Annual Report 1999-2000

Contents

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Highlights

This year was marked by several significant investigations undertaken by my office, representing all three of the investigatory functions designated under subsection 12(1) of the Commissioner for the Environment Act 1993.

Under 12(1)(c), we completed my self-initiated investigation into implementation of the ACT Government's No Waste by 2010 Strategy, which had been commenced in March of the previous financial year. The report, Progress Towards No Waste by 2010, was submitted to the Minister for Urban Services, Brendan Smyth, MLA, in November 1999.

Under 12(1)(b), at the direction of the Minister, we completed a Review of Proposed Standards for Air Emissions and Other Waste Products and Monitoring Requirements for the Totalcare Incinerator.

Under 12(1)(a), in response to two complaints received, we made significant progress on an investigation into the proposed residential development of land at Conder of particularly high floristic richness, and also classified as high conservation value Yellow Box/Red Gum Grassy Woodland, an endangered ecological community.

It was also a very big year in State of the Environment reporting, with significant progress made to assist and standardise electronic SoE reporting across the country.

On behalf of the Australian Capital Region Leaders' Forum, the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment completed two noteworthy projects relating to State of the Environment (SoE) reporting, with the aid of grant money from the Department of Transport and Regional Services, under its Local Government Development Programme.

The first was SoE Author, a template, or publishing system, for electronic SoE reports, so others with SoE reporting requirements could benefit from the development work we had commenced in 1997 with our first CD-ROM SoE Report for the Australian Capital Region.

The template was launched by Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Heritage, on 26 May 2000 at Narooma.

We also completed a project to standardise data transfer and collection for SoE reporting in the Region. Continuation of this work will have significant implications for local and regional SoE reporting into the future.

We improved the design of our Website, which had been launched on the previous World Environment Day by the Minister for Urban Services. Information about SoE Author, and other reports produced during the year are on our home page.

Visit us at www.envcomm.act.gov.au.

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Our Organisation

Half-way through my second term as Commissioner for the Environment in the ACT, this report reveals the wonderful variety and challenges of the position.

My staff numbers continue to be small, with two permanent full-time officers.

As anticipated in my last Annual Report, our team expanded during 1999-2000, aided by additional ACT Government funding, to accommodate the vastly increased work required for the impending 2000 State of the Environment Report, for the ACT and the Australian Capital Region, and by Federal Government funding for our involvement in the Australian Capital Region Local Government Development Project.

This expansion was in the form of temporary staff - 1 at the SOGC level to prepare GIS mapping for the SoE Report, and to assist on the SoE template development, and 2 at the ASO5 level to assist with SoE data capture, including the data standardisation project under the Local Government Development Program.

We have also contracted a consultant on a regular part-time basis to maintain our home page, and assist with development and structure of our electronic SoE Report.

The gap between a full-time manager at the SOG B level, and an assistant at the ASO3 level has been increasingly difficult to manage, with the volume of work that requires higher-level input than can appropriately be expected of an ASO3. Since March 2000, we have been experimenting with the appointment of an ASO5. This arrangement has proved successful, and with appropriate long-term funding, I will be seeking to continue permanently on this basis.

For an organisation of our size, the co-location with a larger organisation has been of considerable benefit, through access to improved conference facilities, technological assistance and the ACT Land Information Centre.

Our organisation has been supported since 1993-1994 by the voluntary services of reference groups who provide expert comment on each of the five environmental themes in our SoE reports.

In acknowledgement of the valuable and continuing voluntary resource, we have listed members of those reference groups in the section on Resources. They are truly a distinctive human resource.

Dr Joe Baker OBE, FTSE, M.Sc.,Ph.D.,FRACI
Commissioner for the Environment ACT

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Legislative Framework

I have two main functions under the Commissioner for the Environment Act 1993, specific investigations and state of the environment reporting. 

Section 12 (1) of the Commissioner for the Environment Act states:

The Commissioner has the following functions:

  1. investigating complaints regarding the management of the environment by the Territory or a Territory authority;
  2. conducting such investigations as may be directed by the Minister;
  3. conducting, of his or her own motion, investigations into actions of an agency where those actions would have a substantial impact on the environment of the Territory.

I function as an environmental ombudsman under 12(1)(a). 

