Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 11 April 2019 4:47pm

Highlights include legislative developments in Queensland, the ACT and the Northern Territory. Jobs include posts with Infrastructure Victoria, Waverley Council and the Navy.

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Upcoming events:

  • 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.
  • Australian energy week A June 11 to 14 conference and exhibition in Melbourne.
  • Mined land rehabilitation A June 19 to 21 conference in Newcastle, hosted by CRCCARE.


  • The federal government will provide $25 million to establish a battery industries cooperative research centre in Perth.
  • The Energy Security Board today released submissions it received on draft energy retailer reliability obligation rules.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission has invited comments by May 23 on a proposed new market for trading short-term forward contracts for electricity, which would help demand response businesses and renewable generators better manage spot price risk.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission has also released discussion notes on proposed draft rule changes to the RERT mechanism, which is used to procure standby electricity reserves when there is a supply shortfall.
  • ARENA has provided a $10 million grant to GreenSync Pty Ltd to help deploy Decentralised Energy Exchange (deX) software platform, which will allow consumer energy assets to be registered and visible to the grid, making it possible for them to bid into the market a range of grid services.
  • ARENA has also provided $2.46 million to the Australian Energy Market Operator to run a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) integration trial.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator has approved Santos-owned Quadrant Energy to earn carbon credits (see background here).
  • Five more businesses have secured carbon neutral certification from the federal Department of Environment and Energy (see background here).
  • A Clean Energy Regulator update shows RET-accredited generators are on course to almost meet pre-Abbott scheme target (see background here).
  • Despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison's criticism of Labor's plan to allow large emitters to use international carbon credits, the Coalition government has acquired more than 28 million of them (see background here).
  • The Department of Environment and Energy has released the latest annual reports of the four authorised to arrange the collection and recycling of unwanted computers and televisions (see background here).
  • This week's top read from Footprint's premium service: The Clean Energy Regulator could face a pincer movement from big emitters and carbon businesses seeking early termination of ERF contracts (see background here).
  • A joint statement from 23 former emergency services chiefs says governments must do more to manage climate change risks (see background here).
  • Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer has told a Senates Estimates hearing that complaints about wind farms have dropped markedly, and the handful that have been received all came from Victoria (see background here).
  • The Department of Health has invited to develop risk communication materials for new national advice on PFAS (see background here).
  • A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade update on negotiations for an Australia-EU trade pact says the EU has started work on a sustainability impact assessment on the proposed deal (see background here).
  • Applications 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).
  • 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).
  • Last chance!: Comment closes tomorrow 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 May 1 on a draft update to the national PFAS management plan (see background here).
  • Business development opportunity: The Climate-KIC program is inviting applications by June 10 for its 'Climate Launchpad' greentech business ideas competition.


  • The state government has gazetted rules requiring licensed electricians to install and remove panels on large-scale solar plants, a move criticised by the Clean Energy Council, but described as an important safety initiative by the government.
  • The Coordinator-General has granted environmental approval to the 250MW, $330 million Kidston pumped hydro project (see background here).
  • Statutory development: Parliament has passed the Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, which empowers the Chief Health Officer to order a business to notify the public of a pollution event (see background here).
  • Last chance!: Submissions are due by April 15 to a review of Queensland's environmental offsets policy (see background here).
  • The state government has named the first six recipients of carbon farming grants awarded under its $500 million Land Restoration Fund (see background here).


  • Court ruling: The NSW Land and Environment Court has fined Optus $25,000 for failing to disclose political donations in planning applications (see background here).
  • Benedict Industries has applied to the EPA to double the annual extraction volume for its Sandy Point quarry from 200,000 tonnes a year to 400,000 tonnes.
  • The EPA has ordered an unlicensed recycling business in Sydney to take immediate steps to reduce its glass stockpiles (see background here).
  • Court ruling: The NSW Local Court has fined a mining company $180,000 for failing to pay an environmental rehabilitation security deposit (see background here).
  • 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!: 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.

South Australia:

  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes April 19 on Simec Zen Energy's proposed 100MW/100MWh Playford battery storage facility, to be located near Port Augusta.
  • Statutory development: Labor will move extensive amendments to strengthen the government's Landscapes South Australia Bill, Deputy Opposition leader Dr Susan Close has told state Parliament (see background here).

Western Australia:

  • Have your say!: Comments are due by May 27 on draft approved methods for the mandatory reporting of waste and recycling data (see background here).
  • 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:

  • The Territory government has deferred the proposed introduction of a legislated general environmental duty of care (see background here).

Jobs and appointments:

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