Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2010 Contents 29
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As with a wide range of Defence activities,
processes are enabled to ensure the protection
of environments while the ADF is on operations,
consistent with the Government’s environmental
policy agenda and legislation.
Head Infrastructure Mr John Owens explained
that Defence’s environmental program is managed
out of Infrastructure Division (ID) in Defence
Support Group (DSG), and reaches out to all groups
and services within Defence, with day-to-day
management and support being provided by
regional environmental staff in Defence Support
Operations (DSO), which is also in DSG.
“Through the Defence Environmental Management
System, we have seen the maturing of policies and
processes to achieve sustainable outcomes for a
wide range of Defence activities,” Mr Owens said.
ID and the ADF working together to achieve sound
Estate Policy and Environment Branch (EP&E)
within ID, is the policy lead on environmental
management, providing direct support and
guidance to the ADF in the planning of exercises
and relevant operations.
“Adherence to Defence environmental policies
in the planning and conduct of operations and
exercises reduces the likelihood of serious and
expensive environmental incidents and secures
Defence’s reputation for high quality environmental
management,” Mr Owens said.
advice enables support to operations and exercises
“The environmental professionals in ID and
DSO work together in fostering the Defence
environmental management system which includes
assisting the development of processes and
procedures applicable to the ADF.
“As the policy lead, ID staff provides guidance and
advice on environmental matters, while regional
environmental officers in DSO help units meet their
obligations on a day to day basis.”
Importantly, in recent years there have been no
significant impacts on the environment caused
by activities during Defence exercises such as
The Maritime Activities Environmental
Management Plan and Air Operations
Environmental Management plan, developed
by Navy and Air Force respectively, are also
examples of the successful environmental
planning framework that has been developed in
close partnership between the ADF and DSG.
The application of consistent procedures under
these plans has assisted the ADF in meeting its
environmental compliance obligations.
The ADF has made good progress in integrating
environmental requirements into its business
processes, resulting in an improved capability to
manage its environmental risks.
“This improvement has been realised not only
with regard to the conduct of training activities in
Australia, but also with regard to ADF operational
deployments which carry high risks to the
environment,” Mr Owens said.
The ADF carries a range of environmental risks
that, if not mitigated, could impact on the conduct
By incorporating environmental considerations into
the Joint Military Appreciation Process, military
commanders can implement environmental risk
mitigation measures during the deployment and
conduct of missions that protect human health
and and the environment, reduce the occurrence of
environmental incidents; and limit the ADF’s potential
Advice from ID has assisted forces preparing for
deployment to develop environmental annexes to
their operational orders or administrative instructions
in support of camp and facility location, ongoing
site maintenance and support, site remediation
and property vacation/refurbishment requirements.
This guidance also addresses environmental health
and HAZMAT (hazardous materials) management
Mr Owens reinforced that ID is working closely
with Joint Operations Command to develop an
ADF environmental management plan applicable to
operations. This plan will bring together common
risks and mitigation measures and assist the ADF
in applying consistent approaches to planning and
managing environmental aspects of operations.
Almost all Defence training areas in Australia
are heritage-listed and subject to specific
environmental protection requirements. The
ID-sponsored heritage and landscape protection
policies support the conduct of ADF training.
“The training area sustainability monitoring
and reporting policy under development by
ID specifically includes the development of
sustainability indicators related to military
landscape requirements for training,” Mr Owens
This approach, being developed in consultation
with the ADF and with the Directorate of
Operations and Training Area Management in
DSO, will assist in ensuring that training areas
remain fit for purpose and assist in improving
land management regimes linked to military
The Estate Policy and Environment Branch within
ID can be contacted at environmentAndHeritage@
In 2010, Defence continues to prove its environmental credentials through
the implementation of an innovative and best practice environmental agenda
which includes all parts of Defence – both ADF and APS.
ABOVe: Protective beach matting being deployed during the amphibious lodgement phase of Exercise Talisman Saber 2009. This, mitigation measure, along with others,
was developed by Infrastructure Division and exercise planners to meet exercise objectives and protect the sensitive coastal environment of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Defence sites and facilities across Australia once
again participated in Earth Hour earlier this year
to raise awareness of the issue of climate change
and energy efficiency.
Earth Hour 2010 not only let us save energy by
turning lights and other appliances off for an hour,
it also provided a good opportunity to look at some
of the broader and longer lasting activities Defence
is undertaking to combat climate change.