Under section 21 of the Act, investigations conducted under paragraphs 12(1)(b) and 12(1)(c) require preparation of a "special report" on that investigation.  See also the section of this report on "Special annual reporting requirements" for the recommendations arising from an investigation conducted under 12(1)(b) and tabled in June 1998, Government's response to those recommendations, and my report on their implementation to date.

The second function is to produce triennial state of the environment reports for the ACT by 31 March in each pre-election year.

Under subsection 19 (2), a State of the Environment Report shall include -

  1. an assessment of the condition of the environment, including an assessment of such of the following matters as the Commissioner considers necessary:
  2.     
    1.         
    2. the components of the earth, including soil, the atmosphere and water;    
    3. any organic or inorganic matter and any living organism;    
    4. human made or modified structures and areas;    
    5. ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities;    
    6. the qualities and characteristics of places and areas that contribute to their biological diversity and ecological integrity, scientific value and amenity;    
    7. the interactions and interdependencies within and between the things mentioned in subparagraphs (i) to (v) (inclusive);    
    8. the social, aesthetic, cultural and economic conditions that affect, or are affected by, the things mentioned in subparagraphs (i) to (v) (inclusive);
  3. an evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of environmental management, including an assessment about the degree of compliance with national environment protection measures made by the National Environment Protection Council; and
  4. such other matters, whether or not occurring within the triennium to which the report relates, as -
    1. the Minister specifies by notice in writing given to the Commissioner; or
    2. the Commissioner considers relevant.

Details in 19(2)(a) are the same as for the definition of the environment in the Environment Protection Act 1997.  It is a broader definition of the environment than that which many other jurisdictions have adopted.  It clearly includes humans as part of the environment, together with our social, aesthetic, cultural and economic structures.  This definition settles any possible argument about whether human settlement should be included in our state of the environment reports. 

A further requirement under the Commissioner for the Environment Act is that by 30 September in each pre-election year, the Minister shall present to the Legislative Assembly -

  1. a statement setting out the Government's response to the State of the Environment Report presented to the Legislative Assembly in that year; or
  2. a statement setting out the reasons why the Government's response has not been made available in accordance with paragraph (a).

My Annual Reports for 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 addressed recommendations from the 1997 State of the Environment Report, and any implementation by Government. (See my section "Special annual reporting requirements" for follow-up of Government actions to 30 June 2000.)

SoE reporting for the Australian Capital Region has introduced a timing complexity with NSW Local Governments being required to report comprehensively on the state of the environment after every (4 yearly) election, and the reports for the ACT being due before every (3 yearly) Assembly election. I reported in my previous Annual Report that I was seeking a solution to this through appropriate channels, but it was not resolved as at 30 June 2000.

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Achievements

1. State of the Environment Reporting

Data consistency project

This project is part of the Regional activities of this Office. It arose as a way of providing regionally consistent data for SoE reporting against a number of agreed Indicators. It was proposed that, initially, a consistent format for transfer of Council data would streamline the preparation of the 2000 SoE Report for the Region.

Indicators for which Councils actually collected (and owned) the data were identified, and from that list, a short-list of 29 Indicators was created. A standardised format for each Indicator, with space for additional qualitative data or comments was created in Excel and emailed to each Council for completion. An important aspect of this process was also being able to obtain good information about the data being provided (metadata). This information was also sought and provided.

In March 2000, the SoE Project Team plus other SoE contacts from the Region met in Goulburn and identified a further set of "core" Indicators for Councils to consider for establishing a consistent method for actually collecting the data. Future work could involve the development of data transfer and collection standards for all SoER Indicators for which Councils collect data, with a view to improving the data consistency across the Region, and thereby management of regional issues.

As a result of this project, many Councils identified more SoE data which could be provided than they had in the 1997 regional report. The project also raised awareness of SoE reporting within Councils, through the increased liaison with staff from different areas of Council in order to complete the data transfer - ie with engineers, weeds officers and finance officers. It demonstrated to Councils that SoE reporting has both broad application and implications.

The SoE Project Team (previously the Regional Leaders' Forum Environment Committee) worked closely with our office on this project, which was partly funded by the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services.

SoE Author

The production of the SoE Author template during the year provided us with the opportunity to set up our SoE Report for 2000. The template actually provides the whole structure of the SoE Report for the Australian Capital Region - the Themes, Issues and the Indicators and descriptions. All that remains is for appropriate interpreted data to be inserted in the formatted pages.

