Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include court decisions in four states. Jobs include climate change posts with two state agencies, a local council and consultancy WSP. Plus sustainability posts with Northrop, Cushman & Wakefield, and QBE.

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Upcoming events:

  • 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.
  • 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 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.


  • The results of the ninth Emissions Reduction Fund auction will be announced today.

  • NOPSEMA, the offshore oil and gas industry regulator, would take on legislative responsibility for carbon sequestration projects under a bill introduced into the House of Representatives (see background here).
  • In a move likely to be widely welcomed by water utilities, the ACCC will appeal a Federal Court decision that cleared Kimberly-Clark of misleadingly claiming wet wipes were flushable (see background here).
  • The ACCC today announced plans to authorise a new, industry-developed consumer code for retailers of solar and energy storage systems, and other emerging energy products and services.
  • Have your say!: The Climate Change Authority is accepting submissions until August 23 to its update of advice on meeting Australia's Paris Agreement commitments.
  • Court ruling: An underground coal gasification company, once assessed as a worse performer than Linc Energy, might get to keep more than $8 million in R&D tax offsets after winning a Federal Court appeal (see background here).
  • The federal government has gazetted the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2019.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission has published a draft rule to give developers better information about new generation projects in the pipeline.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Submissions close August 7 on the impact statement and draft variation to the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure (see background here).
  • The federal environment department has certified Five Founders beef as carbon neutral.
  • New resource: The Clean Energy Regulator has released the 2018 RET administrative report.
  • New resource: New Zealand's Ministry of Health has released a guide to sustainability and the health sector.
  • New resource: CDP has released a briefing paper on linking climate-related opportunities and risks to financing decisions for investors and banks.
  • New resource: The Australia Institute has released its latest national energy emissions audit, analysing the electricity sector over the previous month.


  • Grant opportunity: The state government has awarded anti-waste dumping grants of $200,000 to four councils, and has invited other councils to apply for grants by September 6.

  • Have your say!: Comment closes August 26 on a state government waste to energy discussion paper (see background here).


  • If the federal government refuses to take action to coordinate energy and emissions policy then the NSW government is prepared to act without it, state Energy Minister Minister Matt Kean has told a conference (see background here).

  • Court ruling: The Land and Environment Court has ordered a developer who dumped building waste to undertake remedial measures that will cost more than $2 million (see background here).
  • Court ruling: The Land and Environment Court has ordered a Bingo Industries subsidiary to pay $70,000, describing its behaviour as negligent and almost reckless (see background here).
  • The EPA is developing a discussion paper on potential changes to its risk-based licensing system (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: 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: 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).


  • Tribunal ruling: In a decision that turned on the affordability and viability of pollution controls, a company has failed to convince a tribunal it should continue to discharge ozone-depleting methyl bromide (see background here).

  • The EPA has issued a notice to the administrator of Bradbury Industrial Services, requiring the clean-up of the site of a large fire at a site in Campbellfield that was used to treat chemical waste. In line with a clean-up plan, all drums, containers and tanks must be removed from the site by September 20.
  • East Grampians Health Service has invited tenders to supply, install and commission a 400kW solar system.
  • Alcoa and the Eden Project have released the first community engagement report on plans to transform Alcoa's former Anglesea coal mine site.
  • A large amount of recyclables will temporarily go to landfill following a sudden decision by recycler SKM to stop accepting kerbside-collected material (see background here).
  • AusNet has applied to the Essential Services Commission for a licence to generate electricity from its 30MW/30MWh Ballarat battery energy storage system. The storage system was commissioned last December.
  • A parliamentary inquiry into waste has invited community members to speak at a public hearing on August 6.
  • Have your say – last chance!: 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 tomorrow 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!: 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:

  • Court ruling: A man who struck an agreement with Alinta to take unwanted equipment from a power station has been fined $24,500 for directing a torrent of abuse at EPA officers and using a rottweiler to hinder their investigation (see background here).

Western Australia:

  • Court ruling: The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by the WA Conservation Council, in which it argued that the ministerial approval for Cameco's Yeelirrie uranium mine breached the Environmental Protection Act.

  • 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:

  • 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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