Department of Environment and Conservation (Western Australia)

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Department of Environment and Conservation
Generic (Western Australia) shoulder patch for Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation staff uniform.
Agency overview
Formed 1 July 2006
Preceding agencies
  • Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM)
  • Department of Environment (DoE)
Dissolved 30 June 2013
Superseding agency Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and Department of Environment Regulation (DER)
Jurisdiction Government of Western Australia
Agency executive
  • Mr Keiran McNamara, Director General

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was a department of the Government of Western Australia that was responsible for implementing the state's conservation and environment legislation and regulations. It was formed on 1 July 2006 by the amalgamation of the Department of Environment (DoE) and the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM).

The DEC was separated on 30 June 2013 forming the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and the Department of Environment Regulation (DER) which both commenced operations on 1 July 2013.

DPaW focuses on nature conservation and the community’s enjoyment and appreciation of Western Australia’s world-class network of national and marine parks.

DER focuses on environmental regulation, approvals and appeals processes, and pollution prevention.

Status (At Dissolution)[edit]

A DEC American Champion Scout at Esperance Airport in November 2011. This aircraft was used for bushfire spotting or incident mapping.

The department was managing more than 240,000 km², including more than nine per cent of WA's land area: its national parks, marine parks, conservation parks, regional parks, State forests and timber reserves, nature reserves, roadside reserves and marine nature reserves. It provided visitor and recreation facilities at a sustainable level for many of these.

It also supported or worked closely with the following authorities:

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was responsible from 2007 to 2013 for protecting and conserving the State of Western Australia’s environment, this includes managing the States National Parks, Marine parks, Conservation Parks, State Forests, Timber Reserves and Nature Reserves.

The department’s key responsibilities also included roles in managing, regulating and assessing aspects of the use of the State’s natural resources and biodiversity, including the regulation of native vegetation clearing and pollution control.

Western Australian DEC Air Tractor 602 water bomber, based in Albany on reloading at Esperance airport in November 2009

It was also in charge of wildfire prevention and suppression on its land as well as fire prevention in Unallocated Crown Lands.

DEC Fire appliance truck Isuzu 750 Heavy Duty #100 'Esperance 3.4' at Cape Le Grand National Park prescribed burn in May 2009 (Western Australia).

There are a number of internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots within Western Australia and in particular in the South West of the State.

DEC was also responsible for the wildlife conservation project Western Shield.

Preceding agencies[edit]

National Parks (and the earlier forms) in Western Australia were under:[1]

  • State Gardens Board: 15 Dec 1920 - 30 Apr 1957 (Parks and Reserves Act 1895)
  • National Parks Board of Western Australia: 1 May 1957 - 30 Jul 1977
  • National Parks Authority: 1 Aug 1977 (National Parks Authority Act 1976)
  • National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority: 16 Apr 1985 - 30 Oct 2000 [2]
  • Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM): 22 Mar 1985 - 30 Jun 2006 (Conservation and Land Management Act 1984)
  • Forests Department, prior to formation of CALM

Uniforms and equipment[edit]

The Department of Environment and Conservation had 3 types of uniforms:[3]

  • a standard khaki and bottle green uniform with appropriate badging is supplied to and worn by staff whose duties include the monitoring of legislative compliance (National Park Rangers, Conservation and Land Management Officers, Forest Officers, Wildlife Officers and Authorised CALM Officers under Bush Fire Act),
  • a work wear (khaki and bottle green only with generic badge) for those that work in the field and personal protective equipment or clothing (Proban treated green vest and overpants, bottle green and yellow high visibility cotton shirt, Kevlar helmet with goggles, gloves and fire boots) for staff who are involved in fire management activities,
  • a corporate apparel worn by employees who are in regular contact with the public or members of other departments (blue shirt, navy blue trousers).


The Department maintained and coordinated a range of specialist equipment and emergency response vehicles. This included pumpers, water bombers and tankers and other equipment relating to operations involving search and rescue and firefighting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Information from the Aeon database at State Records Office of Western Australia
  2. ^ The National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority took over the functions of the National Parks Authority (Agency No. 952) on 16 April 1985. The National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority was abolished on 30 October 2000. All functions were transferred to the Conservation Commission.
  3. ^ The Department of Environment and Conservation Corporate Style Guide, August 2009.

External links[edit]