The template for SoE reporting was the brainchild of the (then) Environment Committee of the Australian Capital Regional Leaders' Forum, and was produced with assistance of grant money from the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services and significant in-kind contributions by Councils in the Region, Environment ACT and this Office. For purposes of the grant, the project was managed by Yarrowlumla Shire Council, with this office as the "contractor".

The features of the template show a huge advance on our 1997 report. In particular, navigation, mapping and printing are much improved. Navigation follows the pattern of Windows Explorer. Viewers will always be able to locate where they are in the report, and there is a search function. Maps are created from GIS data using a MapInfo PtyLtd product, MapX. Map colours can be changed so viewers can overlay data such as erosion over landuse, to see the relationships. Maps are printed with a tailored legend.

SoE Author is subject to licence arrangements for the mapping component and royalties are payable to MapInfo for CD-ROM SoE reports produced.

Additional information about the SoE authoring template and how to obtain it is on our Website.

SoE 2000 Report Preparation

We consulted with Reference Groups again early in 2000 and proceeded with data collection and preparation.

Due to resources being diverted onto increased activity on investigations, and to development of SoE Author, we did not meet the target of having a draft of the SoE 2000 Report completed by 30 June 2000.

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Achievements

2. Investigations

Summary statistics for investigations under section 12 of the Act during 1999-2000 are:

12(1)(a) (complaints)

Complaints received: 2
Number of investigations commenced: 2
Decision to investigate pending: Nil
Complaint, no formal investigation: 1
Number completed: Nil

12(1)(b) (Minister-directed)

Number commenced 1
Number completed: 1

12(1)(c) (Commissioner-initiated)

Number commenced: Nil
Number completed: 1

At 30 June 2000, there were 2 matters formally under current investigation by this Office. Both are expected to be completed during 2000-2001. 

Investigations arising from complaints

In August 1999, I had received initial enquiries about the possibility of an investigation about proposed residential development in Conder of an area (identified for development purposes as Conder 4A). The area had also been identified as high conservation value Yellow Box/ Red Gum Grassy Woodland, an endangered ecological community, but in Draft Action Plan No.10 for this endangered ecological community, the area of Conder 4A was not intended for protection.

A formal letter of complaint was received from on 8 September 1999, and a second complaint about the same topic was received on 10 September 1999.

A decision to approve construction of a road across the area had been made by the Commissioner for Land and Planning, and an appeal lodged by one of the complainants on 5 October 1999. Under subsection 14(4) of the Act, I was required to provide special reasons justifying an investigation. I did this on 3 November 1999.

A comparative survey of this and sites in grassy woodland margins of the ACT reserve system was conducted, and the investigation proceeded throughout the remainder of the financial year. A draft report was provided to the Conservator of Flora and Fauna in June 2000. My final report is anticipated in the first quarter of 2000-2001.

In February 1999, I had received initial enquiries about the possibility of further investigating noise from motorsports at Fairbairn Park Complex, particularly in relation to the Government's fulfilment of object 3(1)(c) of the Environment Protection Act 1997. This object requires "persons engaging in polluting activities to make progressive environmental improvements, including reductions of pollution at the source". My initial enquiries to the Environment Management Authority (EMA) were responded to in September 1999. No further action was taken on this matter until the complainant contacted this office again on 5 May 2000, with a further request for investigation into the EMA's proposed amendment to the Noise from Motorsports Environment Protection Policy, proposing to increase the "event credits" for Fairbairn Park Complex from 19 to 31. A draft report of my findings was provided to the EMA and Environment ACT in June 2000. My final report is expected in the first half of 2000-2001.

Commissioner-initiated investigations

As noted under Highlights for 1999-2000, in March 1999 for the first time, I had initiated an investigation under paragraph 12 (1)(c) of the Act. My report Progress Towards No Waste by 2010: A Report by the Commissioner for the Environment ACT on Implementation of the ACT Government's No Waste by 2010 Strategy was completed in November 1999. The report was tabled in the Assembly on 15 February 2000, and the Government's response was tabled in May 2000. Details of my recommendations and the Government's response appear later in this report under the section Progress on Implementation of Recommendations in Special Reports.

Investigations arising from Ministerial direction

In my Annual Report of 1998-99, I reported that I was considering a formal investigation into dioxin emissions from the Totalcare Incinerator at Mitchell, a matter that had been raised initially by the Conservation Council for Canberra and the South-East Region in 1997, and raised again in Estimates Committee by Kerrie Tucker, MLA. Estimates Committee had recommended investigation by the Commissioner for the Environment, as a result of which, in February 2000, the Minister formalised a direction.

