For the second year running, extreme wet weather and flood events presented challenges to the department and its staff. While the rainfall kept water storages




НазваниеFor the second year running, extreme wet weather and flood events presented challenges to the department and its staff. While the rainfall kept water storages
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Secretary’s foreword

The 2011–12 Annual Report records another significant year for the department.

For the second year running, extreme wet weather and flood events presented challenges to the department and its staff. While the rainfall kept water storages high, floods heavily impacted communities, damaging property, infrastructure and the natural environment and causing evacuations in some townships.

Again, the department and its staff made a significant contribution to the flood effort by assisting emergency
services agencies with on-ground support, aircraft and incident management staff.

As was the case in 2010–11, the extreme wet weather delivered obvious challenges to our annual planned burning program. Despite this, the department completed almost 200,000 hectares of planned burning – the program’s highest in 20 years. Yet again, early planning and community engagement enabled major fuel reduction activity over the days available for burning.

The 2011–12 year also saw the department make important contributions in delivering critical aspects of the Victorian Governments’ environment and water policy reform. These included a comprehensive review of Sustainability Victoria, the review of the Victorian Climate Change Act 2010, the Comrie Review of the 2010–11 Flood Warnings and Response and the Environment and Natural Resources Committee’s Inquiry into Flood Mitigation Infrastructure in Victoria.

The Office of Living Victoria was also established this year, to drive the reforms of Living Melbourne, Living Victoria, coordinating water and urban planning. The government’s reforms aim to drive generational change in the way Victorians use rainwater, stormwater and recycled water and provide Victoria’s next major water augmentation.

The department also played a key role in finalising the $1.2 billion funding agreement with the Commonwealth for Stage 2 of the Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project, and then successfully integrated the project into Goulburn-Murray Water Corporation in July 2012.

Considerable work has been undertaken to support the Minister for Water in responding to the Draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan, with the aim of ensuring that the final plan better balances the needs of regional communities and the environment. This has included comprehensive modelling and analysis, as well as establishing and supporting a Victorian community Basin Plan Advisory Group to help analyse the proposed plan’s potential impacts on regional communities.

Meanwhile, the end of the financial year marked the first year of the new department structure, with the establishment of regional management teams and consolidated policy functions under Deputy Secretaries. This new structure has provided improved coordination, integration and governance and puts the department in good stead as we go forward with a continued emphasis on effective policy and service delivery.

The achievements outlined in our Annual Report have been made possible through the efforts of our dedicated and professional staff and delivery partners. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts and dedication during the year.


Greg Wilson

Secretary
Department of Sustainability
and Environment

Contents

Secretary’s foreword (i)

1. Report of operations 1

Overview 2

Year in brief 3

About DSE 5

Organisational and governance structure 7

Organisational performance 13

Office-based environmental performance 14

Staff performance 27

Financial performance 36

Output performance 39

Effective management of water resources to meet future urban, rural and environmental needs 40

Effective environmental and climate change policy, investment and regulation 46

The community benefits from effective management of Victoria’s public and private land assets 55

Reduced impact of major bushfires and other extreme events on people, infrastructure and the environment 63

2. Financial statements 71

3. Appendices 187

Appendix 1 – Disclosure index 188

Appendix 2 – Executive officers – DSE and portfolio authorities 191

Appendix 3 – Sustainability Victoria workforce information 199

Appendix 4 – Budget portfolio outcomes 202

Appendix 5 – Disclosure of grants and transfer payments 208

Appendix 6 – Major entities 229

Appendix 7 – Acts administered 231

Appendix 8 – Implementation of the Victorian Industry Participation Policy `234

Appendix 9 – Consultancies and major contracts 234

Appendix 10 – National Competition Policy 235

Appendix 11 – Compliance with the Building Act 1993 235

Appendix 12 – Freedom of Information 236

Appendix 13 – Compliance with the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 238

Appendix 14 – Water Resource Assessment Program 239

Appendix 15 – Sustainable water strategies 246

Appendix 16 – Environmental contributions 246

Appendix 17 – Additional information available on request 248

Appendix 18 – Acronyms 249


Report of operations


1


Overview

This section sets out the department’s role and purpose, strategic priorities, values and key highlights for the year. It also provides details on the department’s organisational structure and governance arrangements.

• Year in brief

• About DSE

• Organisational and governance structure

Thrift-leaved Triggerplant
(Stylidium armeria). This image was taken at Lake Mountain in February 2012 to document bushfire recovery

Photo by Christian Pearson, Misheye


Year in brief

A snapshot of the year’s highlights and achievements.

Responding to major incidents

Floods swept through Victoria in March and June 2012, impacting communities and agricultural activity in 33 local government areas. DSE joined the State Emergency Service and the Department of Primary Industries to provide emergency response and relief services.

DSE deployed aircraft to flood areas and provided specialist flood and operations staff in the Incident Control Centres and the State Control Centre. Incident management staff and flood mapping and prediction specialists worked around the clock in the centres for several days.

The department was closely involved in recovery operations after the Gippsland floods in June 2012. When the flood effort moved from the emergency phase into recovery, DSE and Parks Victoria began assessing the damage to assets on public land such as swimming pools, sporting facilities, walking trails, caravan parks and parking areas.

DSE and Regional Development Victoria are administering the Flood Recovery Community Infrastructure Fund to help flood-affected communities rebuild.

Gippsland was the scene of another major incident response when routine monitoring of water quality in the Gippsland Lakes detected high levels of blue green algae (Cyanobacteri) in December 2011.

An incident management team with wide expertise was set up to manage the algae’s health threat to humans and animals and help the fishing and tourism industries.

DSE worked with the Department of Primary Industries, Department of Health, Parks Victoria, East Gippsland and Wellington shire councils, the Environment Protection Authority, Monash University, tourism and fishing bodies.

DSE’s role included submitting water and seafood samples for analysis, maintaining contact with fishing and tourism representatives, and liaising with algal scientists who provided technical expertise and interpreted data.

After the threat eased, a final advisory warning was lifted in May 2012 allowing fishing to fully resume on the lakes.

Planned burning

DSE and Parks Victoria completed 834 planned burns treating a total of 197,149 hectares of public land in
2011–12.

This was 87 per cent of the target of 225,000 hectares. The total was more than any other year since 1991, despite one of the wettest years on record.

An additional 180,000 hectares was prepared for burning when weather and other conditions become suitable.

DSE is significantly increasing the planned burning program in line with 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations. Planned burning is part of an integrated plan to reduce bushfire risk to people, property and communities.

Reforming Victoria’s emergency management arrangements

DSE continued to implement emergency management initiatives in response to recommendations from the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and the Flood Warnings and Response Review.

Flood warning and response systems

A web-based Flood Intelligence Platform (popularly known as Floodzoom), will enable emergency services to more accurately predict floods and flood behaviour and allow the public to see likely flood movements and assess their own flood risk.

Real time data collection and delivery systems have been developed by Thiess, under contract with DSE and the Northern Regional Water Monitoring Partnership.

In the March 2012 floods, 10 Portable Automated Logger Systems – or PALS – were deployed to relay water levels in Broken Creek to the Incident Control Centre in Shepparton. These will be available for future floods through DSE’s Regional Water Monitoring Partnerships.

Improvements at 30 permanent flood gauging sites will increase access to real-time river height information for flood monitoring by agencies and communities.

DSE has also started a series of flood studies. The detailed flood studies will map the extent and depth of flooding expected during a range of floods, including a flood that may occur once in 200 years. The results with guide future flood warnings and response activities.

Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations

A revised code for bushfire management was among initiatives developed in response to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations.

The revised code reinforces that protecting human life is the top priority of bushfire management.

Other response actions included:

• DSE, the Country Fire Authority, the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board and Victoria’s Fire Services Commissioner conducting eight multi-agency emergency response exercises as part of a three-year program to improve Victoria’s emergency response capacity and capability.

• Upgrading firefighting aircraft preparedness and dispatch, including trialling firefighting air tanker aircraft, eye in the sky intelligence platforms and an enhanced integrated computerised aircraft dispatch system.

• Collecting data from about 1145 sites across the state as part of a long-term data collection and biodiversity monitoring program to monitor and model the effects of the planned burning program and bushfires, including the ecological impacts of planned burns.

• Creating a prototype software tool for rapidly analysing fire severity and extent of planned burns using satellite imagery. Staff can use this tool to determine whether burn objectives were achieved and to help predict the effects of a burn on
fuel hazards, flora and fauna.

• Developing a statewide hazard map and detailed vegetation and biodiversity mapping to guide planning and decision-making.

• Developing collective offset schemes as a simple and quick way for permit holders to obtain offsets.

Office of Living Victoria

Living Melbourne, Living Victoria is the State Government’s new approach to managing Victoria’s urban water systems to achieve a more liveable, sustainable and productive Melbourne and Victoria. The Office of Living Victoria (OLV) was established as an administrative office within DSE on 22 May 2012 to drive reform by coordinating urban and water planning.

DSE will work closely with the OLV and other key stakeholders such as other government departments, local government and water utilities in delivering the government’s Living Victoria program.

Victoria and Murray-Darling Basin Plan

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) continued to develop its proposed Basin Plan – a major issue for Victoria
and DSE – during 2011–12.

The proposed objective of the Basin Plan is to set legally binding environmentally sustainable levels of take for waters diverted from Basin river systems to improve resilience for Basin ecosystem assets and functions.

The key milestone during the year was the release of the MDBA’s draft Basin Plan on 28 November 2011 for a
20-week period of public consultation, which concluded
on 16 April 2012.

DSE prepared a whole of government submission in consultation with other Victorian Government agencies.

To help prepare the submission, a community-based Basin Plan Advisory Group was established and supported by DSE to examine the potential impacts of the draft plan on the group’s communities.

DSE will continue to support the Victorian Minister for Water and the Victorian Government through the next steps in finalising a plan for approval by the Commonwealth Minister for Water.

Upgrading bridges

The four-year Public Land Bridges Project achieved its goal to replace or upgrade 300 bridges and crossings on public land across Victoria. The improved bridges provide better access to water catchments, parks and reserves, forests and other public land – especially for firefighting and planned burning.

New Landcare facilitators

Sixty-eight new Landcare facilitators were recruited as part of the Victorian Local Landcare Facilitator Initiative. The facilitators are funded for up to four years to provide organisational support to Landcare groups and networks to undertake various activities such as rejuvenating and repairing wildlife habitats, restoring waterways, improving farmland, building community capacity and protecting coasts.

Staff recognised for Black Saturday bravery

Twelve staff were presented with Bravery Awards for their actions on Black Saturday. Four staff also received the National Emergency Medal in recognition of their sustained service during Black Saturday.


Celebrating 30 years of Land
for Wildlife

Land for Wildlife is celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2012. The program helps landholders voluntarily protect and enhance biodiversity on their property with the aim of retaining and creating habitat for native animals. Since the program began, 14,800 people representing more than 6000 properties have protected more than 550,000 hectares of private land as habitat for native wildlife. A two-day workshop, to mark the
30-year milestone, was held in Lancefield in March 2012, providing the opportunity for DSE to recognise and thank people involved in Land for Wildlife.

About DSE

The Department of Sustainability and Environment sustainably manages land, water, fire and biodiversity, with and for, Victorian communities. DSE collaborates with business and regions across the state to create a healthy environment for social and economic wellbeing. DSE is a key partner in the state’s response to emergencies such as bushfires and floods, protecting people, property and infrastructure.

