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Publications archive - Annual reports

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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

Environment Australia Annual Report 2001-02

Environment Australia, 2002
ISSN 1441-9335

Reports - Operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (continued)
Appendicies

Appendix 1. Statistics on the operation of the Act 2001-02

Protecting the environment

Overview

Table 1. Overview from Commencement of the Act on 16 July 2000 to 30 June 2002
  2000-01** 2001-02 Total
REFERRALS
Total referrals received 294 309 603
Referrals withdrawn or lapsed before decision 2 10 12
Referrals decisions made (taking account of reconsiderations)* 263 308 571
Approval required - controlled actions 72 95 167
Approval not required - action to be taken in particular manner 30 17 47
Approval not required - no conditions on action 161 196 357
Being processed at 30 June 2002 29 20  
CONTROLLED ACTIONS
Total controlled actions 72 95 167
Assessments completed 17 27 44
Under bilateral agreements 0 2 2
Preliminary documentation 17 22 39
Public environment report 0 0 0
Environmental impact statement 0 0 0
Public inquiry 0 0 0
Accredited assessment 0 3 3
Assessment reports completed 12 25 37
Approval decisions 8 26 34
Approved with no conditions 2 4 6
Approved with conditions 6 22 28
Approval not granted 0 0 0
* Numbers reported in the 2000-01 Annual Report may have altered due to reconsiderations in 2001-02.
** 2000-01 figures cover the period from commencement of the Act on 16 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 and so are not directly comparable with those from 2001-02.

Referral Screening under Part 7 of the Act

Table 2. Referrals and Decisions Made on Whether an Action Needs Approval
REFERRALS
Referrals received 309
Deemed referrals 0
Referrals withdrawn or lapsed before decision 10
Referrals decisions made (initial decision, before reconsiderations)
Approval required - controlled action 96
Approval not required - action to be taken in particular manner 17
Approval not required - not controlled action 195
Total 308
Referrals being processed at 1 July 2001 29
Referrals being processed at 30 June 2002 20
RECONSIDERATION OF DECISIONS
Reconsiderations made in 2001-02 *
No change in decision * 4
Change from controlled action decision to not controlled action 1
Change from controlled action decision to action to be taken in particular manner* 1
Change from not controlled action decision to action to be taken in particular manner* 1
Total 7
Reconsiderations pending at 30 June 2002
1
* Three reconsiderations relate to decisions made in 2000-01. Table 1 shows final totals which take account of reconsideration decisions.

 

Table 3. Referrals and Decisions Made by Jurisdiction
  Referrals
received in
2001-02
Decisions made in 2001-02
Approval
required
Approval not required Total
CA PM NCA
NSW 87 20 1 70 91
VIC 55 12 2 38 52
QLD 61 29 3 33 65
WA 28 5 2 17 24
SA 27 11 4 10 25
TAS 14 3 0 10 13
NT 3 4 0 1 5
ACT 8 0 1 9 10
Jervis Bay Territory 1 0 1 0 1
External territories 7 6 0 0 6
Commonwealth marine areas 18 5 3 8 16
Foreign country/territory         0
Total 309 95 17 196 308
Note: The counts of referrals received and of decisions made relate to events occurring in 2001-02. Decisions made may relate to referrals received in earlier years.
PM (particular manner) refers to decisions made by the Minister under section 77(3) that an action is not a controlled action because of the particular manner in which it will be taken.
CA means that the action is a controlled action.
NCA means that the action is not a controlled action.

 

Table 4. Referrals and Decisions Made by Activity Category
  Referrals
received in
2001-02
Decisions made in 2001-02
Approval
required
Approval not required Total
CA PM NCA
Agriculture and forestry 9 4 0 4 8
Air and space transport 1 1 0 0 1
Aquaculture 15 9 0 9 18
Communication 4 1 0 2 3
Defence 8 3 2 2 7
Energy generation and supply 27 7 2 16 25
Exploration (mineral, oil, gas) 17 0 5 9 14
Land transport 34 11 1 24 36
Manufacturing 12 5 0 6 11
Mining 30 18 1 12 31
Sale or lease of Commonwealth property 4 0 0 5 5
Science, research and investigations 7 0 2 5 7
Tourism, recreation and conservation management 34 8 0 22 30
Urban and commercial new development 45 13 2 32 47
Urban and commercial redevelopment 17 1 1 16 18
Waste management 17 4 1 12 17
Water management and use 19 6 0 14 20
Water transport 9 4 0 6 10
Grand Total 309 95 17 196 308
Note: The counts of referrals received and of decisions made relate to events occurring in 2001-02.
Decisions made may relate to referrals received in earlier years.
PM (particular manner) refers to decisions made by the Minister under section 77(3) that an action is not a controlled action because of the particular manner in which it will be taken.
CA means that the action is a controlled action.
NCA means that the action is not a controlled action.

