Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

Notice given 14 September 2012

2164  Senator Waters: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With regard to the announced budget cuts to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and its impact on the state government’s ability to take on federal environmental responsibilities from March 2013, as planned by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG):

(1) Given that the Government is currently establishing standards to ensure federal environmental protections can be safely handed to the states, will these standards set requirements for adequate resourcing of the state and territory departments intended to take over federal government responsibilities.

(2) Prior to the COAG March 2013 deadline for the handing-over of federal environmental responsibilities to state and territory governments, will the Government assess the impacts that the announced reduction of 220 full-time equivalent positions from the Queensland environment department will have on the state government’s capacity to take responsibility for protecting nationally listed threatened species and ecological communities, the Ramsar wetlands and listed migratory species.

(3) Are there any circumstances in which the Government will not comply with the COAG deadline for handing over these responsibilities to the state government; if so, can details of such circumstances be provided.

(4) If the Queensland environment department is not adequately resourced to take on the responsibilities, will the federal department pay for the additional resources required to ensure adequate resourcing of national environmental protection responsibilities.

(5) Will the Government’s standards, currently under development, require that state and territory governments retain the responsibility for administering national environmental responsibilities, or will they be able to further delegate these responsibilities to local government authorities.