Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) corporate structure, annual reports, policies, strategic directions, reconciliation action plans and freedom of information

Service 9

Experimental prescribed burn at Kings Park May 2022. Photo – Sally Treasure

Service 9 is responsible for using prescribed fire to achieve community and asset protection and land, forest, and biodiversity management objectives. The department is committed to proactively reducing risk to the community and biodiversity from bushfire, through the application of prescribed fire and other bushfire risk mitigation actions.

Performance summary

Table 7: Service 9 performance summary

  2021–2022 target 2021–2022 actual Variance
Expenses by service $52,990,000 $51,905,000 ($1,085,000)
Key efficiency indicator      
Average cost per hectare burnt $14.49 $10.61 ($3.88)
Key effectiveness indicator      
Proportion of planned Priority 1 prescribed burns achieved 55% 37% (18%)

More information on these indicators can be found in the Disclosures and legal compliance section under Key Performance Indicators.

Prescribed burning performance measures

The department applies three performance measures when assessing effectiveness of the annual prescribed burning program for its south-west forest regions.

i. Annual prescribed burning targets for special land management zones (LMZs) in the department’s three south-west forest regions.

The zones (shown in Figure 4) are at the interface of populated areas and natural lands. Zoning is determined by distance from the urban interface. LMZ A extends 3.5km from a populated area. LMZ B extends a further 7.5km. LMZ C comprises the remainder of the department-managed landscape. LMZ C is further from populated areas but is traversed by infrastructure corridors of economic and public safety significance (for example powerlines and highways) and contains important biodiversity, recreational, timber production, water catchment and other values.

The prescribed burning targets for each zone are based on the proportion of department-managed land in that zone and are a portion of the nominal 200,000 hectares annual prescribed burning target for the south-west forest regions.

Figure 4: Land management zones

Figure 4 Land management zones

Table 8: 2021–22 LMZ prescribed burning achievements

LMZ Distance from populated area Nominal 2021–22 target (ha) Achieved (ha) Percentage of target
A within 3.5km< 20,000 13,582 68
B 3.5–11km 70,000 42,591 61


beyond 11km 110,000 128,322 117

ii. To maintain a fuel age of less than six years since last burnt in at least 45 per cent of the landscape across the department’s three south-west forest regions.

A 2009 study in the south-west forests undertaken by Dr Matthias Boer and others determined that prescribed fire treatments had a significant effect on reducing the frequency and size of bushfire up to six years after treatment. ‘The proportion of department-managed land in the south-west forest regions that is less than six years since last burnt’ is therefore used as an annual indicator of the effectiveness of the department’s prescribed burning program in mitigating bushfire risk.

To achieve the 45 per cent target, the department aims to conduct prescribed burning over at least 200,000 hectares per annum. At 30 June 2022, 46.4 per cent of the landscape had a fuel age of less than six years, compared to 48 per cent one year earlier. The reduction is due to large areas of land impacted by bushfire in 2015–16 attaining an age of 6 years.

iii. Ratio of CALM Act tenure land affected by bushfire (where the department was the initial attack agency), to prescribed burn area.

This is one of a suite of national reporting measures on the state of Australian forests. There is no specific target for this measure. The assumption underlying this measure is that environmental integrity and functionality will be greater where prescribed fire comprises a greater proportion of the total fire load. The ratio for 2021–22 was 1:0.238 (prescribed burning 146,154 hectares: bushfire 34,856 hectares).

Note: Areas used to calculate the bushfire to prescribed burn ratio relate to CALM Act tenure only. The respective figures are therefore less than the total figures for bushfires and prescribed burns used elsewhere in the annual report, which include other tenures.

Performance highlights

  • In 2021–22 the department achieved 192,257 hectares of prescribed burning in the south-west forest regions with assistance from additional State Government funding of $5.5 million via the Enhanced Prescribed Burning Program.
  • A further 4,699,853 hectares was burned in the department’s other six regions: the Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields, Midwest, Wheatbelt and South Coast. These prescribed burns were carried out on department-managed land, unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves, often in conjunction with other land managers, including traditional owner groups.
  • In conjunction with DFES, the department developed a reference document, Cultural and Contemporary Burning in Western Australia, to provide information on how the department approaches the intersection between cultural and contemporary burning practices and their differences.
  • The department continued to improve gender diversity across the fire management workforce through its Women in Fire Management Action Plan 2019–22, with increased female representation in permanent fire management and frontline firefighter positions.
  • The department continued to collaborate with DFES and other emergency services organisations, local government, FPC, plantation owners, volunteer bushfire brigades, traditional owners and private landholders, on the integration of shared responsibilities for fire management, mitigation and bushfire response activities.

Prescribed fire planning and risk management

  • The department continued implementing the Bushfire Risk Management Framework.
  • Through its ongoing assurance program, the Office of Bushfire Risk Management considered a range of the department’s prescribed fire planning processes in the Warren Region. The findings confirmed that the department’s processes for planning and implementing prescribed burning align with ISO 31000:2018, the international standard for risk management.
  • The department continued to work closely with DFES and local government authorities to elevate standards of prescribed burning practice across the sector and to achieve more effective, tenure-blind bushfire risk management, particularly in the more densely populated areas of the south-west.
  • A balance was achieved in the delivery of prescribed burning programs, minimising negative outcomes such as smoke accumulation, for stakeholders and the broader community.
  • Coordination of fire management across the Kimberley Region continued to achieve nature conservation and land management outcomes in an environment of tenure complexity, Native Title determinations and multiple landowners and organisations delivering fire to the landscape.

Bushfire risk management on unallocated Crown land

  • The department is responsible for the coordination and on-ground management of bushfire risk through targeted bushfire mitigation on 91.3 million hectares of unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves outside the Perth metropolitan area and townsites.
  • Significant on-ground bushfire mitigation work was made possible through the continued strategic investment of funding from the State Government’s Mitigation Activity Fund to protect communities, economies, infrastructure and the environment through planned and targeted bushfire risk management.
  • 291km (2131 hectares) of modified vegetation buffers, 2500km of fire access track and 680,739 hectares of prescribed burning were completed in 2021–22, complementing DFES and local government activities.
  • The department continued to engage and build partnerships with stakeholders including Aboriginal groups and communities and neighbouring farmers and pastoralists, particularly in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Midwest, Wheatbelt, South Coast and Goldfields regions.

