Australian Government, 2012‑13 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Antarctica — continuation of shipping support

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -

The Government will provide $6.7 million over two years from 2012‑13 to maintain shipping logistical support for Australia's Antarctic program.

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

Antarctica — maintaining Australia's presence

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - 11.2 - - -

The Government will provide $11.2 million in 2012‑13 to maintain functions that support Australia's presence in Antarctica. The funding will contribute to the maintenance of station operations and Antarctic science projects.

Australia‑Antarctica Airlink — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -

The Government will provide $23.1 million over two years from 2012‑13 to continue the operation of the Australia‑Antarctica Airlink, a direct air connection between Hobart and Antarctica.

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

Bureau of Meteorology — increased frontline capabilities

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Bureau of Meteorology - 4.2 - - -

The Government will provide $4.8 million in 2012‑13 to improve the Bureau of Meteorology's frontline regional severe weather and flood forecasting capabilities. The measure is in response to a review of the Bureau of Meteorology's capacity to respond to future extreme weather and natural disaster events and to provide seasonal forecasting services.

The cost of this measure will be partially met from within the existing resourcing of the Bureau of Meteorology.

See also the related savings measure titled Bureau of Meteorology — cease relocation of the Wollongong radar.

Bureau of Meteorology — website advertising — one‑year trial

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Bureau of Meteorology - 0.3 - - -
Bureau of Meteorology - nfp - - -

The Government will provide $0.3 million in 2012‑13 to enable the Bureau of Meteorology to conduct a one‑year trial of advertising on its website. The trial will assist the Government to determine the long‑term feasibility of advertising, potential revenue and the level of public acceptance. Revenue from the trial will contribute to meeting the costs of the services provided by the Bureau.

The Bureau's website is one of the top ten visited websites in Australia, with more than 3.3 billion page views recorded in 2011.

In order to protect the Bureau's position in any negotiations with potential advertisers, the estimated revenue from this measure is not for publication.

Caring for our Country — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of the Treasury 10.9 10.0 15.0 15.0 15.0
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry -0.3 -2.5 - - -
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities -10.6 -20.7 -15.0 -15.0 -15.0
Total - Expense - -13.2 - - -

The Government will provide $2.2 billion over five years from 2013‑14 to 2017‑18 ($399.3 million in 2013‑14, $406.3 million in 2014‑15, $464.4 million in 2015‑16, $463.8 million in 2016‑17 and $463.4 million in 2017‑18) for the next phase of the Caring for our Country program. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

The Caring for our Country program will be delivered under two streams: a national sustainable environment stream, which will include the Working on Country and Environmental Stewardship programs; and a national sustainable agriculture stream, which will include the Landcare program. Funding under the Natural Heritage Trust will be split between the two streams.

From 2013‑14 Caring for our Country will focus on:

  • sustaining the national effort required to ensure that nationally significant environmental assets and productive landscapes are safeguarded;
  • contributing to the costs associated with the Commonwealth meeting its international obligations to protect and conserve environmental assets of international significance;
  • contributing to the long‑term sustainability of Australia's food and fibre production; and
  • contributing to the maintenance of healthy ecosystems essential to national wellbeing.

The measure includes $95.9 million over seven years from 2011‑12 (including $15.0 million per annum in 2016‑17 and 2017‑18) to address animal and plant pest and disease eradication, in conjunction with the States and Territories. This funding will be delivered by the Department of the Treasury through a National Partnership Agreement.

This measure will provide savings of $123.2 million over four years from 2012‑13. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities. Provision for $110.0 million of these savings has already been included in the forward estimates as an offset for funding to assist the Tasmanian forestry industry to move to a more sustainable footing.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Office — reduced funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - -1.8 -2.7 -2.7 -2.3

The Government will reduce funding by $13.2 million over seven years (including $1.6 million in 2016‑17, $1.3 million in 2017‑18 and $0.7 million in 2018‑19) to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

The remaining program funding of $126.1 million over seven years will enable the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office to continue to manage the Government's water holdings.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act — implementation of reforms

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - 5.4 5.0 8.1 8.9
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - 4.1 7.8 12.0 14.2
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - 1.5 1.5 2.0 0.5

The Government will provide $37.8 million over four years to implement reforms to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act). The main elements of the reforms include: improving the environmental impact assessment process; moving towards landscape‑based environmental protection approaches; improving the process for identifying and managing species and environments under threat; simplifying the listing process for national and Commonwealth heritage and improving protection of Indigenous heritage; and strengthening the arrangements for the five‑yearly State of the Environment Report.

This measure includes capital funding of $5.5 million to develop and implement an integrated information technology system to support administration of the Act.

The cost of the reforms will be offset through enhanced cost recovery arrangements from December 2012, including their extension to environmental impact assessments. These changes are estimated to increase revenue by $38.1 million over four years.

The cost of this measure will also be partially met from the existing resourcing of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

This measure delivers on the Government's response to the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation — contribution

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - 3.1 3.1 3.1

The Government will provide $12.5 million over four years from 2013‑14 (including $3.1 million in 2016‑17) to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to assist its research vision of 'Resilient Coral Reefs Successfully Adapting to Climate Change'. The contribution will be directed towards research to protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef, in particular in response to climate change.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority — Ensuring the Resilience of the Reef — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - - - - -

The Government will provide $8.0 million over two years to supplement the base funding of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure it can continue to deliver on its objectives. This measure includes funding for the continuation of the community‑based Reef Guardian initiative and support systems for research and on‑ground management.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Caring for our Country program.

