The Qld Government Budget paper No.4 provides a consolidation of expense, capital and revenue measures reflecting decisions by the Qld Government since the 2012-13 austerity Budget.
The following is summary of some of the highlights of measures of the Qld Government concerning the Environment.
The Qld Government will provide additional net funding of $1.7m over four years, which together with existing funding will provide a total of $4.6m over four years to coordinate, develop and implement The Queensland Plan: a 30 year vision for Queensland which will inform the Government's response and future policy program.
The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) will undertake a comprehensive review of the State's approach to Coal Seam Gas industry regulation. The OBPR will develop options for cost recovery.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will receive $3.7m for the regulation and administration of the Coal Seam Gas industry. A total of $11m for CSG regulation is spread across the following departments:
· Environment and Heritage Protection
· Energy and Water Supply,
· Natural Resources and Mines and
· State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.
The Qld Government will provide an additional $4m over two years towards the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, investigating the hydrodynamic, biogeochemistry, marine biodiversity, water quality, marine toxicology, ecosystem health and decision support and modelling.
The funds are subject to an industry contribution of $1.5m per year (total of $3m) in funding for collaborative action between Government, the community and industry to maintain and continuously improve harbour health.
The Qld budget has increased funding of $2.8m over three years from 2014-15 for the coordination of the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan. The Plan aims to conserve this internationally recognised world heritage site from the impact of poor water quality by promoting land management improvements including the reduction of wasteful run-off of fertilizers, pesticides and soil.
The Federal Government has also progressed an independent and public review of environmental management arrangements and governance of Qld's Port of Gladstone.
The Qld Government will provide funding of $80m over five years from 2013-14 towards natural resource management investment in Qld including initiatives to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Incidentally, the Federal Government renewed its commitment to protecting the Great Barrier Reef with the State Party Report on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The Federal and Qld Governments are currently progressing draft strategic assessment and program reports and these will be released for public comment in the first half of the year.
There is increased funding of $8m over four years commencing in 2013-14 towards the South East Queensland (SEQ) Healthy Waterways Partnership. This program will provide project funding for water quality improvement and waterway resilience across SEQ including Moreton Bay. Projects will run in partnership with local governments, Healthy Waterways Ltd and SEQ Catchments.
Following on from floods and cyclones, the Qld Government is providing additional funding of $40m towards the Betterment Fund which will support the building of stronger, more resilient infrastructure. The Federal Government is matching the funding provided by the Government so that the total value of the program is $80m.
The Government is providing increased funding of $41.7m over two years for the continuation of the Qld Reconstruction Authority through to 30 June 2014.
The Qld Government is providing additional funding of $3.9m over three years and has approved the reallocation of $0.55m for the establishment of the Community Resilience Team. The team will provide effective coordination, governance and reporting of the whole-of-Government response to the 2012-13 natural disasters and to oversee community resilience activities across Qld.
The Qld Government is providing additional funding of $1m over three years and has approved the reallocation of $0.32m for the appointment of three Disaster Recovery Coordinators. These officers will provide a coordinated approach to the recovery and rebuilding of Qld following the 2012-13 natural disasters.
The Qld Government will provide increased funding of $15.9m over four years from 2013-14 for the implementation of joint park management and maintenance for lands to be declared protected areas under the Cape York Peninsula Tenure Resolution Program. Further funding for this measure was allocated to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs.
The Qld Government has approved the reallocation of $1.4m in 2013-14 to establish the Building and Construction Compliance Branch with responsibility for monitoring, educating, reporting and ensuring compliance with the Qld Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry.