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closeThe former Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is merging to form the new Department of Environment and Science.
This site will be updated while the new Department of Environment and Science website is being established.

Science priorities

The department is committed to implementing a five year science and research Plan to inform policy and to monitor performance.

A structured approach to prioritisation has been established to ensure that the department’s investment in science is better targeted and will deliver better value for money.

The prioritisation approach included a ‘stocktake’ of the department’s current science and research activities and an evaluation of the investments using standard criteria relating to issues such as the department’s strategic risks and policy directions and the outcomes to be delivered by the investment.

A Science Leadership Committee will work to improve coordination between science and research activities within the department, other agencies and the science community.

Science and research programs

The majority of the department’s investment in science and research lies in the following programs:

  • reef water quality science
  • threatened species
  • environmental assessment and compliance
  • wildlife monitoring (crocodiles and flying foxes)
  • ecosystem analysis (wetlands and biodiversity assessment).

These along with other departmental programs depend on science provided by DSITI and/or universities and other organisations external to the Queensland Government.


There is a need for collaboration between the department and external organisations to ensure investments in science are better targeted to achieving public policy outcomes.

Queensland’s threatened species, wetlands and waste management programs are examples of significant existing partnership approaches adopted to meet the department’s science and research needs.

Investment is needed to identify and synthesise existing science and to work out the best means of integrating those science outcomes to support decision-making.

Current gaps and issues

Current and emerging gaps and issues include, but are not restricted to the following:

  • climate change adaptation and carbon mitigation
  • improving water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef
  • new and emerging technology for more timely and cost effective data collection
  • habitat suitability models for threatened species
  • problem species management (crocodiles and flying foxes)
  • emergence of biofuel and industrial biotechnology sector
  • influencing behaviour change to reduce impacts on the environment including:
    • adoption of agricultural good practice in Reef catchments
    • compliance with environmental management standards (licensees)
    • interactions with wildlife and problem species
    • illegal dumping in public areas.
  • understanding the cumulative and other impacts on the environment including
    • effects of climate change on ecosystems
    • loss of ecosystems from clearing and other development
    • pest plants and feral animals
    • waste and other environmental contaminants and in particular, understanding the effect of plastic pollution on the aquatic environment.

For more information about our science and research programs, refer to the science summary statements. This provides an overview of the department’s research drivers, gaps in knowledge and opportunities for collaboration.

Science summary statements

For more information about our science and research programs, refer to the science summary statements.

Last updated
22 July 2016