Employing more than 2500 staff in 90 locations throughout Victoria, DSE:

• Acts at a local and regional level to create a healthy environment for social and economic wellbeing.

• Works towards healthy waterways from catchment to coast – the bays, rivers and lakes – for all Victorians to enjoy.

• Helps Victorians to be wiser with their water, resources and energy in a changing natural environment, to meet the needs of current and future generations.

• Drives sustainability and economic development through efficient recycling and waste management programs.

• Reduces the bushfire and flood risk to people, property and communities.

• Drives effective environmental regulation and monitoring for a prosperous Victoria.

Strategic goals and priorities

The DSE Corporate Plan 2012–2015 sets a clear direction for the department’s work. The plan enables our staff and the millions of Victorians who work with us to gain a clear understanding of the department’s priorities to 2015.

To successfully meet the challenges of sustainable environmental management, the plan establishes five outcomes for our work:

1. Effective management of water resources to meet future urban, rural and environmental needs.

2. Effective environmental and climate change policy, investment and regulation.

3. The community benefits from effective management of Victoria’s public and private land assets.

4. Reduced impact of major bushfires and other extreme events on people, infrastructure and the environment.

5. A high performing and efficient organisation.

The plan helps guide more detailed planning at a local and divisional level, specifically considering local needs. Regional strategies have been developed to shape priorities in each of DSE’s five regions.

Clients and stakeholders

DSE’s diverse clients and stakeholders include:

• current and future generations of Victorians

• indigenous communities and organisations

• local, state, territory and Commonwealth government, agencies and authorities

• land and water managers, planners, developers and information users

• agricultural, transport, forestry and timber industries

• the building industry and real estate organisations

• community-based natural resource management and environment groups

• tourism, sport and recreation groups

• surveying, valuing and planning organisations

• gas, electricity and water users

• property owners

• financial institutions

• key employer associations and unions.

Service delivery partners

DSE works closely with a wide range of portfolio agencies that have regulatory responsibilities and deliver many of the services associated with effective environmental management. These include:

• Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council

• Alpine resort management boards (5)

• Catchment management authorities (10)

• Commissioner for the Environment

• Committees of management (1200)

• Environment Protection Authority

• Office of Living Victoria

• Parks Victoria

• Phillip Island Nature Park

• Regional coastal boards (3)

• Royal Botanic Gardens

• Sustainability Victoria

• Victorian Catchment Management Council

• Victorian Coastal Council

• Victorian Environmental Assessment Council

• Waste management groups (13)

• Water corporations (19)

• Zoos Victoria.

Improving the effectiveness of the portfolio through strengthened governance arrangements is a priority.

Ministers

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change

The Hon Ryan Smith, MP is Victoria’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Youth Affairs.

Contact details

Level 17, 8 Nicholson Street,
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
Telephone: (03) 9637 8890
Fax: (03) 9637 8880
Email: ryan.smith@parliament.vic.gov.au

Minister for Water

The Hon Peter Walsh, MP is Victoria’s Minister for Water and Minister for Agriculture and Food Security. He is also Deputy Leader of the Nationals.

Contact details

Level 20, 1 Spring Street,
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Telephone: (03) 9938 5954
Fax: (03) 9658 4191
Email: peter.walsh@parliament.vic.gov.au

Minister for Bushfire Response

The Hon Peter Ryan, MP is Victoria’s Minister for Bushfire Response, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Regional and Rural Development. He is also Deputy Premier and Leader of the Nationals.

Contact details

Level 3, 1 Treasury Place,
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Telephone: (03) 9651 1222
Fax: (03) 9651 1188
Email: peter.ryan@parliament.vic.gov.au

Values

Make a difference – We make things happen. We are proud of what we do.

Act with integrity – We can be trusted. We are consistent in our actions.

Respect others – We value diversity. We recognise and accept differences.

Work together, support each other – We work with each other to get the job done. We care about each other.

