Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 06 December 2018 4:23pm

Highlights include new federal, WA and Northern Territory bills. Jobs include sustainability posts with Mid West Ports, CPB Contractors, Gippsland Water and Northern Beaches Council.

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Featured vacancy – Manager, energy, resources and climate

The Energy, Resources and Environment Branch of Victoria's Department of Premier and Cabinet is recruiting for a highly motivated manager to lead the Energy, Resources and Climate Change team.

"Our branch advises the Premier and the Special Minister of State on a broad range of policy initiatives and major projects and this role is an excellent opportunity to work in the centre of the Victorian government in a high profile and challenging portfolio.

"The successful applicant will manage a team of policy advisors in a fast moving environment, and play an important leadership role in the branch, contributing to strategic planning and branch culture. The position requires the flexibility to respond to rapid changes in priority, strong management and planning skills to deliver a varied work agenda, and excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with stakeholders and senior officials across the Victorian government."

Salary range $116,863 to $156,387. Applications close on December 23 .

Upcoming events:

  • Evidence-based climate action planning A December 10 webinar hosted by Ironbark Sustainability.
  • Australia's prospects for a credible energy and climate change policy? A December 11 evening seminar in Melbourne, hosted by the Grattan Institute.
  • Pathways to an economically sustainable hydrogen industry in Australia A December 11 one-hour seminar in Melbourne, co-hosted by the Australian-German Climate and Energy College and the Australian Wind Alliance, featuring Sam Bruce of CSIRO Futures Group.
  • Solving Australia's extinction and pollution crisis A December 16 conference in Adelaide, featuring Obama Administration environmental justice senior advisor Lisa Garcia and Labor Environment Action Network co-convenor Felicity Wade.
  • Explaining the 2019 UN climate change conference A December 19 evening seminar in Canberra, hosted by the ANU Climate Change Institute.
  • Frontiers in environmental law colloquium A February 4 conference in Brisbane, hosted by QUT Faculty of Law.
  • Responsible business strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals A February 5 workshop in Sydney, hosted by Asha Kayla.
  • Preparing for power station closure A February 13 seminar in Lake Macquarie, hosted by the Hunter Environment Centre.
  • Local government strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals A February 19 workshop in Sydney, hosted by Asha Kayla.
  • Risk to remediation A March 4 to 8 training program on site contamination and remediation in Newcastle, hosted by CRC CARE.
  • Sports environment alliance summit 2019 A March 5 event in Melbourne.
  • National acid-sulfate soils guidance – identification and assessment A March 28 and 29 short course at the Gold Coast campus of Southern Cross University.


  • The eighth Emissions Reduction Fund auction will take place on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Federal, state and territory environment ministers will meet tomorrow, to discuss issues including waste policy.
  • The Energy Security Board has issued a new consultation paper on the detailed design of the Retailer Reliability Obligation.
  • The federal government has issued an updated National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Auditor Registration) Instrument (see background here).
  • Bill alert: The government has introduced a bill to amend the way the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act references regulations, and another to adjust its fees.
  • Bill alert: The government has introduced its bill establishing new offences and penalties for market misconduct by energy companies, including provision for divestment orders (see background here).
  • Bill alert: Greens Senator Larissa Waters yesterday introduced a bill to ban mining for thermal coal in Queensland's Galilee Basin.
  • Former Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is facing criticism for allowing an EPBC assessment of Walker Corporation's proposed Toondah Harbour redevelopment in Queensland to proceed, despite departmental advice that it was "clearly unacceptable".
  • Greens senators yesterday tabled the largest petition ever presented to the Senate, a petition with 270,000 signatures supporting World Heritage listing for the Tarkine wilderness area.
  • Comment closes December 14 on draft regulatory changes that introduce a new audit requirement for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries seeking amendments to their RET exemptions.
  • Submissions are due by December 21 on the draft report of the review of the GEMS energy standards and labelling scheme (see background here).
  • Applications close December 19 for Australian Heritage Grants of between $25,000 and $400,000.
  • Comment closes January 16 on a proposal to make past owners of offshore oil and gas infrastructure cover decommissioning costs if the current owner can't or won't pay for end-of-life dismantling (see background here).


  • Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham has advised Parliament that the government is still considering a committee report on the Vegetation Management (Clearing for Relevant Purposes) Amendment Bill 2018.
  • Comment closes February 1 on discussion paper proposals that would require resource companies to make extra payments before surrendering environmental licences for mines that are closing (see background here).
  • Submissions are due by January 7 on a bill that would allow the state government to order businesses to notify the public of health risks arising from their pollution (see background here).


  • The Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval commenced on November 15, replacing integrated forestry operations approvals for several coastal regions.
  • The EPA is inviting applications by January 28 to become accredited contaminated site auditors.
  • Comments are due by January 31 to the review of private native forestry.


  • Lily D'Ambrosio has retained the energy, environment and climate change portfolio in the second-term Andrews government.
  • Network business Ausgrid has offered the 33 councils within its network the option of accelerating the replacement of streetlights with LEDs, and has so far signed up 17.
  • Comment closes March 1 on draft planning guidelines for solar farms (see background here).


  • The 2018 EPA sustainability award has gone to Clean Rivers and Fert$mart Partners for their efforts to protect and improve water quality on dairy farms.

South Australia:

Western Australia:

  • Bill alert: The state government has introduced two bills to establish its container deposit scheme, which will start in 2020 (see background here).
  • The state government will develop a new climate change policy over the next 12 months, replacing the 2012 version (see background here).
  • Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has reduced the term of Cockburn Cement's environmental licence from 20 years to five, due to community concerns about its performance (see background here).
  • Comment closes January 18 on a review of the state's criteria for classifying fill as uncontaminated (see background here).

Northern Territory:

  • Bill alert: Mining and gas extraction activities will for the first time be subject to the provisions of the Water Act, following changes passed by the Legislative Assembly (see background here).
  • Bill alert: Any person will be entitled to seek a judicial review of decisions made under the Petroleum Act or its environmental regulations under a bill introduced to the Legislative Assembly (see background here).
  • The Supreme Court will today and tomorrow hear a case brought by the Environment Centre NT alleging a 20,432 hectare clearing permit issued to Maryfield station was invalid because it failed to consider principles of ecologically sustainable development and climate change impacts.
  • Comment closes this week on the Territory's draft environment protection bill (see background here).
  • Comments are due by March 31 on a directions paper on reforms to the Water Act.

Jobs and appointments:

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