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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2002-03

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISSN 1441 9335

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

5. Ongoing and future developments

Work continued on further strengthening and developing the Act, including a new heritage regime and regulations on the management of genetic resources. Developments are summarised below.

Heritage provisions

On 27 June 2002, the Government introduced new heritage legislation into Parliament that will identify, conserve and protect places of national heritage significance, provide for the identification and management of Commonwealth heritage places, and establish an independent expert body to advise the Minister on the listing and protection of heritage places.

The package of Bills consists of the:

The amendment Bill also includes a number of provisions relating to strengthening the basis for 'specified manner' decisions on referrals and giving the Minister power to reject referrals if he or she believes that they relate to only a component, or stage, of a larger action. This latter amendment will clarify the way in which staged developments are treated under the Act.

The House of Representatives debate on the Bills concluded on 14 November 2002. Debate on the Bills in the Senate recommenced during the spring session of Parliament in 2003. At the time of this report going to print the Senate had passed the Bills with amendments that must be returned to the House of Representatives.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000

Genetic resources management

The Government, together the governments of the states and territories, has developed and adopted a nationally consistent approach to the management of the genetic resources found in Australia's native plants and animals. This is the Nationally Consistent Approach For Access to and the Utilisation of Australia's Native Genetic and Biochemical Resources adopted by the Natural Resources Management Ministerial Council on 11 October 2002.

This agreement underpins future management action by individual governments and ensures that utilisation of resources is undertaken in an ecologically sustainable way while providing certainty to industry and encouraging continued investment in biodiscovery research and development. Management of genetic resources will include Regulations to be made in 2003 under section 301 of the Act to control access to and use of biological resources in Commonwealth areas and future state and territory legislation.