Fire Management Development Program

  • The department’s Fire Management Development Program (FMDP) has 11 full-time equivalent participants working across several regions and districts with four participants currently undertaking promotional acting opportunities outside of the program.
  • At 30 June 2022 there were three personnel participating in the FMDP Expansion Program, designed to fast-track enhanced knowledge and skills development of existing staff without requiring position transfers. The Expansion Program completed an intake recruitment process in late 2022. Four additional positions will be offered from this process during the 2022–23 financial year.
  • The 2022 recruitment process resulted in 10 placements in the pool, of which 30 per cent were women. This recruitment process was targeted at PSA Level 1 and 2 personnel.
  • The number of women who applied to join the FMDP decreased from 32 per cent to 26 per cent compared to the last recruitment process undertaken in 2020.
  • The last three undergraduate participants completed their three-year term in 2021. A new recruitment process will be undertaken later in 2022 to fill these vacancies.

Service 10

Calgardup bushfire Boranup National Park, December 2021. Photo – Elizabeth Satchell

Service 10 is responsible for responding quickly and effectively to bushfires on, or near, department-managed land, by maintaining an appropriate detection and response capacity.

The department continues to work closely with the DFES Rural Fire Division and local governments to implement a collaborative fuel reduction and bushfire mitigation program on lands outside of the conservation estate. This is managed by the department to maximise on-ground bushfire mitigation opportunities across the broader public and private landscape to better protect local communities.

Performance summary

Table 9: Service 10 performance summary

  2021–2022 target 2021–2022 actual Variance
Expenses by service $40,922,000 $55,966,000 $15,044,000
Key efficiency indicator      
Average cost per hectare burnt $13.27 $25.81 $12.54
Key effectiveness indicator      
Proportion of south-west bushfires contained to less than two hectares 75% 79% 4%

Note that the bushfire effectiveness indicator considers only those fires where the department was the initial attack agency. More information on these indicators can be found in the Disclosures and legal compliance section under Key Performance Indicators.

Performance highlights

Bushfire management

  • The department continued to apply appropriate measures to ensure employees safety and wellbeing and to maintain employees capacity to respond to bushfires during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2021–22 department personnel fought and/or monitored 571 bushfires that burnt about 2,168,614 hectares, including:
    • 130,427 hectares in the Pilbara Region
    • 41,692 hectares in the Goldfields Region
    • 1,547,484 hectares in the Kimberley Region
    • 20,831 hectares in the South Coast Region
    • 329,165 hectares in the Midwest Region
    • 64,035 hectares in the Wheatbelt Region
    • 34,980 hectares in the three south-west forest regions (Swan, South West and Warren).
  • The causes of these fires were:
    • lightning – 28.4 per cent (above the 10-year average of 25.5 per cent)
    • deliberately lit or arson-caused fires – 34.3 per cent (below the 10-year average of about 38.7 per cent)
    • accidental fires – 10.9 per cent
    • escapes from private burns – 3.5 per cent
    • escapes from department burns – 0.2 per cent
    • other causes – 11 per cent
    • unknown – 11.7 per cent.
  • In conjunction with DFES and local government authorities, four interagency State bushfire pre-formed incident management teams were rostered for deployment to seven large bushfires around the State throughout the southern bushfire season.
  • These teams were deployed to Margaret River (December 2021), Wooroloo (December 2021), Carnarvon Region Bushfire Complex (January 2022), Denmark (February 2022), Bridgetown (February 2022), Bruce Rock (February 2022) and Corrigin, Kulin and Kondinin Complex (February 2022).

Bushfire detection

  • The department provided an effective bushfire-detection system in the high bushfire risk zones of the south-west forest regions using single-engine aircraft and 10 fixed lookout towers. The department’s fleet of 10 ‘spotter’ aircraft flew 3719 hours of aerial surveillance in pre-determined circuits. Flight schedules varied according to bushfire danger levels and fire activity.
  • The detection aircraft also flew 434 hours in support of bushfire suppression operations, flown by three permanent pilots and 12 seasonally employed pilots.

Aerial bushfire suppression operations

  • The department contracted eight fixed-wing 802 air tractor water bombers from November 2021 to mid-April 2022. Two additional fixed-wing water bombers were also available for use and were rotated through bases at Manjimup, Albany, Bunbury and Jandakot for periods of severe bushfire weather or high demand. The aircraft provided rapid aerial bushfire suppression capability in the department’s Midwest, Wheatbelt, South Coast, Warren, South West and Swan regions, including the Perth outer-metropolitan area, delivering valuable assistance to ground crews during the initial attack on bushfires.
  • Collectively, these aircraft flew 1178 operational hours in attending 52 bushfires and dropped 2116 loads, delivering 6.3 million litres of suppressant.

Bushfire training and development

  • The department and DFES jointly conducted six training sessions for Level 2 interagency participants involving 18 departmental staff.
  • The department conducted two optional online courses which 39 people successfully completed. These were AIIMS Awareness and Map Reading.
  • The department conducted 34 formal fire training sessions inclusive of aviation training, involving 2139 participants. In addition, there were 39 water bomber reloader courses delivered to 431 people.
  • Participants of fire training courses included internal staff, volunteers and personnel from the FPC, DFES, local governments and Aboriginal ranger groups from across the State.
  • Annual mandatory pre-season training in preparation for the 2021–22 bushfire season was conducted both online and through face-to-face sessions, with more than 191 people completing the online version and 827 departmental and FPC personnel attending over 41 face-to-face sessions.

Supporting our department

A resident Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin and a pelican in the Swan Canning Riverpark. Photo – Sue Harper

Corporate and Business Services

The department’s Corporate and Business Services (CBS) Division provides support in information technology, finance, human resources, communication and more, to the department, including its statutory authorities and the FPC.

During 2021–22, CBS had significant involvement in the department’s response to COVID-19, implementing the Government’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy which achieved employee compliance of over 96 per cent, and coordinating personal protective equipment stock levels, financial and HR reporting and public information and corporate communications.

Concurrently, CBS continued to deliver the department’s essential business functions, ensuring:

  • The health, safety and wellbeing of personnel.
  • Uninterrupted payroll services and functions.
  • Corporate information technology services and systems.
  • The release of hundreds of communication notices related to:
    • bushfire and prescribed burning alerts and emergency warnings
    • media relations, social media and Ministerial communications
    • website and intranet content.
  • State headquarters security, electricity and water.
  • Financial management and business support systems.
  • Accounting functions.

