Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include draft environmental regulations and a new contamination law. Jobs include wind farm noise positions, and sustainability vacancies with TasPorts, World Vision and the Carbon Market Institute.

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Upcoming events:

  • International clean-up conference
    A September 8 to 12 conference in Adelaide on all aspects of site contamination and remediation, including the latest on PFAS.

  • Environment professionals management workshop
    A September 12 and 13 conference in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Australian hydrogen forum
    A September 18 to 20 conference in Sydney.
  • New environmental laws, obligations and funding from across Australia
    A September 20 conference in Melbourne, hosted by the Australian Environment Business Network.
  • Healthy hospitals forum 2019: Integrating quality, OHS and environmental sustainability
    A September 23 and 24 conference in Melbourne.
  • Australia's national hydrogen strategy
    A September 24 lunchtime event in Adelaide, hosted by CEDA, with speakers including chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel.
  • Investor Group on Climate Change summit
    An October 14 and 15 summit in Sydney.
  • 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.


  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded a $6.2 million grant to Logan City Council to install a $17.28 million sewage biosolids gasifier at its Loganholme wastewater treatment plant. The facility will reduce the volume of biosolids by about 90%, producing a biochar that will be sold as soil conditioner.

  • The Clean Energy Regulator has officially confirmed the Renewable Energy Target has been met (see background here).
  • The condition of the Great Barrier Reef has deteriorated, mainly due to climate change, says an outlook report released by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (see background here).
  • The federal government is convening a new working group to explore how organisations might earn carbon credits from projects that protect mangroves and tidal marshes (see background here).
  • There has been barely any improvement in the CO2 emissions intensity of new passenger and light commercial vehicles sold in Australia in the last two years, a new government report reveals (see background here).
  • National greenhouse gas emissions for the year to March 2019 were 0.6% higher than the previous year, according to a government quarterly update (see background here).
  • Of the 872 NGER reports submitted by businesses for FY18, a total of 57 had to be resubmitted due to erroneous emissions data (see background here).
  • New resource: UNSW scientists have released a framework to guide the construction and management of coastal infrastructure that can resist the impacts of climate change.
  • New resource: The NZ government has released a hydrogen green paper.
  • New resource: The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has released a briefing note on taxpayer subsidies provided to Adani for its proposed Carmichael coal mine.
  • Have your say!: The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Energy is inviting submissions by September 16 to its inquiry into nuclear energy in Australia.
  • Have your say!: The Australia NZ Biochar Initiative has released a draft industry standard on biochar for soils, with the aim of presenting it to Standards Australia as the basis for a national standard. Comment closes November 30.
  • Grant opportunity: The Communities Environment Program, which provides each electorate with up to $150,000 for small, community-led environment projects, will accept applications until October 10.



  • Statutory development: The NSW government has rushed through a bill giving it new powers to compulsorily acquire a heavily contaminated site from a company that it expects will soon be liquidated (see background here).

  • The Independent Planning Commission has approved the expansion of a coal project with a condition that applies to indirect 'scope 3' emissions from burning the coal overseas (see background here).
  • The EPA and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment have fined Warkworth Mining Ltd a total of $30,000 over a wet weather discharge of saline water from a dam into a creek.
  • Court ruling: The Court of Appeal has rejected arguments by Muswellbrook Shire Council that a rehabilitation plan for a BHP mine was inadequate and invalid (see background here).
  • The EPA has gazetted a new order exempting underground tanks for back-up generator fuel, residential heating oil and waste oil from some requirements that apply to underground petroleum storage tanks.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Submissions are due by September 15 to an inquiry by the Legislative Assembly Environment and Planning Committee's into the sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW.


  • 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).

  • The EPA has released a new guide to a guide to the management of combustible recyclable and waste, and a bulletin on its approach to delegating powers.
  • Have your say!: Parks Victoria is inviting comments by September 29 on its plans to develop a land management strategy for the parks estate.


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

  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by September 21 to a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

South Australia:

Western Australia:

  • Have your say!: Comment closes October 2 on a new discussion paper on carbon farming and the resource industry (see background here).

  • The EPA plans to release draft guidance on greenhouse gas assessment in November, after receiving 6,500 comments on a discussion paper (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 29 on a discussion paper about the state's proposed climate policy (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: Applications close September 23 for grants of up to $250,000 under a $1.17 million funding round for waste and recycling infrastructure.
  • The state government is inviting applications by September 20 to join the state's independent Contaminated Sites Committee. Five committee positions will become vacant by the end of the year.

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