Director-General's report

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					Director-General’s report
                                                                role as their protector is proudly             • installing photovoltaic systems
                                                                accepted. Without a vigorous and                 in 30 schools, supported by
                                                                healthy environment, Queensland’s                education programs, under
                                                                spectacular growth and appealing                 the “Solar Schools goes Bush”
                                                                lifestyle cannot be sustained, making            program;
                                                                the EPA’s professional staff and               • providing $1.1 million to the
                                                                dynamic programs today vital to the              Queensland Sustainable Energy
                                                                state’s wellbeing tomorrow.                      Innovation Fund (QSEIF);
                                                                This report details the diversity of           • implementing Sustainable
                                                                the Agency’s responsibilities, and               Housing Stage 1 regulatory
                                                                the goals that we’ve set to meet                 measures, increasing water
                                                                those responsibilities. The myriad               and energy conservation
                                                                tasks extend from strengthening our              and efficiencies through new
                                                                legislative base to consulting with              technologies installed in all
                                                                communities, but all of our dedicated            new housing;
                                                                people work towards a single vision            • completing $11.4 million of capital
                                                                — a state where everyone values                  works projects on protected areas;
                                                                the environment.
                                                                                                               • finalising the South-East
I am pleased to present the                                     Our work during 2005–06 included:                Queensland Regional Coastal
Environmental Protection Agency’s                               • transferring the first instalment              Management Plan, steering
performance report for the financial                               of Wet Tropics and south-east                 developments such as waterfront
year 2005–06.                                                      Queensland forest reserves to                 estates, marinas and marine
                                                                   protected area tenures, a total               industries, and protecting coastal
Firstly, I wish to acknowledge James
                                                                   of more than 450,000ha;                       resources and values;
Purtill’s stewardship of the Agency
through the reporting period. As                                • declaring and commencing the                 • completing the Environmental
incumbent Director-General, James                                 6,000-square-kilometre Great                   Protection and Other Legislation
focused the EPA’s direction and                                   Sandy Marine Park;                             Amendment Act 2005, amending
commitment to meeting performance                                                                                10 different Acts administered by
                                                                • gazetting 44 new Nature
goals, improving customer service,                                                                               the EPA to improve their overall
                                                                  Refuges and one Co-ordinated
boosting workplace health and                                                                                    effectiveness and efficiency;
                                                                  Conservation Area, increasing
safety, and developing effective                                  the total area protected                     • establishing a Greenhouse
leadership throughout the Agency.                                 under voluntary Conservation                   Sciences and Environmental
                                                                  Agreements to more than                        Reporting Unit to give the EPA
The Agency continues to lead
                                                                  460,000ha;                                     clear capabilities in scientific
Queensland Government priorities
                                                                                                                 and technical information, and
to protect our extraordinary and                                • surveying and mapping a
                                                                                                                 assessments relating to climate
unique landscapes, safeguard the                                  further eight million ha of
                                                                                                                 change and greenhouse science;
quality of our air and water, and                                 the state’s vegetation and
promote sustainable practices in                                  regional ecosystems (the EPA                 • implementing an integrated
industry and government to leave a                                now has mapped 78 per cent                     pre-design meeting service to
healthy, functional environment for                               of Queensland, enabling more                   support the “Sustainable Projects
generations to come.                                              effective vegetation management,               Approved Faster” strategy;
                                                                  biodiversity conservation and                • managing the refurbishment of
Leading by example, the EPA has
                                                                  regional planning);                            central office at 160 Ann Street,
embarked on a robust program of
                                                                                                                 choosing materials, designs
internal review and improvement.                                • committing $10 million to
                                                                                                                 and processes that minimise
Our success in helping companies                                  managing fire and controlling pest
                                                                                                                 environmental impact and
and local government meet new                                     plants and animals on parks and
                                                                                                                 deliver operational and financial
environmental standards mirrors                                   forest estate;
                                                                                                                 efficiencies; and
our own determination to                                        • organising the decommissioned
sustainably manage water and                                                                                   • continuing the EPA’s commitment
                                                                  HMAS Brisbane to be
energy use, and minimise waste in                                                                                to the Not One Not Ever (NONE)
                                                                  ceremonially sunk off the
our own operations.                                                                                              health, safety and staff care
                                                                  Sunshine Coast to create a
Queensland’s natural systems deliver                              world-class dive destination and
everything essential to life, and our                             artificial reef;

