clarifying requirements for the reporting of incidents which retain the transparency of the current system, are consistent with Environmental Requirement 16.1, reduce the need for the exercise of judgement by staff of ERA and will assist in minimising undue concern for Aboriginal people and the broader community.

17 The Working Arrangements between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory regarding the regulation of uranium mining activities in the Alligator Rivers Region should be reviewed and amended to require the Deportment of Mines and Energy and the Supervising Scientist to immediately inform each other of any information they may acquire independently which could be of environmental significance.

Supervising Scientist Report 153 is available at www.environment.gov.au/ssg/ranger-leak

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APPENDIX B

Additional recommendations arising from the report of the Supervising Scientist to the W orld Heritage Committee and the review of the Independent Scientific Panel of ICSU

A consolidated list of the recommendations derived from the Supervising Scientist report SSR138 to the World Heritage Committee and the ISP response.

Hydrological modelling of the Jabiluka Water Management System

1. The Oenpelli rainfall record for the years 1917 to 1998 (and any subsequent extension of these data approved by the Supervising Scientist) will be used for estimating the 1:10 000 AEP annual rainfall and for other hydrological modelling for the Jabiluka project.

2. Subject to final agreement between the Supervising Scientist and the Independent Scientific Panel of the International Committee of Scientific Unions, values in the Oenpelli rainfall record will be adjusted upwards by 5 % for the purposes of hydrological modelling of the Jabiluka water management system.

3. In all future hydrological modelling of the Jabiluka water management system, the pan factors proposed by the Supervising Scientist in 1987, or any subsequent revision of these data as approved by the Supervising Authority or the Minister responsible for administering the Atomic Energy Act 1953 with the advice of the Supervising Scientist, will be used.

4. An inverse linear relationship between evaporation and rainfall will be incorporated in future water management modelling of the Jabiluka project.

5. The 6-minute PMP intensity estimate adopted by ERA in the final design of the Jabiluka project will be 1 380 mm. The full set of PMP values provided by the Supervising Scientist in his report SSR140 will be used, where appropriate, in the detailed design of the Jabiluka project.

6. Hydrological modelling of the water management system at Jabiluka will use a stochastic water balance model. This model will incorporate the following characteristics:

• Water balance calculations on a daily basis • The use of a stochastically generated daily rainfall record • The use of a stochastically generated monthly evaporation record • The use of a realistic distribution of evaporative losses in the ventilation system

throughout the year • Runoff coefficients and/or a soil water capacity model derived from modelling of the Ranger water management system.

7. The hydrological model will be used to be make estimates of the storage capacity required as a function of exceedence probability over the life of the mine under current climatic conditions. The design criterion adopted for the storage pond volume will be that the probability that the pond volume will be exceeded over the life of the mine is 1 in 10 000.

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Design of the water management system

8. In the detailed design of the Jabiluka water management system, increased pond evaporation will be used rather then enhanced evaporation in the ventilation system. In implementing this requirement, ERA will carefully model evaporation in the ventilation system as a result of dust suppression procedures to achieve the optimum water management system.

9. The water retention pond will be partitioned, to the satisfaction of the Supervising Authority or the Minister responsible for administering the Atomic Energy Act 1953 with the advice of the Supervising Scientist, into an appropriate number of compartments with connecting spill-ways and a water pumping system to enable control of evaporative losses and to minimise the risk to the environment arising from structural failure of the pond embankments.

10. The water retention pond will be designed with a safety factor of at least 1.7 taking into account conditions that would lead to static failure of the embankments.

11. Prior to completion of the pond design, ERA will commission a hazard analysis for earthquakes that takes into account not only local and regional earthquakes but also distant large earthquakes in the Banda Sea. The water retention pond will be designed such that the probability of failure due to the occurrence of an earthquake will be less than 5 in

10 000 over the life of the mine.

12. The water retention pond will be constructed with a properly engineered spillway to ensure that the pond structure would not fail when the overtopping height is reached.

Review of the water management system

13. Following commencement of operations at the Jabiluka mine, ERA will submit, not less often than once every five years, a report to the Supervising Scientist and the Supervising Authority that contains a review of the operation of the water management system. This report will include a review of all hydrological data obtained following the commencement of mining, a comparison with the corresponding data used in the final design of facilities, a review of the most recent climate change data and modelling, and an assessment of the implications of these new data on the future operation of the water management system.

14. ERA will implement any modifications to the water management system recommended by the Supervising Authority or the Minister responsible for administering the Atomic Energy Act 1953 with the advice of the Supervising Scientist, resulting from the assessment of this review to ensure that the original design criteria for the system will continue to apply

throughout the life of the mine.

Tailings disposal

15. The additional tailings silos, required to ensure the placement of all tailings underground, will be excavated in the Kombolgie sandstone east of the orebody.

Groundwater modelling

16. T he ground water modelling presented by ERA in satisfaction of Requirement 2 of the Minister for Resources and Energy’s Requirements for implementation of the Jabiluka Mill Alternative will take into account appropriate studies on tailings/cement/water/rock interaction studies, will use Monte Carlo (or similar) methods to provide probabilistic

estimates on the movement of contaminants in groundwater from the tailings repositories, and will present calculations extending over a period of 10 000 years.

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P P E N D I C E S

1

. DEPARTMENTAL ADDRESSES, CONTACT NUMBERS AND WEB SITES

Environment Australia John Gorton Building King Edward Terrace Parkes ACT 2600

GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601

telephone: (02) 6274 1111 facsimile: (02) 6274 1666 email: given name.surname@ea.gov.au

E N V IR O N M E N T AUSTRALIA C O N TA CT NUM BERS

telephone extension facsimile extension

(02) 6274 (02) 6274

Secretary Roger Beale AM 1550 1552

Deputy Secretaries Howard Bamsey Stephen Hunter Anthea Tinney Dr John Zilman

1500 2222 1949 (03) 9669 4558

1552 2228 1600 (03) 9669 4548

Chief Finance Officer Robert Butterworth 1590 6274

Chief Information Officer David Anderson 1555 1552

Marine and Water Dr Conall O’Connell 1919 1006

Natural Heritage Max Kitchell 2345 2228

Environment Quality Philip Clyde 1400 1600

Approvals and Legislation Gerard Early 1077 1600

Australian and World Heritage Australian Heritage Commission Bruce Leaver 2121 2095

Australian Antarctic Division Director of Australian Antarctic Division Dr Tony Press (03) 6252 3200 (03) 6232 3215

Parks Australia Director of National Parks Peter Cochrane 2221 2228

312 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

1

. Departmental addresses, contact numbers and web sites

t e l e p h o n e f a c s i m il e

Australian Antarctic Division Channel Highway Kingston, Tas 7050 Dr Tony Press (03)6252 3200 (03) 6232 3215

Darwin Office 7th Floor TCG Centre 80 Mitchell Street Darwin N T 0800 Peter Wellings (08) 8946 4300 (08) 8961 3497

Bureau of Meteorology 150 Lonsdale Street Melbourne Vic 3001 Dr John Zilman (03) 9669 4558 (03) 9669 4548

S t a t u t o r y A u t h o r i t i e s

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2/68 Flinders Street Townsville Qld 4810 The Hon Virginia Chadwick (07) 4750 0847 (07)4721 3445

Australian Heritage Commission John Gorton Building King Edward Terrace Canberra ACT 2600

Bruce Leaver (02) 62742121 (02) 6274 2095

E x e c u ti v e A g e n c i e s

National Oceans Office 1st Floor 80 Elizabeth Street Hobart Tas 7000 Veronica Sakell (03) 6221 5000 (03) 6221 5050

Australian Greenhouse Office John Gorton Building King Edward Terrace Canberra ACT 2600

Gwen Andrews (02) 6274 1888 (02) 6274 1790

Interim Sydney Harbour Federation Trust PO Box 607 Mosman NSW 2088 Geoff Bailey (02) 8969 2100 (02) 8089 2120

Annual Report Coordination John Gorton Building King Edward Terrace Canberra ACT 2600

Peter Woods (02) 6274 1019 (02) 6274 1680

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 313

1

. Departmental addresses, contact numbers and web sites

314

E N V I R O N M E N T A U S T R A L I A W E B A D D R E S S E S

E n v i r o n m e n t A u s t r a li a

T h e m e : C o n s e r v e b io l o g ic a l d iv e r s i ty

Natural Heritage Trust Bushcare Endangered Species Marine Species Conservation

Australian Biological Resources Study T h e m e : M a n a g e l a n d r e s o u r c e s s u s t a in a b ly

National Feral Animal Control National Weeds Coastal Acid Sulfate Soils

www. environment, gov. au www.biodiversity.environment.gov.au www.nht.gov.au www. environment, gov. au/bushcare www.biodiversity.environment.gov.au/threaten www.environment.gov.au/marine/species_protection/main.html www.anbg.gov.au/ abrs

www.nht.gov.au/programs/feralsold.html www.nht.gov.au/programs/weeds.html www.environment.gov.au/marine/cassp/main.html

T h e m e : A c h ie v e e c o lo g ic a lly s u s t a i n a b l e u s e o f i n l a n d w a t e r s

National Wetlands www.nht.gov.au/programs/ntlwetlands.html Waterwatch Australia www.waterwatch.org.au

T h e m e : C o n s e r v e a n d s u s t a i n a b l y

m a n a g e c o a s t s a n d o c e a n s

Coasts and Clean Seas Australia’s Oceans Policy Australian Coastal Atlas Coastal and Marine Planning

Coastal and Marine Pollution Introduced Marine Pests

www.environment.gov.au/marine www.environment.gov.au/marine/coast_clean_seas/main.html www. oceans. gov. au www.environment.gov.au/marine/coastal_atlas www. environment. gov. au/marine/marine_planning/main.html www. environment, gov. au/marine/pollution, html www.environment.gov.au/marine/marine_pests/main.html

T h e m e : C o n s e r v e C o m m o n w e a l t h r e s e r v e s

a n d p r o g r e s s t h e N a t i o n a l R e s e r v e S y s t e m

National Reserve System Marine Protected Areas

www. environment, gov. au/bg/nrs/nrsindex.htm www.nht. gov. au/pro grams/reserves .html www. environment, gov. au/marine/marine_protected/main.html

T h e m e : I d e n t i f y a n d p r o t e c t n a t u r a l

a n d c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e www.environment.gov.au/heritage/awhg.html

Australian Heritage Comission www.environment.gov.au/heritage Cultural Heritage Projects www.environment.gov.au/heritage/awhg/chpp/index.html World Heritage Area Management and Upkeep www.environment.gov.au/heritage/awhg/whu/auswha.html Register of the National Estate www.environment.gov.au/heritage/register/index.html T h e m e : P r o t e c t t h e a t m o s p h e r e

Air Quality Air Toxics Air Pollution in Major Cities Ozone Protection National Pollutant Inventory T h e m e : I m p r o v e t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l

p e r f o r m a n c e o f i n d u s t r y

Eco-Efficiency and Cleaner Production Waste Management Awareness Oil Recycling Hazardous Waste

Chemicals Australia’s EnviroNET

www.environment.gov.au/epg/ air_water.html www.environment.gov.au/epg/airquality www. environment, gov. au/airtoxics www.nht.gov.au/programs/airqual.html www. environment, gov. au/ozone www. environment, gov. au/npi

www. environment, gov. au/ epg/ env_sust.html www. environment, gov. au/ epg/ environet/eecp/index.html www.environment.gov.au/epg/wastewise www.environment.gov.au/oilrecycling www. environment, gov. au/epg/hwa www. environment.gov. au/epg/chemicals .html www.environment.gov.au/epg/environet.html

T h e m e : C o n d u c t e n v i r o n m e n t a l

i m p a c t a s s e s s m e n t s www.environment.gov.au/epg/eab.html

Environmental Impact Assessments www.environment.gov.au/epg/eianet O t h e r s i t e s

Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act Australian Antarctic Division Bureau of Meteorology Education State of the Environment Reporting Annual Report

www.environment.gov.au/epbc www. antdiv. gov. au www.bom.gov.au www.environment.gov.au/education/aeen www.environment.gov.au/soe www. environment, gov. au/publications .html

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

2. E N V I R O N M E N T A L I M P A C T

A S S E S S M E N T S

Environm ental Im pact Statem ents

• Directed Basslink 300 MW cable Interconnector Proponent: Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Commission Date directed: 27 August 1999

Antarctic Krill Fishery Management Policy Proponent: Australian Fisheries Management Authority Date directed: 10 September 1999

Hummock Hill Island-Unity Launch Complex and Residential Development Proponent: United Launch Systems International Date directed: 21 September 1999

Snowy Mountains Hydro Electricity Scheme Corporatisation Proponent: Department of Industry, Science and Resources Date directed: 20 December 1999

Upstart Bay Aquaculture Development Proponent: Pacific Aquaculture Investments Date directed: 10 May 2000

• Released for public comment Smart Oil Shale Stage 2 Proponent: SPPM/CPM/Suncor Inc Public review period: 27 September 1999

to 19 November 1999.

