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May 2016

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This month

NELA news and events
01. NELA Conference – save the date!
02. NELA Policy Interest Groups
03. Australian Environmental Law Digest
04. Contributors Wanted

Law and policy developments
05. In the Legislature
06. In the courts
07. Policy developments and other news
08. Open for comment
09. Opportunities

10. EDO NT Aboriginal Art auction
11. (Canberra) Accessing and Managing Sensitive Ecological Data
12. (Sydney) Professional Development for Environmental Experts
13. (Canberra) EPBC Act approval condition setting and advanced environmental offsets
14. (Hawaii) 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress
15. (Melbourne) 2016 NELA National Conference


NELA news and events


NELA Conference – save the date!

We’re excited to announce that this year’s NELA National Conference will be held on 18 November 2016. The event will be sponsored by King & Wood Mallesons, and hosted at their Melbourne office. More details will be released soon.


NELA Policy Interest Groups

NELA has received a lot of feedback from members that you’d like to get more involved in our activities. To take advantage of the expertise and diversity within our membership, we’re establishing the following policy interest groups:

  • Environmental assessment & Compliance

  • Climate Change

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Planning & Heritage

  • Energy & Resources

  • Marine & Coasts

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution

  • These groups will be driven by members, and present opportunities to expand your networks, invigorate discussion on key issues and strengthen NELA’s contribution to the national debate on environmental law and policy.

    We’ll be emailing all members in the coming weeks inviting you to register for one or more of these groups. NELA’s continuing success depends on our members, and we encourage you to get involved.


    Australian Environmental Law Digest

    The next edition will be published in July 2016, with contributions due on 23 June 2016. If you’d like your article to be considered for publication, please email to Jess Feehely at review@nela.org.au.


    Contributors wanted

    The NELA Bulletin team is still looking for a member to contribute brief updates on cases, laws and policies for the Northern Territory to be included in the Bulletin.

    If you are interested in becoming the NT contributor, please contact Jess Feehely at review@nela.org.au


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    Law and policy development

    In the Legislature


    Human rights hurdle removed for EPBC Act standing amendments

    In its 48th report, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights withdrew its previous view that the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (Standing) Amendment Bill 2015 may be incompatible with the right to health. The Committee had previously noted that the Minister had failed to provide evidence of a purported increase in "green lawfare" to justify amendments to s.487.

    In response, the Minister pointed to a 2011 document prepared by ENGOs entitled “Stopping Australia’s Coal Export Boom”, and noted that those with a direct interest would remain able to establish standing under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1974. The Committee report states:

      The committee considers that the Minister's response has not fully explained the link between these campaign materials and the use of the extended standing provisions in the Environment Act so as to fully justify the provisions in the bill. Nevertheless, the committee notes that the bill would not change existing environmental standards that seek to protect the right to health through the protection of the environment.

    The Committee concluded that the proposed changes could be compatible with the right to health. It will remain to be seen whether the Bill is re-introduced following the election.


    Additions to the list of threatened species and communities

    On 6 April 2016, the Minister approved the listing of the Natural Temperate Grassland of the South Eastern Highlands as a critically endangered ecological community.

    On 5 May 2016, the Minister added over 45 new species to various threatened species lists, and increased the threatened status of several already listed species, including ‘uplisting’ the Swift Parrot to critically endangered.



    ACT increases emissions reduction ambitions

    The ACT legislature has passed a legislative instrument and introduced an amendment Bill to alter the following targets:

    • The 2020 renewable energy target has been increased from 90% to 100%

    • The target of achieving zero net emissions by 2060 has been brought forward to 2050.


    Nature Conservation Amendment Bill 2016

    This Bill aims to facilitate Commonwealth efforts to harmonise the assessment methodologies, listing criteria and regulation of activities that will impact on threatened species. In particular, the Bill seeks to adopt a common assessment method, provide for mutual recognition of other jurisdictions’ assessments and consolidate existing lists into a single operational list.

    For more information about the Bill, click here.