Financial Services Branch

The Financial Services Branch (FSB) manages the department’s accounts receivable and payable, general ledger, corporate card, asset records, budget consolidation and core financial software. Extensive financial reporting is coordinated through the branch and provided to relevant stakeholders where required, including corporate tax and statutory reports and internal reports.

FSB also provides financial advice and training to employees on procurement, contract and fleet management processes and coordinates remote area housing.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Implemented procurement reform requirements as a result of the new Procurement Act 2020.
  • Supported the development and integration of new online payment hubs with Oracle Financials.
  • Utilised the integrity in financial management toolkit to identify and implement improvement opportunities.

People Services Branch

The People Services Branch (PSB) provides a central human resource service to the department. PSB services include recruitment and establishment, payroll and human resource systems and analytics, employee and industrial relations, mandatory corporate training and health, safety and wellbeing management.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Development of a unified Corporate Values Charter ensuring a level of consistency and mutual expectation of a positive, respectful and productive workplace culture.
  • Implementation of the Integrity Strategy for WA Public Authorities 2020–23, resulting in the review of current integrity frameworks and the development of a central Integrity Hub resource.
  • Received Gold Status from Mental Health First Aid Australia for exceeding the recommended target of employees trained in mental health first aid within the workplace.

Public Information and Corporate Affairs Branch

The branch coordinates the delivery of the department’s public safety information during incidents, media relations, communications planning and campaigns, corporate social media, graphic design, audio visual production and environmental education and behaviour change programs. This is combined with digital experiences including websites, WA Naturally branded information products, customer services and management of the Perth Hills Discovery Centre and campground in Beelu National Park.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Developing and executing the department’s spring/autumn prescribed fire public information and education campaigns.
  • Partnering with Curtin University to research and develop new community behaviour change communications focused on visitor safety in parks.
  • Providing communications support to the Minister for Environment’s office for major Government initiatives such as PfOP and the Aboriginal Ranger Program.
  • Project managed more than 700 information products, including publications and signage.
  • Know Your Patch principles were incorporated into the branch’s Nearer to Nature education programs that focus on forest and fire ecology, wetland ecosystems, sustainability, Aboriginal culture and Western Shield. The branch also supported the activities of almost 3000 Bush Ranger cadets in 59 high schools across Western Australia and more than 800 River Ranger cadets in 16 metropolitan primary schools.
  • A five-week pilot course, Introduction to Aboriginal Rangers, was delivered at Banksia Hill Detention Centre in partnership with the Department of Justice, providing participants with an understanding of land management through hands-on projects.
  • Almost 1600 people are now registered as Dolphin Watchers, with training delivered to new volunteers in Broome, Mandurah and Perth. This coincided with the launch of an upgraded Marine Fauna Sightings app to help improve survey tracking data collected by the program’s citizen scientists.

Office of Information Management

The Office of Information Management (OIM) leads and coordinates digital transformation across the department. It improves service delivery and provides the IT common operating environment that supports the department’s geographically distributed and diverse marine, aerial and terrestrial services across Western Australia.

OIM works with business units on the delivery of strategic business-IT investment initiatives to enable digitalisation of business services and optimisation of IT systems.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Strengthening the department’s cyber security capabilities through activities to protect its people, information and technology.
  • Telecommunications investment to ensure all department users experience the same levels of service, irrespective of geographical location.
  • Enabling value-to-business and driving value-for-money through strategic business-IT change investments to progress department and State Government priorities.
  • Modernising information management practices to preserve the department’s corporate memory and enable decision-making through effective information management.

Parks and Wildlife Service managed land and water

Total estate

At 30 June 2022, the total area under the department’s care was 31,609,795 hectares.

The department now relies solely on Landgate’s statistical data and information systems for terrestrial tenure areas. The department has taken this step to ensure the areas reported are consistent with the information systems used by Landgate as the State’s land tenure information custodian.

Table 10: 2021–22 Legislated land and water

Tenure classification Goldfields Kimberley Midwest Pilbara South Coast South West Swan Warren Wheatbelt Total (ha)
National Park 303,505 1,435,548 581,159 2,483,411 856,862 151,835 118,265 561,759 17,793 6,510,138
Conservation Park 183,985 560,334 182,712 291,493 677 13,651 25,087 706 5,382 1,264,027
Nature Reserve 6,064,544 175,149 755,909 259,621 1,585,216 14,183 54,386 87,228 1,097,501 10,093,737
State Forest 782       4,052 527,576 474,034 265,346 9,502 1,281,292
Timber Reserve 28,393   26,277   5,159 26,278 28,727 8,315   123,148
Section 5(1)(g) & 5(1)(h) Reserves 81,605 827,268 76,696 20,976 4,415 31,484 34,934 1,465 2,980 1,081,823
Marine Park   3,070,778 869,492 343,505   123,000 16,248 1,446   4,424,469
Marine Nature Reserve     132,000             132,000
Marine Management Area       143,385           143,385
Section 34A Freehold   0 1,549   91 19,525 50 4,662 1 25,878
UCL - Section 33(2) 28,560   89,832             118,392
Crown Freehold - Dept Managed     1       8,240     8,241
SCRM Act - River Reserve             3,597     3,597
Totals 6,691,374 6,069,077 2,715,626 3,542,391 2,456,471 907,532 763,568 930,927 1,133,159 25,210,126

Table 11: 2021–22 Management interest in lands

Tenure classification Goldfields Kimberley Midwest Pilbara South Coast South West Swan Warren Wheatbelt Total (ha)
Crown Freehold - Dept Interest     13,389   5,667 6,295 13,330 2,072 5,767 46,520
Crown Reserve - Dept Interest             509 136   646
Unallocated Crown Land - Dept Interest 1,920,977 175,491 3,091,205 1,104,633 16,885 5 30 134 43,143 6,352,503
Totals 1,920,977 175,491 3,104,593 1,104,633 22,552 6,300 13,869 2,342 48,910 6,399,669


1. Areas are from Landgate cadastral/tenure information systems dated 31 March 2022.

2. Marine areas are approximate only as quality of mapping of marine reserve boundaries is variable. Improved mapping of watermark and historical boundaries may result in revised area figures in the future.

