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Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include new long-awaited ERF guidance from the Clean Energy Regulator, and a Victorian parliamentary hearing into waste and recycling. Jobs include a senior post managing NSW's contribution to national energy policy.

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Upcoming events:

  • Victoria's new environment protection laws and their impacts
    A seminar in Wangaratta hosted by EPA Victoria.

  • Waste 2019
    A May 14 to 16 conference in Coffs Harbour.
  • Climate leader's forum
    A May 15 evening seminar in Sydney, hosted by South Pole, with speakers including Julien Gastaldi (Natural Carbon) and Belinda Whelan (Climate-KIC).
  • NSW EPA organics collections grants webinar
    A May 15 webinar for councils and businesses on applying for organic waste collection grants.
  • Large-scale solar forum 2019
    A May 16 conference in Brisbane, hosted by the Clean Energy Council.
  • Circular economy – are we going around again or actually making progress?
    A May 17 breakfast seminar hosted by the Supply Chain Sustainability School.
  • Environmental law and policy update seminar
    A May 17 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Why investors are worried about climate change
    A May 22 evening seminar, presented by the Sydney Environment Institute, with speakers including Minters' Sarah Barker and the IGCC's Emma Herd.
  • Climate change and business risk
    A May 22 to 23 short course in Melbourne, hosted by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and ClimateWorks Australia.
  • What's the current climate? - An update on climate change litigation and director's duties
    A May 23 evening seminar in Melbourne, hosted by the Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association.
  • Assurance Roundtable: IAASB consultation on extended external reporting
    A May 23 (Melbourne) and May 24 (Sydney) seminar on proposed new international guidance on assurance for all types of ESG reporting.
  • International conference on sustainable development in the minerals industry
    A May 27 to 29 conference in Sydney, hosted by AusIMM.
  • Victorian energy upgrades forum
    A May 29 morning seminar in Melbourne, hosted by the Essential Services Commission.
  • National clean technologies conference and exhibition
    A May 29 to 31 event on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Climate week Queensland 2019
    A June 2 to 8 series of events, hosted by the state government.
  • Australian energy week
    A June 11 to 14 conference and exhibition in Melbourne.
  • Mined land rehabilitation
    A June 19 to 21 conference in Newcastle, hosted by CRCCARE.
  • The state-of-energy-research conference
    A July 3 and 4 conference in Canberra, hosted by the Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia.

National:

  • The Clean Energy Regulator has released the final version of long-awaited guidelines for ERF vegetation projects, which are designed to ensure abatement is properly measured and demonstrated.

  • A Labor government would establish a $100 million native species fund, and a returned Morrison government would order the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest $100 million in the recycling industry (see background here).
  • Labor would reinvigorate and reform the carbon credits industry, Opposition climate spokesperson Mark Butler has told the Carbon Market Institute national conference (see background here).
  • The Australian Energy Market Operator has released a new report showing record low carbon emissions from the National Electricity Market in Q1 2019 (see background here).
  • New Resource: A landmark global report, approved for release by a Paris meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, describes the harm caused to the natural world by the overuse of resources, climate change, and pollution (see background here).
  • Resource: A new Lowy Institute's poll shows Australians rank climate change at the top of a list of 12 possible threats to Australia's vital interests in the next ten years.
  • Resource: New Zealand's Ministry for the Environment has released new guidance on measuring emissions of greenhouse gas.
  • Applications to accredit new ERF projects must be lodged with the Clean Energy Regulator by June 11 if they are to be used as the basis for bids into the next ERF auction (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by June 1 to a review of the Emissions Reduction Fund land and sea transport method (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by May 31 on a draft update to the national PFAS management plan (see background here).

Queensland:

  • The state government is drafting a green paper on post-2020 climate change policies, with a white paper due out by year's end (see background here).

NSW:

  • Environment Minister Matt Kean yesterday told state Parliament that the government has "moved quickly" to establish a climate change team within the new Planning and Industry Department. "This will help to ensure that New South Wales is playing its part in reaching the Paris goal of limiting global temperature increases to two degrees," he said.

  • The Department of Planning and Environment has recommended against approval of a proposed 96MW wind farm as it would have significant "cumulative visual impacts on the landscapes and residents" (see background here).
  • The Office of Environment and Heritage has released a four-year review of the Newcastle Local Air Quality Monitoring Network.
  • Have your say!: The Department of Planning and Environment is inviting comment by May 21 on a Wedgerock Pty Ltd proposal to establish the Karuah South quarry, next to its existing Karuah quarry, which would annually extract up to 600,000 tonnes of rock.
  • Grant opportunity: The EPA is inviting applications by June 27 for a share in $2.6 million in grants for projects to improve organic waste collection. Grants of up to $1.3 million are available to councils for residential collection projects, with grants up to $500,000 on offer to companies and councils for projects targeting businesses.

ACT:

  • Grant opportunity: Applications are invited by June 30 for round three of the Community Zero Emissions Grants Program, with a total of $163,000 available for community-led projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Have your say!: Comments are due by the end of July on a new discussion paper on single-use plastics (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: The ACT is inviting comment by May 24 on a new strategy for native woodlands.

Victoria:

Tasmania:

  • The House of Assembly May 2 passed amendments to the Forest Practices Act.

Western Australia:

  • The EPA has recommended environmental approval for the expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Mine about 250km south of Perth.

  • Energy Minister Bill Johnston has officially opened APA Group's $315 million 130MW Badgingarra wind farm in Hill River, 220 kilometres north of Perth, which will be co-located with APA's $40 million 17.5MW solar farm that is under construction.
  • The state government has gazetted regulations that adjust application fees for land clearing permits.
  • Have your say! 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.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by July 12 on a new discussion paper on single-use plastics (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by May 27 on draft approved methods for the mandatory reporting of waste and recycling data (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by May 27 on the state government's review of salinity management.

Jobs and appointments:

Federal, ACT, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, WA, Tracker, Carbon law, policy/NGER, Carbon finance

Compliance news by jurisdiction

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