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Department of the Environment and Heritage Australia
The AustralianDepartment of the Environment was a department of the Government of Australia that existed between September 2013 and July 2016. The department was charged with responsibility for developing and implementing national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve Australia's environment and heritage.
From when it was established in September 2013 to when it was dissolved in July 2016 the department faced significant cuts (25 per cent cut from the organisation's budget over four years), in line with the Coalition Government's environmental deregulation policies.
The stated aims of the department were to achieve the protection and conservation of the environment; to ensure that Australia benefits from meteorological and related sciences and services; and to see that Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced. The department developed and implemented national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve Australia's environment and heritage.
The functions of the department were broadly classified into the following matters:
The Great Barrier Reef
Environment protection and conservation of biodiversity
Development and co-ordination of domestic climate change policy
Renewable energy target policy, regulation and co-ordination
Greenhouse emissions and energy consumption reporting
Climate change adaptation strategy and co-ordination
Co-ordination of climate change science activities
Greenhouse gas abatement programs
Community and household climate action
Water policy and resources
The department managed a number of major programs. The most significant of those dealing with natural resource management came under the umbrella of the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. Both the Trust and National Action Plan were administered jointly with the Department of Agriculture.
Divisions of the department included the Australian Antarctic Division, Supervising Scientist Division, Heritage Division, Parks Australia, Policy and Communications, Australian Wildlife, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Australian Land and Coasts plus a number of executive agencies and statutory authorities.