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Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is an Australian Government department which commenced operation on 1 February 2020. It represents Australia's national interests in agriculture, water and the environment.

Organisation, key people, functions

The Department represents Australia's national interests across agriculture, water and the environment.[2]

The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, Andrew Metcalfe AO,[3] is responsible to the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, The Hon. David Littleproud MP, the Minister for Resources and Water, The Hon. Keith Pitt MP and the Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP. The Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries is Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam, and the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management is the Trevor Evans MP.[4]

It is sometimes referred to by the acronym DAWE.[5][6]


The Department is responsible for the Commonwealth's regulation and oversight of:

  • Agricultural, pastoral, fishing, food and forest industries
  • Soils and other natural resources
  • Rural adjustment and drought issues
  • Rural industries inspection and quarantine
  • Primary industries research including economic research
  • Commodity marketing, including export promotion and agribusiness
  • Commodity-specific international organisations and activities
  • Administration of international commodity agreements
  • Administration of export controls on agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries products
  • Food security policy and programmes
  • Water policy and resources
  • Biosecurity, in relation to animals and plants
  • Environment protection and conservation of biodiversity
  • Air quality
  • National fuel quality standards
  • Land contamination
  • Meteorology
  • Administration of the Australian Antarctic Territory, and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
  • Natural, built and cultural heritage
  • Environmental information and research
  • Ionospheric prediction
  • Co-ordination of sustainable communities policy
  • Urban environment
  • Environmental water use and resources relating to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder[7][8]

Food safety and biosecurity

The Department is responsible for food safety in Australia. It works with industry and other Australian government agencies, in particular the Department of Health and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to develop policy and food standards. Food standards are developed under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, administered by FSANZ and enforced by state and territory governments.[9]

Together with the Department of Health, the Department administers biosecurity in Australia. The Department administers relevant legislation at the Australian border, and imported food must meet Australia's biosecurity requirements (under the Biosecurity Act 2015), as well as food safety requirements of the Imported Food Control Act 1992. Labelling on imported food must comply the requirements, and is regulated under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.[9][10]

Portfolio agencies

Agencies that exist within the department include:


Preceding departments - Agriculture

Preceding departments - Environment


The department was formed by way of an administrative order issued on 5 December 2019 and effective from 1 February 2020.[1] The new department took over all functions of the previous Department of Agriculture, and the environment functions of the previous Department of the Environment and Energy.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Administrative Arrangements Order - 5 December 2019" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  2. ^ "What we do". Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  3. ^ Brown, Greg (5 December 2019). "Andrew Metcalfe: dumped by Tony Abbott, back six years on". The Australian. News Corp AU. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Ministers". Department of Agriculture, Water and the Enivronment. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  5. ^ "National Indicative Aggregated Fire Extent Dataset v20200623 [search]". Open Data. Australian Government. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Dept. of Agriculture, Water and the Environment". Perth NRM. 22 April 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 December 2019 with effect from 1 February 2020". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Our responsibilities and legislation | Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Food regulation and safety". Department of Agriculture. Australian Government. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Imported Food Inspection Scheme". Department of Agriculture. Government of Australia. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment". Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  12. ^ "DAWE Organisational Chart May 2021" (PDF). Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Our portfolio | Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  14. ^ Morrison, Scott. "Media Release: 5 December 2019 - New structure of Government Departments". Prime Minister of Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 May 2021, at 06:46
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