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Defence Environmental Management

Strategic Aim 1

Strategic Aim 3:

Defence will minimise future pollution risks and manage existing contamination risks

This strategic aim covers pollution prevention, contamination management and site remediation

Strategic Aim Summary

Understanding pollution sources, their potential pathways to people and the natural environment, the environmental implications of Defence activities, and the most efficient and effective ways to avoid or eliminate their risks is a strategic priority for Defence.

Defence manages a large number of contaminated sites as a legacy of past industrial military activities and practices, which have the potential to cause harmful effects on human and environmental health, reduce land capability for Defence purposes, and breach legislative obligations. Management of Defence activities by proactively eliminating, substituting or controlling sources of pollutions, and achieving legislative compliance, will minimise the occurrence of these issues. Where legacy contamination issues are identified, Defence is committed to investigating the nature, extent and consequences of contamination, and developing cost-effective, risk-based management responses.

Effective management of pollution will enable Defence to avoid creating future contamination issues, while improving health and safety performance, capability, environmental quality and reputation.


To achieve this strategic aim, Defence will:
  • minimise future pollution and contamination risks both in Australia and overseas operations;
  • understand emerging contamination risks and advances in remediation and management approaches;
  • apply a risk-based approach to managing contaminated sites, including unexploded ordnance, to reduce impacts on human health and the natural environment and maintain public access to key information about these risks; and
  • manage contaminated sites and potential pollutants in accordance with relevant legislative obligations and standards.
The Defence Environmental Plan details strategic actions, accountabilities and timeframes to support the achievement of these priorities.