20 April, 2012

Powell's Charter [Open Season on the Environment]

10 April 2012

The Honourable Andrew Powell MP
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
Level 13, 400 George Street

Dear Minister

Ministerial Deliverables

Congratulations on your success in the electorate of Glass House and thank you for accepting my invitation to serve Queensland as the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection.

Our electoral success was achieved with a strong cohesive CanDo team committed to real change, and your contribution to the team played a significant part. Queenslanders have voted for change, and it is critical that we respect the trust bestowed on us by delivering on our commitments to grow a four pillar economy, lower the cost of living by cutting waste, deliver better infrastructure and better planning, revitalise front line services for families, restore accountability in Government and work towards our goal of achieving 4% unemployment in six years.

For this reason, I am writing to each Minister outlining my expectations of the priority tasks to be achieved to deliver on our election commitments. You and your Department have a vital role to play in the reform program, as reflected in the following tasks for which I am requesting you to take responsibility.

I expect that at all times Ministers will demonstrate to the public the capabilities and behaviours that will define us as the Government we undertook to be – united, energetic, disciplined and ethical. I refer you to the Queensland Cabinet Handbook, the Queensland Ministerial Handbook, the Queensland Executive Council Handbook, the Queensland Parliamentary Procedures Handbook and the Queensland Legislation Handbook.

Key issues
As Minister for the Environment, your key responsibility will be to address issues pertaining to the health of the environment in Queensland, including protection of its flora and fauna, landscapes, pristine waterways and biodiversity.

In considering the division of responsibilities between the Environment, National Parks and the Natural Resources management, other Ministers will be responsible for managing sustainable access to, and use of, our natural resources and protected areas (eg – water allocations for irrigation, and access to National Parks).

Contribution to the 100 Day Plan
The following are the specific tasks relevant to your portfolio which you need to achieve in the first 100 days of Government.
• Commence work to deliver the LNP’s election commitment to develop a Cape York Bioregion Management Plan

In cooperation with the Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing:
• Initiate recruitment of Indigenous Rangers who will have a particular focus on the protection of our pristine waterways, protected species and National Park management.
• Commission an immediate independent scientific peer review of the Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy.

Contribute as required to:
• Begin Statutory Regional Planning process for the Darling Downs and Golden Triangle, and act to protect the Scenic Rim from inappropriate resource development including CSG.
• Amend the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 to bring Queensland in line with other States and protect Queensland’s iconic dugong and turtle populations.
• Commence a structural adjustment package for the net fishing industry.

First Term Tasks
In addition to these early milestones, the following tasks within your area of Ministerial responsibility are to be achieved within the first term of Government.
• Implement all LNP election policy commitments relevant to your portfolio.
• Identify wasteful expenditure that could be redirected to front line services.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment for a $12 million Everyone’s Environment grants program to help clean up, fix up and conserve the Queensland environment.
• Deliver the LNP’s $26.5 million koala protection election commitment to address disease prevention and vaccination, habitat protection, community education, and the recovery and rehabilitation of sick or injured animals.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment to employ 40 additional Indigenous rangers, who will have a particular focus on the protection of our pristine waterways, protected species and National Park management.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment to develop a Cape York Bioregion Management Plan and repeal the Wild Rivers Declarations on Cape York - to safeguard the iconic areas of Cape York, balanced with appropriate development opportunities for locals.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment for improved crocodile management with an increased focus on public safety.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment of support for World Heritage listing of suitable areas of Cape York.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment to maintain current funding for Healthy Waterways and NRM Groups.
• Deliver the LNP’s election commitment to abolish the previous Government’s redundant, state-based carbon schemes as they relate to your portfolio.
• Instruct the Department for Environment and Heritage Protection to immediately cease activity on initiatives that do not conform with LNP election commitments, including activities that aim to further progress Wild Rivers legislation, and refocus those staff resources on the delivery of frontline services.
• Implement the LNP’s election commitment to cut waste by reducing travel, advertising and consultancy expenditure.
• Implement the LNP’s election commitment for sustainable public sector growth.
• Implement the LNP’s election commitment to reduce red tape.
• Continue to establish effective working relationships with stakeholders and other interest groups relevant to your portfolio areas.

Your leadership particularly in advocating for a balance between environmental sustainability, and the growth of our industries will be vital in this term of government. We need to grow all our industries, build vital infrastructure, and at the same time continue to protect Queensland’s environment for the future.

Could you please consult with your Director-General to ensure these goals are understood by the Department and that systems are in place to monitor and report on progress towards their achievement, so that you are able to update Cabinet regularly. In this regard, the Department of Premier and Cabinet will be responsible for coordinating reports to Cabinet on progress, and will assist your Department with proposed reporting formats.

I intend to review this charter and your efforts to implement it regularly.

Finally, I congratulate you again on your appointment and I look forward to working closely with you as a Ministerial colleague as we implement our policies and achieve the goal of providing a CanDo Government to get Queensland back on track.

Yours sincerely


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