5. Environment, Sport and Territories

5 Environment, Sport and Territories
5.1 Environment
5.4.0 Sport and Recreation
5.5.4 National Office of Local Government
5.5.5 National Capital Authority


 

$1100 million from the partial sale of Telstra will be deposited into the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Reserve (NHT) and this will fund various environment related programs in the Department of Environment, Sport and Territories (DEST) and the Department of Primary Industries and Energy (DPIE). Senator the Hon. Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment, 1997-98 Statement Investing in our Natural Heritage outlined funding for these programs extending until 30 June 2002, with $152.3 million being provided in 2001-02.

The following table shows the split-up of funding between DEST and DPIE and how some of these programs overlap the two departments. In 1997-98 Environment Outlays will total $92.2 million and DPIE Outlays will total $94.8 million. This means that non-NHT funding of the Environment Program amounts to $153.0 million for 1997-98. The NHT funding may be in addition to existing funding and in some cases portfolio funding for NHT funded programs has been decreased.

Natural Heritage Trust Forward Estimates

Details of Costings

96-97

$m

97-98

$m

98-99

$m

99-00

$m

00-01

$m

01-02

$m

ENVIRONMENT OUTLAYS

National Vegetation Initiative

4.0

29.1

70.5

78.0

78.0

69.0

Land and Water Audit

1.4

0.4

-

-

-

-

Coasts and Clean Seas

-

21.3

26.3

29.8

22.6

-

World Heritage

4.7

11.7

8.3

7.9

7.1

-

Air Pollution in Cities

1.5

3.5

3.5

4.0

3.5

-

Waste Manage Awareness

0.5

2.0

2.0

0.5

-

-

National System of Reserves

2.0

11.0

21.0

23.0

20.0

3.0

Endangered Species

2.0

4.3

4.2

5.5

-

-

Feral Animals

2.9

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.4

-

National Weeds Strategy

1.3

1.9

1.9

1.9

1.9

-

National Wetlands Program

1.3

1.8

2.5

2.9

1.5

1.0

Tasmanian Environmental Remediation Program

1.8

3.5

3.5

-

-

-

Sub-Total

23.2

92.2

145.5

155.3

136.0

73.0

 

PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND ENERGY OUTLAYS

Landcare (includes tax credits)

10.2

35.0

63.0

57.0

54.0

44.8

Property Manage Planning

0.4

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

2.6

National Rivercare Initiative

0.4

12.4

24.4

25.4

25.4

9.0

Farm Forestry

-

1.6

4.8

6.4

5.8

3.4

Land and Water Audit

0.2

7.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

Murray-Darling 2001

4.7

29.5

37.5

38.5

43.5

9.3

Feral Animals

1.5

2.0

0.9

0.9

0.7

0.5

National Weeds Strategy

1.2

3.1

3.0

3.0

3.0

1.7

Coasts and Clean Seas (Fishcare)

-

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.4

1.0

Sub-Total

18.6

94.8

144.9

142.4

143.8

79.3

             

TOTAL OUTLAYS

41.9

186.9

290.4

297.7

279.9

152.3

However, these figures are likely to be altered in the near future because the Senate failed to pass amendments to extend capital funding from the NHT past 30 June 2001 to 30 June 2002. A possible change to the funding through 2000-01 could be that proposed by the then Shadow Treasurer's February 1996 document 'Meeting Our Commitments'(1) with an additional $25 million provided in the last four years of the NHT funding period. This would compensate for the additional $100 million added to the NHT by amendments to the Natural Heritage Trust Bill 1997 and an additional $10.6 million added to the last four years, funding to compensate for the 1996-97 funding being $41.9 million instead of $84 million as originally proposed. Thus the NHT funding may be altered to be $258.6 million for 1997-98, $299.6 million for 1998-99, $318.6 million for 1999-2000, and $332.6 million for 2000-2001.

  1. Peter Costello, Shadow Treasurer 'Meeting Our Commitments', Media Release February 1996.

 

The Sport and Recreation Program promotes participation in sport and recreation, encourages excellence in sport, and discourages the use of drugs in sport. The three sub-programs, with their levels of funding, are as follows:

Sub-program

1996-97 Est. ($m)

1997-98 Budget ($m)

4.1 Recreation Development

3.3

4.5

4.2 Australian Sports Commission

84.3

90.0

4.3 Australian Sports Drug Agency

3.1

3.3

The Commonwealth will provide $50 million to the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) in 1998-99 to compensate for the impact of sales and income tax payments. This payment will be adjusted for cost recovery for Commonwealth services supplied to SOCOG.

According to a Budget Media Release by the Hon. Warwick Smith, MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games, funding for the Olympic Athlete Program (OAP) has increased from $20 million to $25 million per year for each year until 2000. However, this $5 million increase is not listed as a new measure in Budget Paper No. 2, Budget Measures 1997-98, because the OAP was initially intended to provide $135 million over six years, or $20 million per year for 1994-95 to 1996-97 and $25 million per year for 1997-98 to 1999-2000 (see Australian Sports Commission, Annual Report 1994-95, p. 31).


 

Since 1986, a formula has governed the provision of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) to local government. Under the formula, local government FAGs are increased each year by the same percentage rate as the increase in FAGs to the States and Territories. Since 1994-95, State and Territory FAGs funding has been subject to a rolling three-year guarantee that these grants will be escalated in line with the Consumer Price Index and the rate of national population growth. Such grants are therefore being maintained in real per capita terms.

In 1996-97, the Treasurer announced that the States and Territories would be required to make some contribution towards meeting the significant underlying Budget deficit identified by the Government. As a result, even though the States and Territories still receive their guaranteed FAGs, they have agreed to 'pay' a Fiscal Contribution back to the Commonwealth in each of the three years from 1996-97,. This contribution could be 'paid' back in the form of lower FAGs or reduced specific purpose funding.

Whereas FAGs to local government in 1996-97 reflected the gross increase in FAGs to the States in that year, the Government has decided that, in 1997-98, the growth in FAGs to local government should be more closely linked to the growth in general revenue payments to the States, taking into account the Fiscal Contributions made by those States. As a result, local government FAGs will only be increased in line with CPI increases in 1997-98, rather than in real per capita terms.

The payment of FAGs both to the States and to local government requires an estimate to be made of the current rate of inflation, since this is one of the factors in the formula used to determine the size of the FAGs pool. Given that actual inflation during 1996-97 is lower than the Budget estimate, there has been some overpayment of FAGs to local government during this year. This overpayment will be recouped, as usual, in the 1997-98 year.

The reductions in local government FAGs shown in the measures table above reflects the impact of both the changed formula for determining local government assistance, as well as the recoupment of overpayments.


 

The current program for the restoration of Commonwealth assets in the ACT ends on 30 June 1997. A new four-year program has been funded from 1 July 1997 to continue the restoration of Commonwealth assets and to meet public safety requirements in the Parliamentary Zone.

The program involves restoration works associated with national monuments, roads, footpaths, lighting and other amenities. Many of these assets are located within that built-up part of Canberra close to Parliament House and formally known as the 'Parliamentary Triangle'.

Activities under this program are only directed towards those assets of a 'national' nature. They do not include any assets of a Territory or municipal character, nor do they include assets of the kind which have traditionally been looked after by the Department of Administrative Services.