Christmas Island-Asia Pacific Space Centre Satellite Launching Facility Proponent: Asia Pacific Space Centre Pty Ltd Public review period: 25 August to

15 October 1999.

Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme Corporatisation Proponent: Department of Industry,

Science and Resources Public review period: 10 June 2000 to 26 July 2000.

Naval Ammunitioning Facility Twofold Bay Proponent: Commonwealth Department of Defence Public review period: 8 November to

17 December 1999

• Environmental assessment reports Comalco Alumina Project Proponent: Comalco Aluminium Limited Minister’s advice: 13 June 2000

Christmas Island - APSC Satellite Launching Facility Proponent: Asia-Pacific Space Centre Pty Ltd Minister’s advice: 8 May 2000

Second Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek Proponent: Department of Transport and Regional Services Minister’s advice: 2 September 1999

Naval Ammunitioning Facility Twofold Bay Proponent: Commonwealth Department of Defence Minister’s advice: 6 June 2000

• Other environmental impact statement actions Basslink 300 MW cable Interconnector Proponent: Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Commission Consultation on Environmental Impact

Statement guidelines 29 May to 28 June 2000.

Hummock Hill Island - Unity Launch Complex and Residential Development Proponent: United Launch Systems International Environmental Impact Statement guidelines provided on 5 April 2000.

Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme Corporatisation Proponent: Department of Industry, Science and Resources

Environment Impact Statement guidelines issued 20 January 2000.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

2

. Environmental Impact Assessments

P u b lic Environm ent Reports

• Directed Lancelin Training Area Western Australia Proponent: Commonwealth Department of Defence Date directed: 13 March 2000

Hope Downs Iron Ore Proponent: Hope Downs Management Services Date directed: 18 April 2000

Victoria to Tasmania Gas Pipeline Proponent: Duke Energy International Date directed: 25 May 2000

Challis Oil Field Facilities Decommissioning Proponent: Newfield Exploration Australia Date directed: 22 June 2000

• Released for public comment Adelaide Airport Multi-User Integrated Terminal Proponent: Adelaide Airports Limited Public review period: 27 September - 27 October 1999.

• Environment Assessment Reports Adelaide Airport Multi-User Integrated Terminal Proponent: Adelaide Airports Limited Minister’s advice: 29 November 1999

Woodside Liquid Natural Gas Expansion Burrup Peninsula West Australia Proponent: Woodside Offshore Petroleum Pty Ltd Minister’s advice: 28 March 2000

P u b lic inquiries

Commission of Inquiry into a Precision Runway Monitor for Sydney Airport Proponent: Airservices Australia Date directed: 17 January 2000 Report provided to Minister: 17 April 2000 Minister’s advice initiating precision runway monitor trial: 10 May 2000

E xem ptions

• Exemptions under Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act - Administrative procedures Nil

O th er proposals exam ined under E nvironm ent Protection (Im pact o f Proposals) A ct

The following list identifies proposals for which assessments were completed with a decision that no Public Environment Reports or Environmental Impact Statements was required to satisfy the object of the Environment Protection (Impact

of Proposals) Act.

• Commonwealth Sale of Australian Defence Industries Ltd

• Australian Capital Territory Nil

• New South Wales Ermington Defence Site; Newcasde (civilian) Airport Upgrade; Great Western Highway - Linden Bends; HMAS Creswell; Infrastructure Borrowing Tax Offset Scheme -

Eastern Gas Pipeline Extension; Lord Howe Island Biowaste Treatment Facility; Μ -Link joint venture with Northpower; Pacific Hwy - Brunswick to Yelgun; Pacific Highway Reconstruction Programme

- Taree to Coopernook; Regional Forest Agreement New South Wales Eden region.

• Northern Territory Alice Springs-Darwin Railway; Tiwi Forestry Expansion 1; Tiwi Island Plantation Project Northern Territory.

• Queensland Brisbane Light Rail Project; Bruce Highway Portsmith Rd; Kogan Creek Power Station and Coal Mine; Marine Aids - Stainer Island; Marine Aids - Megeara Reef; Marine Aids - Maxwell Reef. Murray Valley Infrastructure/Riversdale Water

Management - Phase 2 (SLIP);

316 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

2

. Environmental Impact Assessments

• Tasmania Federation Fund - Abt Railway.

• Victoria Regional Forest Agreement North East; VicRoads - Geelong Road (Part 1; Parts 2-4).

• Western Australia Glencore International AG/Anaconda Nickel Ltd; Legendre Oil Field Development; Northam Bypass; West Angelas Iron Project.

• External Territories Cocos (Keeling) Islands Lagoon Navigation Norfolk IslandMt Pitt Road Works; Norfolk IslandMobile Rock Crusher.

Telecom m unications Act

Assessments of the following proposals were completed under the Telecommunications Act.

• Australian Capital Territory Telecommunications Code of Practice (Subscriber Connection): Canberra Promotions Centre, ACT;

• Jervis Bay Territory Telecommunications A ct, Clause 55: Optical Fibre Cable Jervis Bay to Old Erowal Bay.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Subscriber Connection): Currarong Optical Fibre Cable Beecroft Ranger Station Jervis Bay.

• New South Wales Telecommunications Act, Clause 55: 130 George Street, Parramatta; 2004 Harrington Street, The Rocks, Sydney;

2042 Cahill Expressway, Sydney; 365 George Street, Sydney; 88 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney; ANZ Bank Building, Martin Place, Sydney; Akuna Bay Marina Building; Australia-Japan Cable - Terrestrial Link

(Dee Why portion); Australia-Japan Cable - Terrestrial Link (Drummoyne portion); Australia-Japan Cable - Terrestrial Link (Garigal

National Park); Australia-Japan Cable - Terrestrial Link (Hunters

Hill portion); Australia-Japan Cable - Terrestrial Link (Pyrmont to North Sydney via Paddington); Bathurst-Blaney O/F Repeater;

Bondi Beachside Inn, Campbell Parade, Bondi; Broken Hill Communications Tower; Captain Cook Drive, Kurnell; Clocktower Square, Harrington St, The Rocks; Chatswood to Drummoyne, Sydney; Domain Tunnel, Cahill Expressway, Sydney; Durham Street, Bathurst; Green Cape lighthouse Green Cape; Grey Street, Glen Innes; Haberfield (various streets); Heathcote National Park; Hunters Hill Conservation Area,Henley; Keppel Street, Bathurst; Knickerbocker Hotel, Bathurst; Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

(Pit replacement); Merriwa Urban Conservation Area; Mt Blue Cow Ski Tube Station; Mt Canobolas; M t Jerrabomberra Queanbeyan; M t Kingiman; Murrurundi Urban Conservation Area; Networking the Nation Programme; Newcastle Courthouse, Church Street, Newcastle; Notice 2, Darlington Conservation Area,

City Exchange to Mascot, Sydney. Old Windsor Road, Bella Vista; Oxford Street, Paddington, Sydney; Oxley Station, Balranald; Ramsay Street, Haberfield; ‘Roubiax’ Macquarie Marshes Nature

Reserve, Warren; Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park Showground; Steyne Hotel Manly; ‘The Brigalows’ Macquarie Marshes Nature

Reserve, Warren; The Observatory Hotel, 89-113 Kent Street, Millers Point; Thurloo Downs; Walsh Bay (Kent and Windmill Streets); Walsh Bay (Windmill Street Stairs); William Street, Bathurst.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Low Impact) 400 George Street, Sydney; Australia Japan Cable - Terrestrial Link

(Johnston’s Bay submarine cable portion); Boronia St, Ermington; Gilgai to Bundarra; Installation of OFC Brooklyn to

Woy Woy (also Inspection and Survey);

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 317

2

. Environmental Impact Assessments

Johnston’s Bay, Sydney; Merriganowry to Gooloogong; Merrimajeel & Muggabah Creeks Area, Booligal; Molesworth Street, Lismore; North Sydney Olympic Marathon Venue; Summer Street and Anson Street, Orange.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Maintenance): 20 Ledger Road, Merrylands; 7 DeMilhau Road, Hunters Hill; Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill;

Bungwahl Road, Myall Lakes; Cable Jointing Works, Corner Sorrell and Harold Streets, Parramatta; Captain cook Drive, Kurnell; Cottage Point Exchange, NSW; David Jones Building, Sydney; Dutruc Street, Randwick; King Street, between Camden and

Eliza Streets, Newtown; King Street, between Erskinville Road and Whateley Street, Newtown; King, Whateley and Brown Streets, Newtown; Morgan Road, Frenchs Forest; Parramatta Road, Glebe; The Corso, Manly; Transpose services - Waverley,

Centennial Park and South Sydney.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Subscriber Connection): 117-125 Harris Street, Pyrmont; 55 Clarence Street, Sydney; 68 Lachlan Street, Forbes; Additional facilities, ‘Juanbung’ Homestead,

Balranald; Bathurst County Council, Russell Street, Bathurst; Bathurst Courthouse Lead-in; Beardy Street, Armidale; Beecroft Hill bombing range

(also Inspection and Survey); Booth House, Bridge Street, Sydney; Bridge Street, Muswellbrook; Carrington Street, Lismore; Colonial Mutual Building,

52 Martin Place, Sydney; Elizabeth Street, Martin Place and Pitt Street, Sydney; Geramy Property; Gloucester and Grosvenor Streets,

The Rocks, Sydney;

Installation of Optical Fibre Cable, Grafton (also Inspection and Survey); KJ Kirby & Sons, Wynter Street, Wingham; Lock 8, Murray River, near Wentworth; M t Manara Station;

‘Neverdry’ Macquarie Marshes, Warren; Nurrewin Homestead Macquarie Pass National Park; Optical Fibre Cable connection along Pitt

Street, Sydney; Optical Fibre Cable Connection,Orange; Ozemail, Cootamundra; St Stanislaus College, Bathurst; Tamworth Police Station; Williams Street, Raymond Terrace, Newcastle.

• Northern Territory Telecommunications Act, Clause 55: Wangi Falls, Litchfield National Park.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Subscriber Connection): Mary River Ranger Station.

• Queensland Telecommunications Act, Clause 55: Additional equipment at existing facilites at Orchid Beach, Fraser Island; Alexandra Rail Bridge; Alexandra Range Cape Tribulation;

Binna Burra Road, Lamington National Park; Bloomfield Exchange to Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Community; Bowarrady, Fraser Island; Cape Kimberley; Coochiemudlo Island; Eurong Radio Transmitter Site, Fraser Island; Jungara Upgrade, Cairns North Qld;

Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island; Optical Fibre Cable Network - Bourbong Street, Bundaberg; Pumicestone Passage; South Brisbane Railway Station; Story Bridge, Brisbane.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Subscriber Connection): Allgas Energy Ltd Building, Brisbane; Brisbane General Post Office,

Queen St, Brisbane.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Low Impact): Caboolture to Bundaberg; Port Curtis Wetland Area, Brisbane

to Cairns Optical Fibre Cable Network.

