Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 23 May 2019 4:29pm

Highlights include a new NT environment bill. Jobs include 15 WA environmental officer positions, a senior environmental compliance post in Canberra, and manager of ClimateWorks' net-zero pledge project.

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Upcoming events:

  • International conference on sustainable development in the minerals industry A May 27 to 29 conference in Sydney, hosted by AusIMM.
  • Victorian energy upgrades forum A May 29 morning seminar in Melbourne, hosted by the Essential Services Commission.
  • National clean technologies conference and exhibition A May 29 to 31 event on the Sunshine Coast.
  • The role of social licence to operate in a just energy transformation A May 30 evening seminar in Canberra, hosted by the ANU.
  • Climate week Queensland 2019 A June 2 to 8 series of events, hosted by the state government.
  • How are businesses responding to investor pressure on climate change? A June 5 evening seminar in Sydney, with speakers including AGL's Theo Comino, the European Climate Foundation's Kate Mackenzie and KPMG's Amber Johnston Billings.
  • Circular economy – closing the loop A June 6 breakfast seminar in Melbourne, with speakers including energy and sustainability expert Alan Pears.
  • Managing development near landfills and other buffers A June 6 course in Melbourne, hosted by the Planning Institute Australia.
  • Australian energy week A June 11 to 14 conference and exhibition in Melbourne.
  • Adapting climate science for business A June 13 evening seminar in Sydney, with speakers including Andy Pitman.
  • Climate essentials: A short course A June 17 one-day course in Canberra, offered by the ANU Climate Change Institute.
  • Innovation needs for two degrees A June 19 lunchtime briefing in Canberra, featuring Energy Transitions Commission commissioner Robert Trezona.
  • Mined land rehabilitation A June 19 to 21 conference in Newcastle, hosted by CRCCARE.
  • The state-of-energy-research conference A July 3 and 4 conference in Canberra, hosted by the Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia.
  • Carbon farming conference and expo An August 5 to 8 event in Albury, hosted by Carbon Farmers of Australia.
  • Waste-to-energy conference An August 26 to 28 conference in Canberra, hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association.


  • NOPSEMA has extended the initial 30-day assessment period on Equinor's environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australia Blight, citing the size and complexity of the submission.
  • The environment department has awarded carbon neutral certification to Local Government Super for six of its buildings, including its headquarters in Sydney (see background here).
  • The returned Morrison government will have an unprecedented opportunity to put its stamp on environmental laws and schemes, due to a host of reviews that are either imminent or already under way (see background here).
  • Industry experts and carbon market specialists expect climate policies to remain static in the next term of the Morrison government, but they caution that businesses face growing pressure from other quarters to cut emissions (see background here).
  • Applications to accredit new ERF projects must be lodged with the Clean Energy Regulator by June 11 if they are to be used as the basis for bids into the next auction (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: Submissions are due by June 1 to a review of the Emissions Reduction Fund land and sea transport method (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comments are due by May 31 on a draft update to the national PFAS management plan (see background here).
  • This week's top Footprint premium service article: A resolution requiring BP to align its business strategy with the Paris Agreement has received more than 99% support at the company's annual general meeting (see background here).


  • Award opportunity: Nominations are due by July 1 for the annual Green Globe awards that will recognise sustainability leaders across 12 categories, including the built and natural environment, innovation, and resource efficiency.
  • New resource: The EPA has issued new guidelines that recommend designs and management practices for residential waste collection systems (see background here).
  • The EPA has issued prevention notices to Blacktown City Council and to quarrying company Benedict Industries Pty Ltd (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by June 14 on a proposed update of the state’s regulation on underground petroleum storage systems (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: The EPA is inviting applications by June 27 for a share in $2.6 million in funding for projects to improve organic waste collection. Grants of up to $1.3 million are available to councils for residential collection projects, with grants up to $500,000 on offer to companies and councils for projects targeting businesses.


  • Statutory development: A new bill aims to ensure the Territory remains reliant on 100% renewable electricity, as residents and businesses turn away from gas appliances (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: Applications are invited by June 30 for round three of the Community Zero Emissions Grants Program, with a total of $163,000 available for community-led projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by the end of July on a new discussion paper on single-use plastics (see background here).


  • EPA chief executive Cathy Wilkinson says the state's new environmental law will make it much easier to prosecute organisations that have poor environmental management (see background here).
  • Tribunal finding: The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has overturned an EPA decision to suspend a landfill licence, and has rejected the agency's interpretation of the tribunal's powers (see background here).
  • EPA has suspended a recycling facility's licence, one month after it issued the company a notice over combustible waste (see background here).
  • Stan Krpan, the widely-respected head of Sustainability Victoria, is leaving the organisation to lead the state's new solar agency (see background here).
  • Transcript of the first two hearings of a parliamentary inquiry into waste and recycling is now available (see also background here and (here).
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by June 12 on Meatworks Australia's application for a new abattoir in Gillieston.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: Applications close 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 June 12 for Victorian Landcare grants of up to $20,000, with a total of $1.76 million on offer.

South Australia:

  • The Essential Services Commission has approved an electricity generation licence application for a solar PV and battery storage plant with a total export capacity of 4.95MW at Mannum.
  • SA Water's ambitious efforts to cut its electricity costs to zero last week received enthusiastic support in parliament, following a review by its Public Works Committee (see background here).

Western Australia:

  • A new taskforce will recommend an optimum generation mix and network configuration for the state, as well as advising on a coal generation phase-out plan (see background here).
  • Application determination: A gold mining company has lost an appeal in which it sought to clear threatened vegetation for a new pit that would have a 20-months production life (see background here).
  • New resource: The WA Local Government Association has released presentations from a seminar on the management of roadside vegetation.
  • The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has introduced a new format for approvals reporting, presenting data using dashboard graphics and spatial mapping.
  • Have your say! The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is seeking comments by July 24 on proposed changes to waste regulations that would require the use of weighbridges at levy-liable landfills.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by July 12 on a new discussion paper on single-use plastics (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: 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 – last chance!: Comments are due by May 27 on the state government's review of salinity management.

Northern Territory:

  • A year-long investigation by the EPA has resulted in a company and its director being charged with intentionally polluting the environment (see background here).
  • Statutory development: Environment Minister Eva Lawler has introduced the long-awaited Environment Protection Bill (see background here).

Jobs and appointments:

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