    Freedom of Information Bill 2016

    On 5 May 2016, the ACT Greens introduced a Bill to replace the existing Freedom of Information Act 1989 with more contemporary laws modelled on the Queensland legislation. The Bill will recognise a public right to information, and promote public participation and a culture of transparency. The explanatory memorandum for the Bill references the Aarhus Convention principles as a model for improving the rigour of government decision making.

    Debate on the Bill has been adjourned to a date to be set. For more information about the Bill, click here.


    New South Wales

    Biodiversity package introduced

    The NSW Government has released a package of reforms, including the Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016, Local Land Services Amendment Bill 2016, and information about proposed land clearing codes. The proposed legislation will replace existing laws such as the Native Vegetation Act 2003, Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001. The draft legislative package has been released for public comment until 28 June 2016 (see “Open for Comment”).



    Planning laws passed

    On 11 May 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed the Planning Act 2016. The Act restores public participation and access to information removed by the previous government, and establishes “clearer, simpler categories of development and levels of assessment.

    The Act is not expected to take effect until mid-2017. For more information, click here


    Laws to extend responsibility for rehabilitation

    On 22 April 2016, the Queensland government passed the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016. A number of amendments were made to reduce the scope of powers, however the Act will still allow liability for rehabilitation to extend to related companies and landowners and strengthen the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s powers in relation to cost recovery, investigation, enforcement and imposition of financial assurances.

    To read the Act, click here.


    Ban on coal gasification

    On 18 April 2016, the Queensland government announced it would introduce a moratorium on all underground coal gasification activities, including the in-situ gasification of shale oil. The moratorium on all future activities relating to UCG will be implemented through the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

    The decision follows a number of unsuccessful trial projects undertaken to demonstrate the technical, commercial and environmental viability of the industry.

    For more information, click here.


    Western Australia

    Committee review of the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill

    The Standing Committee on Legislation is expected to release its review of the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill in early May.

    The Legislative Council referred the Bill to the Committee in February. The proposed amendments are intended to consolidate and clarify the environmental management requirements of tenement holders, through the introduction of a new Part IVAA of the Mining Act 1978 (WA). The amendments would also introduce new exemptions to the clearing permit requirements under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), for certain clearing associated with mining.

    For a copy of the Bill, click here.


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    In the Courts

    New South Wales

    McCudden v Cowra Shire Council [2016] NSWLEC 14

    The Land and Environment Court of NSW has held that an order issued under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) limiting the number of cats to be kept on premises to address animal welfare concerns was validly issued. The Court accepted that welfare of cats was not an irrelevant consideration for issuing an order, on the basis that the Council was required to have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development. Drawing on the broad definition of "environment" in relevant legislation, the Court concluded that animal welfare was an aspect of "the surroundings of humans" or a "component of the earth" including "living organisms".

    The Court was therefore satisfied that regulatory measures directed to animal welfare could be characterised as directed to an aspect of the management and control of the environment.

    To read the case, click here



    Legal challenges to Adani mine

    The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Federal Court challenge to the Commonwealth Minister’s approval of the Adani mine was heard on 3-4 May 2016. For information about the case, click here.

    On 27 April 2016, Coast and Country Association of Queensland, filed an application for judicial review of the Queensland Government’s decision to grant an environmental authority, alleging that the government’s decision fails to achieve ecologically sustainable development, as required by s.5 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld).


    South Australia

    The Environment, Resources and Development Court has fined Nasim Pty Ltd $28,000, after the company pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully operating a waste depot. The charges followed an incident in which more than 2,000 tonnes of petroleum contaminated soil was dumped near Mount Compass.

    For more information, click here.



    Commonwealth Government joins appeal against off-road vehicle track closure in Aboriginal heritage area

    The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment has been granted leave to intervene in the Tasmanian Government’s appeal against the Federal Court decision that re-opening off-road vehicle tracks in the Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape would be a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

    The case is scheduled for hearing in August 2016. For a summary of the case, click here.


    Claims of green energy misleading

    Hydro Tasmania’s energy retailer, Momentum, has been penalised more than $50,000 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over ads promoting its energy as "100% renewable". Rather than supplying exclusively from Hydro Tasmania, Momentum supplies energy from the National Electricity Market, which pools energy from a range of sources, including fossil fuels.

