House of Representatives Committees

Review of the Department of the Environment's annual report 1997-98

Under the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, annual reports of government departments and authorities which are tabled in the House stand referred to the relevant committee for any inquiry the committee may wish to undertake. The Speaker tables a schedule listing the annual reports which fall under the jurisdiction of each committee.

Accordingly, the Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage undertook a review of the Department of the Environment's annual report for 1997-98 and tabled its report on 21 June 1999.

Copies of the report are available in PDF format or from the Committee Secretariat. The committee's recommendations (as presented in the report) are also available in html.

(To view or print the pdf documents, you will require the Acrobat Reader®, which can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe®.)

The Department of the Environment and Heritage website provides an electronic version of the 1997-98 annual report.


Transcript of public hearing

31/03/99 Canberra

Media release

Report (chapters in pdf format)

Table of contents: Review of the Department of the Environment's annual report 1997-98

Covering documents (PDF format 29kb)  
Membership of the committee
List of abbreviations
List of recommendations
Chapter 1 (PDF format 20kb)   
The committee's review
Conduct of the review
The Department of the Environment and Heritage

Chapter 2 (PDF format 72kb)   
Issues arising from the committee's review
Australia's rivers and waterways
Australia's world heritage areas
National parks and reserves
State of the environment reporting
Marine issues
Committee's conclusions

Media Release

21 June 1999


A Parliamentary inquiry has found that some environment programs need to be better coordinated, to make best use of available resources. The findings were contained in the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage report: Review of the Department of the Environment's annual report for 1997-98.

The review looked at the environment programs managed by the Department of the Environment and Heritage, particularly focusing on programs dealing with rivers and water quality, world heritage areas, national parks and reserves, environment reporting and marine management.

"The committee believes there needs to be a more coordinated approach to management of rivers and water programs, to ensure there is good community consultation, ongoing monitoring of results, and best use of available resources," the chair of the committee, Hon. Ian Causley, MP, said.

The committee also found that state of the environment reports, produced every five years, should make use of all data collected for other program areas, such as Regional Forest Agreements. The next state of the environment report is due in 2001.

During the review, the management of Australia's water resources, particularly the health of urban and rural waterways, emerged as a topic warranting further investigation. Accordingly, the committee has extended its inquiries to undertake a larger review of catchment management. The report of the extended inquiry into catchment management will be tabled later in this Parliament.

Further information on the committee's activities can be found on its internet site:

For more information contact:

Hon. Ian Causley, MP
Suite RG 22, Parliament House
Phone 02 6277 4218 (Parliament House)
02 6642 7084 (Electorate)
02 6642 7084 (Electorate)


Committee secretariat


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