Table 12: Provisional area of national parks vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission at 30 June 2022

Name Area(ha)
Alexander Morrison 8,499
Avon Valley 4,456
Badgingarra 13,105
Bandilngan 2,084
Beelu 4,617
Blackwood River 20,470
Boorabbin 28,182
Boorara-Gardner 11,017
Boyndaminup 5,439
Brockman 51
Cape Arid 277,462
Cape Le Grand 31,189
Cape Range 69,510
Cape Range (South) 27,083
Collier Range 235,305
D’Entrecasteaux 118,943
Dalgarup 2,377
Danggu 2,750
Dimalurru 91
Dirk Hartog Island 62,664
Dordagup 6,410
Drovers Cave 2,565
Dryandra 16,536
Drysdale River 447,675
Easter 2,975
Eucla 3,815
Fitzgerald River 295,823
Forest Grove 1,379
Francois Peron 53,145
Frank Hann 68,708
Gloucester 874
Goldfields Woodlands 66,159
Goongarrie 60,006
Gooseberry Hill 107
Greater Beedelup 19,277
Greenmount 202
Gull Rock 2,107
Hassell 1,090
Hawke 14,003
Helena 12,261
Helena and Aurora Ranges National Park 149,158
Hilliger 16,979
Houtman Abrolhos Islands 1,564
Jane 6,864
John Forrest 2,698
Kalamunda 397
Kalbarri 183,248
Karijini 624,335
Karlamilyi 1,283,805
Kennedy Range 142,298
Kingston 21,100
Korung 6,354
Lake Muir 9,629
Lakeside 8,471
Lawley River 17,347
Leeuwin-Naturaliste 21,600
Lesmurdie Falls 57
Lesueur 27,232
Midgegooroo 2,492
Millstream Chichester 238,235
Milyeannup 18,690
Mirima 2,065
Mitchell River 115,186
Moore River 17,229
Mount Augustus 9,163
Mount Frankland 37,101
Mount Frankland North 22,052
Mount Frankland South 42,266
Mount Lindesay 39,541
Mount Roe 127,713
Mungada Ridge 1,031
Murujuga* 5,134
Nambung 19,388
Neerabup 965
Niiwalarra Islands 3,352
Peak Charles 39,953
Porongurup 2,686
Preston 12,660
Prince Regent 585,292
Purnululu 243,833
Scott 3,322
Serpentine 4,283
Shannon 52,584
Sir James Mitchell 173
Stirling Range 113,541
Stokes 10,027
Tathra 4,322
Name Area(ha)
Torndirrup 4,020
Tuart Forest 2,080
Unnamed 1,571
Unnamed 81
Unnamed 548
Walpole-Nornalup 18,540
Walyunga 1,813
Wandoo 46,335
Warlibirri 15,873
Warren 3,122
Watheroo 44,464
Waychinicup 3,974
Wellington 24,789
West Cape Howe 3,701
Whicher 6,352
William Bay 1,745
Wiltshire-Butler 11,645
Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater 1,455
Wooditjup 3,891
Yalgorup 14,175
Yanchep 2,859
Yelverton 728

* Freehold land managed as National Park under Section 8A CALM Act


1. Areas are from Landgate cadastral/tenure information systems dated 31 March 2022.

2. Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater is managed as a national park

Marine reserves

The total area of marine reserves vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission at 30 June 2022 was approximately 4.7 million hectares. There were no changes to this area during the financial year.

The area of marine parks at 30 June 2022 was approximately 4.4 million hectares.

The area of marine nature reserves at 30 June 2022 was approximately 132,000 hectares.

The area of marine management areas at 30 June 2022 was approximately 143,000 hectares.

Note: Marine areas are approximate only as quality of mapping of marine reserve boundaries is variable. Improved mapping of watermark and historical boundaries may result in revised area figures in the future.

Table 13: Marine reserves vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission at 30 June 2022

Name Area(ha)
Barrow Island Marine Management Area 116,616
Barrow Island Marine Park 4,169
Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park 200,000
Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve 132,000
Jurien Bay Marine Park 82,376
Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park 676,000
Lalang-garram / Horizontal Falls Marine Park 342,000
Marmion Marine Park 9,357
Montebello Islands Marine Park 58,375
Muiron Islands Marine Management Area 26,769
Ngari Capes Marine Park 123,000
Ningaloo Marine Park 263,313
North Kimberley Marine Park 1,670,000
North Lalang-garram Marine Park 110,000
Rowley Shoals Marine Park 87,807
Shark Bay Marine Park 748,735
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park 6,545
Swan Estuary Marine Park 346
Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park 1,446
Yawuru Nagulagun / Roebuck Bay Marine Park2 41,000
Total 4,699,854

Conservation land acquisitions

The department’s Parks and Wildlife Service acquired two donated parcels of land of high conservation value covering a combined total area of about 573 hectares for future addition to the State’s conservation reserve system.

Figure 5: Parks and Wildlife Service-managed land and water at 30 June 2022

Map of Parks and Wildlife Service managed land and water

Legal matters

Freedom of information

The Office of the Director General managed processes for the department under the Freedom of Information Act 1992. The department’s Information Statement 2022–23 (available on the department’s website), describes the nature of the information held by the department and its related agencies, and the type of information that is made available to the public.

The department received 22 valid applications for access to information, with five applicants requesting an internal review of the department’s decisions. One applicant has proceeded to external review.


Information regarding litigation in progress is available in the Notes to the Financial Statements – Note 8.2.1 – under Litigation and arbitration in progress.


The department initiated five prosecutions during 2021–22. Two under the BC Act, one under the Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018 and one under the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002.

Finalised prosecutions for 2021–22

Of the above prosecutions, three were subject to final court determination during 2021–22 and resulted in the imposition of fines totaling $3950 and costs of $1706.10.

In addition to the prosecutions commenced during this period, a further three were carried forward and finalised from 2016–17. These matters related to Wildlife Conservation Act offences that resulted in the imposition of fines of $1500 and costs of $169.10. A further related matter was withdrawn and costs of $4061 were awarded against the State.

Prosecutions currently before the courts

As of 30 June 2022, two prosecutions are yet to be concluded and remained before the courts and one matter is with the State Solicitor’s Office for advice.

Total reported offences

A total of 685 offences were reported, of which three were dealt with by way of prosecution, 318 were dealt with by infringement notice, and 364 resulted in caution notices.