    The ACCC Chairman stated:

      Although Momentum is owned by Hydro Tasmania, the electricity it supplies comes from the National Energy Market, not from hydroelectricity generated in Tasmania. By its advertising campaign, Momentum gave consumers the misleading impression that Momentum offered a renewable energy product, when this was not the case...

      These sorts of claims may mislead consumers to buy a product thinking it is a “greener” option than it really is. Such conduct not only harms consumers but also disadvantages competitors who may, for example offer accredited GreenPower plans which provide a financial incentive for new renewable electricity generation.

    For more information, click here.


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    Policy developments and other news



    On 8 May 2016, the Governor called a double dissolution election, to be held on 2 July 2016. The next edition of the NELA Bulletin will provide details of the various environment and climate change policies of the major parties.


    Australia signs the Paris Climate Change agreement

    On 23 April 2016, Australia joined over 150 countries in signing the Paris Agreement, securing a global agreement to combat climate change. The signing of the agreement follows the successful COP21 negotiations held in Paris in December 2015, where the text of the agreement was finalised.

    The signing of the agreement is an important step towards its global implementation. Countries that have signed the agreement must now individually ratify the agreement domestically. The agreement needs formal approval from 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to come into force.

    Fifteen nations, including Nauru, Fiji and Samoa, have already ratified the agreement, with US, China and India - the three biggest climate polluters – committing to ratify soon, possibly as early as this year.

    Australia also indicated an intention to ratify early. For a transcript of Greg Hunt’s signing statement, click here.

    Various other commitments were made in the lead up to the signing ceremony, including:

    • The "High Ambition Coalition" of countries committed to strong actions, ratification of the agreement by mid-2017 and emphasised that 1.5C should be considered a minimum target, rather than an aspirational goal. The Coalition (which does not include Australia) also committed to encouraging countries with conservative INDCs to adopt more ambitious goals.

    • The Carbon Pricing Panel, comprising leaders from Canada, Mexico, France, Germany and others, the World Bank and the IMF, released a vision statement for expanding carbon pricing to cover 25% of global emissions by 2020, and 50% by 2030.

    For further information on the Paris Agreement and Australia’s participation in international climate negotiations, click here.


    Budget – environmental allocations

    The key environmental announcements in Budget 2016 were:

    • a purported boost to funding for projects on the Great Barrier Reef;

    • a significant investment ($2B) in the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan, including further funding for the already-promised new icebreaker vessel;

    • additional $20M to the 20 Million Trees Programme; and

    • Funding to implement Commonwealth Marine Reserves, including structural adjustment funds for affected commercial fishers, based on the recommendations of the Marine Reserves Review (which was completed in December 2015, but is yet to be publicly released).

    During Budget Estimates, the government acknowledged that the money allocated to the Great Barrier Reef was not ‘new’ money, but funds already invested in Landcare and Reef Plan work, focussed primarily on improving water quality within the broader catchment. Funds have not been allocated to directly address recent concerns raised regarding the unprecedented extent of coral bleaching on the Reef.

    The full Budget Papers for the Environment Portfolio are available here.


    Release of Climate Authority review deferred

    At the request of the Minister for the Environment, the Climate Change Authority has been conducting a special review into the most efficient mechanisms and policy settings to cut national emissions and transition to a low-carbon electricity sector. The review was due to be completed by 30 June 2016.

    The Minister has now granted an extension of the reporting timeframe until after the election. Leaked copies of the report indicate that the Authority concludes that a carbon price should be adopted.


    Climate data and modelling

    The Commonwealth Government has released a number of emissions-related documents, including:

    The major parties’ climate policies will be discussed in the next edition of the NELA Bulletin.


    Senate report recommends action on marine plastics

    The Senate Committee inquiring into the threat of Marine Plastics released its final report on 20 April 2016. The report acknowledges the ecological risks currently posed by marine pollution and the scale of the problem, and makes a number of recommendations. These include:

    • mandatory industry funding contributions to research into the extent and sources of, and risks from, marine plastics;

    • establishing a marine pollution database;

    • urgent ban on products containing microbeads;

    • support for plastic bag bans in all States;

    • support for research into ghost nets and ways to prevent the loss of fishing gear at sea;

    • encouraging States and Territories to introduce container deposit legislation by 2020.