 

Table 5. Controlling Provisions Triggered
CONTROLLING PROVISIONS NO. OF TIMES TRIGGERED
Division 1 Matters of national environmental significance
Section 12 World heritage values of a World Heritage property 13
Section 16 Ecological character of a declared Ramsar wetland 20
Section 18 Listed threatened species or ecological community 75
Section 20 Listed migratory species 57
Section 21 Nuclear activities with a significant impact on the environment 1
Section 23 Commonwealth marine environment 9
Division 2 Proposals involving the Commonwealth
Section 26 Commonwealth land 10
Section 28 Commonwealth or Commonwealth agency activity 6
Total triggers 191

 

Table 6. Frequency of Controlling Provisions Triggered in Controlled Actions
No. of controlling provisions triggered in each controlled action No. of controlled actions
One 34
Two 32
Three 24
Four 4
Five 1
Total controlled actions 95

Assessment and approval of controlled actions

Table 7. Assessments and Approvals by Type of Assessment
  Assessment
approach
decisions
Assessments
completed
Under
assessment at
30 June 2002
Approved
Under bilateral agreement na 2 1 2
Preliminary documentation 27 22 11 21
Public environment report 4 0 6 0
Environmental impact statement 8 0 13 0
Accredited assessment 24 3 26 3
Total 63 27 57 26

 

Table 8. Assessment Reports and Approvals
ASSESSMENT REPORTS
Completed 25
In progress at 30 June 2002 2
APPROVALS
Approved with no conditions 4
Approved with conditions 22
Approval not granted 0
Total decisions 26
Actions awaiting approval at 30 June 2002 8
Incl. those pending while awaiting section 130 (1B) notice from state/territory 7

Minister’s advice under section 160

Table 9. Advice Provided Under Section 160
  Referrals
received
Assessment
completed
Advice
provided
Foreign aid (section 160(2)(a)) 0 0 0
Aviation airspace management plan (section 160(2)(b)) 0 0 0
Airport development plan (section 160(2)(c)) 3 3 3
Total 3 3 3
Note: One foreign aid project received in 2000-01 was withdrawn during 2001-02.

Major Commonwealth assessments active as of 30 June 2002

Environmental impact statements

Public environment reports

Conserving biodiversity

Threatened species and communities

Table 10. Processing of Nominations and Changes to Lists - Threatened Species and Ecological Communities and Key threatening Processes1
  Species Ecological
communities
Key threatening
processes
Nominations received under the Act 64 4 2
Nominations considered by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee 122 19 5
Nominations for which the Scientific Committee has provided listing advice 63 20 7
Ministerial decisions made on Scientific Committee advice 46 12 8
Scientific Committee advice to the Minister delayed pending new consultation process 79 10 4
Number of changes to the list 48 0 1
Number uplisted, new, delisted, rejected 32, 12, 1, 1 0 1 (new)
Total number of listings as of 30/6/02 1595 27 11
Number of formal2 nominations where the 12-month deadline was met
Yes
2
No3
27
Yes
0
No3
17
Yes
8
No3
1
Number of amendments4 to the list where the Minister's 90-day deadline was met Yes
48
No
1
Yes
12
No
0
Yes
8
No
0
1 Anomalies in the data can be attributed to the continuing assessment of nominations that occurs across financial years.
2 Excludes advices derived from information taken from action plans.
3 Extensions were granted on all nominations that were delayed due to the new public consultation process and the caretaker period of the 2001 Federal election.
4 Ministerial decisions on all Scientific Committee advice includes advice derived from information taken from action plans.

Whales and other cetaceans

Table 11. Cetacean Permits
Sub-section Applications
received
Decision
made on
assessment
approach
Permits
granted
Sub-section 238(3)(a) - specified actions which will contribute significantly to the conservation of cetaceans. 4 5 7
Sub-section 238(3)(b) - interference incidental to, and not the purpose of, the taking of the action. 5 2 1
Sub-section 238(3)(c) - whale watching 0 0 0
Total 9 7 8

 

