Environment and Communications Committee - Monday 21 February 2011
CHAIR—I now call on officers from the department in relation to program 1.2, Environmental regulation, information and research.
Senator SIEWERT—Could I ask about the dieback threat abatement plan and where that is up to?
Mr Oxley—Yes. The department is still in the process of reviewing options for a renewal or an updating of the threat abatement plan that was disallowed by the Senate back in November 2009.
Senator SIEWERT—What does that mean—‘still considering options’? Have you started the process of redrafting it, or consultation?
Mr Oxley—We have started a process of consultation in terms of the updated scientific information that might be available to the department that would inform a revised approach to dealing with that threat.
Senator SIEWERT—And what form is that consultation taking?
Mr Oxley—Earlier this month the department wrote to a number of scientists who we understand would have knowledge and expertise in this area and asked for them to provide any advice or evidence they would have to the department in relation to phytophthora cinnamomi.
Senator SIEWERT—What is your time line for getting an updated draft?
Mr Oxley—I am not at this stage inclined to make a prediction about how long that might take. I understand the urgency that you would ascribe to it. To be clear about it, the work on phytophthora cinnamomi is competing with a number of other significant threats for attention within my division.