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What are significant developments that will influence EMS use in the Federal bureaucracy?

Mick Dawes

Medicare Australia, Email:


Over the past 18 months Medicare Australia, through its Environmental Management Unit (EMU), has successfully introduced a performance-based Environmental Management System (EMS). The framework has been recognised as best practice by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, and will be used as a model for other government agencies.

At the outset EMU gained top management support, designed robust policies and procedures, and demonstrated a clear link between financial, social and environmental outcomes. A key challenge for Medicare Australia is maintaining standardisation and consistency in a national network of 260 property sites with around 6000 staff. This has been achieved through ongoing staff education programs, formal communication structures and a series of internal environmental audits. A dedicated ‘people and place’

corporate governance structure that reports to the peak governance committee, monitors progress against the environmental management strategy – a three year plan. The EMS has even made its way into Medicare Australia’s corporate values with ‘maintain a strong connection with our community and care for our environment’.

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