318 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

2. Environmental Impact Assessments

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Maintenance): Fortitude Valley Post Office; Ithaca War Memorial and Park

(Telstra ref: 766846); Ithaca War Memorial and Park (Telstra ref: 767415);

• South Australia Telecommunications Act 1977, Clause 55: 501 Goodwood Road, Colonel Light Gardens; Amata (South Australia) to Blackstone

Papulankjtja (Western Australia); Commercial Street, Burra; Fort Largs Defensible Barracks; Port MacDonnell.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Low Impact): Pirie Street, Adelaide.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Subscriber Connection): 2 Henley Beach Road, Mile End.

• Tasmania Telecommunications Act, Clause 55: High Street, Evandale; Network upgrade, Ross; Nubeena Telephone Exchange to Port Arthur

and Carnarvon Bay; Temma Road, Arthur River; Wellington Street and St Johns Circle, Richmond.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Low Impact): Gladstone to Cape Portland.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Maintenance): Bridge and Perry Streets, Richmond; Nubeena; Temma Road to Freeman St, Arthur River.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Susbscriber Connection): Colonial State Bank, High Street, Oatlands; Colonial State Bank, Marlborough Street,

Longford; High Street, Ross Historic Town; Launceston Pathology; Pinnacle Road, OFC connection Mt Wellington

TV Transmitters.

• Victoria Telecommunications Act, Clause 55: Andrew Drive, Haddon; Chanonry Building Collins Street Melbourne;

Dana Street, Ballarat; Digital Service Upgrade Aberfeldy Upper River Catchment Area; Hawthorn Bridge; Inverleigh Telephone Exchange; Mt Gellibrand (Optus Co-location); M t Raymond (Optus Co-location); Mt Raymond (Optus shed relocation);

Point Sturt Telstra Exchange, Wye River; South-East Water Reserve Ocean Beach Road; Telecommunications facility, Port Campbell; Thomson Dam Radio Terminal; Wallan to Craigieburn.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Low Impact): Little Dog Island; Mt Gellibrand - Upgrade of existing facilities;

Sunday Island.

Telecommunications Code of Practice (Maintenance): Mt Buninyong Western Australia

Telecommunications Act, Clause 55: New mobile tower, Dongara; St John of God Hospital, Wembly; Temporary modifications and dismantling

of telecommunications tower, Dongara.

W orld Bank and Asian D evelopm ent Bank proposals

• Referred for advice Environment Australia provides advice on environmental aspects of multilateral aid proposals. These proposals are referred for

comment by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and are not subject to formal assessment under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act.

Advice was provided on the following proposals:

East West Corridor Project Lao PDR and Vietnam; Linxiang- Changsha Freeway Hunan Province China; Hubei National Highways

Project IV Hubei Province China; Du Jiang Yan Cement Company - China.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 319

2

. Environmental Impact Assessments

O ther proposals referred for advice

Environment Australia provided comments on 40 proposals that were designated and/or referred by the Treasury for consideration under the Government’s foreign investment policy.

320 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

3

. R E G I S T E R O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L

O R G A N I S A T I O N S

The Register of Environmental Organisations (the Register) lists environmental organisations eligible to receive tax deductible donations. It was established under item 6.1.1 subsection 30-55(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1991. T he Act requires the Environment Department to maintain the register, and to list by direction of the Environment Minister and the Treasurer environmental organisations and their public funds on the Register.

As of 30 June 2000, 197 organisations and 196 public funds are entered on the register on the dates shown. The Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra Inc and the Canberra and South-East Region Environment Centre Inc have a shared public fund ie the Bogong Fund for the Environment and Conservation in Canberra and the South-East Region.

Donations to the public funds of these organisations are tax deductible as from the date of entry on the register.

REGISTER OF ENVIRONM ENTAL ORGANISATIO NS

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l N u m b e r N a m e o f D a te o f

o rg a n is a tio n o f f u n d p u b lic fu n d e n t r y

Australian Trust for Conservation 1 Australian Trust for Conservation 12/03/93

Volunteers Ltd Volunteers Gift Fund

Conservation Council of South Australia Inc 2 Conservation Council of South Australia Gift Fund 12/03/93

Conservation Council of Western Australia Inc 3 Conservation Trust of Western Australia 12/03/93 Environment Victoria Inc 4 Environment Victoria Trust 12/03/93

Queensland Conservation Council 5 Conservation Trust of Queensland 12/03/93 Australian Rainforest Conservation Society Inc 6 Rainforest Conservation Fund 12/03/93 Tasmanian Environment Centre Inc 7 Tasmanian Environment Centre Public Fund 12/03/93 Wildlife in Secure Environment Trust 8 Wildlife in Secure Environment Trust Fund 12/03/93 Australian Bush Heritage Fund Ltd 9 Australian Bush Heritage Fund 11/06/93

Australian Marine Conservation Society Inc 10 Australian Marine Conservation Society Public Fund 11/06/93

Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd 11 Daintree Rainforest Preservation Fund 11/06/93 Friends of the Earth (Sydney) Inc 12 Friends of the Earth Donations Trust Fund 11/06/93 Mackay Conservation Group Inc 13 Mackay Conservation Group Public Fund 11/06/93 The Men of the Trees (WA) Inc 14 The Men of the Trees Public Environmental

Gift Fund 11/06/93

The Wilderness Society Inc 15 The Wilderness Fund 11/06/93

Total Environment Centre Inc 16 Total Environment Centre Public Gift Fund 11/06/93 Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland 17 Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Gift Fund 11/06/93

Clean Up Australia Environment Foundation 18 Clean Up Australia Environment Foundation Fund 31/07/98

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 321

3. Register of environmental organisations

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l N u m b e r N a m e o f D a te o f

o rg a n is a tio n o f fu n d p u b li c f u n d e n t r y

Noosa Parks Association Inc 19 Noosa Parks Association Gift Fund 25/06/93

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd 20 The Colong Wilderness Fund 25/06/93 The Environment Centre NT Inc 21 The Environment Centre NT Public Fund 25/06/93 Wetlands and Wildlife Ltd 22 The Wetlands and Wildlife Public Fund 25/06/93

Artists for Life Ltd 23 The Artists for Life Public Fund 2/12/93

Australian Tropical Research Foundation Ltd 24 AUSTROP Gift Fund 2/12/93

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre Inc 25 CAFNEC Gift Fund 2/12/93

Denmark Environment Centre Inc 26 Denmark Environment Centre Tax Deductible Donations Fund 2/12/93

Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Ltd 27 Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Gift Fund 2/12/93 Friends of Castle Hill Association Inc 28 Casde Hill Heritage Fund 2/12/93

Save Foundation of Australia Inc 29 Save Foundation of Australia Donation Fund 2/12/93 Sunshine Coast Environment Council Inc 30 Sunshine Coast Environment Council Gift Fund 2/12/93 Sutherland Shire Environment Centre Inc 31 Sutherland Shire Environment Centre Public 2/12/93 Gift Fund

Trees for Life Inc 32 Trees for Life Growing Fund 2/12/93

Alternative Technology Association Inc 33 Renewable Energy Development Trust Fund 21/02/94 Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation of Australia Inc 34 Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation Trust 21/02/94 Arid Lands Environment Centre Inc 35 ALEC Fund 21/02/94

Earth Foundation Australia Ltd 36 Earth Foundation Australia Fund 21/02/94

Gould League of Victoria Inc 37 Gould League of Victoria Fund 21/02/94

Project Jonah Victoria Inc 38 Project Jonah Victoria Gift Fund 21/02/94

Westernport and Peninsula Protection 39 Westernport and Peninsula Protection 21/02/94 Council Inc Council Trust

Bird Observers Club of Australia Ltd 40 Australian Bird Environment Foundation 29/06/94 Conservation Council of the South-East 41 Bogong Fund for the Environment and 29/06/94 Region and Canberra Inc/Canberra and Conservation in Canberra and the South-East Region Environment Centre Inc South-East Region EcoDesign Foundation Inc 42 EcoDesign Foundation Gift Fund 29/06/94

Environmental Defender’s Office (Qld) Inc 43 EDO Tax Deductible Donations Fund 29/06/94 Friends of Kooloonbung Creek 44 Friends of Kooloonbung Creek Nature 29/06/94 Nature Park Inc Park Gift Fund

Friends of the Koala Inc 45 Friends of the Koala Care Fund 29/06/94

Greenpeace Australia Ltd 46 The Greenpeace Trust 29/06/94

Nature Conservation Council of NSW Inc 47 Nature Conservation Council of NSW 29/06/94 Environment Gift Fund New South Wales Wildlife Information 48 NSW Wildlife Information and Rescue 29/06/94 and Rescue Service Inc Service Public Gift Fund

North Coast Environment Council Inc 49 North Coast Environment Council 29/06/94 Public Donations Fund Rainforest Information Centre Inc 50 Rainforest Information Centre Public Fund 29/06/94 Wolli Creek Preservation Society Inc 51 Wolli Creek Preservation Society Public Gift Fund 29/06/94 Bribie Island Environmental Protection 52 BIEPA Public Environment Fund 31/08/94 Association Inc Earth Sanctuaries Foundation of Australia Inc 53 Earth Sanctuaries Foundation Gift Fund 29/06/94 Environment Centre of Western Australia Inc 54 Environment Centre of Western Australia 29/06/94

Public Fund

322 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

3. Register of environmental organisations

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l o rg a n is a tio n

N u m b e r

o f f u n d

N a m e o f

p u b li c fu n d

D a te o f

e n t r y

Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria

55 NRCL Trees Fund 29/06/94

North Queensland Conservation Council Inc 56 North Queensland Environment Fund 29/06/94 Foster Foundation Ltd 57 Foster Environment Fund 29/06/94

The Greenrail Project Ltd 58 The Greenrail Trust 29/06/94

Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population Inc

59 Sustainable Population Fund 10/04/95

Australian Wildlife Protection Council (Victoria) Inc

60 AWPC Public Fund 10/04/95

Big Scrub Environment Centre Inc 61 Big Scrub Environment Centre Gift Fund 10/04/95 Environmental Defender’s Office Ltd 62 Environmental Defence Fund 10/04/95 Scientific Expedition Group Inc 63 Scientific Expedition Foundation 10/04/95

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Gold Coast and Hinterland Branch Inc 64 Buy Back the Bush Fund 10/04/95

Ducks Unlimited Australia Pty Ltd 65 Wetlands Care Australia Trust Fund 07/07/95 Genesis Foundation 66 Genesis Foundation 07/07/95

Tamborine Mountain Rainforest Trust 67 Tamborine Mountain Rainforest Public Fund 07/07/95 Australian Koala Hospital Association Inc (Qld) 68 Australian Koala Hospital Association (Qld) Gift Fund 12/09/95 Australian Society for Environmental Education Inc

69 Australian Society for Environmental Education Public Fund 12/09/95

Friends of Durras Inc 70 Friends of Durras Gift Fund 12/09/95

Friends of Gardiner’s Creek Valley Inc 71 Friends of Gardiner’s Creek Valley Gift Fund 12/09/95 Futureworld - National Centre for Appropriate Technology Inc 72 NCAT Environment Gift Fund 12/09/95

Humane Society International Inc 73 Humane Society International No. 3 Account 12/09/95 Lamington Natural History Association Inc 74 Lamington Natural History Association Inc Donation Fund 12/09/95 Land Management Society Inc 75 Land Management Society Environment Fund 12/09/95 Orangutan Fund Australia Inc 76 Orangutan Fund Australia Public Fund 12/09/95 Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) Inc