Table 12. Status of Strategic Assessments in Commonwealth-managed Fisheries at 30 June 2002
COMMONWEALTH MANAGED FISHERY STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT STATUS
Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery Completed
Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Nearing completion
Northern Prawn Fishery Commenced
Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery Commenced
Southern and Western Tuna and Billfish Fisheries Commenced
Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Commenced
Great Australian Bight Trawl Fishery Commenced, amalgamated into Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
South-East Trawl Fishery Commenced, amalgamated into Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
South-East Non-trawl Fishery Commenced, amalgamated into Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
Southern Shark Fishery Commenced, amalgamated into Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery
Torres Prawn Trawl Fishery Scheduled for early 2003
Torres Strait Beche-de-mer Fishery Scheduled for early 2003
Torres Strait Lobster Fishery Scheduled for early 2003
Skip Jack Tuna Fishery Scheduled for early 2003
South Tasman Rise Fishery Scheduled for mid 2003
Macquarie Island Fishery Scheduled for mid 2003
Small Pelagics Scheduled for mid 2003
Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery Scheduled for mid 2003

 

Table 13. Referrals Received and Ministerial Decisions Made on Whether an Action Needs Approval for Each World Heritage Property
World Heritage property Controlled
action
Not controlled
action
Decision
pending at
30 June 2002
Total
referrals
Great Barrier Reef 5 3 3 11
Greater Blue Mountains 2 2 0 4
Wet Tropics of Queensland 4 2 0 6
Tasmanian Wilderness 0 4 0 4
Fraser Island 1 1 0 2
Australian Fossil Mammal Sites 0 1 1 2
Willandra Lakes 1 0 0 1
Total referrals 13 13 4 30

Appendix 2. Publications

Appendix 3. Functions and membership of advisory committees established under the Act

Threatened Species Scientific Committee
Under section 503 of the Act, the functions of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee are:

Table 14. Memebership of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee
Name Area of expertise
Associate Professor Bob Beeton (Chair) Environmental problem solving
Dr Sue Briggs Ecological communities
Dr Alan Butler Marine ecology
Dr Dean Graetz Extinction processes
Professor Gordon Grigg Animals
Dr Jill Landsberg Landscape ecology
Dr Libby Mattiske Plants
Dr Pamela Parker Landscape recovery
Mr Michael Sutherland Rural science

Biological Diversity Advisory Committee
Under section 505 of the Act the functions of the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee are:

The terms of reference for the committee as provided by the Minister on 7 July 2000 are to advise:

Table 15. Membership of the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee
Name Group represented
Professor Hugh Possingham (Chair)
Dr Nancy Bray
Dr Wendy Craik
Ms Anne Jensen
Ms Imogen Zethoven
Scientific community
Mr Les Ahoy Indigenous peoples
Vacant Local government
Vacant Rural community
Mr Alistair Graham Conservation organisations
Mr Keiran McNamara Australian & New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (now subsumed by the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council)
Ms Christine Schweizer Commonwealth
Vacant Fishing industry
Mr Ross Turnbull Business community

Indigenous Advisory Committee
Under section 505B of the Act, the function of the Indigenous Advisory Committee is to advise the Minister on the operation of the Act, taking into account the significance of Indigenous people’s knowledge of the management of land and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Table 16. Membership of the Indigenous Advisory Committee
Member State
Mr Gatjil Djerrkura OAM (Chair)  
Mr Leon Atkinson Victoria
Mr Robert Carroll New South Wales
Mr John Chester South Australia
Mr Glen Kelly Western Australia
Ms Francine McCarthy Northern Territory
Ms Darcel Moyle Queensland
Mr Rocky Sainty Tasmania
Mr Mark Sutton New South Wales
Ms Rita Tingey (Resigned in March) Northern Territory
Mr Kevin Walley Western Australia
Mr Vic McGrath Torres Strait

Appendix 4. Compliance with timeframes in the Act

The Act contains specific timeframes within which decisions must be made.
Sub-section 518(2) of the Act states:

(2) If, during a financial year, one or more things required to be done under this Act or the Regulations was not done within the period required by this Act or the Regulations, the Minister must:

(a) cause to be prepared a statement setting out the reasons why each of those things was not done within the period required by this Act or the Regulations; and

(b) cause a copy of the statement to be laid before each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year.

Things that were not done within the period required by the Act or Regulations are identified below. The reasons are provided in the body of this report.

Table 17. Compliance with Timeframes
Section of the Act Page references
Sub-section 75(5) - Decision by Minister on whether proposed action needs approval 181
Sub-section 77(4) - Minister providing reasons for the decision 181
Section 88 - Decision by Minister on assessment approach 182, 191
Sub-section 95(1) - Preparation of assessment report by Secretary 183
Sub-section 97(1) - Preparation of guidelines for draft public environment report by Minister 182
Sub-section 102(1) - Preparation of guidelines for draft environmental impact statement by Minister 182
Sub-section 130(1) - Decision by Minister on approval 183
Section 170A - Publication by Secretary of information relating to assessments 185, 191
Sub-section 189(15) - Decision by Minister on whether to amend the list of threatened species, ecological communities or key threatening processes 188


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