My report, Review of Proposed Standards for Air Emissions and Other Waste Products and Monitoring Requirements for the Totalcare Incinerator, was submitted to the Minister in June 2000. Tabling and Government response are anticipated in the first quarter of 2000-01. Details of recommendations appear later in this report under the section Progress on Implementation of Recommendations in Special Reports.

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Special Annual Reporting Requirements

Section 20 of the Commissioner for the Environment Act 1993 reads: A report presented, or information provided, by the Commissioner under section 8 of the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 1995 in respect of a period shall include particulars of

  1. any special factor which the Commissioner believes had a significant impact on the environment during the period
  2. measures taken during the period by or on behalf of the Territory in relation to the implementation of any recommendation in a State of the Environment Report under section 19 or a special Report under section 21
  3. any recommendation in such a report which the Commissioner believes is still to be implemented or fully implemented.


Significant impacts on the environment

During the year, the ACT Greenhouse Strategy and an Integrated Catchment Management Framework for the ACT were released. In addition, all Action Plans for declared endangered or vulnerable species and particularly for endangered ecological communities were completed. Relevant biodiversity conservation must be taken into account in any planning and/or development proposals.

These are encouraging indications of what I consider to be a more concerted move towards ESD in the Territory, and integration of Government actions in terms of environmental management - something that I have consistently advocated since 1993.

Progress on implementation of recommendations -
1997 ACT State of the Environment Report

In this section, I comment on progress on implementation of SoE Report recommendations which I consider to be not fully implemented by the ACT Government or its agencies since release of my last SoE Report in 1997-98.

My aim is to have actions arising from recommendations from SoE Reports incorporated into the budget and output reporting processes, so the link between SoE Reports and management is transparent for all.

For practical reporting purposes in this Annual Report, I have retained those 1997 recommendations which I considered last year to be not yet fully implemented, and Government's initial response. This is followed by "Government action to 30 June 2000" and my comments on the extent to which each recommendation is considered now to be implemented.

My Annual Report of 1997-98, and Annual Report of 1998-99 contain details of the Government's initial response (December 1997)and action to:

Copies are also available from our office.

Click here for progress to June 2000 by Government on implementing the recommendations from the State of the Environment Report 1997, and the Commmissioner's comments to these responses.



Progress on implementation of recommendations
Special reports

New in 1999-2000
Progress towards No Waste by 2010
A Report by the Commissioner for the Environment ACT on Implementation of the ACT Government's No Waste by 2010 Strategy - November 1999

I implemented a review of progress of implementation of the ACT's No Waste by 2010 strategy, just under three years into its program. ACT Waste has done some good work to date, but there is a very challenging task ahead.

My report was tabled in February 2000. The Government Response was tabled in May 2000, having been dependent on Cabinet approval of its document, The Next Step in the No Waste Strategy, which was completed following receipt of my report. Government agreed to all recommendations, the last being agreed to "in principle". My recommendations and the Government response are reported below.

A full report of Government action in relation to these recommendations will appear in my Annual Report for 2000-01.

The strategy seeks to achieve a no waste society within about 14 years of its launch in December 1996. The Vision of a waste-free society is exciting, and I am very keen to see ACT Governments progressively stimulate the community to achieve that goal. To be successful, the strategy will require successive Ministers to ensure that it retains a high profile, both in the ACT Legislative Assembly and in the community. I believe the strategy cannot be successfully implemented without enormous combined support of Government and the businesses and residents of the ACT. That support needs to have a formal structure.

The Vision of a waste-free society is unambiguous. A waste-free society is one which has adopted and maintained certain practices. In the strategy, by 2010 all "waste" that is generated will be transformed into a resource or stored until technology is available to transform it into a resource. However, I experienced some confusion in ACT Government about the goals of the No Waste by 2010 strategy.

 Click here for progress to June 2000 by Government on implementing the recommendations from the Progress Towards No Waste 2010 Report, and the Commmissioner's comments to these responses.