77 ORRCA Public Gift Fund 12/09/95

Nature and Society Forum Inc 78 Nature and Society Forum Public Fund 12/09/95 South West Environment Centre Inc 79 South West Environment Centre Gift Fund 12/09/95 Wildflower Society of Western Australia Inc 80 Wildflower Society Bushland Conservation Fund 12/09/95 Aid/Watch Inc 81 Aid/Watch Fund 13/06/96

Australian Platypus Conservancy Inc 82 Australian Platypus Conservancy Research and Conservation Fund 13/06/96

Australian Rivers and Mineral Policy Institute Inc 83 Australian Rivers and Mineral Policy Institute Gift Fund

13/06/96

Caldera Environment Centre Inc 84 Caldera Conservation Fund 13/06/96

CERES [Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies] Inc 85 CERES Environmental Fund 13/06/96

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 323

3

. Register of environmental organisations

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l N u m b e r N a m e o f D a te o f

o r g a n is a tio n o f fu n d p u b li c f u n d e n t r y

Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation Inc 86 C4 Gift Fund 13/06/96

Environmental Defender’s Office WA Inc 87 Environmental Defender’s Fund 13/06/96 Environmental Defenders Office (SA) Inc 88 ELCSA Gift Fund 13/06/96

FAWNA [For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid] (NSW) Inc 89 FAWNA (NSW) Public Fund 13/06/96

Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc 90 Chauncy Vale Special Donations Fund 13/06/96

Friends of the Earth (Fitzroy) Inc 91 Friends of the Earth Fund 13/06/96

Friends of the Koalas Inc 92 Friends of the Koalas Gift Fund 13/06/96

Greening Western Australia Inc 93 Trees for Tomorrow Public Trust Fund 13/06/96 Keep Australia Beautiful National Association Inc 94 Environmental Education and Research Foundation 13/06/96 Keep South Australia Beautiful Inc 95 The KESAB Foundation 13/06/96

Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens Inc 96 Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens Gift Fund 13/06/96 Maleny District Green Hills Fund 97 Maleny District Green Hills Gift Fund 13/06/96 Norman Wettenhall Foundation 98 Norman Wettenhall Foundation 13/06/96

Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers Inc 99 Public Fund of the Northern Rivers Wldlife Carers 13/06/96 Paruna Sanctuary Ltd 100 Paruna Sanctuary Public Gift Fund 13/06/96

Protection of the Earth and Wldlife 101 Protection of the Earth and Wldlife Association Association Inc Public Environmental Gift Fund 13/06/96

The Kowmung Committee Inc 102 The Kowmung Fund 13/06/96

Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc 103 THA Environmental Gift Fund 13/06/96

Underwater Conservation Society Inc 104 Underwater Conservation Education and Research Fund 13/06/96

Urban Ecology Australia Inc 105 EcoCity Foundation Fund 13/06/96

Wldlife Education and Rescue Service of Central Qld Inc 106 WEARS Donation Fund 13/06/96

Australian Landscape Trust 107 Australian Landscape Trust Gift Fund 12/09/96 Albury-Wodonga Environment Centre Inc 108 AWEC Murray Environment Fund 12/11/96 Australian Bird Study Association Inc 109 Australian Bird Study Association Fund for Avian Research 12/11/96

Australian Koala Hospital Association 110 Australian Koala Hospital Association (NSW) 12/11/96 Inc (NSW) Gift Fund

Australian Wet Tropics Rainforest Foundation Ltd 111 Australian Wet Tropics Rainforest Fund 12/11/96 Australian Whale Foundation - Hervey Bay 112 Australian Whale Foundation - Hervey Bay

Trust Fund

12/11/96

Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc 113 Blue Mountains Conservation Society Public Gift Fund 12/11/96

Friends of Parks Inc 114 Friends of Parks Gift Fund 12/11/96

Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment 115 Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment 12/11/96 Council Association Inc Council Donations Fund

Kanyana Wldlife Rehabilitation Centre Inc 116 Kanyana Wldlife Rehabilitation Centre Gift Fund 12/11/96 Malleefowl Preservation Group Inc 117 Community Conservation Trust 12/11/96 Northern Tablelands Wldlife Carers Inc 118 Northern Tablelands Wldlife Carers Public Fund 12/11/96 River Conservation Society Inc 119 River Conservation Society Public Gift Fund 12/11/96 Save the Cheetah Trust Fund 120 The Cheetah Preservation Trust Fund 12/11/96

The Men of the Trees Inc Queensland 121 The Men of the Trees (Queensland) Public Environmental Gift Fund 12/11/96

324 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

3

. Register of environmental organisations

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l N u m b e r N a m e o f D a te o f

o rg a n is a tio n o f f u n d p u b li c fu n d e n t r y

Mareeba Wetland Foundation Limited 122 Mareeba Wetland Fund Ltd Public Fund 25/06/97 Myall Park Botanic Garden Limited 123 Myall Park Botanic Gift Fund 25/06/97

Oz GREEN, Global Rivers Environmental Oz GREEN Fund for the Rivers 25/06/97 Education Network (Australia) Inc 124 Southern Oceans Seabird Study 125 SOSSA Donations Fund 25/06/97

Association Inc (SOSSA) STEP Inc 126 The Step Environment Protection Fund 25/06/97

The Tree Project Inc 127 Tree Project Public Fund 25/06/97

The Jewish National Fund Environmental 128 The Jewish National Fund Environment 22/08/97 Association of Australia Inc Gift Fund

Armidale Tree Group Inc 129 Armidale Tree Group Fund 19/05/98

Balcombe Estuary Rehabilitation Group Inc 130 Balcombe Estuary Rehabilitation Group Inc 19/05/98 Public Gift Fund Blackbutt Support Group Inc 131 Blackbutt Support Group Gift Fund 19/05/98

Capricorn Conservation Council Inc 132 Capricorn Conservation Council Inc Donation Fund 19/05/98 Concerned Residents of East Gippsland Inc 133 The East Gippsland Forest Fund 19/05/98 Friends of Bass Valley Bush Inc 134 Friends of Bass Valley Bush Public Fund 19/05/98 Koala Valley Conservation Association Inc 135 Koala Valley Conservation Fund 19/05/98 The Men of the Trees (NSW) Inc 136 The Men of the Trees (NSW) Inc Public Gift Fund" 19/05/98 Native Animal Trust Inc 137 Friends of the Native Animal Trust Fund 19/05/98

Rockingham Regional Environment Centre Inc 138 Rockingham Regional Environment Centre 19/05/98 Tax Deductible Fund Rotary Native Bird Nest Box Project Inc 139 Rotary Native Bird Nest Box Project Fund 19/05/98 Society for Responsible Design 140 The Society for Responsible Design Sustain Fund 19/05/98 South Gippsland Conservation Society 141 Land for Wildlife Fund 19/05/98

Carrajung Conservation Reserve 142 The Gift Fund 25/06/98

Association Incorporated Wild Mountains Trust 143 Wild Mountains Fund 19/08/98

Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy 144 Renewable Energy Promotion Fund 19/08/98 Society Limited Busselton-Dunsborough Environment 145 Busselton-Dunsborough Environment 19/08/98 Centre Incorporated Centre Incorporated Gift Fund Account

Friends of Henrys Creek Sanctuary 146 Friends of Henrys Creek Sanctuary 19/08/98 Incorporated Incorporated Public Fund

Friends of Katandra Bushland 147 Katandra Gift Fund 19/08/98

Sanctuary Incorporated Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation 148 Bat Conservation Gift Fund 19/08/98

Society Incorporated Moreton Bay Marine Association Incorporated 149 Moreton Bay Marine Association Incorporated, 19/08/98 Save Our Waterways - Public Fund Murray Darling Association Incorporated 150 Murray Darling Association Environmental 19/08/98

Foundation

New South Wales Bird Atlassers Incorporated 151 New South Wales Bird Atlassers Incorporated 19/08/98 Public Fund Ocean N Environment Limited 152 Ocean N Environment, Save Our Seas Fund 19/08/98 (SOS Fund) Permaculture International Limited 153 Permaculture International Public Fund 19/08/98 Revolve Limited 154 Revolve Public Fund 19/08/98

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 325

3

. Register of environmental organisations

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l N u m b e r N a m e o f D a te o f

o rg a n is a tio n o f fu n d p u b li c fu n d e n t r y

Centennial Parklands Foundation 155 Centennial Parklands Gift Fund 24/08/98 Action for World Development (NSW) Incorporated 156 AWD Gift Fund 23/08/98

Enduring Landscapes Incorporated 157 Enduring Landscapes Public Fund 19/08/98 Environmental Defender’s Office of 158 Environmental Defender’s Office of 19/08/98 Northern Queensland Incorporated Northern Queensland Tax Deductible Donations Fund Pristine Ecoscene Limited 159 Pristine Ecoscene Public Trust Fund 19/08/98

School Communities Recycling All Paper Limited

160 SCRAP Ltd Public Gift Fund 19/08/98

Western Australian Landcare Trust 161 Landcare Trust Fund 19/08/98

Wetlands Conservation Society Incorporated 162 Wetlands Trust Fund 19/08/98 Global Energy Network Institute Foundation Limited 163 GENI Foundation Ltd Public Fund 13/04/99 Australian Native Dog Conservation

Society Limited

164 Merigal Dingo Sanctuary Gift Fund 23/08/99

Brisbane Environment Trust 165 Brisbane Environment Public Fund 23/08/99

Dunkeld Arboretum Development 166 Dunkeld Arboretum Development Group Group Incorporated Incorporated Gift Account 23/08/99

Environs Kimberley Incorporated 167 Environs Kimberley Gift Fund 23/08/99

Kuranda EnviroCare Incorporated 168 Kuranda EnviroCare Gift Fund 23/08/99 Native Ecology Foundation Incorporated 169 Native Ecology Foundation Incorporated Public Fund 23/08/99 Wilderness Leadership Foundation

(Australia) Limited

170 Wilderness Leadership Fund 23/08/99

Great Lakes Environment Association Inc 171 Great Lakes Environment Association Inc Public Fund 29/09/99

The Lead Group Inc 172 Lead Education and Abatement Fund 23/08/99

Trees Please! Inc 173 Trees Please Donations Fund 23/08/99

Fauna Rescue of SA Incorporated 174 Fauna Rescue of SA Inc Gift Fund 14/12/99 The Conservation Alliance Incorporated 175 Conservation Alliance Environment Fund 14/12/99 Queensland Frog Society Incorporated 176 Queensland Frog Society Public Trust Fund 14/12/99 The Landcare Revolving Loan Fund Limited 177 The Landcare Revolving Loan Fund Gift Fund 14/12/99 Australian National Wildlife Collection

Foundation

178 Australian National Wildlife Collection Fund 09/03/00

Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Association

179 Busselton Jetty Environment Fund 09/03/00

Ocean Protection Foundation Limited 180 The Ocean Protection Foundation Limited Gift Fund 09/03/00

Tasmanian Bushland Garden Incorporated 181 Tasmanian Bushland Garden Public Fund 09/03/00 The Valley Centre for Environmental Research and Education Inc 182 The Valley Public Fund 09/03/00

TREAT (Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands) Incorporated 183 TREAT Environmental Benefit Fund 09/03/00 Victorian Cliffcare Trust 184 The Cliffcare Fund 09/03/00

Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc 185 Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Fund 09/03/00 The Eden Whale Discovery Centre 186 Eden Whale Discovery Centre Gift Fund 28/03/00 Research Trust

326 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

3

. Register of environmental organisations

N a m e o f e n v ir o n m e n ta l o rg a n is a tio n

N u m b e r

o f fu n d N a m e o f

p u b li c fu n d

D a te o f

e n t r y

Gympie and District Land Care Group Incorporated

187 Gympie and District Landcare Public Fund 28/03/00

Rainforest Rescue 188 Rainforest Rescue Fund 28/03/00

Watermark Incorporated 189 Watermark Incorporated Public Fund 28/03/00

Winifred Curtis Scamander Reserve Public Gift Fund 190 Winifred Curtis Scamander Reserve Public Gift Fund

28/03/00

Avon Valley Environmental Society Inc 191 Avon Valley Environmental Society Public Fund 08/06/00 Canberra Ornithologists Group Inc 192 Canberra Birds Conservation Fund 08/06/00 Fisheries Habitat Improvement Fund 193 Fisheries Habitat Improvement Public Fund 08/06/00 Merri Creek Management Committee Inc 194 Merri Creek Environment Fund 08/06/00 National Parks Australia Council Inc 195 National Parks Australia Council Tax

Deductible Donations Fund

08/06/00

Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby Preservation Association Inc 196 Bunker Block Project Public Fund 08/06/00

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 327

4

. D I S C R E T I O N A R Y G R A N T

P R O G R A M M E S

Environment Australia administers a broad range of discretionary grant programmes. This is a guide to the various discretionary grant programmes and the total amounts distributed under them in 1999-2000. Ad hoc grants allocated by various programmes are also indicated.

