Management of Crown Land Site Contamination

Audit focus and scope

The audit objective was to assess how effectively the State monitors and manages unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves for contamination.

The specific lines of inquiry were:

  1. Are agencies proactively monitoring to minimise levels of contamination?
  2. Are agencies managing contaminated sites in compliance with the Contaminated Sites Act 2003?
  3. Do agencies know if remediation efforts are effective?

We focused on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation as the agency with primary responsibility under the Act and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage as the agency that has responsibility for unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves.

We considered information from commencement of the Act in December 2006 to present.

During the audit we:

  • reviewed relevant policies and procedures
  • interviewed staff and ‘walked through’ processes and databases
  • reviewed paper and electronic records for a sample of sites to assess compliance with legislation, policies and procedures
  • sample tested DPLH’s database records
  • accompanied DPLH field officers on a contaminated site inspection.

The audit did not consider management of contaminated sites on land other than unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves.

This was a narrow scope performance audit, conducted under section 18 of the Auditor General Act 2006 and in accordance with Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards. Performance audits primarily focus on the effective management and operation of agency programs and activities. The approximate cost of undertaking and tabling this audit is $113,000.

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