Progress on implementation of recommendations
Special reports

Review of Proposed Standards for Air Emissions and Other Waste Products and Monitoring Requirements for the Totalcare Incinerator - June 2000

In March 2000, the Minister for Urban Services formally requested that I:

"... review the standards for emissions and waste products, together with monitoring requirements, set in Environmental Authorisation 008, issued to Totalcare Industries Limited under the Environment Protection Act 1997, having regard to:

  • The standards proposed by Totalcare in attached correspondence, forming part of its proposal to upgrade the incinerator at Mitchell; and
  • The highest standards achievable at comparable incinerators at any location in Australia or elsewhere."

(The Minister also requested Environment ACT to commission an expert independent review of alternatives to incineration for the wastes that Totalcare burns in the high temperature incinerator.)

The standards for the gaseous emissions and the other waste products generated from the Totalcare Industries Limited incineration operation at Mitchell were reviewed against information from other States and from international information on regulation of clinical waste incineration operations.

The monitoring requirements outlined in Environmental Authorisation 008 were reviewed against those of other jurisdictions.

As no one incineration operation in Australia is exactly the same as Totalcare's, the comparison of standards concentrated on the parameters that were specified in a licence and on their frequency of monitoring.

Some other issues that may affect the provision of regulation for this incineration operation were outlined.

My report was submitted to the Minister on 20 June 2000. It was not tabled by 30 June 2000. It will be posted onto the Special Reports pages of our website (www.EnvComm.act.gov.au) along with the Government Response and the Environment ACT's review of alternatives to incineration during 2000-2001, once these have been tabled in the Assembly. Recommendations of my report follow.

Recommendations

  1. The EMA should include appropriate numerical standards for dioxins/furans, total organic compounds (TOCs), soot and lead (Pb) as a separate entity in Environmental Authorisation 008, in accord with those in the standards proposed by Totalcare.
  2. The standards for gaseous emissions set in Environmental Authorisation 008 should specify parameters measured by dry volume in cubic metres at STP and should be uncorrected except for total solid particles and nitrogen oxides which should be corrected to 7 per cent oxygen.
  3. Environmental Authorisation 008 should include a requirement for both a mass rate as well as concentrations for all gaseous emission parameters.
  4. The condition in Environmental Authorisation 008 relating to the characterisation of the ash should be expressed in terms of the critical parameters that would affect either disposal to landfill or reuse, if reuse were ever practicable.
  5. The monitoring regime in Environmental Authorisation 008 should be revised to include more detailed provisions regarding monitoring of plant operation.
  6. The monitoring regime should, at the appropriate time, include requirements for monitoring the quantity of baghouse residue produced and limits for appropriate parameters.
  7. It is recommended that Environmental Authorisation 008 require Totalcare to negotiate with ACTEW as to standards for the discharge of wastewater from the site, and that the resulting standards be communicated to the EMA.
  8. The EMA should commission some targeted testing of soil and vegetation around the plant for dioxins and heavy metals.
  9. The EMA should ensure that it has access to the best scientific and technological advice on the implications of the monitoring results, so that the annual review of the licence conditions continues to be effective.

The recommendations that have been made above take into account the concerns that I expressed in last year's Annual Report, relating to the level of dioxin emissions, and they also take into account the need for routine monitoring and control of the solid and gaseous outputs from the incineration processes.



Progress on implementation of recommendations
Special reports

Investigation into the ACT Government's Use of Chemicals for Pest Control - May 1998

Many of the recommendations in my 1998 report on the Government's use of chemicals for pest control were implemented in some way at the date of my last Annual Report. However, I noted then that I wished to follow up in this Annual Report on a number of the actions and intentions that were reported. I maintain an ongoing interest in ensuring that there is an integrated or coordinated approach, across all of Government, to best-practice management of pests, that there is an emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and that the community has access to all the information it requires to minimise any unwanted, or adverse, impacts of pest control programs.

I would like to see an absolutely minimal dependence on the use of synthetic chemicals for pest control in school buildings and in the grounds of the schools in the ACT. Adequate signage of such chemical use should be displayed at all times - before, during and after the spraying or other application, and parents should be given adequate notification of the intention to use synthetic chemicals for pest control. See also my response to 1.8.1.

I had recommended an annual report on the effectiveness and efficiency of pest control management within the outer boundaries of the ACT, by the ACT Government and its agencies (Recommendation 1.12). Such a report was provided to me this year by the AgVet Chemicals Coordination Network (AVCCN) prior to its inclusion in the Department of Urban Services (DUS) Annual Report. To maintain the AVCCN's direction and focus on the key areas of pest control management, I have suggested a system of outcome/output reporting, at quarterly or half-yearly intervals, from which the briefer report for inclusion in the DUS Annual Report can be derived. I understand this will be discussed by the AVCCN at their next meeting.

