When groups of people come together to work on common problems, sharing resources, knowledge and experience comes naturally. Indeed, common problems cannot be solved without bringing people together to share their stories. As a group of Australian wildlife officers discovered in 2000, creating opportunities for people to meet with the express purpose of building better relationships between agencies results in tangible benefits for both practitioners and the regulatory craft.

A series of highly successful wildlife officers meetings and conferences led to the creation of a grassroots movement that focused on cooperation across borders. In turn, this grassroots movement led to the creation of AELERT in 2003.


AELERT’s very first Mission Statement outlined AELERT’s aims:

The raising of professional standards and efficacy in the execution of monitoring, investigation, implementation and enforcement of environmental law to achieve best practice by promoting intra-agency and inter-agency cooperation and the facilitation of the exchange of information and expertise both within and across jurisdictional boundaries.

In many ways, AELERT’s mission remains the same:

As outlined in the 2023-25 Strategic Plan, our purpose is to foster world class regulatory practice.

We will do this by cultivating our collective capability in how we educate, engage, gain and use intelligence and analysis, planners, audit, monitor, investigate, and enforce of environmental law

The network continues to be run by regulators for regulators and is committed to supporting its network groups and international partners to facilitate collaboration and innovation equally across our membership so that we grow together. 

Past Chairs

  • 2023 – Present Grant Barnes Natural Resources Access Regulator NSW
  • 2020 – 2023 Monica Collins, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • 2017 – 2020 Mark Gifford, NSW EPA
  • 2014 – 2017 Tony Circelli, EPA SA
  • 2011 – 2014 John Merrit, EPA VIC
  • 2009 – 2011 Greg Sullivan, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW)