Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include a state parliamentary inquiry into energy, a new state hydrogen strategy, and court cases. Jobs include a NSW circular economy post, a senior energy advisor in Tasmania, and jobs with CS Energy, NOPSEMA, Lendlease, Seqwater and Metro Trains Melbourne.

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Upcoming events:

  • Safeguard Mechanism webinar
    A two-hour July 23 webinar on recent amendments to the Safeguard Mechanism, hosted by the Clean Energy Regulator.

  • Energy futures: Whither Australian energy policy over the next three years?
    A July 23 evening seminar in Melbourne, hosted by the Grattan Institute.
  • Infrastructure sustainability WA conference
    A July 24 conference in Perth, hosted by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.
  • Women of waste leadership breakfast
    A July 24 breakfast seminar in Brisbane, hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia.
  • A climate journey with CSIRO – local government and community forums
    Forums on July 24 (Horsham) and July 25 (Ballarat) featuring CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology experts. Live streaming of the July 24 event is available here.
  • 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.


  • Environment Minister Sussan Ley has gazetted the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management (Non-grandfathered Quota— 2020-2021) Determination 2019, which is part of efforts to phase-down imports of HFCs.

  • The Clean Energy Regulator has released large-scale renewable energy market data for the month of June.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission has released a draft rule on demand response (see background here).
  • The Clean Energy Regulator has made changes to the claims process for large-scale generation certificates.
  • The ninth Emissions Reduction Fund auction will take place next week, on July 24 and 25.
  • The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility has approved a $610 million loan to Genex Power Ltd's Kidston pumped hydro-energy storage project west of Townsville – the NAIF's largest investment to date.
  • The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is investing $60 million in a senior's' living project developed by LDK Healthcare, a joint venture between Cromwell Property Group and Aspire Group. Sustainability features will include more than 700kW of solar PV, high efficiency heating and cooling and improved insulation.
  • Defence has released a PFAS management plan for the Army aviation centre at Oakey.
  • Have your say!: 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 released a report on waste and recycling in 2018.

  • Waste transfers from NSW to Queensland dropped markedly in June, ahead of the July start of Queensland's waste levy, new data shows (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes August 26 on a state government waste to energy discussion paper (see background here).


  • The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has invited expressions of interest to supply member councils with renewable electricity, due by August 13.

  • Sydney Water has incurred penalties and costs of more than $369,500 after polluting Botany Bay, and must publicise its offences via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (see background here).
  • The Legislative Assembly Environment and Planning Committee has launched an inquiry into the sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW, with submissions due by September 15.
  • The EPA has released a guide to reducing illegal dumping on charitable recyclers.
  • Local Government NSW has made a submission to the EPA on its remake of the underground petroleum storage system regulation, suggesting third party auditing of annual reports by operators of underground tanks might be warranted.
  • 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).


  • A parliamentary inquiry into waste has invited community members to speak at a public hearing on August 6.

  • The waste inquiry has also made public the submission received from the Victorian government waste portfolio.
  • Two development companies have launched an appeal after Cleanaway won a tribunal dispute over expansion plans for Victoria's largest landfill (see background here).
  • The EPA has lifted notices on SKM's North Laverton and Coolaroo recycling plants, after inspections showed both plants had achieved compliance with the state's waste management policy (see background here).
  • 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.
  • The EPA has issued a new bulletin on the use of glass fines.
  • The CO2CRC Otway carbon storage facility will shortly start drilling new 1600-metre monitoring wells, as part of efforts to develop sub-surface storage monitoring that is cheaper and less intrusive than traditional methods.
  • Have your say!: 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).
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes July 22 on the Combet report, which recommends that Victoria aim for up to a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (see background here).


  • 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:

    • EPS Energy has appointed JLL and consultancy Energy Estate to advise on the development and funding of a portfolio of proposed solar and storage projects in South Australia sized at more than 1GW, including the 500MW Robertson solar farm, the 280MW Bungama solar farm, and the Yoorndoo solar farm of up to 400MW.

    • The EPA is consulting with residents in the vicinity of Hallett Cove and the Lonsdale industrial precinct over the location of four dust monitors.
    • Grant opportunity: Applications close August 2 for round one grants under the Greener Neighbourhoods program, with a total of $1 million available to Adelaide councils to increase tree canopy and green cover.

    Western Australia:

    • Western Australia's container deposit scheme will start on June 2 next year, the state government announced today.

    • The state government has released its renewable hydrogen strategy that aims by 2040 to have a share of the global hydrogen market equivalent to today's share of the global LNG market.
    • The state government has released an implementation in response to the recommendations of a state inquiry into fracking (see background here).
    • Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has issued a ministerial statement approving BHP's Pilbara iron ore expansion strategic proposal.
    • 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.
    • Have your say – last chance!: The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is seeking comments by July 24 on proposed changes to waste regulations that would require the use of weighbridges at levy-liable landfills.

    Northern Territory:

    • The Territory government will give the EPA a role in ensuring compliance with the jurisdiction's container deposit scheme, as part of its response to the findings of a 2018 review of the scheme (see background here).

    • 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

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