Regional and Fire Management Services

The Regional and Fire Management Services Division delivers the department’s frontline services throughout the State, focusing on landscape scale conservation of biodiversity, protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage, threat mitigation, bushfire preparedness and response, visitor planning and visitor risk management, training and welfare of employees and volunteers and timely advice to internal and external partners.


  • Regional employees partnered with traditional owners, neighbours, volunteers, organisations, communities and other stakeholders to implement the department’s responsibilities in national parks, nature reserves, conservation parks, marine reserves, State forest and other land and water throughout the State.
  • The department entered new, and implemented existing, joint management and cooperative management arrangements with traditional owners and worked alongside traditional owners to plan, develop and implement management plans, departmental programs and negotiate new joint management agreements.
  • Collaboration continued with DPIRD on operational planning and integrating service delivery in marine parks.
  • The department entered into an agreement with the Australian Government for the delivery of services in Commonwealth Marine Parks adjacent to Western Australian marine reserves. Activities included mooring maintenance and management in Mermaid Reef Marine Park, marker buoy maintenance in Geographe Marine Park, visitor communication and education services for Ningaloo Marine Park as well as annual joint planning activity.

Carbon farming

  • Under the Western Australian Climate Policy, the department has been leading a number of carbon farming initiatives to optimise the use of department-managed land for carbon storage, where it provides benefits for conservation and traditional owners.
  • The Carbon for Conservation initiative, which seeks to provide opportunities for carbon farming service providers to work with the State Government through the department to maximise the environmental and economic benefits of carbon farming on the conservation estate, was released under the Market-led Proposals Policy Problem and Opportunity Statement process. The State Government is currently evaluating proposals.
  • The department continued to undertake early dry season prescribed burning in Prince Regent National Park (PRNP). The department has a registered Savanna Burning Project in PRNP that generates Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for the reduction of overall carbon emissions. In 2021 the project generated 29,178 ACCUs by treating 170,775 hectares with early dry season prescribed fire, reducing carbon emissions from late dry season bushfires. Traditional owners were employed to undertake various aspects of the project and the department will seek to continue and expand this engagement.

Management plan implementation and reporting

  • Regional employees managed the land and water vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission and delivered works programs for implementation of management plans and State Government programs and priorities.
  • Marine teams around the State continued to develop detailed annual marine reserve management effectiveness reports for the department’s Executive and the Conservation and Parks Commission. Regional employees provided input and advice into the department’s management effectiveness framework to improve input, output and outcome reporting for marine and terrestrial management plan implementation.

Operational training

The Operational Training Unit had 426 active enrolments in its accredited training courses and qualifications, issued 25 certificates of qualification and 296 statements of attainment to department employees and partnering agencies, and 1403 certificates of attendance for its non-accredited training products. Key achievements in 2021–22 included:

  • Design, testing and implementation of e-learning components into new and existing training programs. The department’s Learning Management System hosts 43 active courses. Combined with new online enrolment functionality, student numbers increased by 59 per cent and expanded to include department volunteers and contractor groups.
  • The design and delivery of a new accredited leadership training program for operational supervisors or personnel who aspire to become field supervisors. Twenty-six Australian Workers’ Union and Ranger Award personnel completed the program.
  • The Mentored Aboriginal Training and Employment scheme expanded to include pathways for becoming a Marine Ranger. This was in response to an increase in the establishment of marine reserves under joint management arrangements with traditional owners.
  • A new, non-accredited Firearms Range Facilitator course was developed and 11 corporate firearms licence holders from around the State underwent training in facilitating safe live fire range sessions and acting as evidence gatherers on behalf of the corporate firearms officer.
  • The department Dive Program’s risk management system, Fieldteq, was outsourced to an external vendor to increase functionality and efficiency.

Marine operations

Large whale entanglements and marine carcass management

  • Whale disentanglement and marine animal carcass management has been a key focus across the State in respect to shark risk and public health. The department provided disentanglement training to employees and developed guidelines for safe carcass removal for use by various tenure managers.
  • There were 23 confirmed entanglement reports. Eleven whales were not resighted after the initial report, preventing disentanglement. The department responded to 12 reports, succeeding in the full disentanglement of five animals, including one vulnerable leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and significantly reducing the amount of rope entangling four other whales. The department is modifying disentanglement strategies to respond to an increasing trend in entangled whales becoming tethered to the sea floor.


  • The department continues to optimise management of its vessels to ensure effective and efficient management of marine reserves through statewide planning and collaborative operations between the department, DPIRD and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
  • Both of the department’s liveaboard vessels stationed primarily in the Kimberley Region, were tasked to operations in the Pilbara, South West and South Coast regions to maximise their productivity during the northern cyclone season.
  • The vessel Manyin was commissioned and replaced the vessel Pandion in the Turquoise Coast District as the primary patrol vessel in the Jurien Bay Marine Park.
  • The department received the PV Edwards from DPIRD to facilitate management actions at the Abrolhos Islands National Park and surrounding waters.

Visitor risk management

The department has a responsibility to consider the personal safety and welfare of visitors to department-managed land and water and aims to manage the potential for misadventure and injuries in a manner that does not unnecessarily diminish visitor use and enjoyment. This is done through a statewide visitor risk management program.

Sadly, 12 visitors died in the extensive areas managed by the department. Five of these deaths were associated with pre-existing medical conditions that contributed to three hiking deaths, one death in a day use area and one drowning. Five deaths occurred as a result of drowning, one death of a hiker occurred in undetermined circumstances and one death was the result of a fall.

During 2021–22:

  • The department continued to work on a range of visitor safety issues including heat stress management, remote camping, walk trail classifications and redevelopments and improvements to recreational sites and facilities.
  • Forty-six employees completed a nationally accredited visitor risk management course.
  • The department continued to support DPIRD with the Beach Emergency Number sign system.
  • The department was involved in one Coronial Inquest that examined the deaths of four hikers in Mount Augustus National Park (one death in 2019 and three in 2020) and is awaiting the findings.
  • Work began between the department and a Western Australian Police Force working group, to examine the use of personal locator beacons in Western Australia.

Disclosures and legal compliance

Weedy seadragon. Photo – Ocean Imaging - Great Southern Reef

Financial statements

Download the financial statements (PDF 890KB).

Key performance indicators

Download the key performance indicators (PDF 190KB).

Ministerial directives

No Ministerial directives were received during the financial year.