Kokoda Track and region — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -

The Government will provide up to $12.5 million over four years from 2012‑13 to continue to assist in the management and long‑term protection of the Kokoda Track and region. The funding will enable the Australian Government to continue to support the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve the goals set out in the Second Joint Understanding 2010‑2015 between Papua New Guinea and Australia on the Owen Stanley Ranges, Brown River Catchment and Kokoda Track Region.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of AusAID.

Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building — protection and promotion — contribution

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -
Department of the Treasury 20.0 - - - -
Total - Expense 20.0 - - - -

The Government will provide $20.0 million in 2011‑12 to Museum Victoria as a contribution towards the protection and promotion of the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

Funding for this measure will be administered by the Department of the Treasury, through the Federal Financial Relations Framework.

National Water Commission — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
National Water Commission - -2.3 -1.3 -1.2 -1.2
National Water Commission - - 1.2 - -

The Government will provide $35.6 million over four years (including $1.2 million in capital funding in 2013‑14) to continue the operation of the National Water Commission from 1 July 2012. The Commission will focus on the audit and evaluation of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Murray‑Darling Basin Plan; and monitoring and assessment of progress in the implementation of water reform, particularly under the National Water Initiative. The changes follow a review commissioned by the Australian Government, on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments, in accordance with the requirements of the National Water Commission Act 2004.

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

The measure will provide savings of $4.7 million over four years. These savings will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Further information can be found in the press release of 14 March 2012 issued by the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water.

Raising National Water Standards Program and the Australian Water Fund — termination

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
National Water Commission -20.9 - - - -

The Government will cease funding to the Raising National Water Standards program.

The measure will provide savings of $20.9 million in 2011‑12. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Further information can be found in the press release of 14 March 2012 issued by the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainabilty and Urban Water.

Regional Marine Planning Program — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Finance and Deregulation - 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
Total - Expense - - - - -

The Government will provide $58.2 million over six years ($9.5 million in 2012‑13, $9.6 million in 2013‑14, $9.6 million in 2014‑15, $9.7 million in 2015‑16, $9.9 million in 2016‑17 and $9.9 million in 2017‑18) to continue the Regional Marine Planning Program. The funding will allow completion of residual marine planning activities, and support the implementation and management of declared marine reserves networks and marine bioregional plans.

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

The Government will provide a further $0.3 million over four years for the Department of Finance and Deregulation to conduct Gateway Reviews of the implementation of the program. The cost of the reviews will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Remediation of land affected by the Tiwi Islands Plantation project — contribution

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - 1.0 - - -

The Government will provide $1.0 million over four years as a contribution towards the implementation of a Rehabilitation Management Plan by the Tiwi Land Council on land affected by the Tiwi Islands Plantation project in the Northern Territory.

The cost of this measure will be met by calling on a $1.0 million bank guarantee provided as security by the original proponent of the plantation project for the implementation of the Rehabilitation Management Plan.

Water for the Future — Driving Reform in the Murray‑Darling Basin — reduced funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -22.2

The Government will reduce departmental funding by $61.2 million over two years (including $39.0 million in 2016‑17) for the Driving Reform in the Murray‑Darling Basin program.

The remaining program funding of $234.2 million over five years from 2012‑13 will enable the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to continue delivery of the governance and operational reforms for the integrated management of water resources in the Murray‑Darling Basin.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Water for the Future — National Urban Water and Desalination Plan — reduced funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities -25.7 - - - -

The Government will reduce funding by $25.7 million in 2011‑12 by funding fewer projects under the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan.

The remaining program funding of $201.9 million over four years from 2012‑13 will continue to be available for desalination, recycling and stormwater harvesting projects.

Water for the Future — National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns — reduction in funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities -6.5 - - - -
Department of the Treasury -10.0 - - - -
Total - Expense -16.5 - - - -

The Government will reduce funding by $16.5 million in 2011‑12 for the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, including $10.0 million in payments to the states. Funding will no longer be provided for a number of urban water projects where proponents have not met the conditions of their funding agreements or due diligence requirements.

The remaining program funding of $96.0 million over four years from 2012‑13 will remain available for projects that reduce water losses in cities and towns nationally with populations of less than 50,000.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Water for the Future — On‑Farm Irrigation Efficiency — expansion

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -

The Government will provide $150.0 million over six years ($4.0 million in 2012‑13, $25.0 million in 2013‑14, $75.0 million in 2014‑15, $29.0 million in 2015‑16, $10.0 million in 2016‑17 and $7.0 million in 2017‑18) to expand the On‑Farm Irrigation Efficiency program. The program provides grants to irrigators to modernise their on‑farm irrigation infrastructure in return for providing water savings to the environment.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program.

Water for the Future — Strategic Sub‑System Reconfiguration — pilot program

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - - - - -

The Government will provide $200.0 million over four years ($25.0 million in 2012‑13, $50.0 million in 2013‑14, $75.0 million 2014‑15, and $50.0 million in 2015‑16) to pilot a program to integrate water recovery with the strategic reconfiguration of irrigation delivery networks. The program will provide funding for the purchase of water entitlements, the decommissioning of under‑utilised or inefficient water delivery infrastructure, a replacement stock and domestic supply system if required and a disconnection incentive. The program will replace the existing Irrigator‑led Group Proposals program.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure and Restoring the Balance in the Murray‑Darling Basin programs.

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