The Government has announced a wide range of funding for the environment, with key measures aimed at protecting Australia's oceans, preserving national parks and heritage areas, transforming the waste and recycling industry, and continuing wildlife and habitat restoration.
The key environmental initiatives in the Budget include:
- Bureau of Meteorology — improved security and resilience: The Government will provide $254.6 million over four years from 2020-21 to ensure the financial sustainability of the Bureau of Meteorology.
- Commonwealth Implementation of Environmental Controls for Chemicals: The Government will provide $29.1 million over six years from 2020-21 (including $5.1 million in 2024-25 and $5.4 million in 2025-26, and $4.9 million per year ongoing from 2026-27) to implement the National Standard for the Environment Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals in areas and activities under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth.
- Compensation Arising from the Brett Cattle Judgement: Funding will be provided to settle compensation and legal costs associated with claims against the Commonwealth by businesses that suffered losses due to an order to suspend live cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011. The level of funding has not been disclosed.
- COVID-19 Response Package — supporting the Great Barrier Reef tourism industry: The Government will provide $11.6 million over three years from 2020-21 to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to continue its management of the Great Barrier Reef whilst supporting local businesses in a region significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan — extended support: $155.6 million will be granted over four years for a package of measures to support farmers and communities in drought.
- Implementation of the Waste Export Ban: The Government will provide $6.6 million over three years from 2020-21 to implement and administer the Commonwealth's commitment to ban the export of certain types of waste from 1 January 2021.
- Improved Access to Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Program — extension: The Government will provide $2.4 million over four years from 2020-21 to extend the Improved Access to Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals program.
- JobMaker Plan — busting congestion for agricultural exporters — improving the ease of doing business: The Government will provide $328.4 million over four years from 2020-21 for a package of measures to improve the ease of doing business for agricultural exporters.
- Maintaining the timeliness of the environmental assessment process: $36.6 million will be provided over two years from 2020-21 to maintain the timeliness of environmental assessments and undertake further reforms under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package: The Government will provide $269.6 million over four years from 2020-21 (and $9.8 million per year ongoing) for a package of measures to achieve a sustainable and certain future for the Murray-Darling Basin, its people, industries and environment, and in response to findings of the Independent Assessment of the Social and Economic conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin and the First Review of the Water for the Environment Special Account.
- Supporting Healthy Oceans: The Government will provide $47.4 million over four years from 2020-21 (and $7.8 million per year ongoing) to support the health and management of Australia's oceans.
- Sydney Harbour Federation Trust — infrastructure improvements: $40.6 million will be provided over four years from 2020-21 to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to improve the public amenity of various sites under its management and respond to recommendations from the Independent Review of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. Funding will allow for the renewal and repair of heritage-listed infrastructure, public safety improvements and master planning for Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary.
- State environment projects: In 2020–21, the Government will provide funding of $844.1 million to support state environment projects. This includes $59.7 million for the Recycling Infrastructure funding agreement.