Australian Government, 2007–08 Budget

Environment and Water Resources

Australian Biological Resources Study

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - - - -

The Government will provide $4.8 million over four years to continue the Australian Biological Resources Study. This funding will continue to expand Australia’s biodiversity knowledge base, enhance retention of taxonomic expertise through research grants and scholarships, and disseminate taxonomic information, including online through the Atlas of Living Australia.

Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates. This funding is in addition to existing ongoing funding of around $8.0 million over the forward estimates.

Climate change — Australian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 17.1 22.0 23.0 27.5
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 1.5 1.8 1.9 1.9
Total 18.6 23.8 24.9 29.3

The Government will provide $126.0 million over five years (including $29.4 million in 2011-12) to establish and manage the Australian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation and for associated programme funding. The work commissioned by the Centre will assist the most vulnerable sectors and regions, as well as planning bodies and local government, to understand better the possible impacts of climate change and develop effective ways to help adapt to these impacts.

The Centre will be managed by the Australian Government but will work closely with the States and Territories and related bodies to ensure a coordinated national approach, in line with the National Adaptation Framework endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Further information can be found in the COAG Communiqué of 13 April 2007, available from www.coag.gov.au.

See also the related expense measure titled Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation National Research Flagships — Climate Adaptation and Energy in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Climate change — coal mine methane reduction

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 1.1 0.8 0.2 0.2

The Government will provide $18.5 million over five years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. This measure involves funding of $5.9 million in 2007-08, $5.6 million in 2008-09, and $2.3 million in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Grants will be provided on a competitive basis to prompt the capture and flaring of methane by those coal mines that currently vent methane into the atmosphere. Grants will also be available for the sealing of abandoned mines.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with more than twenty times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

$15.9 million for this programme will be funded through a reprioritisation of existing resources from the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme.

Climate change — expansion of Photovoltaic Rebate Programme

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 6.0 11.0 11.0 11.1

The Government will provide $150.0 million over five years ($26.0 million in 2007-08 and $31.0 million per annum from 2008-09 to 2011-12) to extend and expand the Photovoltaic Rebate Programme, which provides rebates for the installation of eligible photovoltaic systems. Under the expansion, existing household rebate rates and caps will be doubled from current levels, such that rebates of $8 per peak watt up to $8,000 will be available to households. Other new elements include grants of up to $12,000 to support installations in schools and other community education buildings, and support for the photovoltaic industry to commercialise technology that will improve the affordability of household photovoltaic systems.

Provision for funding of around $20.0 million per annum from 2007-08 to 2011-12 has already been included in the forward estimates.

Climate change — Global Initiative on Forests and Climate

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
AusAID 27.3 33.2 43.6 42.6
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 3.5 4.5 5.8 4.6
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.4
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Total 31.3 38.3 49.9 47.8
Related capital ($m)
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 7.0 - - -

The Government will provide $197.2 million over five years (including $22.8 million in 2011-12) to launch a Global Initiative on Forests and Climate. This initiative will advance the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the world’s forests. The funding will be used to support projects in selected developing countries, including in the South East Asia and Pacific regions, to support new forest planting, limit destruction of remaining forests, and promote sustainable forest management.

The funding for AusAID ($164.4 million over five years, including $17.6 million in 2011-12) will build on existing programmes and prepare for future activities in countries such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

This measure includes $7.0 million in capital funding to establish a satellite receiving station in northern Australia to assist countries in the region in assessing and monitoring their forest resources.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 29 March 2007 issued by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

See also the related expense measure titled Increasing overseas aid — climate change, global health and multilateral initiatives — building and supporting effective partnerships in the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, and the revenue measure titled Carbon sink forests — establishment costs deductible in the Treasury Portfolio.

Climate change — phase out of inefficient light bulbs

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - - - -

The Government will provide $7.9 million over five years ($1.7 million in 2007-08, $1.8 million in 2008-09, $2.0 million in 2009-10, $1.9 million in 2010-11 and $0.5 million in 2011-12) to support the phase out of incandescent light bulbs. New lighting standards for light globes will be introduced from 2009-10 which will mean compact fluorescent light bulbs replacing incandescent light bulbs, with exceptions for special purpose fittings.

Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Further information can be found in the press release of 20 February 2007 issued by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

Climate change — small business and household action initiative

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - - - -
Related capital ($m)
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - - - -

The Government will provide $52.8 million over five years to increase community understanding of climate change and assist households and small businesses to reduce and offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

This measure involves funding of $29.1 million in 2007-08, $16.4 million in 2008-09, $5.9 million in 2009-10, $0.5 million in 2010-11 and $0.4 million in 2011-12. It also includes $0.5 million in capital funding in 2007-08 to develop an interactive intranet site to assist users to reduce their emissions.

Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Further information can be found in the press release of 4 March 2007 issued by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

Community Water Grants — extension

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 16.3 52.2 79.7 49.0

The Government will provide $200.7 million over six years (including $2.4 million in 2011-12 and $1.1 million in 2012-13) to extend the Community Water Grants Programme. Competitive grants of up to $50,000 will be available for community organisations and schools for the installation of rainwater tanks, water meters and water saving taps and toilets.

Distinctively Australian — continuation of funding

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources -0.3 -1.4 -2.4 -2.5

The Government will provide $15.0 million over four years ($5.0 million in 2007-08, $4.0 million in 2008-09 and $3.0 million in 2009-10 and 2010-11) to continue implementation of the heritage management framework under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, including progressing the establishment of the National Heritage List.

As provisions previously included in the forward estimates exceed the now expected costs of the Distinctively Australian programme, this measure will have a positive impact on the budget of $6.6 million.

This funding is in addition to ongoing funding of $38.8 million over four years provided to the Australian Heritage Council.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 — enhanced administration

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 17.4 17.6 17.7 17.9

The Government will provide $70.6 million over four years to increase resourcing for the administration of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The funding will assist implementation of recent amendments to the Act, which will streamline its administration, encourage the use of regional plans to create more certainty about the outcomes of environmental decisions, and strengthen compliance and enforcement. It will also improve the effectiveness of listings for threatened species, ecological communities and key threats.

This funding is in addition to existing resourcing of activities under this legislation of $28.6 million per annum, of which $12.4 million per annum is from the Natural Heritage Trust Special Account.

Environment Protection Policy — continuation of funding

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 9.8 9.9 9.1 9.2

The Government will provide $38.0 million over four years to continue a range of environmental protection policy activities. These activities fulfil statutory and international obligations relating to air quality, fuel quality, oil recycling, water efficiency, ozone protection, dangerous chemicals and hazardous waste.

This measure builds on the 2003-04 Budget measure, Environment Protection Policy, which concludes on 30 June 2007.

Environmental Stewardship Programme

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0

The Government will provide $50.0 million over four years for an Environmental Stewardship Programme. Private land managers will be contracted, for up to 15 years, to protect and improve assets of national environmental significance.

Participants need to provide long-term environmental outcomes beyond their duty of care and legal responsibilities as land managers. Participants will be selected using a range of market-based mechanisms such as auctions. Up‑front payments may be made where up-front capital works are required, and periodic payments will be made for ongoing activities. All payments under the programme will be taxable.

Great Barrier Reef — additional funding for field management

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 4.4 3.5 3.3 3.3
Related capital ($m)
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 1.1 .. .. ..

The Government will provide $15.6 million over four years to increase funding for field management in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The additional funding will provide for increased enforcement and compliance activities, upgrading of the field management fleet, reef and tourism infrastructure, and resource management projects. Field management in the Park is the joint responsibility of both the Australian and Queensland governments, and the costs for these activities are shared equally.

This measure includes $1.2 million in capital funding to restore former lighthouse stations on Low Isles and Pine Islet, and for IT systems to enhance permit management and compliance.

Great Barrier Reef — continuation of water quality monitoring programme

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - - - -

The Government will provide $14.2 million over four years from 2007-08 to continue the water quality monitoring programme under the Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Protection Plan. The Plan addresses declining water quality in waterways entering the Reef.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Natural Heritage Trust.

Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica — conservation

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - - - -

The Government will provide $1.3 million in 2006-07 to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation. This funding will be used by the Foundation to complete its conservation work on the historic huts at Cape Denison in Antarctica built by Sir Douglas Mawson in 1912 and 1913. The funding will also be used to conserve other structures and artefacts found at Cape Denison, which remain from the Australasian Antarctic expedition of 1911-14.