Agency capability review

The department was one of the first three departments to participate in the Public Sector Commission’s Agency Capability Review Program (the Review). The Review commenced in September 2021 and ran through to June 2022. The Final Report will be released in 2022. The department recognises the valuable insights and observations provided through the Review and looks forward to continuing to implement strategies to ensure the department is a high performing public sector agency both now and into the future.

Government policy requirements

Substantive equality

The department implements the Policy Framework for Substantive Equality through the delivery of all services to and on behalf of the wider community. This is exemplified through the interrelationship between conservation management planning, reconciliation actions, workforce diversity and access and inclusion.

The department continues to build improved service delivery links with Aboriginal people across Western Australia and currently has 16 formal joint management partnerships with traditional owner groups. Additional proactive measures in 2021–22 that addressed both the Policy Framework, the department’s broader Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and the State Government’s Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy, included:

  • Investing almost $1.3 million into Aboriginal procurement contracts.
  • Supporting approximately 30 Aboriginal business operators to deliver tourism products in conservation areas.
  • Achieving the highest to date representation of Aboriginal employees at the department, with 5.78 per cent of employees identifying as Aboriginal.
  • Supporting the delivery of the initial $20 million of the Aboriginal Ranger Program, and facilitating the investment of another $50 million into Aboriginal organisations across the State, leading to the direct employment and training of traditional owners on country, and empowering communities.
  • Progressing the PfOP initiative, which aims to deliver new Aboriginal joint management and employment opportunities through the addition of five-million hectares of land and water to the conservation estate over five years. In 2021–22, the department progressed 13 active Native Title negotiations.
  • Completion of Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training by 2352 department employees.
  • Increased use of Aboriginal knowledge, including through on-country science and research partnerships, to achieve improved biodiversity outcomes.
  • Naming department-managed land and water and other conservation assets with culturally appropriate traditional language names.

Access-for-all principles guide the planning and design of recreation areas and facilities, which aim to provide equitable access opportunities to visitors, including people with disabilities and the aged. This is also reflected in the department’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2021–25.

The department’s employment advertising includes a statement on substantive equality to maximise opportunities for improving the agency’s workforce diversity, by encouraging the recruitment of women, people with disability, Aboriginal people and people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The department’s Workforce and Diversity Plan 2021–25 ensures that the department can meet its service delivery commitments by building a productive, inclusive and diverse workforce.

Occupational health, safety and injury management

The department’s commitment to health, safety and wellbeing (HSW) is underpinned by a duty that is shared by managers, leaders, supervisors and employees to establish and implement appropriate management systems and practices. Accordingly, the HSW of employees, contractors, volunteers and the community, is integrated into the department’s core values and corporate planning processes.

The department’s Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Injury Management Framework provides a consistent and coordinated approach to the department’s ongoing HSW management. The Framework provides a structure to ensure all health and safety representatives, appointed safety officers and committees across the department are provided with a clear understanding of the department’s HSW strategic objectives, desired health and safety culture and mutual obligations for all employees, contractors and volunteers.

The department has seamlessly maintained compliance throughout the transition to the new Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2020 and WHS Regulations (General) 2022 that came into effect on 31 March 2022. Safety officers and health and safety representatives played a key role in supporting the department through the legislative transition, while promoting a strong HSW culture at a broader level.

To maintain and enhance a mentally healthy workplace with an impactful, internal support network, a range of wellbeing services were made available to employees including access to the Peer Support Network, Critical Incident Peer Responders, Chaplaincy Services and the Employee Assistance Program. Additionally, the department provided further opportunities for employees to undertake Mental Health First Aid and De-escalation Skills training.

During 2021–22, key achievements included:

  • Commenced process to upgrade online health, safety and wellbeing management system.
  • Engaged an external contractor to undertake an Injury Management Framework review and commenced implementing a range of recommendations across the department.
  • Developed and refined the Fire Fitness for Work standards.
  • Developed and implemented alcohol testing training and information sessions for employees.
  • Implemented asbestos awareness training for employees, contractors and volunteers in alignment with the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management.
  • Awarded Gold Status certification with Mental Health First Aid Australia with an additional 114 employees trained in Mental Health First Aid.
  • Introduced de-escalation training sessions for frontline employees.
  • Employees participated in the trial of a new Black Dog Institute wellbeing mobile app for emergency service workers.

Table 14: Health and safety performance indicators

Measure Results – prior years Current reporting year Results against target    
  2019–20 2020–21 2021–22 Target Comment on result
Number of fatalities 0 0 0 0 Achieved
Lost time injury and/or disease incidence rate 3 2.7 3 0 or 10% reduction Not achieved
Lost time injury and/or disease severity rate 6.8 11 1.2 0 or 10% reduction Achieved
Percentage of injured workers returned to work:          
(i) within 13 weeks 95% 88% 88% Greater than or equal to 80% Achieved
(ii) within 26 weeks 98% 95% 100% Achieved
Percentage of managers trained in occupational safety, health and injury management responsibilities <80% 34% 49% Greater than or equal to 80% Not achieved

Board and committee remuneration

The remuneration rates for boards and committees that assist the department are disclosed below.

Table 15: Animal Ethics Committee (Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions)

Position Name Type of remuneration Period of membership Gross/actual remuneration ($)
Chair Juanita Renwick Not eligible for remuneration 01/07/21 to 30/11/21 $ -
Chair Martin Dziminski Not eligible for remuneration 01/12/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Category A Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $1,798.00
Member Category D Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $1,750.00
Member Category C Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $1,750.00
Member Category A Sessional 04/08/21 to 30/06/22 $1,750.00
Member Category A Sessional 01/07/21 to 19/08/22 $350.00
Member Category D Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,100.00
Member Category C Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,137.00
Member Category B Sessional 01/07/21 to 28/02/22 $ -
Member Category B Sessional 01/04/22 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Category B Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
(Members not identified by name due to privacy reasons)
Categories: A Veterinarian, B Scientist, C Animal Welfare, D Independent community representative, E Other

Table 16: Conservation and Parks Commission

Position Name Type of remuneration Period of membership Gross/actual remuneration ($)
Chair Christopher Doepel Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $40,570.00
Deputy Chair Jo-anne Lanagan Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $25,538.00
Member Penny Bond Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $19,427.00
Member Tahn Donovan Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $19,427.00
Member Kim Eckert Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $19,427.00
Member Alan Walker Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 17/09/21 $4,483.00
Member John Keesing Not eligible for remuneration 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Total       $128,872.00

