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Environment law and policy tracker

Highlights include an upcoming ministerial meeting and new Queensland regulations. Jobs include posts with Optus, Dulux, Kimberly-Clark, Point Advisory and the federal environment department.

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Upcoming events:

  • The circular economy: Models for change
    An October 14 morning seminar in Sydney, hosted by Planet Ark.

  • Investor Group on Climate Change summit
    An October 14 and 15 summit in Sydney.
  • 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.
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand annual conference
    A November 4 to 6 conference in Adelaide.
  • Queensland energy forum
    A November 19 forum in Brisbane, hosted by the Energy Users Association of Australia.
  • Launch of the ResponsibleSteel 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.

National:

  • Federal, state and territory environment ministers have agreed to meet in Adelaide on November 8 (see background here).

  • The amount of hazardous waste generated in Australia has increased by more than a third in just three years, and there aren't adequate safety checks on biosolids applied to land, a new federal report has warned (see background here).
  • Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor has described it as "policy insanity" for states to persist with "aggressive" renewable energy or emissions targets, in a speech to an AFR energy summit in Sydney.
  • Climate change will create financial and macroeconomic risks, the Reserve Bank has warned in its latest half-yearly Financial Stability Review (see background here).
  • The federal Department of Environment and Energy has issued an improvement notice to MRI PSO Pty Ltd after it failed to meet recycling targets for FY17 and FY18 (see background here).
  • ARENA will provide a $4.5 million grant to help pay for a $11.1 million 1.2MW solar and 3.2MWh battery system on Lord Howe Island. The NSW government will provide a $5.9 million loan. In mid-2017, then Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg ruled a proposal for two wind turbines on Lord Howe "clearly unacceptable".
  • The federal Department of Environment and Energy has decided Epuron will need EPBC approval for its 300MW St Patricks Plain wind farm in Tasmania.
  • The environment department has decided Boer Energy doesn't need EPBC approval for its 130MW Aramara solar farm in Queensland.
  • Statutory development: The Director of Biosecurity has gazetted the Biosecurity (Ballast Water and Sediment) Amendment (Ballast Water Management Methods) Determination 2019.
  • The parliamentary inquiry into nuclear power held a hearing in Sydney yesterday.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by October 31 on a review of five ERF energy efficiency methods, while comments were due by yesterday on reviews of two methods to prevent clearing (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment is due by November 21 to a Senate environment committee inquiry into a Greens-proposed product stewardship Bill that is focused on packaging and plastic (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 total capacity of solar farms and rooftop systems in Queensland has just passed 4,000MW, more than twice the 1,680MW capacity of the state's largest power station.

    Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the state was on track to achieve its 50% renewable energy target by 2030, and was forecast to hit 20% next year.

  • A regulation gazetted last week establishes new rules for the state's progressive mine rehabilitation regime (see background here).
  • Statutory development: The state government has gazetted the Electrical Safety (Codes of Practice) and Other Legislation (Solar Farms) Amendment Notice (No.2) 2019 (explanatory notes here).
  • Statutory development: The state government has gazetted the Rural and Regional Adjustment (Household Waste Payment Scheme) Amendment Regulation (explanatory notes here).

NSW:

  • Have your say!: Fair Trading NSW is inviting comment by October 29 to its review of the Biofuels Act.

  • The EPA has released a strategic environmental compliance and performance review of small sewage treatment plants.
  • Penalty: The EPA has secured an enforceable undertaking from Gunnedah Shire Council requiring it to fund almost $20,000 of environmental works, after it unlawfully used a site for waste disposal.
  • Have your say!: The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has invited comment on the Snowy 2.0 main works. Comment closes on November 6.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comments close October 16 on a satutory review of the Marine Pollution Act 2012.
  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes October 16 on proposed changes to the Biodiversity Assessment Method.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due October 21 on IPART issues papers on prices charged by Sydney Water and Hunter Water.

Victoria:

  • The state government has released a draft preliminary land use vision for rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley.

  • Statutory development: Most sections of the Water and Catchment Legislation Amendment Act commenced yesterday.
  • Statutory development: The Gene Technology Amendment Regulations commenced this week.
  • Sustainability Victoria has awarded a total of $1.6 million to nine projects through its research, development and demonstration grants program (see background here).
  • 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).
  • Yarra Valley Water is inviting tenders to supply operations and maintenance services for its ReWaste waste to energy facility, which processes 140 tonnes of organic waste each day.
  • Penalty: A company trading as Space Solar (Victoria) has been banned from participating in the Solar Homes program for at least two years and its director's electrical registration has been cancelled after a joint investigation by Solar Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria identified technical and safety defects in its work.
  • 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.
  • Statutory development – have your say!: 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).
  • Grant opportunity – last chance: Melbourne City Council is offering grants of up to $25,000 to start-ups and universities for activities that result in innovative ways to reduce waste. Applications close October 17.
  • 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.
  • Have your say!: A total of five renewable energy roadmaps are now open for consultation.

South Australia:

  • Viva Energy has become the second company to apply to the South Australian government for more time to move to fluorine-free firefighting foams (see background here).

  • Court ruling: The Environment, Resources and Development Court has fined a farmer $10,800 for illegal clearing.
  • Have your say – last chance!: The state government is inviting comments by tomorrow on a consultation paper on its marine scalefish fishery.
  • 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:

  • 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).

Northern Territory:

  • The EPA has released an assessment report on KGL Resources' proposed Jervois Base Metal project.

  • The Territory government is inviting comment by November 8 on a draft wildlife management plan for the Magpie Goose.

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

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