Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 28 March 2019 3:21pm

Highlights include a new SA bill, passage of a Queensland bill, a WA salinity review, and new Victorian waste grants. Jobs include a new legal role with the NSW EPA and posts with Point Carbon, Australian Paper, Veolia, Downer and ActewAGL.

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Upcoming events:

  • 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.
  • Introduction to infrastructure sustainability A March 29 two-hour webinar, hosted by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.
  • Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia briefing A March 29 one-hour webinar on upcoming BCSD Australia activities, available in either in the morning or the afternoon.
  • National sustainability conference An April 1 and 2 conference in Brisbane.
  • Smart energy conference and exhibition An April 2 and 3 event in Sydney.
  • 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.
  • iDEA: Doctors for the environment conference An April 5 to 7 conference in Hobart.
  • 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.


  • National Pollutant Inventory data for FY18 will be released by the Department of Environment and Energy in the next few days.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator has released the latest large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data.
  • Statutory development: All environment plans for offshore oil and gas activities will be published, and draft environment plans for offshore seismic and exploratory drilling activities will be open for comment, under regulatory changes that take effect on April 25.
  • Statutory development: The government has gazetted the Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Regulations.
  • The federal government has announced an extension of time to July 25 on whether to approve modifications to stage two of Goldwind's White Rock wind farm in NSW.
  • Energy Minister Angus Taylor today announced plans to establish a $50.4 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund to help 50 off-grid and fringe-of-grid communities investigate and establish microgrids.
  • The federal government has announced a shortlist of 12 energy projects as candidates for underwriting support (see background here).
  • The federal government will contribute $4 million towards the development of a certification scheme that allows farmers to showcase their biodiversity protection credentials to customers, and provide $30 million for a pilot agriculture biodiversity stewardship program (see background here).
  • Applications for approval to earn carbon credits from new projects must be lodged by June 11 if they are to be used as the basis for bids into the next ERF auction (see background here).
  • In a decision with multi-million dollar ramifications for companies including AGL, the federal government has signalled it won't allow projects that generate electricity from landfill gas to earn carbon credits for more than seven years (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by May 7 to a review of the Emissions Reduction Fund land and sea transport method (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes April 12 on a proposed new rule for earning carbon credits by reducing methane from animal effluent, which would consolidate three existing methods (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by April 5 on a consultation paper on draft retailer reliability obligation rules released by the Energy Security Board.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by May 1 on a draft update to the national PFAS management plan (see background here).
  • New resource: The Investor Group on Climate Change has released an election briefing on policies for a resilient net-zero emissions economy.
  • New resource: The Electric Vehicle Council has released an online calculator comparing the lifetime costs of electric and petrol vehicles.
  • New resource: CDP has issued a new global water report.
  • New resource: Norton Rose Fulbright has issued a new climate change litigation update.
  • Last chance!: Comment closes today on Australia's proposed national hydrogen strategy.
  • 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.



  • Court ruling: In the first climate change judgment since the landmark 'Rocky Hill' test case, a court has warned against treating a policy provision on greenhouse gas emissions as "a magical incantation"(see background here).
  • Court ruling: An irrigator who unlawfully pumped water to grow cotton has been fined a total of $189,491 for three offences (see background here).
  • The City of Sydney will purchase 100% renewable energy, following the expiry of its current contract at the end of this year, and will launch an expression of interest process in May.
  • 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).


  • Grant opportunity: Grants of up to $35,000 are available for community environmental projects, with a total of $200,000 on offer. Applications close on April 10.


  • A new Office of the Conservation Regulator, led by a Chief Conservation Regulator, has been established in the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning to coordinate its regulatory responsibilities.
  • Victoria's top sustainability advisor has warned that the state's biodiversity is in decline on multiple fronts, in a new 'state of the environment' report (see background here)
  • EPA Victoria has allowed SKM's Coolaroo recycling centre to restart, after an inspection of the site found it was now in compliance with waste management policy requirements (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes May 17 on a draft timber harvesting statement of regulatory intent.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes April 23 on a draft Mineral Industries Regulations
  • Statutory development Assent has been granted for the Energy Legislation Amendment (Victorian Default Offer) Act.
  • Grant opportunity: Applications May 31 for round two research, development and demonstration grants, which provide up to $200,000 for projects that can increase sales of recycled products.
  • Grant opportunity: Applications close April 30 for resource recovery infrastructure grants, which will provide grants of up to $0.5 million for major recycling projects.
  • Have your say!: The state government is seeking comment by April 23 on protecting Melbourne's strategic agricultural land.
  • Last chance!: The Essential Services Commission is seeking feedback by tomorrow on proposed changes to guidelines for its energy efficiency scheme.
  • 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.


  • Have your say!: Comments are due by April 26 to the state government's review of its moratorium on genetically-modified organisms, which is due to expire in November. The Liberal state government supports renewal of the moratorium.

South Australia:

  • The state government has introduced a Landscapes South Australia bill that will establish a new Green Adelaide board as one of a suite of new regional boards (see background here).
  • The Essential Services Commission has approved an application by Wilpena Solar Pty Ltd from the requirement to hold an electricity retail and distribution licence.
  • The Commission has issued an electricity generation licence to Eco Energy Partners Pty Ltd for a 1.4MW solar plant, and to Yongala Solar Farm Pty Ltd for a 2.66MW power plant.
  • Adelaide Brighton must take a range of actions to reduce noise and dust emissions from its Birkenhead cement works, under the terms of a new environmental improvement plan issued by the EPA (see background here).
  • The City of Unley has endorsed a Tree Canopy Improvement Action Plan in a bid to achieve a 20% increase in tree canopy coverage by 2045, in line with the 202020 vision program.
  • 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:

  • Have your say!: The state government has launched a review of salinity management in the state, with comments due by May 27.
  • The City of Mandurah has applied for approval to upgrade the Tim's Thicket liquid waste facility, before re-opening it.
  • Award opportunity: Applications close April 29 for the state government's Golden Gecko environmental awards for resource companies.

Northern Territory:

Jobs and appointments:

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