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Ecologically Sustainable Development and Environmental Performance

Pollution Prevention

As reported last year, Defence undertook a number of studies in 2003-04 to consider activities where there was potential for pollution. The studies assessed operations and issues at a number of sites and, during 2004-05, a series of guides were developed for environmental managers. The guides cover issues such as the operation of burning grounds, discharges to stormwater, management of carbon fibre at aircraft crash sites, spray painting operations and sewage treatment plants.

Soil and Water Contamination

Defence produced the Defence Contaminated Land Management Strategy in 2003-04 to ensure the ongoing effective and efficient management of land contamination on its sites, including prevention, management of current contamination, and site remediation. The strategy was implemented through the Priority Sites Investigation Program8. This involved initial desktop studies for 30 highest risk sites and investigations to further characterise contamination at nine sites.

Defence also continued to implement a number of other contamination management initiatives including:

  • updating the Defence Contaminated Sites Register to better assist decision making regarding Defence's legacy of potential or known contaminated sites from past military and industrial activities;
  • completing six cooperative investigation projects with the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation at the University of South Australia. Lessons derived from the projects can be applied at similar sites across the estate where similar contamination issues exist;
  • progressing Defence's participation in the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment. This centre will operate for seven years from 2006-07, providing Defence with access to expertise and leading edge technologies that will improve the understanding and cost-effective management of Defence's contaminated sites; and
  • In 2004-05, Defence continued its engagement with the University of South Australia to provide training to 15 people on contamination assessment and remediation technologies. Of those, five people are continuing their studies to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Applied Science in Environmental Risk and Remediation.

National Environmental Protection (Air Toxics) Measure

A new National Environment Protection (Air Toxics) Measure was introduced by the Department of Environment and Heritage (on behalf of the National Environmental Protection Council) in December 2004. A review of activities commenced at three typical Defence sites to determine whether wider application of the measure might be required.

National Pollutant Inventory

Defence has contributed to the National Pollutant Inventory in the past three reporting years and continued in 2004-05 to review the data it has collected for the inventory. Defence also reviewed the extent of its participation and will continue to contribute to National Pollutant Inventory for non-operational sites.

  1. Further information can be found at [ back ]
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