Environmental compliance news for business


Law and policy tracker

Thursday, 20 February 2020 4:40pm

Open access. Highlights include bills in three states, court decisions, and proposals to amend WA waste laws and levies. Jobs include posts with BHP, Tronox and Laing O'Rourke.

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Resources and corporate news:

  • Oz Minerals has released its latest sustainability report.

  • International think-tank Carbon Tracker has released an analysis of BP's new climate change commitments.

  • The Clean Energy Council has provided its comments on a draft updated CSIRO and AEMO assessment of generation and storage costs.

  • A report by the Transition Pathway Initiative shows only 29% of the largest publicly-listed industrial companies are set to align their emissions with the Paris Agreement by 2030, up from 24% in mid-2018. The report also shows only 19% of these companies are aligned with a pathway to keep warming at no more than two degrees.

  • The LSE Growth Commission has released a report on the opportunities for the UK associated with zero emissions vehicles.

  • The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility has released an interim analysis of how super funds have voted on shareholder resolutions.

  • The owner of the chain of 42 Westfield shopping centres has pledged that they would all be net zero emissions by 2030. Footprint premium coverage here.


  • A new government preliminary analysis shows that, of the 84 nationally-listed threatened ecological communities, four had more than half their distribution fire-affected, three had more than 30% but less than 50% affected, and 13 had more than 10% but less than 30% fire-affected.

  • High Court rejection: A NSW Court of Appeal decision that reshaped industry views on liability for waste and asbestos will stand, after the High Court refused a company's request to review the matter. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • The Morrison government is consulting on a plan to relax water constraints on carbon forestry projects. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • Hadstone has made an EPBC referral for its proposed 392MW Broadsound solar farm near Marlborough (Queensland).

  • Juwi has made an EPBC referral for its 70MW Theodore solar farm (Queensland).

  • BP Lightsource has made an EPBC referral for its 130MW 1 and 2 Woolooga solar farm near Gympie (Queensland).

  • Have your say!: The Australian Energy Market Commission has released an issues paper on integrating electric vehicles into the grid. Comment closes March 19.

  • The ACCC has released the interim report of its gas inquiry.

  • Have your say!: Comment closes April 15 on a draft EPBC wildlife conservation plan for seabirds, which provides a framework to guide the conservation of 76 seabird species.

  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by March 13 on proposed fees and charges under the new industrial chemical assessment and approval scheme that will start on July 1.

  • Have your say!: Submissions to a House of Representatives inquiry into land management and bushfires are due by March 31, with another public hearing scheduled for February 26.

  • Have your say!: Comment closes February 28 on proposed amendments to the ERF legislative rule that would make it easier to transfer ERF projects from one owner to another.

  • Award opportunity: Nominations must be submitted by March 16 for the national energy efficiency awards, with winners in the 12 categories announced May 26.

  • Award opportunity: The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors has invited nominations by March 3 for the Michael O'Sullivan ESG rising star award.

  • Have your say – last chance!: Comment closes February 28 on proposed new approval procedures intended specifically for offshore clean energy projects. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • Have your say!: Submissions on the EPBC Act review discussion paper are due by April 17. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • Grant opportunity: The federal government is inviting applications by February 28 for round-two grants of up to $500,000 under its Our Marine Parks grants program.


  • Have your say – last chance!: Submissions are due by February 27 to a parliamentary inquiry into a Bill that would strengthen the financial assurance regime for resource projects. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • Grant opportunity: Applications are now being accepted for a share in $100 million to support land-based carbon abatement projects, offered through the Land Restoration Fund. The deadline for the first investment round is February 28 and for the second is April 15. The government is also offering rebates for project advice. Footprint premium coverage here.


  • Court ruling: A chemical company must pay a $60,000 penalty and significant EPA costs after its attempt at odour neutralisation backfired and led to the release of a toxic gas. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • Have your say!: The state government is consulting on whether changes are needed to a 2016 law that created new offences for protesting on mine and gas production sites. Comments are due by March 1.

  • The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has released a burnt area map, showing the extent and severity of burnt tree canopy in the state.

  • Have your say!: The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is seeking comment on a draft replacement water sharing plan for the Bellinger River.

  • Have your say!: The EPA has combined several pre-existing guides on the powers of authorised officers into a single guideline, and is seeking feedback by March 13.


  • The ACT government has released its latest state of the environment report.

  • Grant opportunity: The Territory government is inviting applications by February 29 under its Renewable Energy Innovation Fund direct grants program, which provides early-stage funding for new and emerging technologies and ventures.


  • Statutory development: A Bill introduced to the Victorian parliament would empower the state's Energy Minister to issue orders to modify or 'disapply' parts of the National Electricity Law. Footprint premium coverage here.

  • The EPA will on March 3 host a community meeting on a proposal by Great Southern Waste Technologies for a waste to energy plant in Dandenong South.

  • A farm near Portland where a blue gum plantation was razed without any translocation of koalas on the site remains a crime scene, and has been mapped by a police drone. An investigation of the clearing resulted in 180 koalas being assessed, with 113 released back into the wild, more than 40 in rehabilitation facilities, and 30 euthanised.

  • The ACCC has granted 30 Melbourne metropolitan councils, coordinated by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, authorisation to collaboratively procure sorting services for commingled recyclables.

  • Grant opportunity: Grants of up to $500,000 are available under a new Sustainability Victoria e-waste infrastructure funding round, with a total of up to $2 million on offer. Applications must be submitted by March 30.

  • Have your say!: Melbourne's Bayside City Council is seeking comment by March 27 on a proposed climate emergency plan.

  • Melbourne's City of Stonnington has become the latest council to declare a climate emergency.

  • Mornington Peninsula Shire has released a draft beyond zero waste strategy.

South Australia:

  • Statutory development: The South Australian government has for the third time introduced a bill to lift a moratorium on genetically modified crops.

  • Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan has said recent problems with the interconnector between South Australia and Victoria highlighted the benefits of a proposed new interconnector between SA and NSW. Having the additional interconnector with NSW would benefit SA, and would have provided greater security for Victoria, in particular for the Portland aluminium smelter, he said.

Western Australia:

  • Have your say!: The state government has released a consultation paper on the circular economy that proposes changes to legislation on waste, and has also released a waste levy consultation paper on waste levy changes. Comment closes May 15.

  • Award opportunity: The WA Waste Authority is inviting nominations by March 10 for the 2020 Infinity waste awards.

Northern Territory:

  • Statutory development: The government has introduced a Planning Amendment Bill.

  • The EPA is inviting comment by March 6 on rehabilitation proposals for the former Rum Jungle mine site.

Jobs and appointments:

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