Department of the Environment

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Publications archive


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Independent review of the Australian Greenhouse Office

Hon. Warwick L. Smith LLB, June 2002

Independent Review of the Australian Greenhouse Office cover image


List of acronyms

Executive summary

The purpose of this review is to examine the scope, efficiency and effectiveness of the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO), taking into account national and international policy and program dimensions. Views were sought from a range of government, industry and non-government stakeholders in completing this review.

The AGO was established in 1998 as the lead Commonwealth Government agency on greenhouse/climate change matters. Since this time it has worked to implement Commonwealth policy and programs on greenhouse, particularly those arising from the Government’s policies Safeguarding the Future and Measures for a Better Environment.

It is clear that the formation of a central Commonwealth agency has been an effective means of developing and implementing the government’s climate change agenda. Nevertheless, delivering outcomes while managing a diverse range of stakeholders, some with differing views and expectations, presents a significant challenge to the AGO.

There remain perceptions in some areas that the AGO is still not pursuing a whole-of-government agenda and, in particular, has a bias towards environment at the expense of industry interests. It is apparent, however, that the AGO is making genuine attempts to work across its entire mandate and has significant positive interactions with industry. Nevertheless, such perceptions need to be addressed. This review recommends changes to consultative and governance arrangements to enhance the involvement of all sectoral interests in the AGO’s work (including government).

The AGO has also received criticism regarding the pace of its program delivery. It is considered that the AGO’s pace of program delivery is acceptable under what has been an ambitious timeframe for a recently formed organisation.

Other key recommendations include:

Further elaboration of these recommendations is provided in the body of the report.

Download the review

The review is available as a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view the PDF file.