A full list of grant recipients is available on request from the department.

Summary information for Natural Heritage Trust discretionary grant programmes administered by the department is included in this appendix. Further information about Natural Heritage Trust grants and projects is contained in the Trust’s 1999-2000 Annual Report.

Grants to Voluntary E nvironm ent and H eritage O rganisations

The objective of the programme is to provide administrative funds to help community-based environmental and heritage organisations to value, conserve and protect the natural environment and cultural heritage through:

• actively involving the community in projects to protect and enhance the natural environment and cultural heritage;

• raising community awareness and understanding of, and gathering information on, environmental and heritage issues;

• being effective advocates in expressing the community’s environmental and heritage concerns; and

• liaising with governments and industry bodies on environmental and heritage issues.

Grants: $1 650 000

Environm ent R esource O fficer Schem e

The scheme provides a formal link or communication channel between the Commonwealth Government and local governments in Australia on matters relating to environmental and natural resource management. The officers promote and disseminate information on Commonwealth environment policies and programmes and assist local governments with

environmental management, including policy development. The scheme pays for eight environment resource officers, seven employed in the peak local government association in each State and the Northern Territory, and one national officer employed by the non-government organisation, Environs Australia.

Environment Australia currently contributes $440 000 per year to the scheme’s funding ($55 000 per officer per year), with host organisations meeting any additional costs above the value of the annual grant. T he host organisations each recruit and employ an environment resource officer to deliver the services specified in a contract. Each officer has a specifically tailored workplan, which is reviewed and negotiated every financial year with relevant Environment Australia areas and the officer’s host organisation.

Grants: $440 000

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

4

. Discretionary grant programmes

Local A genda 21

Environment Australia produced a resource manual titled Our Community Our Future: A Guide to Local Agenda 21.

An amount of $9000 was offered to each State and the N orthern Territory local government association to deliver training based on the manual. The $9000 payment has been made to all but the South Australian and Queensland local government associations.

Grants: $63 000

In te rn a tio n a l C o n serv atio n P ro g ra m m e

The programme provided grants for activities supporting international environment objectives, including bilateral and multilateral relations.

Granst: $39 000

In fo rm a tio n and E d u catio n

Information and education initiatives which support portfolio priorities were sponsored.

Grants: $124 900

E n v iro n m e n t P ro te c tio n ad h o c g ran ts

The objective of the Environment Protection Programme is to protect and enhance the environment of Australia through national leadership and cooperation. T his involves providing public funding to organisations or groups with aims and objectives which are acceptable to the Government and benefit a wide section of the community either directly or indirectly.

Grants: $468 315

Air P o llu tio n in M a jo r C ities

The aim of this programme is to advance national and regional policy initiatives in order to improve urban air quality in Australia.

Grants: $751 000

O zo n e ad h o c g ran ts

These grants relate to programmes to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbon and methyl bromide use, and the administration of the licensing and quota systems under the Ozone Protection Act.

Grants: $222 300

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 329

4. Discretionary grant programmes

W aste M anagem ent Awareness Program m e

The programme, under the Natural Heritage Trust, provides funding for waste reduction and resource recovery projects of national strategic benefit. The focus of the programme is to work with business and communities to improve the environmental performance of resource use, re-use and recovery. Activities aim to reduce the quantity of materials entering waste streams; promote greater uptake of re-use and recovery initiatives by business and the community; and develop markets for recovered materials.

Grants: $410 000

Federation Fund

The Federation Fund aims to improve Australia’s infrastructure, enhance cultural and social facilities and contribute to economic growth.

Grants: $2 240 000

Federation Cultural and H eritage Program m e

The programme provides funding to projects covering a wide range of heritage places and collections, cultural centres, museums and the conservation and adaptive re-use of some of Australia’s most important historic buildings, helping to mark the Centenary of Federation in an enduring way for the benefit of all Australians.

Grants: $12 480 000

Cultural H eritage Projects Program m e

The programme provides assistance to not-for-profit organisations, local government authorities and private owners to support the conservation of listed places of national significance and identification of indigenous places of significance beyond the local region.

Grants: $260 000

G rants-in-A id to the N ation al Trust

T he grants support activities that increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of Australia’s cultural heritage; enhance and promote its conservation; and assist the Trust to advocate and work for the preservation and enhancement of the national estate.

Grants: $788 275

C om m em oration o f H isto ric Events and Fam ous People

The programme is designed to commemorate people, events and places of national historical significance.

Grant: $73 000

H istoric Shipwrecks Program m e

The Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 is administered by the Commonwealth in conjunction with the States, the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island. Funding is provided to implement this legislation and to undertake projects consistent with the objectives of the Historic Shipwrecks Programme.

Grants: $404 000

330 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

4. Discretionary grant programmes

Indigenous Protected Areas Program m e

The programme’s goals are the establishment and management of protected areas on indigenous- owned estates (indigenous protected areas) and the establishment of cooperative (joint) management arrangements over government-owned protected areas between indigenous groups and the relevant government nature conservation agencies.

Grants: $701 400

N ational River H ealth Programme

The programme is developing and applying sound knowledge for the protection, conservation and repair of Australia’s inland waters.

Grants: $61 198

N ational W etlands Programme

The programme supports activities which promote the conservation, repair and wise use of wedands across Australia.

Grants: $207 450

W aterw atch A ustralia

Waterwatch Australia provides grants to support community participation in water quality monitoring.

Grants: $0

Bushcare

The programme’s goal is to reverse the long-term decline in the quality and extent of Australia’s native vegetation cover.

Grants: $1 981 477

Biodiversity C onvention and Strategy Program m e

The programme includes grants contributing to the Convention on Biological Diversity, including negotiation of the Biosafety Protocol, and supporting the implementation of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity.

Grants: $519 911

Tasmanian Strategic Natural H eritage Program m e

The programme’s goal is to enhance Tasmania’s environmental capital through projects that are consistent with ecologically sustainable development principles.

Grants: $0

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 331

4

. Discretionary grant programmes

National Reserve System Programme The programme’s aim is to increase the comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness of Australia’s National Reserve System. Criteria developed by the Commonwealth and State

conservation agencies use scientific principles to identify areas of national significance that can fill gaps in the existing reserve system. These areas can be added to the National Reserve System through purchase or other mechanisms such as the placing of conservation covenants on titles.

Grants: $2 463 526

Endangered Species Programme T he programme’s goal is to protect and conserve Australia’s threatened species and ecological communities so that they can flourish and retain their potential for evolutionary development in the wild.

Grants: $2 012 966

National Feral Animal Control Programme T he programme’s goal is to ensure effective management of the impact of feral animals on the natural environment and on primary production.

Grants: $248 317

National Weeds Programme The programme’s goal is to reduce the detrimental impact of nationally significant weeds on the sustainability of Australia’s productive capacity and natural ecosystems.

Grants: $67 744

Coastal Monitoring Programme This programme provides financial assistance for projects aimed at identifying and informing coastal management decision-makers about significant threats to our coastal and marine environments.

Grants: $3000

Coastal and Marine Planning Programme This programme provides financial assistance to catalyse coastal and marine planning that combines social, economic and environmental issues to achieve sustainable development.

Grants: $145 481

Marine Protected Areas Programme This programme provides financial assistance to State and Territory marine agencies for projects which support the development and implementation of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas and the planning and management of Commonwealth reserves.

Grants: $595 639

332 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

4

. Discretionary grant programmes

Australian Coastal Atlas This programme provides financial assistance for the continued development and installation of software systems for the Australian Coastal Atlas.

Grants: $10 000

Marine ad hoc grants These grants fund proposals that meet high priority needs within the department.

Grants: $31 500

Antarctic Science Advisory Committee Grants Scheme This scheme provides grants annually for high quality scientific research relevant to the Government’s antarctic programme goals.

Grants: $566 000

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 333

Co

mpliance index

External scrutiny 143

- judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals 143

- reports by the Auditor-General, a parliamentary committee or the 144

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Management of human resources 146

- assessment of effectiveness in managing and developing human resources 146 to achieve departmental objectives

- occupational health and safety 163

- statistics on staffing 154

Purchasing

- assessment of purchasing against core policies and principles 158

Assets management

- assessment of effectiveness of asset management 158

Consultants and competitive tendering and contracting

- number of consultancy service contracts let and total expenditure 159

on consultancy services

- competitive tendering and contracting contracts let and outcomes, 159

including net savings

FINANCIAL ST A T E M E N T S 171

O T H E R IN FO R M A T IO N

Occupational health and safety 163

Freedom of information 165

Advertising and market research 169

Discretionary grants 328

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 335

f the Environment and He

PORTFOLIO BUDGET STATEMENT OUTCOME AND OUTPUTS OUTCOME 1: ENVIRONMENT

E N V I R O N M E N T A UST RAL IA F U N D S A N D A D M I N I S T E R S P R O G R A M M E S T H A T P R O T E C T A N D C O N S E R V E T H E E N V I R O N M E N T

f Ipage no. PBS page no.23 C o a sta l an d m a rin e r e so u r c e s 26 1 Australia’s Oceans Policy itage Funding t 1 Federation Fund ' World Heritage Funding to the States

1 Cultural Heritage Projects 1 Incentives for Heritage 1 National Trust

49 49 50 50

E N V I R O N M E N T A U S T R A L IA DELIVERS A R A N G E O F D E P A R T M E N T A L O U T P U T S T H A T S U P P O R T M A J O R P R O G R A M M E S

PBS

1.6 Legislation

page no.

1.6.1 Commonwealth Environment Legislative Reform Environment Protection

93

1.6.2 94

1.6.3 Marine 96

1.6.4 Heritage Places 96

1.6.5 Environmental Remediation and Regulation 95

1.7 A ssessm ents and R esearch 97

1.7.1 Environment Protection 97

1.7.2 World Heritage 101

1.7.3 Research 101

O

UTCOME 2: METEOROLOGY

2.1 M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A N D R E L A T E D D A TA A N D P R O D U C T S 117

2.2 M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A N D R E L A T E D R E S E A R C H \ \ η

2.3 M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A N D R E L A T E D SE R V IC E S 117

2 .4 IN T E R N A T IO N A L M E T E O R O L O G IC A L A C T IV IT IE S \ \ η

OUTCOME 3: ANTARCTICA

· ι · Η Η Î’ ΠInfluencing the A ntarctic Treaty systemPage no. p ro te c tin page no.120 Y , g. 121th e antarctic environm entU n derstanding the global clim ate systempage no. (3on(j u c tjn g scientific w ork o f practical, e c o n o m ic or national sign ificancepage no.124 A D M I N I S T E R I N G A N T A R C T I C S C I E N C E G R A N T S page no. 125

Antarctic Science Advisory Committee grants directed to research in priority areas.

