Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include revised statutory policies and new recycling grants in Queensland, and legislative developments in Victoria. Vacancies include energy efficiency posts with the federal environment department, and market analysis jobs with the Clean Energy Regulator.

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Upcoming events:

  • Decarbonising Victoria: Grampians roadmap to zero emissions
    An August 23 workshop in Ballarat, with speakers including Lily D'Ambrosio, Ross Garnaut and Alan Pears.

  • The future of energy in Australia
    An August 23 roundtable at Monash University, co-hosted by the Future Business Council.
  • 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 local 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.


  • Environment department officials and Dr Wendy Craik will be among those appearing before a hearing tomorrow of the inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis.

  • The final communiqué of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting is now available.
  • The Australian Energy Market Operator has released its 2019 electricity statement of opportunities (see background here).
  • In a move that could underpin major new renewables projects, 41 retailers and related businesses with a combined load of one million MWh are planning a joint electricity purchase agreement (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The ACCC has started an inquiry into Murray-Darling water trading markets.
  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has warned that proposed new NO2 and SO2 standards are too weak (see background here).
  • 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 tomorrow 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.


  • Statutory development: The state government has gazetted policies on air, noise and water and wetland biodiversity, as well as an Environmental Protection Regulation, which repeal versions that are a decade old.

  • A $5 million study is underway examining the feasibility of building a demonstration hydrogen plant at Stanwell power station, Energy Minister Anthony Lynham told Parliament today.
  • Grant opportunity: Applications for recycling infrastructure grants of between $50,000 and $5 million will be accepted from today until September 22, under round two of the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes October 25 on a draft Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commercial fishing development policy.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes August 26 on a state government waste to energy discussion paper (see background here).


  • Project approval conditions should only be used to constrain downstream greenhouse gas emissions in exceptional circumstances, according to a top NSW bureaucrat (see background here).

  • 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: 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 released draft Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations and a regulatory impact statement. The regulations deal with the licensing of pest control operators and public health issues. Comment closes September 30. The parent Act received assent on August 20.

  • Statutory development: The Water and Catchment Legislation Amendment Act, which will embed recreational and Aboriginal cultural values into water planning, received assent on August 20.
  • Statutory development: The Legislative Assembly has passed the Environment Protection Amendment Bill and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Bill and both will now go to the Legislative Council.
  • The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has refused a permit for a solar farm due to concerns about drainage, runoff and flooding, as well as bushfire management (see background here).
  • The parliamentary inquiry into waste held a hearing in the Latrobe Valley on Wednesday, taking evidence from several councils.
  • Have your say – last chance!: A parliamentary inquiry into tackling climate change in Victorian communities is accepting submissions until August 26.


  • 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:

  • South Australia diverted more than 83% of waste material from landfill and recycled the vast bulk of it in the state, says the latest annual state-wide survey of recycling activity (see background here).

  • The state government will lift a moratorium on commercial growing of genetically-modified crops that was to run until 2025 (see background here).
  • Mobil Oil Australia has applied to the EPA for an exemption that would give it more time to phase out firefighting foams containing PFAS and other fluorine compounds (see background here).

Western Australia:

  • Have your say!: Comment closes September 2 on an EPA background paper on greenhouse gas guidance (see background here).

Northern Territory:

  • Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby has approved an amendment to the mine management plan for the McArthur River Mine, creating a pathway for implementation of all 30 recommendations made by the NT EPA.

  • 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, NSW, NT, Queensland, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, WA, Tracker, Renewables, low emissions

Compliance news by jurisdiction

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