Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include a new NSW environmental management protocol, and a tender for an impact assessment panel. Jobs include posts with the federal environment department, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, environmental brokerage TFS, and OZ Minerals.

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Upcoming events:

  • We cannot be passive about ESG
    A July 29 lunchtime seminar, hosted by the CFA Institute.

  • Australian clean energy summit
    A July 30 and 31 event in Sydney, hosted by the Clean Energy Council.
  • The future of hydrogen: Australia and beyond
    An August 1 breakfast briefing in Sydney, with speakers including national hydrogen strategy taskforce leader Alison Reeve.
  • Contaminated land seminar
    An August 1 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Carbon farming conference and expo
    An August 5 to 8 event in Albury, hosted by Carbon Farmers of Australia.
  • Webinar: Electricity generation – changing for the future
    An August 6 two-hour webinar, hosted by EPA Victoria.
  • Power blackouts and climate justice: What are the solutions?
    An evening seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law.
  • Hydrogen forum - A pathway to environmental and regional prosperity
    An August 8 conference in the Latrobe Valley.
  • NGER reporting webinars
    An August 14 to September 9 series of webinars on NGER and the Emissions and Energy Reporting System, hosted by the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.


  • The ninth Emissions Reduction Fund auction closes today (see background here).

  • The Clean Energy Regulator today released its latest monthly update on the Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission today released updated guidelines for the emergency RERT mechanism.
  • The federal government has advised waste industry organisations of forthcoming new controls on the export of plastic waste (see background here).
  • Greens climate change spokesperson Adam Bandt has introduced a bill to prevent the federal government providing financial assistance to coal-fired power plants (see background here).
  • New resource: The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia has released its 2019 impact report.
  • Climate change is the Great Barrier Reef's biggest threat and tough action to cut greenhouse gas emissions is essential, warns a new position statement issued by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's board (see background here).
  • RES Australia has been advised that its Dulacca renewable energy project in Queensland requires EPBC assessment and approval.
  • HFM Asset Management has been advised that its Teewana solar farm in Western Australia requires EPBC assessment and approval.
  • Grant opportunity: The Coca-Cola Foundation is inviting applications between August 19 to 30 to receive a $600,000 three-year grant for a project to reduce marine pollution.
  • New resource: Researchers at Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials, in conjunction with Surrey University, have released new research on nano and microplastics in water and wastewater treatment processes.
  • New resource: The Investor Group on Climate Change has released its submission on New Zealand's Zero Carbon Bill.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes July 28 on a suite of papers on hydrogen, released by a COAG Energy Council working group (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions close August 7 on the impact statement and draft variation to the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure (see background here).


  • The state government has named 10 shortlisted companies that will vie for contracts supporting up to 400MW of new renewables capacity (see background here).

  • A council, environment groups and Indigenous businesse are beneficiaries of $4 million in carbon farming grants announced by the Queensland government (see background here).
  • The state government has released a climate change adaptation plan for small business (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes August 26 on a state government waste to energy discussion paper (see background here).


  • The EPA has gazetted a revised version of its environmental management calculation protocol used to determine the environmental management category allocated to licence-holders.

  • Have your say!: The Natural Resources Commission has released its draft report on the Barwon-Darling water sharing plan, with submissions due by August 19.
  • 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.
  • Infrastructure and Place, a Division of Transport for New South Wales, is inviting tenders from companies that have the capability to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (closing date August 12).
  • Grant opportunity: 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.
  • Have your say – last chance!: The EPA is seeking comments by July 29 on a revised guideline on preparing Pollution Incident Response Management Plans.
  • 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).


  • The state government has flagged a planning scheme amendment that will make the Planning Minister, not councils, the approval authority for all large-scale solar farms (see background here).

  • The state government has permanently banned mining and exploration in an irrigated area covering 4,000 hectares on the Mitchell River floodplain.
  • A parliamentary inquiry into waste has invited community members to speak at a public hearing on August 6.
  • The EPA has again ordered Glass Recovery Services to stop accepting combustible recyclables (see background here).
  • The EPA is assessing a works approval application by The Good Dirt Company proposes to expand its existing composting plant at Lethbridge.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes August 4 on draft regional litter and illegal dumping plans for the Goulburn Valley, Gippsland, Loddon Mallee and the north-east.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes August 2 on a state government issues paper on the circular economy (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes August 15 on a new draft marine and coastal policy (see background here).


  • The state government has released a master plan for the Freycinet national park.

  • 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:

  • Grant opportunity: Applications close August 2 for round one grants under the Greener Neighbourhoods program, with $1 million available to Adelaide councils to increase green cover.

Western Australia:

  • State-owned energy business Synergy has made an EPBC referral to mine clay for expanded fly-ash storage at the Muja power station.

  • By 2040, Western Australia will aim to have a share of global hydrogen exports that is similar to its current share of the global LNG market, says a new renewable hydrogen strategy, released by the state government (see background here).
  • Have your say! Comment closes September 2 on an EPA background paper on greenhouse gas guidance (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The Department of Water and Environment Regulation is inviting comments by August 16 on the proposed Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

Northern Territory:

  • The Territory government has released a progress report on its implementation of recommendations of the independent inquiry into fracking.

  • The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has released an updated environmental management specification.
  • 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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