Atmospheric Biological Geosciences Glaciology Human Impacts Oceanography Cosmic Ray Human Biology Sciences Sciences Research and Medicine

A D M I N I S T E R I N G T H E A UST RAL IA N A N T A R C T I C T E R R I T O R Y A N D T H E T E R R IT O R Y O F H E A R D A N D M C D O N A L D IS L A N D S

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

GLOSSARY

AAD Australian Antarctic Division

IU C N World Conservation Union

338 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

INDEX

A

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander heritage places, 58 Aboriginal people, see indigenous people Aboriginal Communications Unit, 296-7 Access Programmes, 163 accident/incident reporting (OH&S), 163, 164 accrual accounting framework, 6, 128 Adams Ecological Consultants, 278

addresses and contact numbers, 246, 312-14 administered items, 129-30 Administrative Appeals Tribunal, 235, 238 Admiralty wrecks, 29 advertising and market research, 169

television campaigns, 52, 53 agreements, 37, 48, 55, 71-3, 74-6, 86 with grantees, 129-30 memorandums of understanding, 41, 48, 72, 76,

117,305 workplace, 141, 146-7, 148, 149-50 agricultural chemicals, 72, 89, 100 Agriculture and Resource Management Council of

Australia and New Zealand, 298 Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, 57,81 Air Pollution in Major Cities Programme, 51-2, 57,

329

air quality and pollution, 29-30, 51-2, 63, 299 industry grants, 55, 56-7 publications, 89 Air Toxics Programme, 63, 89

air transport, to/in Antarctica, 5,7, 122 air weather services, 111, 116 airports, 99, 143 Airservices Australia, 99 albatrosses, 7, 27 Alligator Rivers Region, 92, 248-310 Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee, 302 Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee,

302-3 alumina project, 98 Amery Ice Shelf, 123 Anangu Pitjantjatnara people, 28, 85 animals, see wildlife conservation Annual People Management Business Plan, 151 Antarctic Marine Living Resources Programme, 122 Antarctic Science Advisory Committee, 125-6, 167 Antarctic Treaty system, 120-1

Antarctic Air Transport Study, 5 Antarctica, 5, 7, 10, 15, 118-26 see also Australian Antarctic Division antifoulants, 47, 82

Antifouling Programme, 47 ANZECC, see Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Appropriation, 13-15, 128 Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation

Strategy 2001-2005, 41 Asia-Pacific Space Centre Pty Ltd, 97-8 Asia-Pacific Wetland Managers Training

Programme, 41 assessments workplace safety, 163 World Heritage, 29, 101

see also environmental assessments; research assets, 128, 129, 130 assets management, 158 atmosphere, protection of, 29-30, 51-3, 63

see also air quality and pollution atmospheric research, 108-10, 123-5 Auditor-General reports, 144— 5 audits, reviews and evaluations, 71, 138, 144-5

Australian Halon Bank contracts and management arrangements, 72 Best Practice Environmental Management in

Mining Programme, 90 Bureau of Meteorological Research Centre, 108-9 Environment Resource Officer scheme, 60 Indigenous Land Management Facilitator

Network project, 57 Natural Heritage Trust financial statements, 3 5 National Ozone Protection Programme, 63 see also environmental assessments: mid-term

review of Natural Heritage Trust Aurora Australis, 5, 123 AusAID, 81, 117 Austrade, 55

Australian Academy of Science, 76 Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, 63, 64, 65, 67, 89, 78 Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for

Fresh and Marine Water Quality, 298 Maritime Accidents and Pollution Implementation Group, 96 National Framework for the Management and

cash held, 129

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 339

Monitoring of Australia’s Native Vegetation, 23 National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas plan of action, 74

Papua New Guinea participation, 59 State of the Environment Task Force, 70 Australian Antarctic Division (Outcome 3), 5, 7, 10, 15, 118-26, 313

Auditor-General reports, 145 Certified Agreement, 148, 150 documents maintained, 166 ethical standards, 141

freedom of information enquiries, 168 occupational health and safety, 164 purchasing, 5, 158, 159 staff, 148-9, 154, 155 Australian Antarctic Territory, 121-2, 126 Australian Biodiversity Information Facility, 88 Australian Biological Resources Study, 87-9 Australian Business Limited, 56 Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 56 Australian Coastal Adas, 86-7, 333 Australian Communications Authority, 32 Australian Customs Service, 94, 95 Australian Environment Impact Assessment

Network, 89 Australian Flexo-graphic Technical Association, 72 Australian Food and Grocery Council, 55, 72 Australian Greenhouse Office, 10, 73, 129, 313 Australian Halon Management Strategy, 63, 71 Australian Heritage Commission, 9, 29, 154 Australian heritage grants, 49-50 Australian Industry Group, 56 Australian Marine Education Alliance, 91 Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions,

see Australian Antarctic Division Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, 74— 5 Australian Public Service Values and Code of

Conduct, 140, 141 Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, 39 Australian Ramsar Management Principles, 41 Australian State of the Environment Committee, 70 Australian Taxation Office, 95 Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), 5 5 Australian Workplace Agreements, 146, 149 Australia's Leading Edge Environmental

Technologies, 90 Australia’s Oceans Policy, 46-7 aviation, 99, 143 to/in Antarctica, 5, 7, 122

weather services, 111, 116 awards and recognition, 36, 85, 88, 107

B

balance sheet, 129 Basel Convention, 80, 236-7 bats, 23 Begg, Dr George, 293 Best Practice Environmental Management in

Mining, 90 BHP Minerals Limited, 143 Biodiversity Strategy Executive Group, 78 biological control, 39 biological diversity, 23— 4, 36-8, 62-3, 77-8, 85

Australian Biodiversity Information Facility, 88 marine, 26, 66 Biological Diversity Advisory Council, 78 biological products, 100 biosafety, 78 biotechnology, 67-8, 100 birds, 7, 27, 41, 69 bitou bush, 39, 44 Blue Mountains, 29 boating, 45-6 boneseed, 39 Botany Council, 143 Breathe the Benefits, 52 Britain, 29, 55 building industry, 31, 53, 55 Bureau of Meteorology (Outcome 2), 7, 10, 12, 14,

103-17, 313 Auditor-General reports, 144, 145 Certified Agreement, 146-7, 150 documents maintained, 166 ethical standards, 141 freedom of information enquiries, 168 occupational health and safety, 163-4 purchasing, 158, 159 staff, 146-7, 148, 154, 156-7 Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, 108-10, 147 Bureau of Rural Sciences, 76 Bush for Wildlife initiative, 3 7 Bushcare, 24, 36-8, 60, 87, 331 Business Council of Australia, 56 business eco-efficiency, 55-6, 63-4, 80, 90

c Cameco (Australia) Limited, 283 Camoo Caves, 23 cane toads, 296-7

Cape Grim, 164 car emissions, 51, 52, 63 carbon tetrachloride, 231, 232 Cartagena (Biosafety) Protocol, 78 Cartier Island Marine Reserve, 74

340 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

cats, feral, 40 certified agreements, 141, 146-7, 148, 149-50 ChemCollect programme, 72 chemicals, 54, 72, 79-80, 89, 100 China, 41, 55, 70, 80, 82 chlorofluorocarbons, 231, 232 Christmas Island satellite launch facility, 97-8 city air pollution, 51-2, 57 clean air, see air pollution/quality Clean Hunter Centre, 53 Clean Seas Program, 44, 45, 46 Clean Up Australia Waste Reduction Accreditation

Programme, 53 cleaner production and eco-efficiency, 55-6, 63-4, 80, 90 climate research, 123— 4 climate services, 112-13 coal-fired power stations, 98 Coastal Acid Sulfate Soils Programme, 46 Coastal and Marine Planning Programme, 45 Coastal Atlas, 86-7, 333 Coastal Monitoring Programme, 45 Coastcare, 44, 91 Coastcare facilitators, 44 Coastcare Week, 91 Coasts and Clean Seas, 44— 6, 75 coasts and oceans, 44— 7, 65-6, 74— 5, 96

antarctic sea ice zone, 123 community information, 85, 90-1 discretionary grant programmes, 332-3 international participation, 82-3 online information, 86-7, 333 Southern Ocean, 121, 123-4, 125 water quality guidelines, 298 Code of Conduct, 140, 141 Cogema Ltd, 259 Collins, Hon Bob, 293 Comalco alumina project, 98 Comcare, 140

accident/incident reporting, 163, 164 Comcover insurance, 139 Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous

People Programme, 50, 330 Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, 121 commission of inquiry, 99 Commonwealth Ombudsman, comments by, 145 Community Biodiversity Network, 85 community information and advice, 84— 92

Air Pollution in Major Cities Programme, 52 biological diversity clearing-house, 78 Bushcare, 37— 8, 87 Clean Up Australia Waste Reduction Accreditation Programme, 5 3

environment resource officers, 60 indigenous programmes, 57, 58 National Feral Animal Control Programme, 40 National Weeds Programme, 39 Waterwatch Australia, 42 weather services, 110-11

see also internet; publications competitive tendering and contracting, 159 complaints received, 142 computing, see information technology; internet conservation of heritage properties, 50 conservation of wildlife, see wildlife conservation construction industry, 31, 53, 55 consultancy services engaged, 159 consultation procedures, 167 consultative services, 113— 14 contact numbers and addresses, 246, 312-14 contaminated site assessment, 95 contract management, 140 Convention on Biological Diversity, 78 Convention on International Trade in Endangered

Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 78, 83 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter 1972, 96 corporate governance, 13 8-42 Corporate Plan, 138, 140 corporate reform, 70-1 court decisions, 143 CSIRO, 24, 52, 67, 164 cultural heritage, see heritage customs regulations, 94 cyclone warnings, 111

D

data and data management, 48, 86-7 meteorological, 106-8, 112-13; antarctic, 124— 5 databases, 64, 86-7, 89-90, 113, 306 Davis, 125 defence weather service, 111 deficit, 129-30 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry -

Australia, 57, 81 Department of Industry, Science and Resources, 90, 95, 305 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 64 Development Bank proposals, assessment of, 320 diesel fleet and diesel emissions, 51, 52, 63 direct mail organisations, 169 Director of National Parks and Wildlife, 9-10, 77,

282

Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia, 41 discretionary grant programmes, 328-33 documents maintained, 138, 165-6 Dodson, Profjohn, 293

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 341

Drycleaning Institute of Australia, 72 Dutch shipwrecks, 29

E

East Asia-Australasian Shorebird Site Network, 41 East Timor, 111 Eco-Efficiency Consultative Group, 64 eco-efficiency programmes, 55-6, 63-4, 80, 90 education and training, 7, 89, 90-2

GLOBE programme, 85 industry environmental performance, 56 international, 41, 81, 83 Local Agenda 21, 66 Waterwatch Australia, 42 see also community information and advice;

publications electricity generation, 98 electricity transmission, 99 Eliot, Dr Ian, 293 emissions, 51, 52, 63 Employee Assistance Programme, 163 employees, see staff employment conditions and remuneration, 147,

151-2, 153 endangered species, 23, 36, 38, 40, 332 energy consumption, at antarctic stations, 122 Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), 95, 254, 257,

259, 303A 305 tailings water leak, 260-3 enforcement, 232, 237 Enviro2000 Conference and Trade Fair, 55, 80 Envirobusiness update, 90 EnviroNET Australia, 55, 89 environment (Outcome 1), 9-10, 13, 18-102 Environment Australia Certified Agreement, 149-50 Environment Australia Indigenous Career Development and Recruitment Strategy, 57 Environment Industry Expertise Database, 89 environment organisations, grants to, 58 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, 6,41, 57, 64, 93 environment protection grants, 54-5, 329 Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act

