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Governments taking the 'conservation' out of conservation management

In Victoria in 1992 some bureaucrat got the idea of changing the name (and focus) of the Department of Conservation and Environment to a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, then in 1996 to a Department of Natural Resources and Environment, then in 2003 a split to (1) a Victorian Department of Primary Industries and (2) a Department of Sustainability and Environment.


Currently it's known by its obscure acronym DSE...(Don't Support Environment, or Department of Sparks and Embers).

Across the border in NSW, in 2007, the Department of Environment and Conservation was changed to the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC). Rather than forming a dedicated research and response organisation to focus on climate change, the conservation was dropped from the existing department. Cynically, including 'climate change' as a name of one of its departments, government must feel cosy sending a message it is addressing climate change. For a while the department was headed up by The NSW Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water - a bucket of outdoor type activities that sounded good together.

Across the border in South Australia, they have the Department for the Environment and Heritage (DEH), which sounds borrowed from the federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (another collective bucket). It is hard to see how with so many diverse portfolios, a minister can dedicate any leadership to making genuine improvements to what's left of Australia's intact natural environment and its desperate need for conservation.

With all the money spent on names changing, the tens of thousands could have gone into onground conservation activities like fox control programmes.