Appendix F: Environmental performance
We are committed to improving our environmental performance in accordance with government policy. We manage environmental impacts through a number of policies and administrative controls and use a range of communication methods, including all staff messages and intranet content, to support staff to mitigate environmental impacts.
We are committed to creating healthy and sustainable communities for ADF members, their families and the broader community.
Commonwealth Heritage Listed properties
On behalf of Defence, DHA manage and conserve 61 Commonwealth Heritage Listed (CHL) properties at ADF bases and establishments across Australia in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). We also own 16 CHL properties and two CHL development sites. There are a further three development sites on the DHA Heritage Register (DHAHR). These properties are an important piece of Australia’s history, as well as the history of the ADF. We plan and undertake conservation activities in accordance with the EPBC Act, a heritage management framework and a heritage strategy.
Maintenance and conservation of any identified heritage property
DHA has several development sites that are currently under various stages of planning. Each project has allowed for the ongoing maintenance and protection of the heritage values. We have an obligation to protect the sites from vandalism and damage whilst they are in the planning stages.
Heritage studies, conservation management planning and other activities relating to the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission of any Commonwealth Heritage Values of a place
Each project has allowance for the necessary Conservation Management Plans or Heritage Management Plans that enable the continued management of the sites during and after delivery.
Identification of heritage values
No new sites were reviewed as part of this strategy for the year 2019–20. Last year’s review is below for information. These reviews are still relevant as the sites are still in planning.
Four sites were reviewed as part of this strategy including:
- Stockton Rifle Range has identified Commonwealth Heritage Values and has been placed on the DHAHR. The review and identification is ongoing at this stage and is being incorporated into future planning of the site and development.
- Aulds Road Ripley at this stage the development does not have identified Commonwealth Heritage Values, but has potential for archaeological discoveries. Procedures have been initiated should any archaeological items be uncovered during future works.
- Mount Lofty has been added to the DHAHR due to the identified Commonwealth Heritage Values.
- Schofields Aerodrome has several Commonwealth Heritage Values and is listed on the DHAHR.
Development and maintenance of the DHAHR
The DHAHR is updated when any change in heritage values are identified, or a new site is identified as having heritage values. The DHAHR is detailed on our website (www.dha.gov.au/about-us/heritage-properties).
Preparation and review of Conservation Management Plans
We undertake a review of Conservation Management Plans every five years in accordance with the EPBC Act or within 2 years of purchasing a known listed CHL place.
Maintenance and works expenditure on properties with heritage values in 2019–20
Table 6.24: Maintenance work expenditure 2019–20
Gunners Cottages, WA
Mount Lofty, QLD
Stockton Rifle Range, NSW
Fort Wallace, NSW
Referrals made under the EPBC Act
DHA lodged a referral for the sale of the 16 Gunners Cottages located in Fremantle, WA. The referral advice was received and the sale is proceeding under the EPBC Act.
Disposal or acquisition of property with heritage values
DHA has not acquired or disposed of any properties with Heritage Values over the financial year.
Office energy use
DHA does not have control over the energy efficiency of fixtures and fittings within our offices as they are all commercially leased. However, where possible, we reduce energy consumption through the use of automated essential lighting and heating and cooling outside of business hours. Our ICT equipment, including printers, monitors and laptops/tablets are set to go into standby mode when not in use. Desk phones and meeting room screens go into sleep mode outside of business hours.
Energy efficiency is one of a number of factors taken into account when considering new commercial premises for leasing when a current lease is due to expire.
Travel and transport
DHA has seen significant savings by encouraging staff to use videoconferencing and teleconference technologies as alternatives to travel, and has identified further efficiencies by opting into Whole of Government Travel Services—Phase 1 arrangements. DHA has also commenced exploring benefits and efficiencies of opting into Whole of Government, Travel Services—Phase 3 arrangements which will be fully realised in the next reporting year.
We have rationalised the fleet of leased vehicles, reducing the entire fleet by 5 per cent over the year. As at 30 June 2020, we leased 193 vehicles via sgfleet under the Department of Finance fleet service contract.
Resource efficiency and waste
DHA introduced a number of regular practices to reduce our environmental footprint including:
- reduced the use and disposal of printer toner cartridges and paper by implementing follow-me printing solution
- enabled digital signing and lodgement for appropriate documents to reduce the paper consumption of home based staff.