Earth Hour first began on 31 March 2007, when
2.2 million people and 2,100 Sydney organisations,
including Defence, turned off their lights for one
hour as a call to arms on climate change.
Since that time Defence has been an enthusiastic
participant in Earth Hour, this year joining a record
126 countries and territories, and more 4,000 cities
who also participated.
earth Hour in the Riverina Murray Valley
Living in a part of Australia hard hit by crippling
drought and scorching climatic conditions, the
people of the Riverina Murray Valley area are
tuned into the issue of climate change.
The Defence community in the area shares these
concerns and joined with all base commanders,
commandants and base support managers to
support the Earth Hour initiative.
During Earth Hour, sites including Latchford
Barracks, North and South Bandiana, RAAF Base
Wagga and Kapooka recorded energy savings
of up to 34 per cent.
Regional Energy and Sustainability Officer Glenn
Thompson explained that although there were no
special celebrations or activities for this year’s
Earth Hour, this perhaps indicates the changing
attitude of people toward sustainability.
“People understand that it’s not just about turning
the lights off for an hour a year, we have to be
conscious of our impacts on the earth all the time.”
Acting Assistant Secretary Garrison Estate and
Business Support, Mark Painting, agrees that
longer term changes are the most significant.
“The real challenge is to sustain this momentum
and achieve long-term behavioural change as
that’s where we’ll make the biggest difference,”
“That said, I acknowledge and appreciate the
great efforts of those involved with Earth Hour
– great results from a great team.”
earth Hour in Darwin
According to the CSIRO, although Darwin
experiences significantly more rain than the
Riverina Murray Valley region, climate change
still seems likely to have a significant impact
on the Northern Territory (NT) region with tropical
cyclones or storm surges tipped to increase in
For an area that draws its income from agriculture,
tourism and mining, climate change poses a
significant challenge to the NT: for example, rises
in average temperatures of two to three degrees
Celsius could lead to the loss of 80 per cent of
freshwater wetlands in Kakadu.
All major bases in NT participated in Earth
Hour with Robertson Barracks recording the
highest level of energy savings, followed closely
Regional Energy and Sustainability officer for NT
Mark Watson said that Defence is committed
to ensuring it consumes the smallest amount of
energy possible whilst maintaining capability as
outlined in the Defence Energy Policy.
“This commitment applies to all areas and
should be embraced in our activities all year
round,” Mark said.
“We should all continue to minimise consumption
of non-essential energy, both at work and at home.
Congratulations to all those serving and working
at Robertson Barracks and Larrakeyah/Coonawarra
for your achievement during this event.”
It is earth Hour every day at Defence
As well as participating in Earth Hour 2010,
Defence is committed to ensuring longer lasting
energy and sustainability initiatives are rolled out
Areas of priority in 2010 include:
› Defence continuing to implement its
sub-metering program to identify areas of
high usage and target its energy efficiency
› improving energy reporting by regions to identify
issues and progress against their energy
efficiency action plans
› increasing participation by Groups and Services
in identifying areas where energy efficiencies
can be realised, such as Joint Logistics Group’s
energy audits of their massive warehousing
facilities and looking for energy savings on
those high energy usage sites.
› reducing paper waste by printing less, printing
double-sided and increasing the recycled
content of paper
› focusing on product stewardship arrangements,
where the supplier is responsible for the waste
generated by their product. For example,
the supplier could take back the packaging
waste from the office equipment that Defence
purchase at time of delivery.
› increasing rainwater harvesting and the use
of alternative sources of water
› identifying leaks and unaccounted water losses
which can cost Defence thousands of dollars
per year. Projects are currently underway to
investigate leaks across the country.
Defence’s commitment to saving energy and
resources goes far beyond Earth Hour. If you have
any ideas on how we can continue to save energy
and resources at your location please contact your
Regional Energy and Sustainability Officer.
For additional ways you can help combat climate
change please visit our website.
Did you know?
Defence uses more than 500,000 reams of paper
yearly which equates to:
› nearly going around the Earth’s circumference twice
if paper was laid end to end
› weight wise, nearly 7 Boeing 747’s
› covering the entire Sydney Opera House 710 times
› only print if necessary
› always print double sided
› read documents online.
IMAGe: Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Opera House
and the Sydney Harbour Bridge after lights out in support
of Earth Hour 2010.
Regional Energy and Sustainability Officer
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