National Plan for Water Security — addressing over-allocation in the Murray-Darling Basin

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 27.0 85.9 423.8 495.8
Related capital ($m)
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 1.0 - - -

The Government will provide $3.1 billion over 10 years (including $2.1 billion over six years from 2011-12) to address over-allocation in the Murray-Darling Basin by buying water entitlements and providing structural adjustment assistance to those in unviable or inefficient irrigation areas. This funding is conditional on governance arrangements for the Murray-Darling Basin being placed on a national footing.

This measure forms part of the Government’s $10 billion National Plan for Water Security.

The measure includes $1.8 million in capital funding to upgrade IT systems ($1.0 million in 2007-08, $0.5 million in 2011-12 and $0.3 million in 2014-15).

See also the related expense measures titled National Plan for Water Security in the Environment and Water Resources portfolio.

Further information can be found in the press release of 25 January 2007 issued by the Prime Minister.

National Plan for Water Security — improving water information

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Bureau of Meteorology 23.7 39.2 46.2 51.3
Related capital ($m)
Bureau of Meteorology 5.1 4.2 7.5 5.0

The Government will provide $417.2 million over 10 years (including $235.0 million over six years from 2011-12) to the Bureau of Meteorology to improve the detail and scope of nationally available water information, which will allow the Bureau to forecast, analyse and publicly report on water resource usage.

This funding is conditional on the governance arrangements for the Murray-Darling Basin being placed on a national footing.

This measure forms part of the Government’s $10 billion National Plan for Water Security.

This component of the National Plan for Water Security has four key elements:

  • assisting water data collecting agencies to modernise and extend their water information and measurement networks;
  • maintaining a national database and web-based reporting system for all water information, including maintaining a national water account and managing the information collected from the metering, monitoring and accounting element of the National Plan;
  • improving analysis and interpretation of national water information and forecasting services; and
  • commissioning strategic investigations and purchasing data to address water information needs.

This measure includes $24.9 million in capital funding from 2007-08 for upgrading computer infrastructure, satellite receiving stations for imagery and data, and a radar rainfall network.

See also the related expense measures titled National Plan for Water Security in the Environment and Water Resources portfolio.

Further information can be found in the press release of 25 January 2007 issued by the Prime Minister.

National Plan for Water Security — modernising irrigation in Australia

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 52.3 154.0 452.2 861.4
Related capital ($m)
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 1.0 - - -

The Government will provide $5.9 billion over 10 years (including $4.4 billion over six years from 2011-12) to improve water use efficiency. This funding is conditional on governance arrangements for the Murray-Darling Basin being placed on a national footing.

This measure forms part of the Government’s $10 billion National Plan for Water Security.

This component of the National Plan for Water Security has four elements:

  • $3.1 billion will be provided for improving delivery system efficiencies. This measure will, in collaboration with irrigation water providers, identify water loss ‘hot spots’ and undertake targeted works, such as piping, channel lining and system automation, in irrigation areas.
  • $1.6 billion will be provided to improve on-farm irrigation efficiency gains by assisting irrigators to upgrade their farm irrigation systems and providing irrigators with information tools to help them use water more efficiently.
  • $616.8 million will be provided to improve metering, monitoring and accounting of water resources by providing assistance to water providers and irrigators to upgrade bulk off-take meters and farm off-take meters so that these structures meet national standards. This measure will also introduce metering of stock and domestic water users in priority catchments as well as invest in telemetry and data systems to allow remote reading of meters and real-time data monitoring.
  • $500.3 million will be provided for practical projects to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of river operations and storages in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The measure includes $1.8 million in capital funding to upgrade IT systems ($1.0 million in 2007-08, $0.5 million in 2011-12 and $0.3 million in 2014-15).

See also the related expense measures titled National Plan for Water Security in the Environment and Water Resources portfolio.

Further information can be found in the press release of 25 January 2007 issued by the Prime Minister.

National Plan for Water Security — northern Australia and the Great Artesian Basin

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 2.5 2.5 16.0 16.0

The Government will provide $85.1 million over seven years (including $48.1 million over three years from 2011-12) for phase three of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative, which caps groundwater bores and replaces bore drains with pipes.

