Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include court rulings, bioenergy grants, and a WA fringe-of-grid first. Jobs include deputy director-general in Queensland's environment department and posts with South32, Glencore and the Vinyl Council.

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Upcoming events:

  • Responding to climate change: Understanding the ACT's new climate strategy
    An October 8 evening seminar hosted by the ANU Climate Change Institute, with speakers including Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury.

  • The circular economy: Models for change
    An October 14 morning seminar in Sydney, hosted by Planet Ark.
  • Investor Group on Climate Change summit
    An October 14 and 15 summit in Sydney.
  • Contaminated land seminar
    An October 18 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Energy efficiency expo
    An October 23 and 24 event in Melbourne, hosted by the Energy Efficiency Council.
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand annual conference
    A November 4 to 6 conference in Adelaide.
  • Launch of the ResponsibleSteel standard and certification scheme
    A December 1 to 3 forum in Wollongong.


  • The parliamentary inquiry into nuclear power is holding three hearings this week, and has two more scheduled for later in October.

  • Finn Pratt, the secretary of the federal Department of Environment and Energy, will retire on October 11 (see background here).
  • Resources Minister Matt Canavan has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Isshu Sugawara, to investigate technologies that use carbon dioxide as a resource.
  • Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor has convened a meeting of COAG's Energy Council for November 22 in Perth, 11 months after its previous meeting.
  • Have your say!: The environment department is reviewing five ERF energy efficiency methods (comment closes October 31) and two other methods that earn credits by preventing clearing (October 9) (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment is due by November 21 to a Senate environment committee inquiry into a Greens-proposed product stewardship Bill that is focused on packaging and plastic (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments on a Productivity Commission issues paper on resources sector regulation are due by October 31.


  • The NSW EPA has issued four recyclers with prevention notices, after carrying out tests that revealed asbestos in their products (see background here).

  • Court ruling: GrainCorp has told a court it spent more than $2 million on investigations and new systems after discovering it had misinterpreted a consultant's advice and breached its environmental licence for two years (see background here). 
  • Court ruling: Failing to prevent serious odour problems when building a WestConnex interchange on an old Dial-A-Dump landfill site has cost a CIMIC subsidiary almost half a million dollars (see background here).
  • The NSW government has appointed Tracy Mackey as the new chief executive of the state's EPA (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has invited comment on the Snowy 2.0 main works. Comment closes on November 6.
  • The state government has named 21 clean energy projects shortlisted for funding through its Emerging Energy program (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments close October 16 on a satutory review of the Marine Pollution Act 2012.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes October 16 on proposed changes to the Biodiversity Assessment Method.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due October 21 on IPART issues papers on prices charged by Sydney Water and Hunter Water.


  • Following commissioning of Neoen's Hornsdale 3 windfarm, the ACT now has sufficient infrastructure in place to achieve its 2020 target of 100% renewable electricity.

  • The ACT has released the results of a trial of alternative fuel buses, which found electric buses performed better on environmental and whole-of-life economic criteria than diesel or hybrid vehicles.


  • Grant opportunity!: Sustainability Victoria is inviting applications by October 28 for grants under the Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund. Infrastructure grants of up to $750,000 are available, and study grants of up to $100,000.

  • Tribunal ruling: A tribunal has ruled that a developer should not be granted a permit for a housing development near a landfill, because of possible gas migration and odour problems (see background here).
  • Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio have officially opened a new Vestas renewable energy hub at the former Ford site in Geelong that is assembling wind turbines.
  • The EPA has released its report on Victoria's compliance with the air quality NEPM in 2018.
  • Statutory development – have your say!: Comment closes October 21 on proposed revised Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations.
  • Grant opportunity: Melbourne City Council is offering grants of up to $25,000 to start-ups and universities for activities that result in innovative ways to reduce waste. Applications close October 17.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 10 on the EPA's draft charter of consultation.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes October 31 on a regulations, standards and protocols that will support the state's new environmental law, due to take effect in mid-2020 (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 8 on a state government options paper on water market transparency.
  • Have your say!: A total of five renewable energy roadmaps are now open for consultation.


  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes October 7 on research proposals for the Green and Gold Frog and the Orange-Bellied Parrot.

  • Have your say – last chance!: Comments are due by October 7 on a draft waste plan that proposes the introduction of a waste levy (see background here).

South Australia:

  • Have your say!: The state government has invited comments on draft planning and design codes for urban and rural areas.

  • Have your say!: The state government has invited comment by 28 February next year on a draft practice direction for assessing contaminated sites.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due November 3 on a draft strategy to manage Little Corellas.
  • Have your say!: The state government has invited comment by October 31 on its healthy Coorong action plan.

Western Australia:

  • Horizon Power will be the first Australian utility to remove parts of its overhead network and replace it with off-grid renewables , with 64 kilometres of poles and wires to be replaced by 17 standalone power systems and batteries on fringe-of-grid properties.

  • The EPA has released submissions received in response to its background paper on greenhouse gas emissions (see background here).
  • The EPA has recommended extending to 2023 the deadline for New Energy Corporation to start work on its proposed Boodarie waste-to-energy plant near Port Hedland, noting this will give the company more time to obtain grid access.
  • Grant opportunity: Applications are due by October 30 for a share of $9 million in renewable hydrogen grants on offer from the state government. A further $1 million will fund work by the government's Renewable Hydrogen Unit.
  • The state government has announced winners of the 2019 Western Australian coastal awards.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 29 on a discussion paper about the state's proposed climate policy (see background here).

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Court cases, fines, Federal, ACT, NSW, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, WA, Tracker, Renewables, low emissions

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