Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include court rulings, a NSW audit of land clearing controls, and a major biodiversity credits tender. Jobs include posts with Arcadis, CBRE, Energetics, JBS and Moreland City Council.

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Upcoming events:

  • Panel discussion: The federal election and climate change
    A July 8 evening panel discussion in Brisbane, convened by Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad.

  • Victoria's major remediation projects – a review of three large remediation projects
    A July 10 evening seminar in Melbourne, hosted by ALGA.
  • The cost of net-zero emissions under the Paris Agreement
    A July 10 45-minute webinar, hosted by Reputex.
  • A just transition: Integrating social dimensions into climate change
    A July 17 breakfast seminar in Melbourne, with speakers including IGCC's Erwin Jackson.
  • Demonstrating and communicating environmental compliance to regulators
    A July 19 workshop in Melbourne, hosted by the Australian Environment Business Network.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Environment professionals management workshop
    A September 12 and 13 conference in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.


  • The Clean Energy Regulator's Emissions and Energy Reporting System is now open for the FY19 reporting year.

  • The Clean Energy Regulator has released tips for participants in the July 24 and 25 Emissions Reduction Fund auction.
  • A company has had Emissions Reduction Fund coal mine methane contracts worth more than $10 million terminated by the Clean Energy Regulator (see background here).
  • Although the new federal chemical assessment scheme won't start until mid-2020, some aspects became operational on July 1.
  • Environment Minister Sussan Ley on July 3 gazetted several amendments to the EPBC lists of threatened species and threatened ecological communities.
  • Australia is forecast to make up about 30% of the global demand for residential battery technology in 2019, and the average payback of residential PV and battery systems is expected to fall below 10 years by 2022, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission.
  • Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box has released the threatened species strategy – year three progress report.
  • Resources Minister Matt Canavan has instructed Chief Scientist Alan Finkel to review assessment procedures for oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight, but has told him not to examine whether it should be a drilling-free zone (see background here).
  • 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).
  • New resource: CDP has released a new report on water security and the mining and metals industry, and another on shipping companies and climate change.
  • New resource: The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has released a new report on biogas.
  • New resource: MinterEllison has released an investment outlook for the renewable energy sector.
  • New resource: The Sustainable Development Solutions Network has released the Sustainable Development Report 2019, which includes country profiles and scores.
  • Court ruling: Wet wipes contribute to blockages in Australia's sewerage systems, but that doesn't mean Kimberly-Clark's claims they are flushable are misleading, the Federal Court has held (see background here).
  • The EPBC Act should be supported by a scheme that lists acceptable consultants, and the Federal Government should create a $1 billion fund to help proponents protect the environment, says a new report (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions close on August 7 on the impact statement and draft variation to the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure (see background here).


  • The state's waste levy regime started on July 1.

  • Cairns Regional Council has allocated funding for improvements to its Materials Recovery Facility that will double its capacity and incorporate a new glass recycling plant.
  • Have your say - last chance!: The state government is consulting on new levy arrangements to support the expanded role of the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment, which now includes mining, as well as gas. Submissions close on July 15.


  • The NSW Audit Office has released a report on the management of native vegetation that concludes clearing is not effectively managed, and there is no assurance of compliance with approvals.

  • The Biodiversity Conservation Trust has opened a state-wide tender to purchase biodiversity credits in various credit classes. Tenders must be submitted by July 19.
  • Court ruling: A preliminary bid by a Bingo Industries subsidiary to have a court exclude evidence of environmental harm has failed, but the issue could resurface ahead of a sentencing decision (see background here).
  • Court ruling: Newcastle Port Corporation, which is facing a pollution charge, is not entitled to access draft expert reports prepared for the EPA, the NSW Land and Environment Court has held (see background here).
  • The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has recast its approach to pricing arrangements for recycled water to better account for the broader social benefits of its use (see background here).
  • In a move that has twice been recommended by NSW parliamentary inquiries, the Berejiklian government has split the roles of chair and chief executive of the state's EPA (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The EPA is seeking comments by July 29 on a revised guideline on preparing Pollution Incident Response Management Plans.
  • Have your say!: The Office of Environment and Heritage is inviting comment by July 19 on a proposed update of the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009.
  • Have your say!: The Office of Environment and Heritage is seeking comment on water management in the Hunter River to support native fish migration. Comment closes on July 21.
  • 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).
  • Award opportunity – last chance!: Nominations are due by July 10 for the annual Green Globe awards that will recognise sustainability leaders across 12 categories.


  • The ACT government has scheduled a workshop for July 11 as part of its consultation on single-use plastics. Comments on the paper are due by the end of July (see background here).

  • Have your say – last chance!: The government is inviting comments by July 10 on the management of invasive animals, including proposed changes to the Pest Animals Declaration and Exempt Animals Declaration.


  • Infrastructure Victoria has described its current investigation into waste infrastructure needs, in newly-released transcript of its evidence to state Parliament's waste and recycling inquiry.

  • A new plastics recycling plant in Melbourne – Australia's largest – can process up to 70,000 tonnes a year. The $20 million has been built by Advanced Circular Polymers, assisted by a $500,000 Sustainability Victoria grant, and will be powered by renewable energy.
  • Tilt Renewables has applied to the Essential Services Commission for a licence to generate electricity from its 336MW Dundonnell wind farm near Mortlake.
  • Have your say!: 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).
  • Court ruling: Waste company ResourceCo Pty Ltd has been fined $150,000 for sending heavily contaminated soil to an unsuitable landfill, adding to the $442,000 it spent transferring the material to an appropriate site (see background here).
  • In a move designed to protect Geelong's water supply, the state government has slashed permissible groundwater extraction in the Otways Gerangamete Groundwater Management Area from 20,000ML annually to just 239ML.


  • Have your say!: Comments are due by October 7 on a draft waste plan that proposes introducing 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:

  • The state government has joined the international Green Ammonia Consortium, as part of efforts to develop a hydrogen production and export industry in the state. The state will release a hydrogen action plan later this year, following on from a 2017 roadmap.

  • The EPA is consulting on a plan to prohibit groundwater extraction in parts of Thebarton in Adelaide's west.
  • Grant opportunity: Applications close on 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:

  • Have your say – last chance!: Comments are due by July 12 on a new discussion paper on single-use plastics (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 a proposed Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
  • 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.
  • New resource: The WA Local Government Association has released presentations from a seminar on emergency management in a changing climate.

Northern Territory:

  • Grant opportunity: Applications close on September 2 for a share in the Territory government's FY20 environment grants round, which will disburse about $930,000.

Jobs and appointments:

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