Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 8 2009 Contents that ADF activities continue to be sustainable and
compliant decades into the future,” Mr Trinder said.
Predicting future environmental sustainability
issues and building in flexibility to respond to
emerging issues such as climate change remain
a challenge in environmental impact assessment,
yet is necessary to mitigate the potential for future
impacts on basing, operating costs and even
constraints to military training.
“On the infrastructure side, projects that
underwent a comprehensive impact assessment
include the first phase of the Single LEAP project
which aims to upgrade living in accommodation
right across the Defence estate, RAAF Amberley
Redevelopment and the Hardened and Networked
Army (HNA) infrastructure works at Edinburgh,” Mr
“These projects are progressing, with the
confidence that environmental issues have
been appropriately considered and effective
environmental strategies are in place to manage
the construction and operational phases.
“Because these projects considered
environmental issues early in the planning and
design phases, the potential for undesirable
environmental impacts are reduced. For example,
the HNA project at RAAF Edinburgh considered
environment and heritage values in the siting
of buildings to reduce the ecological footprint,
maximise solar passive elements and identify and
protect heritage values.
“Major infrastructure for rainwater harvesting
has also been incorporated into the RAAF
Amberley Redevelopment and HNA Edinburgh to
reduce reliance and the cost of potable water at
Environmental tools that support operational
and estate planners
Defence’s environmental team enable day-
to-day Defence activities to occur without undue
risk to Australia’s environment by developing and
integrating environmental management tools
into existing business processes.
A recent key achievement has been the
development of the Contractor Environmental
Management System (CEMS), which provides
standard environmental guidance for garrison
support and comprehensive maintenance
contractors who support Defence activities
across all sites. CEMS is being integrated into
existing systems and provides contractors with
the peace of mind they are complying with
Defence’s environmental standards as they
deliver services, from building maintenance,
to catering, to training area management, to
Another useful tool is the recently
established threatened species database.
Available on Defence’s Environment website
the database provides vital information on species
considered threatened or vulnerable and protected
by law as well as the locations of threatened
species at Defence bases and training areas. This
ensures all Defence personnel, including training
area managers, planners, project managers and
contractors can plan to avoid serious harm to these
species and negate potential legislative breaches.
The Environmental Management Plan for RAAF
Air Activities has also been completed, giving peace
of mind that air activities can proceed without major
impacts on the environment, and ensuring the RAAF
are able to continue activities into the future. The
RAAF Air Activities Environmental Management
Plan complements the ADF Maritime Activities
Environmental Management Plan that has been in
use in Defence since 2004.
support for major exercises
Defence’s environment team in DSG’s
Infrastructure Division has worked closely
with staff at the HQJOC and ADF Warfare
Centre during each major exercise since Tandem
Thrust in 2001. This ensures that the requirements
of environmental legislation, such as impact
assessment, implementing quarantine restrictions
and protecting marine mammals, are strictly
adhered to during the conduct of exercises.
In 2009, the environmental team supported
the joint combined major exercise Talisman Saber
09. The team organised the environmental impact
assessment process, participated in community
consultation and worked with exercise planners
at the ADF Warfare Centre to refine strategies to
reduce environmental risk during the exercise.
“All activities, from aerial and sea
manoeuvres and field exercises right down
to catering and waste management, are
studied and assessed for their impact on the
environment. Risks are generally addressed early
in the planning to avoid any delays with exercise
activities,” Mr Trinder said.
climate change and sustainable
Defence continues to make progress in energy
and water efficiency, and waste management; the
cornerstones of climate change policy. These measures
also have the additional benefit of saving money.
Director Climate Change and Sustainable
Development Robert Lean said the Defence
Combat Climate Change awareness and education
initiative continues to roll out products that
encourage improved user behaviour.
“The program also supports local energy
saving schemes, such as the Russell Energy
Efficiency Pilot, which resulted in a 14.8 per cent
reduction in R1 energy use and saved Defence
about $200 000 in electricity costs in one year. This
achievement alone reduced Defence’s emissions of
greenhouse gas by 1 244 tonnes in one year,” Mr
“Another key initiative was the introduction
of the automatic after-hours PC shutdown of about
68 000 DRN desktops across Defence in mid-2008.
This will save about 21 000 megawatt hours
of electricity per annum or about $4 million in
electricity costs,” Mr Lean said.
These are just a few examples demonstrating
Defence’s commitment as an effective
environmental manager. Further information on
Defence environmental management is available
on their Intranet website.
Defence’s environmental team ensure new
capability such as the Joint strike Fighter
won’t significantly impact on the environment.
Photo: Liz Kaszynski (Lockheed Martin)
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