Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications Legislation Committee
Answers to questions on notice
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio
Supplementary Budget Estimates, October 2010
Question No: 97
Senator Ludlam asked:
Senator LUDLAM-I understand that there are 337 places on the Commonwealth Heritage List and all of them are required to have management plans under the EPBC Act. Is that the case?
Mr Shevlin-The Commonwealth has to use its best endeavours to encourage the development of a management plan.
Senator LUDLAM-How many of those management plans have been finalised?
Mr Shevlin-Of the 89 places we have on the list, 40 have plans that are finalised under the EPBC Act itself and a further five have draft plans that currently we are reviewing. There are about 24 places that have plans in place that were not made under the EPBC Act but that we believe provide entirely adequate protection-they were just made under state or territory legislation. There are 12 places that at the moment have plans under state or territory legislation-but we do not think they provide full protection for national heritage values yet.
Senator LUDLAM-Could you table what you are reading or as much of it as you are able to? That might be helpful.
Mr Shevlin-There is a whole lot of other information in there as well.
Senator LUDLAM-Could you table whatever is directly relevant to the question-some kind of breakdown of the progress to date of management plans? That might be handy rather than reading them out one by one because time is fairly short. ...
Yes, Commonwealth agencies are required under s.341S of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to prepare management plans for places on the Commonwealth Heritage List (CHL) which they own or control. All of the 337 places currently on the CHL are required to have management plans under the EPBC Act.
Of the 337 places currently on the CHL, 107 (or approximately one third) have prepared or are preparing management plans (see Attachment A). Of these:
• One is fully compliant (Mawson's Huts Historic Site).
• One has been gazetted but has not completed the final stage of registration as a legislative instrument (Old Parliament House, ACT).
• 18 Commonwealth agencies have management plans that have received the Minister's advice, which includes comments by the Australian Heritage Council (AHC) but now need to be gazetted and to complete the final stage of registration as legislative instruments.
• Heritage Division has reviewed a further 38 management plans from the Department of Finance and Deregulation, Defence, this Department and a number of smaller Commonwealth agencies. These agencies are now required to submit the plans to the Minister.
• The Department of Defence has submitted 27 plans covering a total of 40 Commonwealth Heritage places to Heritage Division (some plans cover more than one listed place).
• Heritage Division has also received a draft management plan from the Australian Customs Service which is awaiting informal review.
• Heritage Division is working with Commonwealth agencies in the development of a further eight management plans.
Heritage Division will continue to work closely with key Commonwealth Government departments to ensure they prepare management plans to meet the standards of the EPBC Act.
The EPBC Act establishes two statutory heritage lists: the Commonwealth Heritage List (CHL) and the National Heritage List (NHL). Mr Shevlin provided information relating to the National Heritage List.
There are currently 89 places in the NHL (note that since October 2010, the Jordan River Levee (Tasmania) has been emergency listed and a separate emergency listing for The Tarkine (Tasmania) has now lapsed. Of these 89 places:
- 40 have plans made under the EPBC Act.
- 5 have draft plans made under the EPBC Act awaiting review.
- 23 have non-EPBC plans that are adequate.
- 12 have non-EPBC plans that do not adequately reflect NHL values.
- 9 have no plan in place. Of these:
- 5 have some form of management arrangements;
- 4 do not have management arrangements;
- 2 are recently listed;
- 1 is in preliminary discussions;
- 1 has recently been contacted by the Department about preparing a management plan.
Further details are in Attachment B.
Note: Attachment A and B can be found in attached document.