Strategic Plan Benchmarking Exercise


The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection offers strong environmental organization and planning with a view to maintain a sustainable economic development. As a result, the department is run by three main objectives namely avoiding, reducing or mitigating impacts to the environment, protecting the integrity of Queensland’s ecosystem and protecting Queensland’s built heritage. The responsibility to manage the Queensland’s environment through safeguarding the exceptional ecosystem falls fully on this department (Bogetoft, 2012). Queensland’s ecosystem features include the landscapes, waterways, native plants, and animals and biodiversity. The department also develops best practice models for the local government and environment and heritage conservation (Curtis, 2012). With the help of laid strategies and plans, the department seeks to regulate the environment and supporting sustainable long-term economic development. This also includes identifying and conserving the country’s built heritage places. The Department Of Environment And Heritage Protection collaborates with the government, business entities, and the community in order to achieve its set goals and main objectives. These institutions help in innovation, environmental policies, programs, and services.

Analysis of Structure and Content

The Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) strategic plan for 2012 to 2016 was established in October 2012. It was later reviewed in June 2013 to accommodate some essential changes. The key amendments made during the review included the additions to the department’s role and purpose under the “Our Identity” section in the plan, the objectives of the department’s contribution to government’s objectives and the challenges sector among others. The department’s vision states that “The EHP will be the environment and heritage protection agency against which other Australian States benchmark themselves.” The mission states “strong environmental management supporting sustainable economic growth.” The structure of the strategic plan is divided into the following phases: the direction taken by the department to achieve set objectives, the challenges faced during implementation of the strategy and the lessons learnt for conducting best strategic plan (Holder, Lee & Elworthy, 2007).

The direction taken by the department in the implementation of the strategic plan entails implementing the vision, working closely with industry and the community, protecting Queensland’s environmental assets, becoming more innovative, customer-centric, planning, policy, regulatory reform, business, and performance focused.

Implementing the vision of the department will ensure that it will perform better with a strong sense of purpose and protecting sustainable economic development. Successful implementation of the vision will enable the department become accountable for their decisions and actions meant to promote effective environmental management. This will also include taking immediate measures in case of a breach in the department’s mission (Organization For Economic Co-Operation And Development, 2007).

Working closely with the partners such as the business entities, local government and industries will help in streamlining approval procedures and minimize restrictions on the strategy’s implementation process. This will also help in boosting transparency in policies and plans made by the department. Involving these institutions help in making informed decisions and creates more opportunities in implementing plans and polities that benefits the businesses, government, and community (Simerson, 2011).

The strategic plan’s structure also consists of a section that seeks to protect the Queensland’s environmental assets. This entails conserving all the unique features of the ecosystems, landscapes, and marine environments. The department also involves itself in protecting the variety of native flora and fauna to ensure that the state maintains its biologically diverse environment. The responsibility of conserving and promoting sustainable management of the terrestrial and marine biodiversity falls under this department (Gubbay, 1995). As a result, the conserving the environmental assets help in maintaining Queensland’s built heritage. Plans such as statewide management of conservation programs will be established to oversee the protection and conservation of the environment’s assets and heritage. Other programs are associated with protection of nature refuges, endangered species, and wildlife (Environmental Defender’s Office, 2005).

The Department Of Environment and Heritage Protection through the strategic plan would ensure increased innovation and customer-centric services. This entails creating a good relationship with the relevant government levels. Consequently, the department will direct a refreshed concentration on ensuring the customers are placed at the center of all services offered. In addition, all the innovations will be shared within all relevant government departments and regional offices to ensure consistency in implementation. The department will also involve other people and organizations’ ideas for innovations in order to come up with the best and all-inclusive results on implementation (Lindenmayer & Burgman, 2005).

The strategic plan will involve planning, policy, and regulatory reform agenda that will entail creating a clear path for reforms and assessment regarding achievement of set objectives. The agenda will also help in achieving the government’s aim for environment and heritage protection. The policies and work plans will help in delivering the government’s commitments and direction. The mission follows a framework that helps in attaining the vision.