Table 17: Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Advisory Committee

Position Name Type of renumeration Period of membership Gross/actual renumeration ($)
Chair Regina Flugge Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $1,312.00
Member Rachael Cooyou Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $5,228.74
Member Russel Babcock Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member George Kailis Sessional 31/05/22 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member James Florrison Sessional 20/12/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member Jacqeline Hine Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member William Humphreys Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member Vicki Long Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member Hazel Walgar Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Total       $11,688.74

Table 18: North West Shelf Flatback Turtle Conservation Program Advisory Committee and Scientific Panel

Position Name Type of renumeration Period of membership Gross/actual renumeration ($)
Chair Lyn Beazley Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Rory Mcauley Not eligible for remuneration 08/06/22 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Narelle Montgomery Not eligible for remuneration 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Andrew Smith Not eligible for remuneration 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Total       $ -

Table 19: Purnululu World Heritage Area Advisory Committee

Position Name Type of renumeration Period of membership Gross/actual renumeration ($)
Chair Glen Chidlow Not eligible for remuneration 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Paul Butters Sessional 01/09/21 to 30/06/22 $1,424.00
Member Sarah Legge Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/04/22 $429.00
Member Cherylene Nocketta Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/04/22 $1,424.00
Member Josephine Drill Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/04/22 $2,270.00
Member Vincent Edwards Not eligible for remuneration 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Eldride Edwards Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Bonnie Edwards Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Member Peter Backshall Sessional 01/09/21 to 30/06/22 $1,141.00
Total       $6,688.00

Table 20: Shark Bay World Heritage Advisory Committee

Position Name Type of remuneration Period of membership Gross/actual remuneration ($)
Chair Phillip Scott Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $1,312.00
Member Anthony Bellottie Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $429.00
Member David Newsome Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $429.00
Member Janine Guenther Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $429.00
Member Elisabeth Mclellan Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $429.00
Member Juliane Bush Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $1,909.00
Member Laura Gray Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member Diana Walker Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Member Elizabeth Mattiske Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $858.00
Total       $7,511.00

Table 21: Swan River Trust Board

Position Name Type of remuneration Period of membership Gross/actual remuneration ($)
Chair Hamish Beck Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $15,865.00
Deputy Chair Dr Joanna Pearce Fortnightly 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $9,520.00
Member Peter King Sessional 23/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,421.00
Member Vanessa Martin Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,421.00
Member Jo Wilkie Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,421.00
Member Marenée Provost Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,421.00
Member Cr Sara Saberi Sessional 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $2,690.00
Member Jacquie Stone Not eligible for renumeration 01/07/21 to 30/06/22 $ -
Total       $37,759.00

WA Multicultural Policy Framework

The department’s Workforce and Diversity Plan 2021–25 (the Plan) was developed in accordance with the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the Public Sector Commission’s Workforce Diversification and Inclusion Strategy for Public Sector Employment 2020–25. It is guided by the department’s RAP, Women in Fire Management Action Plan 2019–22, Disability Access and Inclusion Plan and the Western Australian Multicultural Policy Framework.

The Plan outlines strategies for achieving and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, including strategies to improve the representation of culturally and linguistically diverse people in the department’s workforce, promote their inclusion and reduce discrimination against them.

During 2021–22, key achievements included:

  • Promoting Harmony Week events and raising awareness of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
  • Providing employees with access to the SBS Core Inclusion online course, which raises awareness of bias and discrimination and promotes building a workplace and community that is diverse, inclusive and fair for everyone.
  • Ensuring employees complete the department’s Workplace Discrimination and Harassment course every five years.
  • Commencing the development of a dedicated Aboriginal Employment Action Plan.
  • Promoting internal and external Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week events to staff and members of the public.

Other legal requirements

Treasurer’s Instruction 953 – publication and presentation of annual estimates

In accordance with Treasurer’s Instruction 953, the 2022–23 annual estimates for the department are published in the 2021–22 annual report. Actual results will be reported against these estimates in the 2022–23 annual report.

Download the 2022-23 annual estimates (PDF 107KB).

Unauthorised use of credit cards

There were 89 personal transactions charged to departmental credit cards by 76 different cardholders to 30 June 2022. The majority of these occurred due to the cardholder inadvertently using their departmental credit card instead of a personal credit card for small transactions where a PIN was not required, or a merchant’s online payment facilities defaulting to the departmental credit card details that were provided on a previous occasion.

In each case, the cardholder provided written advice to their cost centre manager, the chief finance officer and the Notifiable Authority, of the personal use of a departmental credit card, consistent with the requirements of Treasurer’s Instruction 321.

Table 22: Unauthorised use of credit cards

Financial Year 2021–22
Aggregate amount of personal use expenditure for the reporting period $5,418.57
Aggregate amount of personal use expenditure settled
by the due date (within 5 working days)
Aggregate amount of personal use expenditure settled after
5 working days
Aggregate amount of personal use expenditure outstanding
at balance date

Advertising, market research, polling and direct mail

In accordance with section 175ZE of the Western Australian Electoral Act 1907, the department incurred the following expenditures in advertising.

Total expenditure for 2021–22 was: $222,729.38
Expenditure has occurred in the following areas:
Advertising agencies - recruitment  
Initiative Media Australia Pty Ltd $64,132.82
Direct mail organisations NIL
Market research organisations NIL
Media advertising organisations $158,596.56
A.R.M Marketing Pty Ltd 1140.00
Albany & Great Southern Weekender 270.00
Andimaps 1202.73
Aurora Magazine 518.18
Aussi Drawcards 210.00
Aviation Trader 250.00
Carat Australia Media Services Pty Ltd 80,096.31
Collie Chamber Commerce 1000.00
Concept Media 349.20
Countrywide Publications 1818.18
Denmark Bulletin 2018.18
Denmark Chamber of Commerce 386.36
Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage 2749.72
Department of the Attorney General - State Solicitors Office 960.00
Esperance Tide 2485.45
Facebook 616.36
Fremantle Herald 220.00
Initiative Media Australia Pty Ltd 48,648.27
Lizart Productions Trading as East Kimberley Directory 72.73
Nextmedia Pty Ltd 1650.00
Premium Publishers 364.00
Southerly Magazine 825.00
State Law Publisher 6849.89
Walpole Community Resource Centre 3146.00
Walsh Media 750.00

Disability access and inclusion plan outcomes

The department’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2021–25 (DAIP) is monitored by the department’s Diversity and Access Committee, which includes representatives from across the department, including the statutory authorities.

