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The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), formerly the Department of the Environment and Water Resources (DEWR), is a department of the Australian federal government.

The stated aims of the department is to achieve the following: protection and conservation of the environment; to ensure that Australia benefits from meteorological and related sciences and services; and to see that Australia's interests in Antarctica are advanced. The Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts develops and implements national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve Australia's environment and heritage and to promote Australian arts and culture. The Minister leading the department since December 2007 is the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP who is the Minister responsible for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. The Minister who is responsible for Water is Senator the Hon Penny Wong, who is assisted in this role by the Hon Mike Kelly AM MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Water.

The department manages a number of major programs. The most significant of those dealing with natural resource management come under the umbrella of the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. Both the Trust and National Action Plan are administered jointly with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Divisions of the Department include the Australian Antarctic Division, Supervising Scientist Division, Heritage Division, Parks Australia, plus a number of executive agencies and statutory authorities.

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts administers environmental laws, including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and a range of other Acts. It is also responsible for Australia's participation in a number of international environmental agreements.

The department administers the Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and the McDonald Islands (through the Antarctic Division), and oversees certain policy areas in Norfolk Island[1] and Christmas Island [2].


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