OEH continued to be at the forefront of delivering major government reforms to improve the way New South Wales manages our environment and heritage, including:
- commencing the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Local Land Services Act 2013 and establishing the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust on 25 August 2017. The BCT is an independent statutory authority responsible for facilitating strategic biodiversity conservation on private land
- releasing the Draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2018 for consultation. The draft Bill proposes a new system which will transform the way we manage and conserve Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales
- commencing the new Coastal Management Act 2016 and supporting councils to deliver improved coastal management through grant funding and expert technical advice for planning and operational management
- the Premier announcing the $112.5 million Energy Affordability Package. OEH will deliver key components of the package to assist NSW households and small business reduce their energy use and make substantial savings on their energy bills
- the Premier and Minister for the Environment and Heritage announcing an unprecedented commitment of $44.7 million to fund the NSW Koala Strategy. The centrepiece of the Strategy is protecting large areas of land where koalas can thrive.
In 2017–18 OEH delivered several significant programs and projects in partnership with stakeholders. Some key achievements include:
- continuing the NSW flagship Saving our Species program, which delivered on-ground conservation projects for around 350 of NSW’s threatened plants, animals and ecosystems
- the Traditional Custodians of the Willandra Lakes Region hosting a welcome home ceremony to celebrate the historic return of 42,000-year-old Mungo Man for reburial, along with another 105 Willandra ancestors. This event was an important milestone in recognising Aboriginal culture and connection to Country, and a significant step towards cultural healing for the Barkindji-Paakantyi, Mutthi Mutthi and the Ngiyampaa people
- making 1000 datasets available online via the Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) portal, launched in 2016. This was a significant milestone because SEED makes government, community and industry data more accessible to the public and is now the go-to place for environmental information in New South Wales.