The strategic plan will also ensure that the department will concentrate on the objectives by operating as an efficient business that seeks to maintain a strong environmental regulator that supports the sustainable long-term economic development of Queensland. It also includes the implementation of efficiency programs with benefit realization plans that sketch clear responsibilities and timeframes for delivery. The key performance indicators (KPIs) and stretch-targets for apt project and environment endorsement and authorities will continue to be developed and enhanced (Bogetoft, 2012). The employees in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection would support the government’s program of increasing the economic output of the state. In addition, the department will work well with its partners to ensure that commercial and recreational activities in all the protected areas employ best practice sustainable activities when operating and interacting with the environment assets and heritage places.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s strategic plan is expected to contribute to the government’s objectives through the implementation of best practices. Accordingly, the department helps the local government to reduce the complexity of legislation and cutting green tape on decisions that directly affect the protection of environment and built heritage. Consequently, this streamlines evaluation and endorsement procedures to enable resourceful and timely environmental decisions. In addition, the department helps in supporting the sustainability and output of the resources division and agricultural industries. The department in conjunction with the government also helps in promoting tourism opportunities in the county. Such opportunities provide the Queensland’s natural environment and heritage a chance to be maintained and improved (Sharma, 2004). The structure of the strategic plan shows the will to improve and integrate various service delivery efforts of the department, business entities, and the government. This also helps in prioritizing resources where they are best placed to serve the environmental protection stakeholders such as the industry and community.


Lessons Learnt For Conducting Best Five-Year Strategic Plan

The main lessons learnt for conducting best five-year strategic plan for the department are different types of challenges and ways to manage them. Balancing the environmental, social, and economic outcomes has proven to be a challenge for the department. The best five-year strategic plan should ensure that they respond to emerging industries with appropriate and comprehensive advice. This would also help in managing emerging conflicts between environmental concerns and human activities. Understanding the industry and accepting the obligations is a good lesson that would help the department in achieving best practice environmental regulation. In addition, the department should ensure that a working relationship with the stakeholders is maintained in order to stay updated with new technologies and industries.

In order to achieve the main set objectives, the department learnt that it is important to influence strategies and standards to protect the environment and built heritage through reducing any adverse effects of environmental disasters. Moreover, the department should maintain their ability to respond, act, and recover from any unforeseen disasters. A lesson on evidence-based environmental and heritage management was crucial in ensuring that the department offers the community environmental science information. The strategic plan should also include real-time updates on any destruction of environment and recommendations on ways to deal with such issues (Queensland, 2012).

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection provides strong environmental management and planning in a view to support a sustainable economic development. The responsibility to administer the Queensland’s environment through protecting the exceptional ecosystem falls fully on this department. The laid strategies and plans in the department seek to control the environment and supporting sustainable long-term economic development. The Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) strategic plan for 2012 to 2016 established in October 2012 was later reviewed in June 2013 to accommodate some important changes. The strategy revolves around policy and planning for the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection works together with other institutions such as the government, business entities, and the community in order to achieve the main objectives.


Bogetoft, P. (2012). Performance benchmarking measuring and managing performance. New York, Springer. KPI

Curtis, L. K. (2012) Queensland’s threatened animals. Collingwood, Vic, CSIRO Pub.

Environmental Defender’s Office (Sydney, N.S.W.). (2005). Environmental law toolkit – NSW: a community guide to environmental law. Leichhardt, N.S.W., Federation Press.

Gubbay, S. (1995) Marine protected areas: principles and techniques for management. London, Chapman and Hall.

Holder, J., Lee, M., & Elworthy, S. (2007). Environmental protection, law, and policy: text and materials. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Lindenmayer, D. B., & Burgman, M. A. (2005). Practical conservation biology. Collingwood, Vic, CSIRO Publishing.

Organization For Economic Co-Operation And Development. (2007). OECD environmental performance reviews. Paris, OECD.

Queensland. (2012) State of the environment Queensland 2011. Brisbane, Qld, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland Government.

Sharma, K. K. (2004) World tourism today. New Delhi, Sarup & Sons.

Simerson, B. K. (2011). Strategic planning: a practical guide to strategy formulation and execution. Santa Barbara, Calif, Praeger.

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