Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include bills in Victoria and the ACT, court cases in Queensland and NSW, and federal determinations on ARENA and the GEMS energy efficiency scheme.

Jobs include posts with the ACTU, South Pole, ClimateWorks, Dexus and Cardno.

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Upcoming events:

  • Asbestos: Stocks, management and disposal issues
    An August 20 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.

  • War on e-waste – with Craig Reucassel
    An August 21 evening presentation in Melbourne by Craig Reucassel.
  • Decarbonising Victoria: Grampians roadmap to zero emissions
    An August 23 workshop in Ballarat, with speakers including Lily D'Ambrosio, Ross Garnaut and Alan Pears.
  • Green finance forum and report launch
    An August 26 morning seminar) in Sydney, hosted by the Climate Bonds Initiative.
  • Waste-to-energy conference
    An August 26 to 28 conference in Canberra, hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association.
  • National biodiversity offsets conference
    An August 26 to 28 conference in Canberra, hosted by EIANZ.
  • Green finance report launch and forum
    An August 27 (Sydney) and August 29 (Melbourne) launch of reports on green infrastructure investment opportunities, prepared by the Climate Bonds Initiative with finance sector sponsors.
  • Green steel: Forging a new industry in Australia
    An August 27 evening seminar in Canberra, featuring ANU's Dr John Pye.
  • Negative emission bio-based circular economy
    An August 28 evening seminar in Perth by Professor Chun Zhu Li, founding director of the Fuels and Energy Technology Institute at Curtin University.
  • Pollution Incident Response Management Plans seminar
    An August 29 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Wastewater systems design and management
    A September 5 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • WA threatened species forum 2019
    A September 5 and 6 forum in Geraldton, hosted by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council.
  • New environmental laws, obligations and funding
    A September 6 seminar covering national developments, hosted by the Australian Environment Business Network.
  • 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.
  • Healthy hospitals forum 2019: Integrating quality, OHS and environmental sustainability
    A September 23 and 24 conference in Melbourne.


  • Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor has gazetted the 2019 general funding strategy for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

  • Businesses need to communicate consistently on climate risks and opportunities, says updated advice from ASIC released today (see background here).
  • A meeting of COAG has agreed to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres (see background here).
  • The Clean Energy Regulator today released market data for July on the Renewable Energy Target.
  • The federal government has launched an inquiry into AGL's planned 2023 closure of the ageing Liddell coal-fired power station, and the NSW government has agreed to assist (see background here).
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission today released several discussion papers dealing with issues including new mechanisms to better manage risks to grid stability.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator has also specified its compliance priorities for 2019 – 2020.
  • A ban on exporting recyclables makes it likely the national tyre stewardship scheme will become mandatory (see background here).
  • The federal government today gazetted the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Cabinets) Determination 2019 and another for household fridges.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Industry Minister Karen Andrews have invited applications for a share in $20 million of grant funding for industry-led research projects that reduce plastic waste (see background here).
  • Proposed tougher air pollution standards could trigger the early closure of coal-fired power plants and a more 'pragmatic' approach is required, claims the Australian Energy Council (see background here).
  • The ACCC has started an inquiry into Murray-Darling water trading markets.
  • The government's Emissions Reduction Advisory Committee has released a paper on 'Committee considerations for interpreting the Emissions Reduction Fund's Offsets Integrity Standards'.
  • The federal government has gazetted regulations that enable the Department of Environment and Energy to fund four environmental programs pledged ahead of the election.
  • 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 – last chance!: The Climate Change Authority is accepting submissions until August 23 to its update of advice on meeting Australia's Paris Agreement commitments.
  • 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.



  • Making coal mining companies responsible for carbon emissions from combustion of their coal in other countries 'may not be reasonable', according to the NSW government (see background here).

  • The EPA has issued a prevention notice to Holcim over a concrete batching plant, and another to Centro Management, trading as BP South Grafton.
  • The EPA has declared the former Silverwater landfill in Bankstown a significantly contaminated site. The land is owned by Transport for NSW and occupied by MET Recycling Pty Ltd.
  • Land and Environment Court Chief Judge Brian Preston has fined a farmer $248,000 for unlawful land clearing and ordered him to pay EPA costs of 48,000.
  • Have your say!: 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.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance: The Office of Environment and Heritage is offering grants of $1 million to $5 million (private sector and not-for-profit) and up to $10 million (councils) for waste management infrastructure. Applications close August 27.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance: The Office of Environment and Heritage is offering grants of up to $60,000 to Aboriginal community groups and organisations, in the latest funding round under the Protecting our places program. Applications close on August 26.
  • Grant opportunity: Applications must be submitted by September 2 for a share of $1.16 million in climate resilience grants available to the state's local governments (see background here).



  • Statutory development: The state government has introduced the Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill (see background here).

  • Statutory development: Debate is in progress in the Legislative Assembly on the Environment Protection Amendment Bill and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Bill.
  • Sixteen Melbourne councils have asked the ACCC to urgently allow them to start a planned joint procurement of advanced waste treatment services (see background here).
  • The Essential Services Commission has released an issues paper for its electricity distribution code review.
  • It might take up to three years for the EPA to remove a stockpile of at least 320,000 cubic metres of illegally dumped waste from a site at Lara, near Geelong, according to the agency.
  • More than 30 Victorian councils will share $6.6 million to offset a jump in the cost of handling their recyclables, and companies including Boral and Alex Fraser have won large grants for recycling infrastructure (see background here).
  • The Municipal Association of Victoria has released its submission on the state government's circular economy discussion paper.
  • Have your say – last chance!: A parliamentary inquiry into tackling climate change in Victorian communities is accepting submissions until August 26.
  • Comment closes today on a new draft marine and coastal policy (see background here).


  • Epuron has made an EPBC referral for the St Patricks Plains wind farm, which will have an output of up to 300MW.

  • 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:

  • The state government has released a discussion paper on the state's collapsing snapper fishery, after a study found a 23% decrease in the stock in Spencer Gulf and an 87% decrease in Gulf St Vincent over the past five years.

Western Australia:

  • The state government has released an action plan for reform of its planning system.

  • Have your say!: Comment closes September 2 on an EPA background paper on greenhouse gas guidance (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: The Department of Water and Environment Regulation is inviting comments by tomorrow on the proposed Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

Northern Territory:

  • The Territory government has introduced the Water Further Amendment Bill, which would establish Aboriginal economic development as a beneficial use category and provide for Aboriginal water reserves in water allocation plans.

  • Grant opportunity: Applications close September 2 for a share in the Territory government's FY20 environment grants round, which will disburse about $930,000.

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

Compliance news by jurisdiction

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