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Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 04 April 2019 4:50pm

Highlights include a carbon farming rule, an NT onshore gas code, new WA waste grants, and a Victorian planning review. Job listings include senior environmental managers for two roads projects, and South32 group sustainability manager.

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Upcoming events:

  • iDEA: Doctors for the environment conference An April 5 to 7 conference in Hobart.
  • Hydrogen - is it the next big thing in energy production? An April 9 conference in Darwin, hosted by Energy Club Northern Territory.
  • 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.
  • Climate change and business risk A May 22 to 23 short course in Melbourne, hosted by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and ClimateWorks Australia.
  • International conference on sustainable development in the minerals industry A May 27 to 29 conference in Sydney, hosted by AusIMM.

National:

  • Statutory development: The government has gazetted the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Rule (No. 1) 2019.
  • Statutory development: The government has introduced rules that delay by one year the implementation of new controls on emissions of pollutants from equipment and appliances offered for sale (see background here).
  • Statutory development: The government has gazetted a Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Coal Mine Waste Gas) Methodology Determination Variation.
  • Statutory development: The government has gazetted a new Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Determination on air conditioners, and new GEMS instruments on regulator services fees and registration fees.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission today issued its latest annual market performance review, which assesses the security, reliability and safety of the national electricity market.
  • The AEMC today also released several other consultation papers.
  • The Department of Environment and Energy has released the latest National Pollutant Inventory data (see background here and here).
  • The federal Budget has allocated $100 million for a new environmental grant scheme (see background here).
  • Tribunal ruling: The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Shark Control Program must avoid the lethal take of sharks.
  • A Senate inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis has issued its interim report.
  • Energy Minister Angus Taylor has issued a first-of-its-kind licence that will allow exploration work to proceed for a major offshore wind farm (see background here).
  • CMA Ecocycle Pty Ltd has applied for a hazardous waste permit to import from New Zealand up to 50 tonnes of mercury bearing-waste, including crushed fluorescent tubes.
  • The Australian Renewables Energy Agency has contributed $490,000 towards a pilot project testing the feasibility of using renewable energy for electrowinning at Element 25 Ltd's Butcherbird manganese mine.
  • Labor has released the remainder of its climate policy, promising to expand and overhaul the Safeguard Mechanism (see background here).
  • A Labor government would introduce new national product stewardship schemes for products such as e-waste, batteries and whitegoods (see background here).
  • New resource: The Clean Energy Council's latest renewable energy report card shows 21% of Australia's power came from renewable energy in 2018.
  • New resource: The New Zealand government has released its sixth annual report to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • New resource: New Zealand's Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a new report on targets for biological carbon sources and sinks.
  • Applications to earn carbon credits from new projects must be lodged with the Clean Energy Regulator by June 11, if they are to be used for bids into the next ERF auction (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).
  • Regulators and investors now expect large companies to "invest seriously" in responding to climate risk, warns a new opinion by lawyers whose previous advice quickly captured boardroom attention (see background here).
  • Last chance!: 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).
  • Last chance!: 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).
  • Last chance!: 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.

Queensland:

  • Last chance!: Comment closes tomorrow on the state's draft waste strategy (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by April 15 to a review of Queensland's environmental offsets policy (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: The state government is offering biofuels grants of up to $1 million for projects that convert industrial, agricultural and household waste into biofuels, electricity, or alternatives to plastic, with expressions of interest due by April 8 (see background here).

NSW:

  • Court ruling: The Land and Environment Court has fined a man a total of $30,000 for felling river red gums in a national park, in breach of the National Parks and Wildlife Act (NSW).
  • Premier Gladys Berejiklian has handed a new combined energy and environment super-portfolio to Matt Kean, the former minister for better regulation and innovation (see background here).
  • Sydney City Council will launch an expression of interest process in May to purchase 100% renewable energy (see background here).
  • New resource: The Office of Environment and Heritage has a new fire management manual for land in national parks.
  • The EPA has released a guide for waste facility operators on waste levy data requirements.
  • The EPA has released its latest annual report on the Hunter River Salinity Trading scheme.
  • The Office of Environment and Heritage has released its latest update on Upper Hunter air quality.
  • OEH has also released its latest DustWatch update on dust levels in the state.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by April 30 on water infrastructure projects proposed for the Toorale national park and conservation area.
  • 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).

ACT:

  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: 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.

Victoria:

  • The state government has instructed the Red Tape Commissioner to review Victoria's building and planning approvals processes.
  • The EPA has released a report on PFAS concentrations in waterfowl from 19 wetlands.
  • After several regional trials, the state government has invited tenders to administer a state-wide 'energy savvy' home upgrade scheme.
  • Global Power Generation's $259 million Berrybank wind farm – proposed for a site 80 kilometres from Geelong – is not an EPBC controlled action, the federal government has determined.
  • Sustainability Victoria has launched a Love Food, Hate Waste program, targeting cafes and restaurants.
  • The Country Fire Authority has invited tenders to develop a tailored environment risk assessment framework and strategy for the Country Fire Authority.
  • The state government has ordered 125 gigalitres of water from the Wonthaggi desalination plant for FY20, as the state experiences its lowest water levels since the Millennium Drought in 2011.
  • The EPA has for the second time ordered Phoenix Environmental Group to stop accepting material at its construction material recycling facility in Coolaroo, until it takes adequate steps to prevent the risk of fire.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Have your say!: The state government is inviting on the management of waterways in the west of Melbourne.
  • CSIRO will lead a new project examining climate change impacts on Port Phillip Bay.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: 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.

Tasmania:

  • Hydro Tasmania has shortlisted three sites for potential new pumped hydro development, as part of the Battery of the Nation initiative.
  • 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:

  • Court ruling: A court has fined a farmer $52,500 for illegally clearing native vegetation.

Western Australia:

  • Grant opportunity: Applications are invited by April 29 for funding through a $1 million waste and infrastructure grant program.
  • Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has directed the EPA to assess a landfill proposed by Alkina Holdings Pty Ltd that would accept up to 250,000 tonnes a year of Class II and III waste, despite the EPA's 2012 decision not to assess it.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by May 27 on the state government's review of salinity management.
  • Award opportunity Applications close April 29 for the state government's Golden Gecko environmental awards for resource companies.

Northern Territory:

  • Statutory development: The Territory government today released a draft statutory code of practice for the onshore gas industry, dealing with surface activities, well operations, wastewater and methane emissions. Comment closes on May 2.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: The Territory government is offering energy efficiency and sustainability to councils, with applications closing on April 5.

Jobs and appointments:

  • South32 is recruiting for a group manager, sustainability, based in Perth (14 months, fixed term).
  • Victoria's Major Transport Infrastructure Authority has two vacancies for senior environmental managers ($161,508 to $219,653 plus super).
  • Anglo American is seeking a water specialist for its metallurgical coal business, based in Brisbane.
  • Climate Friendly is recruiting a corporate accountant, based in Sydney ($60,000 to $70,000).
  • Consultancy Sunraysia Environmental is hiring an environmental consultant, based in Mildura.
  • Queensland's Department of Environment and Science is hiring a principal environmental officer ($93,243 - $100,287).
  • Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is seeking a senior policy officer, contributing to complex energy policy development with a focus on national electricity and gas market reform and hydrogen policy ($96,942 - $117,293).
  • Defence is hiring an environment and sustainability manager, based in Adelaide ($80,669 - $92,150).


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