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
Dissolved 30 June 2013
Superseding agency
Jurisdiction Government of Western Australia
Agency executives
  • Mr Keiran McNamara †, Director General
  • Mr Jim Sharp, Acting Director General
Parent agency Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM)
Child agency
  • Department of Parks and Wildlife

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]

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

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservatin National Park Rangers at Fern Pool, Karijini National Park, Pilbara in September 2012

, 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]

  • Department of Lands and Surveys: 1 January 1890 - (partly split) 31 December 1895
  • Wood and Forests Department: 1 January 1896 – 31 December 1918
  • Forests Department: 1 January 1919 – 21 March 1985 Forests Department
  • State Gardens Board: 15 December 1920 – 30 April 1957 (Parks and Reserves Act 1895)
  • National Parks Board: 1 May 1957 – 30 July 1977
  • Department of Fisheries and Fauna: 1 October 1964 – 31 December 1973
  • National Parks Authority: 1 August 1977 – 15 April 1985 National Parks Authority (National Parks Authority Act 1976)
  • Wildlife section of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife: 1 January 1974 – 21 March 1985 Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Department of Environment: 1 July 2004 - 30 June 2006
  • Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM): 22 March 1985 – 30 June 2006 (Conservation and Land Management Act 1984)

Uniforms and equipment[edit]

The Department of Environment and Conservation had 3 types of uniforms:[2]

  • 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 Department of Environment and Conservation Corporate Style Guide, August 2009.

External links[edit]