This will mean that I am kept informed of actions of the AVCCN, without a need to include the sort of detail that follows each of the recommendations listed below.

 Click here for progress to June 2000 by Government on implementing the recommendations from the Investigation into the ACT Government's Use of Chemicals for Pest Control (1998), and the Commmissioner's comments to these responses.

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Ecologically Sustainable Development

Our Vision and Mission appear at the beginning of this report. The Office function is to investigate environmental management by the Territory and its agencies, and to produce reports of those investigations, including a triennial SoE Report.

Our use of resources in our work practices is guided by the principles of ESD and waste minimisation. We have introduced electronic SoE reporting and now produce only an Executive Summary in paper format. In the 2000 SoE Report, we are introducing a new chapter entitled Towards Sustainability. It is intended that this chapter will progressively report the state of the environment against sustainability objectives. For SoE reporting we are intending to produce drafts on a password-protected page on our Website, and we communicate electronically with various science writers, Reference Group members and Councils within the Region.

We now place all our reports on our Website, thereby limiting the number of paper copies printed.

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Links with Financial Reporting

Financial reporting for the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment continues to be covered under the Annual Report for the Department of Urban Services (DUS).

Budget details for the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment are included, but not separately identified, under Environment ACT "Expenses on Behalf of the Territory" in budget papers.

The ACT-funded budget for the office for 1999-2000 was $358,000 .

An additional $2,550 was sourced through the Regional Leaders' Forum for secretariat support for the Regional Leaders Environment Committee.

Sales of publications (State of the Environment Reports) totalled $645.

Council contributions of $35,800 towards the 2000 Australian Capital Region SoE Report were received. Councils had previously been offered options of prepayment in full, or in part, of their contributions towards the 2000 Australian Capital Region State of the Environment Report.

Funding

The ACT Government acknowledged the role of this Office in regional SoE reporting through supplementation of our budget for a two-year period from the commencement of 1989-1999.

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Corporate Overview
Whole of Government Issues

Customer Focussed Public Service

A Commitment to Service Statement is available from the Commissioner's office. 

In that statement we note that we are here to:

  • produce State of Environment Reports for the ACT (Our next Report is due in 2000. Again it will cover the Australian Capital Region)
  • investigate complaints from the community, regarding the management of the environment by the ACT Government and/or its Agencies
  • conduct investigations directed by the Minister
  • initiate investigations into actions of an Agency, where those actions would have a substantial impact on the environment of the ACT, and
  • make recommendations for consideration by Government and include in our annual report the outcomes of those recommendations.

Our service commitments are in  the Vision Statement on this website.

Fraud Prevention

The office is covered under the DUS Annual Report.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The office is covered under the DUS EEO Plan.

Human Resources

Staffing Overview and Statistics

The following positions were occupied as at 30 June 2000:

                                                                
Class Full-time/Part-time Gender Category of Employment
SOGB 1 - full-time F Permanent
SOGC 1 - full-time M Temporary
ASO5 1 - full-time F Permanent/Higher duties
ASO5 Part-time F Contract

As mentioned earlier in this report, the staff of the office was expanded during the year to assist with preparation of the SoE Report which is due in 2000-2001. The temporary SOGC commenced in February 2000. A permanent ASO3 employee of the office continued on higher duties at the ASO5 level throughout the year. The contract part-time ASO5 commenced in March 2000. An additional person was appointed at the ASO5 for approximately 8 months during the year.



Consultancy Services

Six contracts were let during the year for $5,000 or more - all to local contractors/consultants. These were:

Name Duration Description Amount
Communication Breakthrough July- Dec 1999 Update SoE Report Indicator descriptions for Website $7,000
Communication Breakthrough July 1999-June 2000 Maintenance of Website $5,000
Design One Solutions Ltd April-May 2000 Design of SoER Template $25,000
Roger Beckmann June-Sept 2000 Science writer/editor - SoER $6,000
Ann Lyons Wright May-Sept 2000 Writer/editor - SoER $10,000
Powers IT Consulting Mar-Sept 2000 Admin support to Office $8,500

The cost of preparation for the 2000 SoE Report is paid for in part through payments received from Councils in the Australian Capital Region.