Organisational and governance structure

Corporate governance

The Secretary, as head of the department, is accountable to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Water for the overall governance of the department.

The department’s management and governance structures were strengthened during the year with the establishment of two principal governance committees – the Senior Leadership Team and the Executive Management Team.

The committees provide leadership and direction to deliver the department’s outcomes, monitor and oversee operational performance and ensure compliance and accountability.

Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT), led by the Secretary, provides the department with leadership and direction in pursuit of government priorities and commitments. The SLT is the department’s executive decision-making body and manages
the relationship with the Ministers and their respective offices.

The SLT meets weekly and comprises the Secretary (Chair), the Deputy Secretaries, the General Manager, Regional Services and the Director, Office of the Secretary.

Greg Wilson
Secretary


Greg Wilson was appointed Secretary of the department on 31 August 2009.

Before this, Greg was the Deputy Secretary, Policy and Cabinet Group, Department of Premier and Cabinet. Previous senior leadership roles include Chairperson of the Victorian Essential Services Commission, Deputy Secretary (Water) DSE, General Manager, Office of the Regulator General and Senior Economist at the Department of Treasury and Finance. Greg has also held senior roles at Melbourne Water and City West Water.

Dr Peter Appleford
Deputy Secretary, Land and Fire


Dr Peter Appleford was appointed Deputy Secretary, Land and Fire in July 2011. Before this, Peter was the Executive Director Forests and Parks.

Peter leads and provides strategic direction for the Land and Fire Group in managing the public land estate on behalf of government for the community benefit.

Key challenges for the group include a series of business reform projects and a range of actions to deliver the government’s response to the findings of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. This includes – in close collaboration with portfolio partners – substantially increased planned burning targets.

Peter has more than 10 years experience working in the Victoria Government. Before joining DSE, Peter was the Executive Director Fisheries Victoria at the Department of Primary Industries and was responsible for policy, licensing, research and development, fisheries management and compliance functions.

Dr Jane Doolan
Deputy Secretary, Water


Dr Jane Doolan was appointed Deputy Secretary Water in July 2011. Before her appointment, she held the position of Executive Director, Sustainable Water Environments in DSE since 2008.

As Deputy Secretary, Jane has responsibility for providing advice to government on sustainable water resource management, including issues such as water industry governance, urban and rural water supply and security, environmental water management, national water reform and oversight of major state projects and programs.

Jane has more than 20 years experience working in sustainable water resource management, driving key policy initiatives in river health, environmental water and catchment management, both at state and national level.

Adam Fennessy
Deputy Secretary, Natural Resources and
Environment Policy


Adam Fennessy was appointed Deputy Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment Policy in July 2011.

Adam oversees the Environmental Policy and Climate Change, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and Natural Resources divisions. Adam works collaboratively with the Secretary and the Senior Leadership Team across DSE to provide support to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, the Minister for Water and to the Cabinet process.

Before this Adam was the Executive Director, Environmental Policy and Climate Change Division DSE, and held the role of Executive Director, Infrastructure and Economics in the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC). Adam has held executive roles in DPC’s Resources and Infrastructure Branch and in DSE’s Office of Water. Adam has also worked as a Commonwealth Government policy and legal adviser in transport, communications and the arts.

Dr Gillian Sparkes
Deputy Secretary, Corporate and Business Services


Dr Gillian Sparkes was appointed Deputy Secretary, Corporate and Business Services (CBSD) in May 2010. As a member of the department’s Senior Leadership Team, Gillian has executive responsibility for organisational performance and efficiency outcomes.

CBSD is responsible for keeping our people safe, supported and valued. In addition CBSD provides information management, legal and other corporate services to strengthen DSE’s internal capacity and underpin the organisation.

Gillian has extensive experience as a senior executive in the private and public sectors over a long career in the manufacturing, waste management, water industries and research sectors.

