Environmental compliance news for business

Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include a Northern Territory environment bill, and a new national loan scheme for building upgrades. Jobs include two Victorian circular economy posts and group sustainability manager with Iluka.

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Upcoming events:

  • 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.
  • What's the current climate? - An update on climate change litigation and director's duties
    A May 23 evening seminar in Melbourne, hosted by the Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association.
  • Assurance Roundtable: IAASB consultation on extended external reporting
    A May 23 (Melbourne) and May 24 (Sydney) seminar on proposed new international guidance on assurance for all types of ESG reporting.
  • 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 KMPG'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.
  • 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.


  • Funding opportunity: Long-term loans for building upgrades are now available nationally, thanks to a Bank Australia partnership with the Sustainable Melbourne Fund, now rebadged as the Sustainable Australia Fund.

  • Organisations including the Australian Energy Council and the Clean Energy Council have applied for ACCC authorisation of a new energy technology consumer code.
  • Several councils have started adding "chain of responsibility" clauses to their tender documents for recycling services (see background here).
  • New data released by the Clean Energy Regulator shows it accredited 23 new large-scale renewable generators last month, with a total capacity of 410MW (see background here).
  • United Nations talks on two chemical conventions have agreed to new control on the international transport and disposal of mixed plastic waste, and have introduced new restrictions on PFAS chemicals (see background here).
  • The Australian Energy Market Operator has released the final marginal electricity loss factors (MLFs) that will apply from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 for electricity generation and loads connected to the National Electricity Market.
  • The NSW government's plan for feral brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park – which is limited to relocating them from sensitive areas– could require federal EPBC assessment, according to legal advice obtained by the Invasive Species Council.
  • 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!: 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!: Comments are due by May 31 on a draft update to the national PFAS management plan (see background here).
  • New resource: The UNEP Finance Initiative has released new guidance for institutional investors on TCFD scenario analysis.
  • New resource: The Great Dividing Range will become climatically unsuitable for 26 native species within 60 years if the current global high emissions trajectory continues, says a new scientific study.
  • New resource: A new IEA report says annual world energy investment report says global energy spending is significantly out of kilter with Paris Agreement goals, and big changes in policy-making, financing and technology development are required (see background here).
  • This week's top Footprint premium service article: A shareholder who lost her home in a bushfire questioned the QBE board at Friday's annual general meeting, and Rio Tinto has told its AGM that a climate resolution is unacceptable (see background here).


  • Statutory development: State parliament yesterday passed the omnibus Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, with government amendments.


  • Interim Labor leader Penny Sharpe has introduced a private members bill that would ban plastic bags.

  • The EPA has released its latest state of the environment report, which takes a markedly different approach to the Victorian version, providing much less data and offering no recommendations for action (see background here).
  • The state government has released a diagram of the leadership structure of the new Department of Planning and Industry.
  • The Independent Planning Commission will hold a public meeting June 4 in Gunnedah on Overland Sun Farming's proposed 110MW Orange Grove solar farm.
  • The state government has approved ESCO Pacific's proposed $130 million 100MW Wyalong solar farm in the Riverina.
  • The Office of Environment and Heritage has released a policy on relocating threatened species.
  • Grant opportunity: The EPA is inviting applications by June 27 for a share in $2.6 million in grants 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.


  • 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).


  • A parliamentary inquiry into waste and recycling has heard evidence from Australian Paper, Visy, Worksafe and Sustainability Victoria (see background here and here).

  • Court ruling: A company has been fined $50,000 for dumping asbestos-contaminated demolition waste at a rural property not licensed to accept it (see background here).
  • The EPA has fined Australian Tallow Producers Pty Ltd about $8,000 for not completing odour control works required under a Pollution Abatement Notice.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes May 30 on a draft action plan for the Ramsar-listed Barmah national park and forest.
  • 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 state government has launched a new campaign to encourage correct separation of recyclables and waste.

  • The Yorke Peninsula Council has invited tenders for the management and operation of combined resource recovery centres and waste transfer stations.

Western Australia:

  • Hazardous waste geosequestration company Tellus Holdings has failed to secure an EPA assessment of a proposal by the Shire of Ashburton to develop a Class IV landfill near Onslow, in the Pilbara.

  • The EPA has released the EIS for one of Australia's most ambitious clean energy projects which says it could export cheap electricity to Asia and turn Western Australia into the 'Saudi Arabia of green hydrogen' (see background here).
  • A council has asked the EPA to assess Cleanaway's plans to landfill lithium tailings, advising the agency that the project has triggered significant community concern (see background here).
  • The state government has chosen a company owned by beverage giants Lion and Coca-Cola Amatil – WA Return Recycle Renew Ltd – to operate as coordinator of the state's container deposit scheme.
  • The state government has also released minimum standards for refund point locations and opening hours.
  • The WA Water Corporation has referred to the EPA the proposed Perth desalination plant 2 and the proposed Alkimos desalination plant (which would be located next to the Alkimos wastewater treatment plant).
  • The government has released an information sheet on environmental measures contained in the state budget.
  • 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:

  • Environment Minister Eva Lawler today introduced the Territory's long-awaited Environment Protection Bill (see today's Footprint article).

  • The Territory government has gazetted the Nuclear Waste Transport, Storage and Disposal (Prohibition) Regulations 2019.

Jobs and appointments:

Court cases, fines, Federal, ACT, NSW, NT, Queensland, SA, Victoria, WA, Tracker, Renewables, low emissions

Compliance news by jurisdiction

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