The $25,000 design of the SoER Author template was part of a grant from the Commonwealth Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

Voluntary resources

Reference Groups for the 2000 State of the Environment Report, Australian Capital Region were appointed in May 1999, and the first meeting held.  Current membership is listed below. Others have offered individual assistance.

Human Settlement

 

Prof Lyndsay Neilson, Chair

Centre for Developing Cities, Environmental Design, University of Canberra

Mr Darren Crombie/
Dr Kevin Frawley

National Capital Authority

Ms Caroline LeCouteur

Australian Conservation Foundation

Mr Ken Johnson

Geography Dept,
Australian National University

Mr Jeremy Morris

Consultant/Canberra Business Council

Ms Nicky Davies

Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra

Mr Bob Harrison

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Mr Graham Mannall

ACT Waste

Mr Rod Burgess

Australian Capital Region Development Council

Professor Pem Gerner

Centre for Developing Cities, University of Canberra

Dr Alan Wade

ACTEW

Dr Janis Birkeland

Environmental Design, University of Canberra

Biodiversity

 

Dr Don McMichael, CBE, Chair

Consultant

Dr Ian Naumann

CSIRO, Division of Entomology

Dr David Shorthouse

Environment ACT,
Wildlife Research and Monitoring

Mr Mark Lintermans

Environment ACT,
Wildlife Research and Monitoring

Mr Bruce Lindenmayer

Canberra Ornithologists Group/Conservation Council of S-E Region & Canberra

Dr Robert Boden

Consultant

Dr Allen Kearns

CSIRO, Division of Wildlife and Ecology

Mr Geoff Butler

Consultant/Conservation Council of S-E Region and Canberra

Dr Denis Saunders

CSIRO, Division of Wildlife and Ecology

Atmosphere

 

Professor Tony Jakeman, Chair

CRES, Australian National University

Mr Keith Colls

Bureau of Meteorology

Dr Mark Paterson

AFFA

Dr Janette Lindesay

Geography Dept,
Australian National University

Mr Wayne Riley

ACT Government Analytical Laboratories ACT Health

Mr Jason Evans

CRES, Australian National University

Mr Mike Hutchinson

CRES, Australian National University

Land

 

Professor Henry Nix, AO, Chair

CRES, Australian National University

Dr David Williams

Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra

Ms Penny Greenslade

CSIRO, Division of Entomology

Dr David Tongway

CSIRO, Division of Wildlife and Ecology

Dr John Raison

CSIRO, Division of Forestry

Mr Harold Adams

ACT Rural Lessees' Association

Ms Mariann Lloyd-Smith

National Toxics Network

Water

 

Professor Richard Norris, Chair

Co-op Research Centre for Fresh Water Ecology, University of Canberra

Mr Ian Lawrence

Co-op Research Centre for Fresh Water Ecology, University of Canberra

Mr Cary Reynolds

Consultant

Mr Gerry Jacobson

Australian Geological Survey Office

Professor Bill Maher

Applied Science, University of Canberra

Mr Greg Keen

Environment ACT

Professor Bob Wasson

CRES, Australian National University

Mr Alan Wade

ACTEW

Mr Nelson Quinn

Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee

Towards Sustainability

Molly Harris-Olson, Chair

Consultant

Professor Richard Norris

Chair Water Reference Group

Professor Henry Nix, AO

Chair Land Reference Group

Prof Lyndsay Neilson

Chair Human Settlement Reference Group

Dr Don McMichael, CBE

Chair Biodiversity Reference Group

Professor Tony Jakeman

Chair Atmosphere Reference Group

Mr John Schooneveldt

Nature and Society Forum

Dr Meg Keen

Geography Dept,
Australian National University

Ms Fiona Wain

Environmental Management Industries Association of Australia



Training and Staff Development

No additional training was undertaken during the year.

ACT Government Passenger Vehicles

The office has one Hi-Lux twin-cab utility (4 cylinder) which was leased in October 1999.

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STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

Occupational Health & Safety

This office is covered by DUS agreements and policies as outlined in the DUS Annual Report.

Workers' Compensation

This office is covered under the DUS policy and details incorporated in the DUS Annual Report.

Public Interest Disclosure

This office is covered by DUS Public Interest Disclosure Statement and Procedures.

Freedom of Information

There were no requests received under section 18 for access to documents.

Government Contractual Debts (Interest) Act 1994

Nil interest due.

Inquiries by Legislative Assembly Committees

No direct involvement.

living sustainably

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