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Severe drought conditions in south-      awards to successful business                                 We are long-standing members
east Queensland have placed even         innovators, strong examples of                                of some bush communities, and
greater emphasis on conserving water.    best practice around the state are                            work continues on celebrating the
The EPA Water Efficiency Management      spurring competiveness and breaking                           centenary of Queensland’s national
Plan was developed to direct the         down resistance to change in long-                            parks in 2008.
Agency’s efforts in managing its water   established industries.
                                                                                                       Transferring significant landscapes
consumption and to benchmark the
                                         Our core business includes protecting                         from State forest tenure into the
savings that are achieved. Water-
                                         Queensland’s natural heritage. The                            national park estate will continue
efficient devices are being installed
                                         coming year will see many more                                in 2007, with a further 235,617ha to
in all new capital works and are
                                         partnerships with private landholders                         be transferred under the South East
replacing non-conforming fittings
                                         to boost protection over significant                          Queensland Forest Agreement and
through routine maintenance in
                                         landscapes and threatened                                     107,472ha in the Wet Tropics.
existing infrastructure.
                                         ecosystems. The Nature Refuge
                                                                                                       Significant partnerships have been
Through such measures, the Agency        program will continue to show that
                                                                                                       reached with Traditional Owners to
continues to refine its Sustainability   Queensland leads Australia’s states
                                                                                                       link conservation strategies to land
Charter, which this year is reported     in developing a voluntary agreement
                                                                                                       transferred to Indigenous ownership.
as part of our fourth Agency goal;       process that allows commercial
                                                                                                       EPA staff will continue to seek
improving organisational performance.    use to exist alongside perpetual
                                                                                                       voluntary conservation agreements
                                         conservation objectives.
                                                                                                       over appropriate parcels of land,
Future challenges                        EPA staff are continuing to gather                            delivering for both parties a degree
Community expectations of the            information about the state’s rare and                        of protection and certainty not
EPA continue to strengthen our           threatened ecosystems and species                             previously available.
resolve to continually identify areas    – data that will guide planning and
for improvement in our business          development, and set conservation                             Conclusion
practices and to be a respected          standards for decades to come. Over                           The EPA’s tasks are numerous and
leader in forming the development        the next few years, managing and                              challenging, but we have great people
of environmental policy and strategy.    protecting wetlands will play an even                         to undertake them. Our achievements
Several events during 2005–06 have       larger role in the EPA’s work, through                        during 2005–06 reveal significant
triggered operational changes and        the work of the Queensland Wetlands                           progress towards our goals and
responses that will alter the way        Programme, jointly undertaken with                            Queenslanders should never doubt
the Agency approaches its work in        the Commonwealth.                                             our determination to do the best
coming years.                            More land in Queensland is being                              with the resources we have, or our
                                         disturbed by mining than ever                                 deep sense of responsibility for the
Following the Binary Chemicals fire at
                                         before. Continuing consultation                               precious natural and cultural assets
Narangba, north of Brisbane, the EPA
                                         with the mining sector is seeing                              that have been entrusted to us.
has participated in a multi-agency
taskforce that has audited activities    new requirements to progressively                             We strive for excellence and
within the estate and has intensified    rehabilitate mine sites put                                   sustainability, and to lead
odour-monitoring activities. This        into action. These measures                                   government and the private sector
vital work will extend to a systematic   will encourage investment in                                  towards a cleaner, even more
review of other industrial estates and   rehabilitating mines during their life                        productive state. I invite you to
large dangerous goods locations.         rather than at the end.                                       assess our progress during 2005–06.
The continuing drought has               Our own massive park and forest
generated broad community                estate continues to demand our
debate about water supply, quality       best management strategies to
and efficient use, and the EPA is        control pests and fires. The EPA
committed to increasing support for      will maintain its good-neighbour
                                         policy through which we seek to                               Terry Wall
water-recycling initiatives to make
the most of precious reserves.           be reliable, responsible members                              Director-General
                                         of rural communities, playing our                             Environmental Protection Agency
Sustainable industries and               part to sustain the fabric of these
production processes have a major        communities, and contributing to
impact on conserving resources           their long-term prosperity.
and minimising waste. Through
EPA incentives, partnerships and

                                                      E n v i r o n m e n t a l P r o t e c t i o n A g e n c y A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 0 5 —2 0 0 6