|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
Responsibility for the development of environmental policy appears to have originated in the Ministry of Conservation (VA 551) in 1973. During the 1980s this function was administered closely with the strategic planning function. In April 1990 responsibility for this function was transferred to the Department of Conservation and Environment (VA 3004). This function should not be confused with the environment protection (regulation) function administered by the Environment Protection Authority (VA 1058). Over time the function has encompassed:
environmental policy which involves;
developing and implementing strategies for safeguarding the environment including the State Conservation Strategy 1986, which gained statutory force through the Planning and Environment Act 1987; State Greenhouse Strategy
investigating specific environmental issues, Victorian Biodiversity Strategy, Biophysical Data, rural land use and environmental planning, Wetlands program, Native vegetation retention policy, policies and programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, monitoring climate change indicators, Environmental Choice education and labelling program
allocation of funds to groups concerned with environmental issues, community education and participation in environmental issues and programs
monitoring and reporting on the state of the environment; preparation of State of the Environment Reports and the work of the Commissioner for the Environment 1986-?1992
environmental planning which involves;
facilitating environmental project evaluation and advising government agencies and industry on environmental matters.
ensuring environmental input in land use planning, advice on the environmental effects of planning scheme amendments and permits; after 1988, assist in development of State and Regional Sections of planning schemes; advice and assistance in the development of regional strategic schemes.
State Conservation and Local Conservation Strategies; Environmental plans and targets, guidelines for ecologically sustainable development, urban planning and environmental management, preparation of open space plan for Melbourne including land purchases.
Currently, in 2001, the function is carried out within the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment which is responsible for the Victorian Greenhouse Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy both related to national and international efforts in these areas.