This funding is conditional on the governance arrangements for the Murray-Darling Basin being placed on a national footing.

In addition, the Government will provide funding of $20.0 million over five years to establish a Taskforce to examine the potential for further land and water development in northern Australia, which will be informed by a Northern Australia Land and Water Future Assessment. The cost of this component will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Australian Government Water Fund.

This measure forms part of the Government’s $10 billion National Plan for Water Security.

See also the related expense measures titled National Plan for Water Security in the Environment and Water Resources portfolio.

Further information can be found in the press release of 25 January 2007 issued by the Prime Minister.

National Plan for Water Security — reforming the Murray-Darling Basin Commission

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 59.5 56.6 57.4 56.9

The Government will provide $584.9 million over 10 years (including $354.6 million over six years from 2011-12) to reform the governance arrangements of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission and reconstitute it as a Commonwealth agency reporting to a single minister.

The new Commission will have responsibility for setting a sustainable cap on the extraction of surface and ground water within the Basin, and accrediting catchment and aquifer water plans to ensure they comply with the cap.

This new funding is conditional on governance arrangements for the Murray-Darling Basin being placed on a national footing.

This measure forms part of the Government’s $10 billion National Plan for Water Security.

See also the related expense measures titled National Plan for Water Security in the Environment and Water Resources portfolio.

Further information can be found in the press release of 25 January 2007 issued by the Prime Minister.

Natural Heritage Trust Phase Three

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - 395.0 395.0 395.0

The Government will provide $2.0 billion over five years from 2008-09 (including $395.0 million in 2011-12 and 2012-13) to continue the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. This funding is inclusive of interest earned on the Natural Heritage Trust Special Account.

The extended programme, which is to be known as Phase Three of the Natural Heritage Trust, will build on the Government’s previous $3.8 billion investment in the restoration and conservation of Australia’s environment and natural resources at the national, regional and local levels. The Australian Government will also invite the States and Territories to continue to provide matching funding.

Scouts Australia 100 year anniversary — water saving infrastructure

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 5.9 5.9 - -

The Government will provide $17.7 million in 2006-07 to Scouts Australia for the purchase and installation of water tanks and related infrastructure in Scout Halls throughout Australia.

This funding will be expensed over three years as project milestones are completed and will have a fiscal impact of $5.9 million each year from 2006-07 to 2008-09.

The proposal celebrates the 100 year anniversary of Scouts Australia.

Further information can be found in the press release of 4 May 2007 issued by the Prime Minister.

Shipping support for Australia’s Antarctic Programme

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.2

The Government will provide $99.1 million over four years to maintain shipping logistical support for Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations and the conduct of marine research in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region.

This is an expansion of funding for the current programme to provide for increased shipping charter and fuel costs, including fuel for Australia’s stations.

Provision for funding of $78.7 million has already been included in the forward estimates.

St Mary’s Cathedral — conservation and completion appeal

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources - - - -

The Government will provide a further $1.0 million in 2006-07 to St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia to meet increased building costs involved in the restoration and expansion of this historic building.

This funding is in addition to the $3.0 million provided in the 2005-06 Budget towards the St Mary’s Conservation and Completion Appeal.

World-class weather forecasting — continuation of funding

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Bureau of Meteorology - - - -

The Government will provide $33.7 million over four years to maintain the enhanced weather forecasting services which the Bureau of Meteorology has provided since 1996-97.

Funding will support the Bureau’s climate monitoring and prediction services, enhance rural and marine weather services, improve public access to the Bureau’s databases, and maintain the national rainfall observing network for drought monitoring and water resources assessments.

This measure involves funding of $8.2 million in 2007-08, $8.4 million in 2008-09, $8.5 million in 2009-10, and $8.6 million in 2010-11. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Yellow Crazy Ants on Christmas Island — expansion of control efforts

Expense ($m)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Department of the Environment and Water Resources 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.0

The Government will provide $4.0 million over four years to expand control efforts for the Yellow Crazy Ant infestation on Christmas Island.

The programme will provide funding for research into the development of a biological control agent as a potential longer-term control measure, while continuing baiting operations to bring down the levels of the infestation.