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Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 17 October 2019 4:38pm

Highlights include statutory developments in three jurisdictions, as well as new federal reports on building energy use and waste. Jobs include posts with Woolworths, Energetics and Main Roads WA.

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Upcoming events:

  • Contaminated land seminar An October 18 seminar in Sydney, hosted by the Australian Sustainable Business Group.
  • Energy efficiency expo An October 23 and 24 event in Melbourne, hosted by the Energy Efficiency Council.
  • All-Energy 2019 An October 23-24 conference and expo in Melbourne.
  • Waste expo An October 23-24 conference and expo in Melbourne.
  • Protecting Nature: A night with Australia's environmental biosecurity chief An October 28 evening seminar in Melbourne, featuring chief environmental biosecurity officer Ian Thompson.
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand annual conference A November 4 to 6 conference in Adelaide.
  • Looking ahead to COP25 A November 6 one-hour seminar in Melbourne, featuring the Carbon Market Institute's John Connor, IGCC's Erwin Jackson and Monash University's Chloe Munro.
  • Superpower: Australia's low-carbon opportunity A November 11 presentation in Traralgon, by professor Ross Garnaut.
  • Queensland energy forum A November 19 forum in Brisbane, hosted by the Energy Users Association of Australia.
  • Launch of the Responsible Steel standard and certification scheme A December 1 to 3 forum in Wollongong.
  • ANU energy update A December 2 conference in Canberra, hosted by the ANU Energy Change Institute and featuring speakers including AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman and chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel.
  • Councils beyond gas forum A December 3 conference in Melbourne.
  • Banksia sustainability awards A December 3 event in Sydney.

National:

  • Statutory development: Parliament has passed the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.
  • The federal government has released the draft report of a review of the Commercial Building Disclosure program and is hosting consultation workshops.
  • More than 15 million tonnes of hazardous waste are stockpiled and stored around Australia, according to a new report for the federal government (see background here).
  • New generators could better manage grid congestion risks, and would have an incentive to help fund transmission infrastructure, under changes proposed by the Australian Energy Market Commission (see background here).
  • The federal government has released a native fish management and recovery strategy, warning that more large-scale fish deaths are likely this summer.
  • An economic impact analysis of site contamination research hub CRCCARE has shown the centre has delivered more than $5.4 billion in benefits since it started, with every dollar invested having a return of almost $9.
  • The annual reports of ARENA, the CEFC and the Clean Energy Regulator were tabled in Parliament today.
  • The federal government has proposed granting EPBC approval for clearing of 59 hectares of endangered vegetation on farmland near Moree, to convert it from grazing to cropping, in exchange for 237 hectares of like-for-like offsets.
  • Federal, state and territory environment ministers will meet in Adelaide on November 8 (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comments are due by October 31 on a review of five ERF energy efficiency methods (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments must be submitted by November 21 to a Senate environment committee inquiry into a Greens-proposed product stewardship Bill (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comments on a Productivity Commission issues paper on its review of resources sector regulation are due by October 31.

Queensland:

  • The Queensland government will have 21% renewable energy generation by 2020, on track to 50% by 2030, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament yesterday.
  • The state government has invited tenders to supply more than 90,000 carbon credits (see background here).

NSW:

  • Statutory development: The state government has introduced a Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill, which will enable dam projects to be fast-tracked without standard environmental approval processes, in order to provide emergency water supplies.
  • The state government will permanently ban the application to land of organic material derived from mixed household waste and has invited comments on a compensation package (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The state government is seeking comments by November 3 on draft frameworks and strategies for its Saving our Species program.
  • Have your say!: Fair Trading NSW is inviting comment by October 29 to its review of the Biofuels Act.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 6 on the environmental impact statement for the Snowy 2.0 main works.
  • The National Parks Association of NSW has strongly opposed Snowy 2.0 because of its environmental impacts.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comments are due October 21 on IPART issues papers on prices charged by Sydney Water and Hunter Water.

Victoria:

  • Statutory development: The state government has introduced the Melbourne Strategic Assessment (Environmental Mitigation Levy) Bill, establishing a fund to offset the impacts of development in Melbourne's growth corridors.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission has revealed details of a Victorian rule change request designed to minimise blackout risks by encouraging more companies to purchase gas and diesel generators (see background here).
  • The presence of PFAS in landfill leachate generally shouldn't be a reason to prevent its discharge to sewer, according to a new EPA position statement (see background here).
  • Court ruling: A court has approved a class action settlement over the damage caused by a serious fire at an SKM recycling facility now owned by Cleanaway (see background here).
  • Have your say!: The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council has invited submissions on the draft report of its assessment of coastal reserves.
  • The EPA has released its latest annual report.
  • State parliament's waste and recycling inquiry will hold another public hearing on October 22.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by November 30 on a draft long-term water assessment for southern Victoria that will underpin the development of a new sustainable water strategy (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: Sustainability Victoria is inviting applications by October 28 for grants under the Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund. Infrastructure grants of up to $750,000 are available, and study grants of up to $100,000.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes October 21 on proposed revised Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations.
  • Grant opportunity: Sustainability Victoria is offering up to $750,000 through its Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund to support projects that convert organic waste to energy (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 10 on the EPA's draft charter of consultation.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes October 31 on a regulations, standards and protocols that will support the state's new environmental law, due to take effect in mid-2020 (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 8 on a state government options paper on water market transparency.

Tasmania:

  • The state government is to review the Tasmanian Planning Commission, and will appoint a new Executive Commissioner on a two-year temporary basis.

South Australia:

  • The installation of a 2.34MW rooftop solar arrays is underway at the Tonsley Innovation District, to power South Australia's first district energy scheme.
  • Have your say!: The state government has invited comment by 28 February next year on a draft practice direction for assessing contaminated sites.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due November 3 on a draft strategy to manage Little Corellas.
  • Have your say!: The state government has invited comment by October 31 on its healthy Coorong action plan.

Western Australia:

  • The state government has announced the members of its new soil and land conservation council, which will draft a soil health strategy dealing with salinity and soil carbon.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes January 3 on draft guidance that describes the type of information on air emissions that should accompany applications for a works approval or environmental licence (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: Applications are due by October 30 for a share of $9 million in renewable hydrogen grants on offer from the state government. A further $1 million will fund work by the government's Renewable Hydrogen Unit.
  • Have your say!: Comment closes November 29 on a discussion paper about the state's proposed climate policy (see background here).

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