Department of the Environment and Energy


The Department of the Environment and Energy (DEE) was an Australian government department in existence between 2016 and 2020.

Department of the Environment and Energy
Department overview
Formed19 July 2016
Preceding Department
Dissolved1 February 2020
Superseding agencies
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
HeadquartersJohn Gorton Building, King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, Canberra, Australia
Ministers responsible
Department executive

The department was responsible for matters including environment protection and conservation of biodiversity as well as energy policy. It was established in July 2016 by the Turnbull Government after the 2016 federal election.[1] Following the appointment of Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg was elevated to Treasurer of Australia, whereby Frydenberg's previous ministerial positions were separated, with Melissa Price as Minister of the Environment and Angus Taylor as Minister for Energy. Price was reshuffled from her position in 2019, and was replaced by Sussan Ley.

By an administrative order issued on 5 December 2019 and effective from 1 February 2020,[2] the environment functions of the department were merged with all functions of the Department of Agriculture, to form the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. The department's energy functions were transferred to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.[3]


The Administrative Arrangements Orders listed the department's responsibilities as follows:[4][5]

  • Administration of the Australian Antarctic Territory, and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
  • Air quality
  • Climate change adaptation strategy and co-ordination
  • Community and household climate action
  • Co-ordination of climate change science activities
  • Co-ordination of sustainable communities policy
  • Development and co-ordination of domestic climate change policy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy policy
  • Environment protection and conservation of biodiversity
  • Environmental information and research
  • Environmental water use and resources relating to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder
  • Greenhouse emissions and energy consumption reporting
  • Greenhouse gas abatement programs
  • Industrial energy efficiency
  • Ionospheric prediction
  • Land contamination
  • Meteorology
  • National energy market, including electricity and gas
  • National fuel quality standards
  • Natural, built and cultural heritage
  • Renewable energy
  • Renewable energy target policy, regulation and co-ordination
  • Renewable energy technology development
  • Urban environment


The head of the department was its Secretary, Finn Pratt AO PSM, responsible to the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon. Melissa Price MP until 2019, and then the Hon. Sussan Ley MP. The department was staffed by individuals from the Australian Public Service.

Online databases and appsEdit

As of 2019, the DEE website also hosted the Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database (AUCHD), a searchable online database containing data about shipwrecks, aircraft and other cultural heritage artefacts which are or have been underwater. The AUCHD also served as the register of protected underwater cultural heritage for the Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018 (the UCH Act), providing a means whereby the public could submit notifications and permit applications required under the Act.[6]

The website also hosted a number of other databases and applications in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, heritage, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), environmental protection, land and water, as well as photo galleries of Australian plants, and environmental and cultural heritage subjects.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Anderson, Stephanie (20 July 2016). "Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull unveils ministry with Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt on the move". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Administrative Arrangements Order - 5 December 2019" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 5 December 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 February 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  3. ^ Morrison, Scott. "Media Release: 5 December 2019 - New structure of Government Departments". Prime Minister of Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  4. ^ Administrative Arrangements Order – amendment made 19 July 2016, Australian Government, archived from the original on 30 August 2016
  5. ^ Administrative Arrangements Order, Australian Government, archived from the original on 13 September 2016, retrieved 30 August 2016
  6. ^ "Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database". Australian Government. Dept of the Environment and Energy. Archived from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Databases and applications". Australian Government. Dept of the Environment and Energy. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy at Wikimedia Commons