Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2009
Executive summary (continued)
The Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio is led by two cabinet ministers. The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP is Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. Senator the Hon Penny Wong is Minister for Climate Change and Water. Minister Wong's water responsibilities are a part of this Portfolio while responsibilities for the climate change framework rest largely with the Department of Climate Change.
Since 25 February 2009 Minister Wong has been assisted in her water responsibilities by The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Water.
The Portfolio provides leadership on environment, water, heritage, and cultural matters with a national focus, or that are the direct responsibility of the Australian Government.
As at 30 June 2009 the Portfolio comprised the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 14 independent authorities (listed in the Organisation overview chart) and two non-general government sector entities (The Australia Business Arts Foundation Limited and the Bundanon Trust).
This annual report covers the performance of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Portfolio agencies and Commonwealth statutory authorities report separately to the parliament on their performance.
"Protecting and enhancing Australia's environment, heritage and culture."
The department supports the ministers in their policy and statutory functions and develops and implements national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve Australia's environment and heritage and to promote Australian arts and culture.
Matters dealt with by the department
- Environment protection and the conservation of biodiversity
- Air quality
- National fuel quality standards
- Hazardous wastes
- Advancing Australia's interests in the Australian Antarctic Territory, and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
- Natural, built, Indigenous and movable cultural heritage
- Environmental research
- Water policy and resources
- Cultural affairs, including support for the arts
- Renewable energy programs
- Energy efficiency
- Greenhouse gas abatement programs
- Community and household climate action
- Natural resource management
The executive structure of the department and its portfolio agencies as at 30 June 2009 is summarised in the organisation overview chart. (The department has since undergone a significant reorganisation following implementation of the new Outcome structure for the 2009-10 Budget.)
As at 30 June 2009 the department was made up of 17 divisions. Each division's roles and responsibilities are described at the beginning of relevant chapters of the report. The names and responsibilities of the department's Deputy Secretaries and First Assistant Secretaries are shown in the organisation chart.
The Secretary, Ms Robyn Kruk AM, has the following responsibilities:
- Chair - Senior Executive Management Group
- Chair - Executive Management Group
- Chair - Agencies Roundtable.
A number of executive committees operate to oversight the management of the department. The Secretary and the four Deputy Secretaries make up the department's Senior Executive Management which meets weekly to provide key policy and management decision making. The Executive Management Group, chaired by the Secretary, meets fortnightly to monitor performance and review significant issues across the department and portfolio.
The Secretary also chairs an Agencies Roundtable that meets twice yearly in recognition of their direct responsibilities to the portfolio minister. The department has other key committees for directing aspects of its internal operations and policies. These are detailed in the Managing the department chapter.
Mr Gerard Early had responsibility for:
- Corporate Strategies Division
- Policy Coordination Division
- Approvals and Wildlife Division
- Supervising Scientist Division
- Environment Quality Division
- Chair - Workforce Management Committee
- Chair - Budget Finance Strategy Committee
- Chair - Compliance Executive Committee
- Chair - International Steering Committee
Dr James Horne had responsibility for:
- Water Efficiency Division
- Water Reform Division
- Water Governance Division
- Chair - Information Management Committee
- Chair - COAG Working Group on Climate Change & Water, Water Sub Group
- Chair - Contingency Planning Senior Officials' Group
- Australian Government Commissioner on the Murray-Darling Basin Commission until September 2008
- Chair - Murray-Darling Basin Officials Committee from January 2009
Mr Mark Tucker had responsibility for:
- Arts Division
- Culture Division
- Heritage Division
- National Portrait Gallery
- Chair - Graduate Steering Committee
- Member Departmental Audit Committee
Mr Mike Callaghan, until October 2008, and Mr Malcolm Forbes had responsibility for:
- Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division
- Australian Government Land and Coasts Division
- Marine Division
- Parks Australia Division
- Australian Antarctic Division
- Chair - Indigenous Policy and Leadership Group
- Chair - Marine and Coastal Committee
The department has offices in Canberra, Hobart and Darwin, and has representatives in many parts of regional Australia through its natural resource management and arts programs.
Note: 1 Overview of the portfolio as at 30 June 2009.
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