Appendix 1 - Mandatory Reporting

Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance

The National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development defines the goal of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) as ‘development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends’. The NCA reports on its ESD commitments through Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Advertising and Market Research

The NCA uses a media organisation to advertise as per legislative requirements, such as road closures and draft amendments to the National Capital Plan.

Table 12: Advertising and Market Research 2014–15
Organisation Value (incl. GST
Holiday Happenings $1,230
Mitchell and Partners Australia Pty Ltd $37,161
Datatrax Pty Ltd $1,185
Geoff Comfort Photography $2,475
Wild Digital $1,563
Hardie Grant Magazines $10,615
Lear Marketing Pty Ltd $3,605
NCAA T/AS National Educational Tourism Project $2,200
Total $60,034

NCA Activities against the Principles of ESD

The NCA undertakes activities, such as managing National Land and carrying out works to maintain or enhance the character of the National Capital and administering the National Capital Plan in accordance with the principles of ESD outlined in the EPBC Act.

ESD considerations are incorporated into the NCA’s policy framework, such as the National Capital Plan.

The NCA has in place other formal guidelines to facilitate staff consideration of ESD and its principles when undertaking business activities. These guidelines include the Risk Management Framework and the Guidelines for Events on National Land.

In all of our functions and operations, the NCA:

  • develops and implements measures and adopts technologies to reduce waste, energy and natural resource use and prevent and minimise pollution
  • complies with environmental laws, regulations, agreements and other requirements either directly or through compliance by our contractors and suppliers
  • systematically manages activities to achieve and promote continual improvement, by setting environmental objectives and targets and assessing our achievements.

The NCA and its employees are committed to improved environmental performance and to achieving this through embedding environmentally conscious practices in its everyday activities.

NCA Outcomes Contributing to ESD

The NCA’s outcomes provide the framework for the NCA to ‘manage the strategic planning, promotion and enhancement of Canberra as the National Capital for all Australians through the development and administration of the National Capital Plan, operation of the National Capital Exhibition, delivery of education and awareness programs and works to enhance the character of the National Capital’.

Examples of NCA’s ESD activities during 2014–15 included:

  • undertaking the tree replacement program as per the provisions of the EPBC Act in the Central Parklands, the Parliamentary Zone, Stirling Ridge precinct, Lodge Park, Acton and Dunrossil Drive and its environs
  • implementing energy-efficient lighting, a change that will have a significant impact on the energy consumption of lights and reduce maintenance costs
  • continued management of sites that contain species identified as nationally threatened species and threatened ecological communities as declared under the EPBC Act
  • continued management of a number of culturally significant sites with European and Indigenous artefacts as declared under the EPBC Act, under the guidance of Heritage ACT and the Department of Environment and through consultation with Aboriginal community representatives.
Effect of NCA Activities on the Environment

The NCA has established a number of corporate initiatives to minimise the impact of its activities on the environment. As a result of the corporate environmental efficiency initiatives the NCA has a work culture that:

  • actively recycles paper, cardboard, toner cartridges and commingled waste
  • promotes efficient use of water in kitchens and washrooms
  • efficiently uses paper and office appliances
  • adopts a conservative approach to the use of office lighting and air conditioning
  • is committed to electronic record-keeping.

The NCA uses 10 per cent green energy on all of its contestable sites managed under the Whole-of-Government Energy Contract.

From July 2009 the NCA and other tenants of the Treasury Building have worked collaboratively on energy efficiency initiatives under a Green Improvement Agreement. The agreement was established in accordance with the Australian Government’s Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy, which emphasises the energy efficiency of buildings. The NCA has significantly reduced its use of electricity and natural gas as a result of the Green Improvement Agreement.

To raise awareness of the impact of energy consumption on the environment, the NCA participated in the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Earth Hour awareness event in March 2015. This is the eighth year the NCA has been involved in Earth Hour.

Measures Taken to Minimise the NCA’s Impact on the Environment

The NCA undertook a range of sustainable practices in 2014–15 that minimised the impact of its activities on the environment. These included:

  • Leaves gathered on National Land were re-used as compost to rejuvenate soils.
  • Solar-powered pay parking machines were introduced on National Land.
  • After a two-year program of upgrading the estate irrigation control system and the installation of flow meters across the estate, greater water efficiency has been achieved by more easily identifying water leaks in the system, by using more efficient watering regimes, such as ‘watering on demand’, and by optimising water pressure and flow rates through the irrigation system.
  • Lake Burley Griffin’s water quality was effectively managed, in accordance with the Lake Burley Griffin Water Quality Management Plan, which outlines monitoring regimes, response protocols and communication with regulatory agencies, stakeholders and the public.
  • The Lake Burley Griffin Abstraction Plan, which establishes water consumption and water level targets for the lake that are sustainable and compatible with broader catchment management regimes, was adhered to. As of 17 December 2014 the responsibility for administering water abstraction in the Lake was given to the ACT Government after legislative changes were made relating to water resource management in the ACT.
  • A partnership with the Friends of the Grasslands and Conservation Volunteers of Australia to undertake weed removal on conservation grasslands was established.
  • A Bushfire Operations Plan for the fire-prone areas of National Land, including the conservation grasslands, was implemented. The Conservation Management Plan for these areas requires fire planning to promote native grasses and manage fire risks. In 2014–15 this included fire trail maintenance, slashing of fire breaks and three hazard reduction and ecological burns, with the assistance of the ACT Rural Fire Service volunteers at Yarramundi Grasslands, Lindsay Pryor National Arboretum and Stirling Ridge.

The NCA continues to implement policies to achieve a sensible balance between the use of the land and the Lake, and protection of their environmental and heritage values as set out in the Heritage Management Plans. Assessment criteria for events on National Land include environmental measures. Pre- and post-event inspections are carried out for major events to prevent or address negative impacts. Recurring issues result in reviews of event application criteria. The NCA issues permits to event organisers which include the requirement that the land being used for the event is restored to its original condition. The permit requires event organisers to remedy any damage resulting from events.

Minimising the NCA’s impact upon the environment is of paramount concern for NCA officers undertaking strategic planning, promotion and enhancement of Canberra as the National Capital for all Australians through the development and administration of the National Capital Plan and works to enhance the character of the National Capital.

Under the Plan, matters of national significance include ‘development of a city which both respects environmental values and reflects national concerns with the sustainability of Australia’s urban areas’. One of the key objectives of the Plan is to ‘support and promote environmentally responsible urban development practices’.

Disability Reporting

The National Disability Strategy 2010–20 sets out a ten-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with a disability and to promote participation and create a more inclusive society. Every two years, a high-level report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the Strategy and present a picture of how people with a disability are faring. The first of these reports was made available in late 2014, and can be viewed at www.dss.gov.au

Grant Programs

The NCA does not administer any grant programs.