1974, 89 Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981, 96 environment resource officers, 60, 328-9 environmental accounting, 56

environmental assessments, 32, 89, 97-100, 315-20 Antarctica, 122 commercial fish harvesting, 96 uranium mining projects, 260-81, 289-90 environmental education, see education and training Environmental Education Database, 89 environmental organisations, 58-9, 321-7

environmental performance of industry, 30-1, 53-7, 90 eco-efficiency and cleaner production, 55-6, 63M-, 80, 90 Environmental Performance Reviews (EPRs), 253,

264-5, 274, 279-80 environmental research, see research Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss), 79, 92, 252, 282, 284-95, 299, 306

community relations, 296-7 relocation to Darwin, 248 Environmental Resources Information Network, 86— 7 environmental science, see science ERA, see Energy Resources of Australia erosion, 284— 6

see also land management estuarine water quality, 44— 6, 47 ethical standards, 140-1 European Commission, 70 evaluations, see audits, reviews and evaluations Executive, 70, 139, 147, 151 exotic species, see pests exploration for uranium, 283 exports, see trade extension network (Bushcare), 37-8 external scrutiny, 143-5

F

farm chemicals, 72, 89, 100 Fauna of Australia, 88 Federal Court decisions, 143 Federation Culmral and Heritage Projects

Programme, 49-50, 144, 330 Federation Fund, 49-50, 330 fees hazardous waste export and import permits, 237

ozone protection licences, 233-4, 235 female staff, 154— 7 feral animals, 39-40, 49, 332 finance and financial performance, 128-37, 171-228

advertising and market research expenditure, 169 Appropriation, 13-15, 128 Ozone Protection Reserve, 235 Supervising Scientist, 302 see also fees; grants financial management, 138, 139-^40, 158-9

Auditor-General reports, 144, 145 financial statements, 171-228 Natural Heritage Trust, 35 Finlayson, Dr Max, 293 fish and fishing, 75, 91, 121

environmental assessments, 40, 96 exports, 47 flood forecast and warning services, 115

342 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

FloraBank project, 37 foreign trade, see trade forest conservation, 3, 72-3, 81-2 foxes, 40 fraud risks, 138 freedom of information, 165-8, 235, 238 fuel, for transport, 51, 52, 63 full-time staff, 154, 155, 156 functions and role, 9-10, 253

G

gene technology, 67-8, 100 Geocentric Datum of Australia, 86 Gippsland Centre for Environmental Science, 299 Global 500 Forum, 85 Global 5 00 Roll of Honour for Environmental

Achievement, 85 GLOBE programme, 85 goats, feral, 40 Goulburn Ovens TAFE, 56 government agencies, environmental performance

of, 64 Government Technology Productivity Awards, 107 graduate recruitment, 148 grants, 49-50, 54-5, 58, 328-33

administration, 129-30 research grants, 88, 125-6, 234 Grants-in-Aid to the National Trust Programme, 50, 330 Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage

Organisations, 58 Great Artesian Basin Consultative Council, 65 Great Australian Bight Marine Park, 7 5 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, 10 Greater Blue Mountains area, 29 greenhouse gas emissions, 51, 52, 63 Greening Australia, 37 Griffith University, 56, 294 ground water, 65

H

halons, 63, 71-2, 231, 232 Hayes, Tom, 139 hazardous substances, 79-80, 236^11 Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports)

Act 1989, 94, 236-41 Heard Island, 7, 122, 126 Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd, 5 helicopters, 5, 122 heritage, 28-9, 49-50, 58

Auditor-General’s reports, 144 community education, 92 discretionary grants programmes, 330-1

national heritage places strategy, 76 see also World Heritage heritage organisations, grants to, 58 Heritage Properties Restoration Programme, 50 High Court decisions, 143 High Level Ministerial Group on Natural Resource

Management, 3 Hill, Prof Greg, 293 historic shipwrecks, 29, 50, 83, 92 Honeymoon uranium mine, 97 House of Representatives Standing Committee on

Primary Industries and Regional Services, 68 Housing Industry Association, 55, 72 human immune system, 125 Human Impacts Programme, 122 human resources, see staff Hummock Hill Island, 98 hydrochlorofluorocarbons, 53, 63, 231— 5 hydrofluorocarbons, 94 hydrology, 114—15, 284— 9

I

imports, see trade incidents Comcare reporting, 163, 164 uranium mining projects, 271-2, 278, 280 Independent Science Panel, 272-3, 304— 5, 309-10 Indigenous people, 2-3, 28, 44, 49, 57-8, 85

Alligator Rivers Region, 92, 282, 296-7 Indigenous Land Management Facilitator Network, 57,58 indigenous protected areas, 2-3, 28, 47, 48, 331 Indonesia, 41, 80, 82 indoor air quality, 63 industrial chemicals, 54, 72, 79-80, 89, 100 industry

codes of practice, 72 eco-efficiency and cleaner production, 55-6, 63^4, 80, 90 environmental performance, 30-1, 53-7, 90 marine conservation agreements, 74— 5 see also mining information, see community information and advice information technology, 139, 140

Australian Antarctic Division, 122 Bureau of Meteorology, 107 Environmental Resources Information Network, 86-7

outsourcing, 152, 158, 159 Supervising Scientist, 306 see also internet Information Technology Steering Committee, 139 inland waters, 2 5-6, 42-3 insurance, 139-40

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 343

i

ntegrated coastal zone management, 65 Integrated Global Ocean Services System, 116 Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety, 54 Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, 116 internal audit services, 13 8 international activities, 59, 69-70, 77-84

Australian Antarctic Division, 120-1, 124 Bureau of Meteorology, 109, 110, 114, 115-17 eco-efficiency programs, 56 environment protection grants, 54, 55 multilateral aid proposals, 320 National Wetlands Programme, 41

Supervising Scientist, 84, 300 international agreements Antarctic Treaty system, 120-1 Basel Convention, 80, 236-7

Convention on Biological Diversity, 78 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ofWild Fauna and Flora, 78, 83 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter

1972, 96 Montreal Protocol, 63, 80, 230-1 Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol), 63, 80 Ramsar Convention, 41, 69, 79 Rotterdam Convention, 79 World Heritage Convention, 101 International Atomic Energy Agency, 300 International Civil Aviation Organization, 116 International Conservation Programme, 59, 329 International Council for Science, 272-3, 309-10 international trade, see trade internet, 87-91, 314

Australian Antarctic Division, 125 biological diversity clearing-house, 78 Bureau of Meteorology, 112-13, 115

National Pollutant Inventory, 54 National Weeds Programme, 39 Supervising Scientist, 306 vapour recovery code of practice, 72 Waterwatch Australia, 85 World Heritage, 92 intranet, 140 Introduced Marine Pests Programme, 45, 75 investment projects, 32, 97-100, 315-20 Investors in People programme, 147-8 Ipex, 158, 159 Iran, 117 IUCN, 77-8, 83

J Jabiluka Mine Project, 259, 272-8, 304-5, 309-10

research, 287-9, 290-1 James Cook University, 293 Japan, 41, 114, 124 judicial decisions, 143

K

Kakadu National Park, 41, 83, 143, 294, 296 see also Jabiluka Mine Project; Ranger uranium

mine Kingsford-Smith Airport, 99, 143 Koongarra uranium deposit, 259 Kyoto Protocol, 82

L

Lake Eyre basin, 65 land clearance, 3, 6 land management, 24-5, 39, 57 The Land Needs its People, 58 land purchases (National Reserve System), 47-8 legislation, 6, 93-7, 162

fuel quality, 51 Public Service Act, 146 liabilities, 129, 130 library services, 306 licences, see permits and licences Living Cities Programme, 35

Air Toxics, 63, 89 ChemCollect, 72 Urban Stormwater Initiative, 46 Local Agenda 21, 60, 66, 329 local government, 37-8, 60 local provenance, 3 7 London Convention, 96 Lord Howe Island, 56, 74 Lukacs, George, 293

M

McMichael, Dr DF, 99 Macquarie Bank, 55 Macquarie Island Marine Park, 26-7 Macquarie Marshes, 41 male staff, 154— 7 management and accountability, 127-59 management training, 147, 149 marinas, 45 Marine and Coastal Community Network, 90-1 marine environment, see coasts and oceans marine fish, see fish and fishing marine pests, 45, 65, 75 marine protected areas, 26-7, 44, 74, 75 Marine Species Protection Programme, 45

marine turtles, 66

344 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

M

arine Waste Reception Facilities Programme, 45-6 marine weather services, 111 Maritime Accidents and Pollution Implementation Group, 96 market research, 169 market testing, 71 Measures for a Better Environment, 30, 51

media advertising, 169 media coverage, 85 memorandums of understanding, 41, 48, 72, 76, 117, 305 men staff, 154— 7 Mertz Glacier Polynya, 122, 123

meteorology, 10, 14, 103-17, 121, 123-5 see also Bureau of Meteorology

methyl bromide, 231-5 methyl chloroform, 231, 232 mid-term review of Natural Heritage Trust, 34 Air Pollution in Major Cities Programme, 52

Bushcare, 37 Coasts and Clean Seas, 46 Indigenous Land Management Facilitator Network, 57 National Wetlands Programme, 41 Waterwatch Australia, 42 migratory birds, 41, 69 mimosa, 39, 295 Minesite Technical Committees, 269-70, 279, 280 mining, 90, 143

uranium, 68, 95, 97, 248-310 ministerial directions, 305 ministerial statements, 24 mission statements, 19, 104, 119 mobility of senior executives, 155 Monash University, 299 Montebello Islands, 75 Montreal Protocol, 63, 80, 230-1

motor vehicle emissions, 51, 52, 63 multicities air particulate monitoring programme, 299 Murray-Darling Basin, 25, 64

N

Nabarlek Mine, 278-81, 289-90, 294-5 National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance, 57 National Biotechnology Strategy, 67 National Centre for Tropical Wetlands Research,

293

National Climate Centre, 112-13 National Conference on Risk Assessment and Air Pollutants: Applications and Practice, 55 National Environment Protection Council, 47, 56-7 National Environment Protection Council Service

Corporation, 56 National Environment Protection Measures, 47, 51, 56, 72, 95 National Environmental Education Council, 7 National Feral Animal Control Programme, 39^40,

332

National Framework for Public Environmental Reporting, 56 National Framework for the Management and Monitoring of Australia's Native Vegetation, 23 National Halon Bank, 71-2, 128, 129 national heritage, see heritage National Land and Water Resources Audit, 64, 86 National Meteorological Data Bank, 113 National Meteorological Operations Centre, 107-8,

110, 116 National Moorings Programme, 46 National Oceans Office, 10, 46, 313 National Ozone Protection Programme, 63 national parks, see protected areas National Packaging Covenant, 53 National Pollutant Inventory, 54, 56-7, 72, 86 National Registration Authority, 100 National Representative System of Marine Protected

Areas, 74 National Reserve System, 23, 28, 47-8, 332 National River Health Programme, 43, 68, 331 National Science and Technology Centre, 76 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s

Biological Diversity, 78 National Taskforce on the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions, 65 National Trust grants-in-aid, 5 0 National Vegetation Information System, 86 National Weeds Programme, 39, 332 National Wetlands Programme, 40-1, 331 native vegetation, see vegetation natural heritage, see heritage Natural Heritage Ministerial Board, 34 Natural Heritage Trust, 24, 34-5, 58, 60

database, 86 programmes funded, 36— 4-6, 47-9, 51-2, 53 web site, 87 see also mid-term review of Natural Heritage Trust

natural resource management, 3 see also land management; water and water quality

nature conservation, 23-8, 36^49, 62-6, 74— 9, 81^1, 87-9 Naval ammunition facility, Twofold Bay, 99 Nepabunna community, 3 Netherlands, 29 A New Tax System - Measures for a Better