Tony Edgar
General Manager, Regional Services


Tony Edgar was appointed General Manager, Regional Services in June 2011. Tony was previously the Executive Director, Land and Fire Services and has worked as Regional Director in both the North West and Gippsland regions.

Regional Services is responsible for delivering the government’s priorities across regional Victoria in the areas of land and fire, environment and natural resources, water, strategy and partnerships and business management. As the General Manager, Regional Services Tony leads and provides strategic direction through five Regional Directors to regional services staff to deliver in these areas.

Tony has worked in both forest and fire roles in many locations around Victoria. He has more than 35 years experience in DSE and its various predecessor organisations.

Ashley Clearihan
Director, Office of the Secretary


Ashley Clearihan was appointed Director, Office of the Secretary on 31 August 2009. Ashley manages relationships with the portfolio Ministers and their offices, provides advice and support to the Secretary and is responsible for Cabinet, Parliamentary and Ministerial matters.

Before taking up this role, Ashley was the Group Director, North Region in the Office of Water. Ashley has a long history in the public service, having worked in various senior roles in seven State Government departments. He has also worked in the Commonwealth Public Service and the private sector.

Executive Management Team

The Executive Management Team (EMT) is a principal governance group responsible for oversight of the department’s strategic direction and performance, including ensuring legal and functional responsibilities are met.

The EMT meets monthly and comprises the Secretary (Chair), Director Office of the Secretary, Deputy Secretaries, General Manager Regional Services, Regional Directors, General Manager Capital Projects, Chief Finance Officer and the Executive Director, Land Victoria.

Accredited Purchasing Unit

The Accredited Purchasing Unit (APU) oversees the department’s purchasing policies and practices for general goods and services through delegated powers assigned by the Victorian Government Purchasing Board. The APU also oversees building and construction related procurement. The APU meets fortnightly.

In 2011–12, APU members were:

Anthony Connelly (Chair) – Acting Director, Planning Risk and Performance

Ian Ireson (Deputy Chair) – Director, Land Registration Services

John Johnstone (Deputy Chair) – Manager, Strategic Planning and Projects

Michele FitzGerald – Manager, Procurement Policy and APU Support

Eleanora Georgiou – Manager, Financial Assets and Governance

Duncan Pendrigh – Acting Executive Director, Forests and Parks

Owen Swanton – Regional Services Manager, Infrastructure and Procurement.

Risk and Audit Committee

The Risk and Audit Committee is an independent body established in accordance with the Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance under the Financial Management Act 1994. It provides assurance to the Secretary that the department’s risk and control environment is operating effectively and efficiently. The committee meets bi-monthly or as determined by the Chair.

In 2011–12, Risk and Audit Committee members were:

John Rundell (Chair) – Independent member

Dennis Cavagna – Independent member

David Holden – Independent member

Rod Nelson – Independent member

Dr Peter Appleford – Deputy Secretary, Land and Fire

Adam Fennessy – Deputy Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment Policy

Dr Gillian Sparkes – Deputy Secretary, Corporate and
Business Services

Kylie White – Executive Director, Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services.

Risk management framework and attestation

As part of good governance and in accordance with the requirements of the Victorian Government Risk Management Framework 2007 and the International Risk Management Standard (ISO 31000:2009), which replaces AS/NZS 4360:2004, DSE is committed to the ongoing development, implementation and continuous improvement of its risk management practices and processes.

DSE maintains a risk management program, overseen by the Executive Management Team and the Risk and Audit Committee, focusing on:

• internal compliance and development of the risk management framework

• fostering an appropriate risk culture, behaviours and attitudes

• embedding risk management in daily operations

• supporting line management to implement improved controls around key risks

• implementing an organisation-wide business continuity management program.

DSE maintains risk registers at the strategic, operational and project levels. These registers are used to inform the development of the department’s internal audit program.

During 2011–12, treatment plans were completed for all strategic risks. The treatment plans are maintained and actively monitored by the risk owner and reported to the Risk and Audit Committee on a quarterly basis.

