Government delivers on major election commitment for the environment

Western Australia’s 27 million hectares in parks and reserves will be managed by the newly formed Department of Parks and Wildlife - from Monday.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the new department would begin operations tomorrow.

Mr Jacob said the department would give new focus to the management of WA’s most important natural areas and conservation of our unique plants and animals.

The State Government has also created a new Department of Environment Regulation to work with the community and industry to ensure that the State’s enviable environmental standards are maintained and enhanced.

The Minister said the replacement of the former Department of Environment and Conservation with two departments meant that each agency would have clear, publicly transparent responsibilities and objectives.

“Western Australia is recognised internationally for its unique wildlife and natural areas,” he said.

“The conservation and promotion of these natural assets will now be the core business of the Department of Parks and Wildlife. A priority will be upgrading and providing new park visitor facilities under the State Government’s $20million Parks for People program.

“This will see a range of low-cost, family-based camping sites developed at a range of parks throughout the South-West and Mid-West.

“At the same time, the department will oversee the continued implementation of the State Government’s $73million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy that will result in a new marine park extending to the Northern Territory border as well as a national park over most of the Mitchell Plateau.”

Mr Jacob said the new Department of Environment Regulation opened the way for a more efficient and effective regulatory framework.

It would continue to issue licences and works approvals required under the Environmental Protection Act and oversee land clearing regulations.

“The new department also will have a key role in supporting the Waste Authority in its drive to increase recovery and recycling of waste,” the Minister said.

Fact File

  • The Department of Parks and Wildlife will manage more than 27 million hectares in parks and reserves that attract around 15.5 million visits a year
  • The Department of Environment Regulation will license more than 900 industrial premises under the Environmental Protection Act

Minister’s office - 6552 5800