a The Act and Regulations require operators of service stations to keep and maintain records for two years, including delivery documentation, stock reconciliation and fuel-testing records in relation to the supply of fuel, at the premises where the fuel is supplied. Fuel suppliers must also provide documentation to the supply site within 72 hours of the delivery of fuel.

Financial information


The Department’s 2015–16 operating costs for administering the Act were $2,756,437, including staff salaries and allowances, consultancies, advertising and other related expenses.

Committees


Section 24 of the Act establishes the Fuel Standards Consultative Committee (see Table 5.25). The Minister must consult the committee on, or notify it of, various matters as required by the Act.

Table 5.25: Membership of the Fuel Standards Consultative Committee, 2015–16




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Operation of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997 - 5. Legislative reporting Operation of the Environment...

Operation of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997


Section 43 of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997 requires the Minister to prepare an annual report on the operation of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Account. This section meets this reporting requirement, with the exception of financial information. The Act requires the annual report to include financial statements relating to operations of the account and the Auditor-General’s report on the financial statements. This information is provided in Part 4, ‘Financial statements’, of this annual report (page 225).

Purpose


The Act established the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Account to conserve, repair and replenish Australia’s natural resources. The account is administered by the Natural Heritage Ministerial Board, which in 2015–16 comprised the former Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP and the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP.

Activities carried out under the Act are integral to achieving the Department’s purpose to conserve, protect and sustainably manage Australia’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity, threatened species, ecosystems, environment and heritage. Additionally, these activities support and contribute to sustainable agriculture outcomes across our productive landscapes. Consequently some of these activities are reported under the ‘Sustainable management of natural resources’ activity in Part 2, ‘Annual performance statements’, page 21.


Operation

National Landcare Program


The Natural Heritage Trust is the principal funding stream supporting the Government’s National Landcare Program.

The National Landcare Program has four strategic objectives:



  • Communities are managing landscapes to sustain long-term economic and social benefits from their environment

  • Farmers and fishers are increasing their long-term returns through better management of the natural resource base

  • Communities are involved in caring for their environment

  • Communities are protecting species and natural assets.

The program is investing $1 billion over four years from 2014–15 to help communities take practical action towards improving their local environment. It is invigorating community engagement in the natural resource management (NRM) sector by giving community groups, including Landcare groups, a greater role in setting local and regional priorities that address environmental and sustainable agriculture issues.

The National Landcare Program comprises a regional and a national funding stream.


Regional funding stream

Under the regional stream, the Natural Heritage Trust is funding Australia’s 56 regional NRM organisations. This funding recognises the important role NRM organisations have in delivering local and regional activities that protect the environment and deliver more sustainable agriculture.

One of the requirements of regional funding is that all regional NRM organisations invest at least 20 per cent of their annual Australian Government funding in on-ground projects that are delivered by, or directly engage, the local community. NRM organisations are investing more than $120 million in community NRM activities nationally to 2017–18. This includes direct funding for Indigenous NRM activities.


National funding stream

National funding supports initiatives that protect and restore the environment and make agriculture more sustainable and productive. These initiatives include the 20 Million Trees Program as well as continuing commitments such as World Heritage and Indigenous Protected Areas (administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet).

More information is on the program’s website.

www.nrm.gov.au/national-landcare-programme

Legislative amendments


The Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2015) Bill 2015, which was introduced to the House of Representatives on 18 March 2015 and to the Senate on 12 October 2015, included technical amendments to the Act to abolish the Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Committee. The Bill passed on 4 May 2016 and received royal assent on 5 May 2016.

Operation of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000


Section 71 of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 requires the Minister to prepare an annual report on the operation of the Act. This section meets this reporting requirement for 2015–16.

Purpose


The Act regulates the quality of fuels used in Australia to: reduce the level of pollutants and emissions arising from the use of fuel that may cause environmental and health problems, enable the adoption of better engine technology and emission control technology, and allow the more effective operation of engines.

The Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2001 cover the regulation of fuel and fuel additives, the operation of the Fuel Standards Consultative Committee, the publication of notices about entries in the Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives, enforcement, record-keeping and reporting obligations. Further information is on the Department’s website.

www.environment.gov.au/protection/fuel-quality

Operation


The Act requires the fuel industry, including fuel suppliers, to supply fuel that meets strict environmental requirements in accordance with fuel quality standards. Fuel quality standards have been made for petrol, automotive diesel, biodiesel, ethanol E85 and autogas.

Statutory review


A statutory review of the Act was completed in April 2016. One of the findings of the review was that the Act has met its objectives. The review recommended that the Act be retained, with amendments. The review report is on the Department’s website.

www.environment.gov.au/protection/fuel-quality/legislation/review-2015

The Department is now undertaking a review of the legislative instruments (including fuel standards) made under the Act.

Compliance and enforcement


The Department conducts intelligence, monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities to detect and respond to non-compliance under the Act and Regulations.

Statistics from the past four years are provided in Table 5.24. During 2015–16 the Department engaged with 455 fuel suppliers. In the 83 instances where non-compliance was detected, we engaged with the non-compliant fuel suppliers and provided information, instruction and assistance to promote awareness of and compliance with the Act. In each instance, compliance was achieved without the need for litigation, injunctions or infringement notices.

Table 5.24: Statistics on fuel sampling under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 1999, 2012–13 to 2015–16



Actions



2012–13



2013–14



2014–15



2015–16



Compliance incident reports

247

243

238

223

Site visits

944

403

432

455

Number of compliant tests

2930

1270

1392

1596

Fuel quality breach

32

35

33

33

Ethanol labelling breach

41

11

22

21

Documentation requirements breacha

197

43

48

29

Ex-officio offices



Representing/position



Assistant Secretary, Assessments (NSW, ACT) and Fuel Branch, Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy

Chair/Australian Government

Manager, Standards, Development and International Section, Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Australian Government

Assistant Secretary, Office of Health Protection, Commonwealth Department of Health

Australian Government

Manager, Petroleum Statistics Measures, Resources Division, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Australian Government

Manager, Air Policy, New South Wales Environment Protection Authority

New South Wales Government

Chief Scientist, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Sciences, Science Division Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation

Queensland Government

Manager, Air and Noise Branch, South Australian Environment Protection Authority

South Australian Government

Air and Noise Policy Officer, Policy and Regulation,
Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Victorian Government

Assistant Manager, Environmental Quality and Construction, Environment and Workplace Protection, Access Canberra

Australian Capital Territory Government

Air Specialist, Environment Division, Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Tasmanian Government

Transport Planning, Policy and Reform, Northern Territory Department of Transport

Northern Territory Government

Senior Manager, Air Quality,
Western Australian Department of Environment Regulation

Western Australian Government

Deputy Executive Director, Australian Institute of Petroleum

Fuel producers

Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand

Non-government body with an interest in the protection of the environment

Technical Director, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

Car manufacturers

Council Member Representative, Truck Industry Council

Truck manufacturers and diesel engine manufacturers

Director, Technical Services, Australian Automobile Association

Consumers

Chief Executive Officer, Biofuels Association of Australia Inc

Biofuel producers
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