Environment, 30, 51 New Zealand, 69 Newcrest group of companies, 143

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 345

non-ongoing staff, 154, 155, 156 Northern Land Council, 95, 305 Northern Territory Department of Lands, Planning and Environment, 293 Northern Territory Department of Mines and

Energy, 95, 253-4, 263, 283, 305 Northern Territory University, 41, 293, 294 nowcasting, 110 nuclear policy, 300 nuclear warships, 300

o objectives of Department, 186 occupational health and safety, 140, 163-4 Occupational Health and Safety Unit, 140 oceans, see coasts and oceans Oceans Policy, 46-7 Office of the Supervising Scientist, 252, 254, 281,

300, 306 oil industry, 74— 5, 94— 5, 98-9 oil recycling, 64, 95 oil shale, 98-9 Ombudsman, comments by, 145 ongoing staff, 154, 155, 156 operating statement, 12 8-9 organochlorine pesticides, 72, 89 organic pollutants, 79 organisation and structure, 9-15, 105, 248, 301-2 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and

Development, 54, 67, 69, 79-80, 300 outcomes, 9-11, 18-126 people management function, 151-2 Supervising Scientist, 253-7 outlook for 2000-01, 6-8 output pricing review, 71 outputs, 61-125 outside participation, arrangements for, 167 outsourcing, 152, 158, 159

market testing, 71 overseas trade, see trade ozone protection, 63, 71-2, 80, 89, 125, 230-5 O z o n e P ro tectio n A c t 1 9 8 9 , 53, 94, 230-5

Ozone Protection Reserve, 234-5 Ozone Protection Section, 230

P

Pacific region, 69, 81, 83, 109, 117 packaging waste, 53, 56 paleoenvironmental research, 123-4 Papua New Guinea, 41, 59, 116 Papua New Guinea Department of Mining, 55 Para grass, 294 Parks Australia, 163, 312

Parks Australia North, 282, 294 Parliamentary Committees, 68, 96-7, 145 part-time staff, 154, 155, 156 Patagonian toothfish, 121 Pearson, Prof Richard, 293 peat, 41 penguins, 122 People Management Business Plan, 151 Performance and Development Scheme, 147 permits and licences

hazardous waste, 237, 238— 41 ozone protection, 53, 232-4 sea dumping, 96 wildlife, 94 persistent organic pollutants, 79 personnel services, 152 pesticides, 72, 89 pests and pest control, 39— 40, 44, 49, 294, 295, 332

marine, 45, 65, 75 petroleum industry, 64, 74— 5, 94— 5, 98-9 Pioneer Construction Materials Pty Ltd, 278 planning, 7, 138, 146, 151 plant imports, 39 plastic bags, 91 PNC, 283 P o la r B ir d , 5

policy advice and accountability, 62— 71, 300 pollutants, 54, 55, 63, 72, 79-80, 91 see also chemicals; waste management

portfolio, 9-15 power stations, 98 prickly acacia, 39 Prime Minister’s Forest Taskforce, 3 private land, 24, 41 procurement, see purchasing product stewardship, 94-5 Productivity Commission, 67 Programme Evaluation and Audit Unit, 138, 139 programme management budgeting, 13-15 programmes, 33-60 protected areas, 77, 163

marine, 26-7, 44, 74, 75 National Reserve System, 23, 28, 47-8, 332 see also World Heritage

public consultation procedures, 167 public environmental reporting framework, 56 Public Service Act staff, 154 publications, 86-92

Australian Halon Management Strategy, 63 biotechnology, 67 Florabank project, 37

hazardous waste export and import applications etc., 238 historic shipwrecks, 92

346 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

I

ndex

indigenous programs, 58 Local Agenda 21, 66 Supervising Scientist, 306 wedands, 41 see also internet

purchasing, 140, 5, 158-9 land, for National Reserve System, 47-8 purpose statement, 104

R

rabbits, 40 radiological exposure, 268-9, 276-8, 289-90 Ramsar Convention, 41, 69, 79 Randwick Council, 143 Ranger General Authorisation, 270-1, 303-4 Ranger uranium mine, 257-9, 260-72, 284-6,

289-90 Recfish Australia, 91 recreational fishers, 91 recruitment of staff, 148, 155 Recycled Organic Material in Viticulture, 53 recycling, 53, 64, 95 Redman, Carsten, 56 regional forest agreements, 72-3 regional oceans policy, 82 regional waterway monitoring, 42 Register of Environmental Organisations, 59, 321-7 rehabilitation of uranium mine/drill sites, 278-81,

282,283 remediation of old antarctic sites, 122 remuneration, 147, 151-2, 153, 223— 4 research

Antarctica, 123-5 Australian Biological Resources Study, 87-8 meteorological, 108-10, 123-5 Supervising Scientist, 101-2, 284-95, 298-300 research grants, 88, 125-6, 234

return to work plans, 163, 164 revegetation, see vegetation revenue, 128, 129 see also fees

reviews, see audits, reviews and evaluations risk management, 139-40 rivers, 43, 65, 68, 331 role and functions, 9-10, 253 Rotterdam Treaty, 79 Royal Australian Navy, 99, 300 rubber vine, 39 R ushes o f A u s tr a lia , 88

s sales of goods and services, 128 salinity, 25

satellite launch facilities, 97-8 satisfaction, with Bureau of Meteorology services, 111, 112, 113 science, 68, 76, 84, 92

taxonomy, 87-9 see also Supervising Scientist

science seminars, 76 scrutiny, 143-5 see also audits, reviews and evaluations

sea birds, 7,27 seals, 122 sea dumping, 96 seawater, see coasts and oceans seeds, 37 Senate Environment, Communications, Information

Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee, 96-7 senior executives, 139, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157 development programs, 147, 148

remuneration, 153, 223-4 Senior Management Committees, 139 Senior Officer Leadership Programme, 147 service charters, 140, 142

Bureau of Meteorology, 111 severe weather warning sendees, 111 sewage management, 45, 56 shipping

Antarctic vessels, 5, 123 nuclear, 300 waste reception, 45-6 weather services, 111 shipwrecks, 29, 50, 84, 91

Shorebird Action Plan, 41 Sinclar Knight & Mertz, 90 Smogbusters, 52 Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, 65 Snowy Water Inquiry, 65 soil acidity, 46 soil erosion, 2 84— 6

see also land management

soil salinity, 2 5 Solomon Islands, 116 Southern Bruny Island, 125 Southern Pacific Petroleum, 98-9 South Pacific region, 69, 81, 83, 109, 116, 117 South Pacific Regional Environmental Program, 117 South Pacific whale sanctuary, 82 Southern Ocean, 121, 123-4, 125 space launch facilities, 97-8

spatial data, 48, 86 Special Services Unit, Bureau of Meteorology, 114 Species Plantarum, 88 sport fishers, 91 staff, 154-7, 302

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 347

expenses, 128 management, 146-53, 163M-: Auditor-General reports, 144 training and development, 87, 140, 147-9 Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource

Management, 68 State of the Environment, 70 Statement of Administered Assets and Liabilities, 130 stormwater management, 45, 46 strategic policy coordination, 66-7 strategies, 71-7 structure and organisation, 9-15, 105, 248, 301-2 Stuart oil shale project, 98-9 Supervising Scientist, 9, 68, 84, 92, 95, 101-2,

243-310 suppliers’ expenses, 129-30 surplus, 128 Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport, 99, 143 Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Bill, 96-7

T tailings, 260-3, 268, 281-2 Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area, 49 tax concessions, 24-5, 58-9 Taxation Incentive for Heritage Conservation, 50

taxonomic research, 87-9 telecommunications projects, assessment of, 32, 317-19 television advertising campaigns, 52, 53 Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands, 7,

122, 126 threatened species, 23, 36, 38, 40, 332 toothfish, 121 Torres Strait Islanders, see indigenous people trade

hazardous substances, 79, 80, 236-41 ozone depleting substances, 53, 232— 4 in wildlife, 47, 78, 83, 94 transport emissions, 51, 52, 63 treaties, see international agreements tributyl tin antifoulants, 47 tropical cyclone warnings, 111 turtles, 66 Twofold Bay Naval ammunition facility, 99

u Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, 85 underwater cultural heritage, 83 United Kingdom, 29, 55 United Launch Systems International, 98 United Nations, 59, 67, 69, 80, 81, 82 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organisation, 83

see also World Heritage

University of Western Australia, 293, 294 uranium mining, 68, 95, 97, 248-310 urban air pollution, 51-2, 57 Urban Stormwater Initiative, 46 Urban Waterwatch, 42

V

Vanuatu, 81 vapour recovery code of practice, 72 vegetation, 23-4, 36-8, 44, 86 Nabarlek, 278

Ranger uranium mine, 263 vehicle emissions, 51, 52, 63 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, Montreal Protocol, 63, 80, 230-1 Viet Nam, 295 vision statements, 19, 119 Visiting Ships Panel (Nuclear), 300 viticulture, 53 voluntary organisations, grants to, 5 8 vulnerable species, 23, 36, 38, 40, 332

w waste management, 45-6, 53, 72, 96, 236-41 Antarctica, 122 oil recycling, 64, 95

product stewardship, 94-5 rock, from uranium mining operations, 268, 275-6 Waste Management Awareness Programme, 53, 330 Waste Wise programme, 31, 53 Water Monitoring in Australia, 64 water and water quality, 25-7, 40-7, 64-6 guidelines, 298 hydrology, 114—15, 284-9 Jabiluka Mine Project, 274-5 Nabarlek Mine, 280, 281, 294— 5 Ranger uranium mine, 260-3, 265-8, 270, 307-8 waterbirds, 7, 27, 41, 69 Waterwatch Australia, 42 weather services, 110-12, 144 see also Bureau of Meteorology

web sites, see internet Webb, Assoc Prof Charles, 293 weeds, 39, 44, 49, 294, 295, 332 wetlands, 40-1, 69, 79, 292-5, 331 Wetlands and Migratory Shorebirds Taskforce, 79 Wetlands International, 41 whale sanctuary, 82 whistleblowing, 140 wildlife conservation, 23-5, 36-49, 62-3, 69

marine, 45, 47, 66, 74-5, 83, 91: Antarctic, 121, 122

348 Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000

s

ee also protected areas Wildlife Protection (Regulation and Exports and Imports) Act 1982,47,94,96 wildlife seizures, 94 Wilkes Station, 122 wine industry, 53 women staff, 154-7 wood heaters, 52 Woollahra Council, 143 workforce planning, 146 workplace agreements, 141, 146-7, 148, 149-50 workplace safety, 140, 163^4 World Area Forecast System, 116 World Bank, 81 World Climate Research Programme, 123 World Environment Day, 85, 91 World Heritage, 28-9, 49, 66, 76, 83-4

assessments and nominations, 29, 101 community education, 92 departmental address and contact number, 312 see also Jabiluka Mine Project World Heritage Bureau, 83 World Heritage Committee, 29, 101, 83, 272, 304— 5,

309-10 World Heritage Convention, 101 World Heritage Fund 83 World Meteorological Day, 116 World Meteorological Organization, 116, 121, 124

World Weather Watch, 116 World Wide Fund for Nature, 41 World Wildlife Fund Australia, 294

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 1999-2000 349

350

T

he glass sculpture by Tjaparti Bates, T ju k u r r p a K im g k a r a n g a lp a (Seven Sisters),

was produced by the Warburton community of Western Australia.

The work won the Normandy Heritage Art Prize at the 4th National Indigenous Heritage Art Awards and is displayed in the foyer of Environment Australia’s

headquarters at the John Gorton Building in Canberra.

Design and typesetting by: Fusebox Design

Printed by: CPP, Canberra

Edited by: Green Words & Images, Canberra

Indexed by: Michael Harrington

Photograph of Uluru: copyright Grant Turner News Ltd

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY PAPER No. 341 of 2000 ORDERED TO BE PRINTED

ISSN 0727-4181

w w w .environm ent.gov.au/publications