As a major provider of outdoor recreation locations and facilities in natural areas, the department ensures all site plans consider access requirements and are developed in accordance with Corporate Policy Statement No 18 Recreation, Tourism and Visitor Services. In all circumstances, appropriate accessibility is implemented and where it is unachievable, alternative opportunities that enable interaction with the location, experience or environment are developed.

During 2021–22, accessible paths were built at the Goat Farm in Greenmount National Park. Other projects completed include new and improved facilities at Shell Beach in Shark Bay World Heritage area, upgraded river access at Honeymoon Pool in Wellington National Park and boardwalk replacements at Lake Goegrup and Olive Seymour in Herdsman Lake. Significant progress has been made on the accessible floating dock at Danggu (Geikie Gorge) National Park.

The 2021 election commitment of $2 million for the Accessible Parks WA initiative has commenced with four components:

  • Incorporation of disability access information into the Explore Parks WA website.
  • A partnership was established with Break the Boundary to develop in-park access experiences for visitors with disabilities.
  • The launch of the Every Kid in a Park project in partnership with Nature Play WA to connect children with disability to the Western Australian conservation estate.
  • Visitor access infrastructure improvements in parks for visitors with a disability.

The department continues to run numerous initiatives and activities in line with the DAIP. These include:

  • Undertaking Disability Confident Recruiter status renewal for 2021–22.
  • Using a nationally agreed system of bushfire alerts and warnings.
  • Partnering with the National Disability Services WA Building the Talent Pool Project to implement strategies to increase employment of people with disability, including a five per cent employment target for people with disability.
  • Ensuring employees have the capability to support candidates with disability by providing disability awareness information in Selection Panel Training (in 2021–22, 43 employees attended the training).
  • Improving employee awareness of diversity and inclusion through the SBS Core Inclusion Program (82 employees have completed the program since its release in September 2021).
  • Employing people with disability on fee-for-service contracts through Western Australian Disability Enterprises, which currently include Activ Foundation, Intelife and Westcare.
  • Using a range of disability recruitment specialists and continuing to email all advertised positions to recruitment agencies.
  • Ensuring events, building reception areas and parking facilities are accessible to people with disability and monitoring and addressing complaints about access.
  • The commencement of work on a diversity dashboard that aims to increase awareness of diversity initiatives, drive their implementation and improve outcomes for diversity employment, including people with disability.
  • Ensuring the department’s website continues to meet contemporary best practice and applicable legislative requirements for access for people with disability, and that departmental information is available in alternative formats.

Compliance with public sector standards and ethical codes

Under section 31 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994, the department is required to report on its compliance with public sector standards and ethical codes.

Table 23: Compliance with public sector standards and ethical codes

Compliance issue Significant action taken to monitor and ensure compliance
Public Sector Standards
One breach claim was lodged in 2021–22. The breach claim was submitted against the Employment Standard. The breach claim was resolved internally and was subsequently withdrawn. The department’s PSB intranet site includes information on the Public Sector Standards, including a link to the Public Sector Commission website. Policies and guidelines relevant to the standards are also available on the PSB intranet site. The online Accountable and Ethical Decision Making course and the department’s Selection Panel Training course also provide information about Public Sector Standards.
The department’s Code of Conduct and Public Sector Code of Ethics
A total of 57 suspected breach of discipline processes were undertaken across the department in 2021–22. All were suspected to have breached the department’s Code of Conduct and the Public Sector Code of Ethics, as prescribed by Commissioner’s Instruction No. 7 Code of Ethics.


Of the 57 allegations, 45 were related to non-compliance with COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Twenty-two of those were finalised in
2021–22, 16 are ongoing, six employees resigned during the discipline process and one employee contract ended during the disciplinary process.

Of the 12 non-COVID-19 vaccination related discipline processes, six were finalised in 2021–22.

All allegations carried over from 2020–21 have been finalised.

The Public Sector Code of Ethics is currently contained within the department’s Code of Conduct. Therefore, a breach of the Code of Ethics is also a breach of the Code of Conduct. However, a breach of the Code of Conduct is not automatically a breach of the Code of Ethics.


In September 2021, the department released its Corporate Values Charter and online Integrity Hub. The values help support employees understanding the lens through which to make decisions and conduct themselves. The Integrity Hub is a place for employees and managers to access important information on workplace behaviour requirements, training, practical steps on dealing with integrity issues, wellbeing support services and important news items and stories.

An internal Integrity Committee was appointed to action the department’s Integrity Implementation Plan, which is closely aligned to the Integrity Strategy for WA Public Authorities 2020–23.

All employees are required to read and sign the Code of Conduct as part of the induction process or when a significant review occurs. Further, the document includes a section on how employees can report breaches of the Code of Conduct.

The department ensures compliance with the Code of Conduct through quarterly reporting to all divisions, on completion of the signed acknowledgment page. The Code of Conduct is also included in the induction program for new starters and in the mandatory Accountable and Ethical Decision Making Training which employees are required to complete every five years. Intermittent reminders are also sent to employees via Broadcast emails to remind them of their obligations and the requirement to sign the Code of Conduct.

To manage COVID-19 related compliance matters, the department developed a COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination for Employees and Contractors protocol and included regularly updated frequently asked questions to assist employees and managers. In addition, the department provided regular updates to employees via Broadcasts and amendments to the COVID-19 intranet page to ensure everyone remained informed about changes that impacted them.

Recordkeeping plans

As required under section 19 of the State Records Act 2000 (the Act), the department has an approved Recordkeeping Plan. This is supported by policy, procedures and training to ensure compliance with the Act. Completion of an e-learning course covering the legislative and policy framework for recordkeeping is a mandatory induction requirement for all new employees, including temporary employees and contractors. In addition, employees who have successfully completed the recordkeeping awareness induction training are required to complete the refresher module every five years, ensuring the program continues to be effective. The department is continuing to work towards a more digitally-focused recordkeeping environment to support business outcomes and deliver better services.

Letter to the Minister

Hon Reece Whitby MLA
Minister for Environment

In accordance with section 63 of the Financial Management Act 2006, I have pleasure in submitting for presentation to Parliament the Annual Report of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.  

This report has been prepared in accordance with provisions of the Financial Management Act 2006.  

Signature of DBCA Director General Mark Webb

Mark Webb PSM
Director General
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
September 2022