Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 14 March 2019 2:19pm

Highlights include a new container deposit law in Western Australia, two Northern Territory bills, grant opportunities, and a new Victorian waste inquiry. Jobs include manager of NGER and the Safeguard Mechanism with the Clean Energy Regulator.

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Upcoming events:

  • Transform: Leading a sustainable built environment A March 19 to 20 conference in Sydney, hosted by the Green Building Council.
  • Wind industry forum 2019 A March 21 forum, hosted by the Clean Energy Council.
  • Inaugural hydrogen energy summit A March 26 to 27 conference in Melbourne, hosted by Informa.
  • National acid-sulfate soils guidance – identification and assessment A March 28 and 29 short course at the Gold Coast campus of Southern Cross University.
  • Twenty years of the EPBC Act – looking back, looking forward A March 29 conference in Canberra, hosted by the National Environmental Law Association and the ANU College of Law.
  • National sustainability conference An April 1 and 2 conference in Brisbane.
  • Waste training for waste facility staff An April 3 workshop in Sydney, targeted at the construction and demolition waste recyclers, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Environment management short course An April 3 and 4 short course in Melbourne, hosted by the Australian Environment Business Network.
  • Waste crisis: Recycling, infrastructure and Queensland levy impacts An April 12 workshop in Sydney, targeted at the construction and demolition waste recyclers, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • EUAA national conference 2019 The May 1 and 2 national conference of the Energy Users Association of Australia, held in Melbourne.
  • Ozwater 19 A May 7 to 9 conference and expo in Melbourne, hosted by the Australian Water Association.
  • Carbon Market Institute 2019 summit A May 8 and 9 conference in Melbourne, hosted by the Carbon Market Institute.
  • Large-scale solar forum 2019 A May 16 conference in Brisbane, hosted by the Clean Energy Council.
  • 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.
  • International conference on sustainable development in the minerals industry A May 27 to 29 conference in Sydney, hosted by AusIMM.


  • Statutory development: The Energy Security Board has released a consultation paper on retailer reliability obligation draft rules, with comments due by April 5. Workshops will be held in Melbourne and Sydney later this month.
  • Environmental regulators have provided detailed advice for water utilities on accepting trade waste and using biosolids, in a proposed update of the national PFAS management plan (see background here).
  • More than 300 scientists – including Professors Tim Flannery and Lesley Hughes – have signed a petition that calls for stronger land clearing legislation.
  • Have your say!: The Climate Change Authority has released stocktakes of Australian and international climate change policies, and has encouraged feedback.
  • The Senate committee inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis is holding a public hearing in Canberra today.
  • The Senate committee inquiry into rehabilitation of mining land and resource projects is due to release its report on March 20 (see background here).
  • The Senate's select committee on "fair dinkum power" will hold a hearing in Canberra on March 18.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission has released materials from its public workshop on ways of enabling more wholesale demand response in the National Electricity Market.
  • Last chance!: Comments close today on federal government plans to tighten rules for earning carbon credits from vegetation-based Emissions Reduction Fund projects (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes March 28 on Australia's proposed national hydrogen strategy.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes March 21 on the Australian Energy Market Commission's draft determination on proposed changes to the 'RERT' grid safety-net scheme (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by April 8 to a Senate committee inquiry into a bill introduced by Senator Stirling Griff that would ban cotton exports to ensure water security.
  • Applications must be made by April 1 for exemptions from liability for RET-related charges, which are available to emissions-intensive, trade-exposed businesses.
  • The Department of Energy and Environment has released new data on electricity generation by fuel type.


  • Last chance!: Submissions are due by tomorrow to a parliamentary inquiry into a bill that would require proponents to buy water quality offsets if their developments increase sediment or nutrient levels in Great Barrier Reef catchments (see background here).
  • Statutory development: The state government has gazetted the Environmental Protection (Financial Provisioning) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2019.
  • RES Australia has received development approval for its 240MW Dulacca wind farm, 250 kilometres north-west of Toowoomba.
  • The Sunshine Coast Regional Council has received a $50,000 Qcoast2100 grant to prepare a coastal hazard adaptation strategy.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes April 5 on the state's draft waste strategy (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes April 15 to a review of Queensland's environmental offsets policy (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The state government is surveying views on marine pest biosecurity.


  • The EPA has issued a prevention notice to Cleanaway over waste accepted at its Kooragang Island treatment facility (see background here).
  • NSW Labor would make changes on single-use plastics, environmental licensing, waste-to-energy, biodiversity and air quality if it wins the March 23 election, party leader Michael Daley has pledged (see background here).
  • State Labor has also pledged to establish a $1 billion fund to build and upgrade water infrastructure if it takes office.
  • Grant opportunity: The state government is inviting applications for a share in first-round funding under its new $16 million manufacturing efficiency funding program (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes March 23 on the EIS for geotechnical works for the Shoalhaven hydro expansion project.


  • The Legislative Council has agreed to a Greens motion to establish a committee inquiry into waste and recycling, with an August 13 reporting date (see background here).
  • The state government has invited tenders to assist in the delivery of its "affordable retrofits" energy efficiency program.
  • Australian Paper has spent more than $8 million seeking works approval for a waste-to-energy plant, significantly above the $3 million it budgeted for the process (see background here).
  • A Melbourne metropolitan council has issued a planning permit for a facility that would gasify up to 600 tonnes of kerbside-collected mixed waste each day (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The Essential Services Commission is seeking feedback by March 29 on proposed changes to guidelines for its energy efficiency scheme.
  • Last chance!: The state government is seeking comment by March 18 on regional bushfire management strategies.
  • Grant opportunity: The state government has invited applications from non-profit groups for grants of up to $50,000 for projects that help protect and preserve the environmental health of Port Phillip Bay. Applications close April 10.
  • Grant opportunity: The state government is offering community climate change adaptation grants of between $25,000 and $75,000, with applications closing March 31.

South Australia:

  • Court decision: In a court ruling that focussed on buffer requirements and the status of large-scale storage batteries, a judge has rejected a bid by neighbours of a proposed wind farm to change its assessment category (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The state government is seeking views on the revised list of declared pest animals, with comments due by April 18.

Western Australia:

  • Statutory development: The Legislative Council yesterday passed without amendment legislation to establish the state's container deposit scheme.
  • The state government has terminated its $13.1 million financial assistance agreement with Carnegie Clean Energy, due to concerns about its capacity to deliver its proposed Albany wave energy technology development project.
  • Premier Mark McGowan is meeting today with LNG companies over the EPA's decision to recommend full carbon offsetting for emissions-intensive projects (see background here).
  • Award opportunity Applications close April 29 for the state government's Golden Gecko environmental awards for resource companies.
  • Grant opportunity: Grants of up to $300,000 are available to non-profit groups for individual projects that help manage the Western Australian coastline.

Northern Territory:

  • Statutory development:The Territory parliament will this month consider the government's Water Legislation Amendment Bill and its Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill.
  • Grant opportunity: The Territory government is offering energy efficiency and sustainability to councils, with applications closing on April 5.

Jobs and appointments:

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