Risk attestation

I, Greg Wilson certify that the Department of Sustainability and Environment has risk management processes in place consistent with the Australian/New Zealand Risk Management Standard (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 or its successor) and an internal control system is in place that enables the executive to understand, manage and satisfactorily control risk exposures. The audit committee verifies this assurance and that the risk profile of the Department of Sustainability and Environment has been critically reviewed within the last 12 months.

Greg Wilson

Secretary
Department of Sustainability
and Environment
6 August 2012

Organisational changes

Machinery of government changes

Since the state election in November 2010, DSE and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have worked together to progress relevant government commitments, including the transfer of functions related to game management and wood production in native forests on public land from DSE to DPI. These functions were transferred on 16 December 2011.

Strengthening DSE

As part of the Strengthening DSE initiative, the department is making changes to build a highly reliable and efficient organisation centred on a stronger regional presence to make decisions and deliver services. The initial phase focused on organisational restructuring to introduce a new regional model for the department to create a more visible, more connected and more empowered regional presence.

In July 2011, DSE introduced a new organisational structure and created five regions, including a metropolitan region, each with a Regional Director and with an overall General Manager, Regional Services. In addition, three new Deputy Secretary positions were created to strengthen our executive structure to better support the evolving organisation and its leadership team.

To build on these changes and ensure we have the flexibility and efficiency required to deliver government priorities while strengthening our capacity, capability and presence, DSE is also working on areas of corporate reform. DSE is reviewing processes for allocating budgets, specifying outcomes, setting priorities and business planning and reporting.

Groups

Land and Fire

The group – comprising the Fire, Forests and Parks, Governance Reform and Public Land divisions and the Office of the Chief Fire Officer – manages the public land estate on behalf of government for the community benefit.

The group delivers land and fire management programs that reduce the threat and impact of major bushfires and promotes the use of fire as a land management tool to deliver healthy and resilient ecosystems.

It provides a consolidated and consistent policy direction for all components of Victoria’s public land estate including state forests, national and state parks, coasts, alpine and Crown land areas and plays a key role in supporting government priorities in environmental sustainability.

Natural Resources and Environment Policy

The group – comprising the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Environmental Policy and Climate Change and Natural Resources divisions – is responsible for delivering the effective environmental and climate change policy, investment and regulation outcome.

The group supports local communities, land holders and government agencies involved in environmental management. Key actions to achieve this include enabling effective and efficient investment to support environmental outcomes across the state, running clear and consistent processes for environmental approvals and regulations and collaborating across government to maximise environmental outcomes in whole of government decision-making processes. The group’s work is underpinned by a strong policy capability, supporting consistent and transparent decision-making.

Water

The group – comprising the Rural Water and Governance, Sustainable Water Environments, Urban Water and Water Resources divisions – works with water corporations and catchment management authorities to manage the allocation of water resources across Victoria to balance economic, environmental and social values. Working to improve the environmental condition of our waterways is a high priority along with ensuring effective governance arrangements for a high performing water sector.

DSE is working with our partners to deliver projects that progress the State Government’s vision for water, including developing smart, secure urban water systems, and delivering Australia’s largest irrigation infrastructure renewal project to ensure a more productive, efficient and sustainable irrigation industry.

Divisions

Capital Projects

The division delivers designated DSE infrastructure projects and assists other agencies with the delivery of major projects. The division’s key current responsibility is delivering the Victorian Desalination Project.

Corporate and Business Services

The division works collaboratively across the department to provide quality corporate and business support services and to drive initiatives to enhance organisational performance. It is responsible for ensuring that our people feel safe, supported and valued and provides information management, legal and other corporate services.

Finance and Resources

The branch provides key budget and financial management, facilities and fleet services to help the department meet outcomes and objectives and to deliver outputs.

Land Victoria

The division is responsible for land titles and records, the Victorian Water Register, property valuation, surveying, online property information and services and geographic place names.

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