    To read the report, click here. NELA once again thanks Ellen Geraghty and Dr Sarah Waddell for their invaluable contribution to the NELA submission to the Senate Inquiry.


    Other parliamentary reports

    In the week prior to the election being called, a number of reports relevant to environment and planning issues were released. These include:


    Australia responds to decisions of the World Heritage Committee on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

    On 8 April 2016, the Australian and Tasmanian governments released a joint response to the World Heritage Committee regarding their Decision in July 2015 and recommendations from the 2015 reactive monitoring mission. In the response, the governments support all 20 recommendations from the monitoring mission. They commit to reflecting the recommendations and past decisions of the World Heritage Committee in a new management for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which will be completed in 2016 (see Tasmanian update below).

    The Commonwealth Government’s State of Conservation Report for the TWWHA provides the following details regarding the plan for addressing cultural heritage values:

    • The Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage Council will prepare a synthesis report outlining existing information on cultural sites within the property by mid-2017, along with a detailed plan for comprehensive on-ground surveys.

    • Following submission of the detailed plan, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage Council will conduct the on-ground surveys and community consultation over several years.

    • Outcomes from cultural heritage surveys and consultation will be used to prepare a retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value as soon as possible after 2017.

    To read the State of Conservation report, click here.


    New South Wales

    Container deposit scheme announced

    On 9 May 2016, the Premier announced that NSW will introduce a container deposit scheme by July 2017. The scheme will provide for a 10c return on eligible drink containers. Funding to establish and manage collection depots and reverse vending machines will be provided by beverage industry organisations.

    For more information, click here.


    Studies on air pollution in Hunter Valley released

    The NSW Environment Protection Authority has released the findings of two major studies looking at air pollution in the Lower Hunter. The research investigates the sources and impacts of particle pollution in the Lower Hunter/Newcastle region, where community concern has been growing about air quality.

    The research comprised two studies – the Particle Characterisation Study and the Dust Deposition Study – carried out in 2014 and 2015. To find out more, click here.


    New Flora Reserves created on NSW South Coast and $2.5 million to local timber industry

    The NSW Government has established four new Flora Reserves on the NSW Far South Coast, comprising over 12,000 hectares. The reserves will provide protection to the last known local koala population, habitat for threatened species, including the long-nosed potoroo, the yellow-bellied glider and the powerful owl, and significant Aboriginal heritage. The local Aboriginal community will be consulted regarding future management of the reserves.

    To ensure the future viability of the local timber industry, the NSW Government will also provide a $2.5 million grant to facilitate the sourcing of timber from alternative South East NSW State Forests and work with industry to manage a longer-term transition to high quality regrowth forests.

    For more information, click here.



    Minister declines to rule out Uluru climb

    On 11 April 2016, Minister Greg Hunt rejected a request from traditional owners to ban tourists from climbing Uluru. Currently, around 50,000 people make the climb each year, despite clear signage indicating that it is against the wishes of traditional owners.

    To read more about this decision, click here.


    South Australia

    Royal Commission recommends SA pursue nuclear options

    On 9 May 2016, Premier Jay Weatherill released the final report of the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The report makes 12 key recommendations, including pursuing the establishment of nuclear fuel and waste storage facilities in South Australia. The Commission concluded that these facilities are safe, viable and “would have extraordinary economic benefits for South Australia.”

    Details regarding public consultation on the report will be announced soon. To read the report, click here.



    Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2014

    The Tasmanian Planning Commission has commenced a review of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife’s report into the Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2014. The report summarises and responds to the over 7,000 representations made in relation to the draft plan.

    The Commission is required to determine whether or not public hearings will be held to assist with its review. For more information and updates regarding the review, click here.


    Coastal hazards in Tasmania

    In response to the risks presented by coastal inundation and erosion a Draft Coastal Hazards Package (the Draft Package) has been prepared. The Draft Package provides guidance for managing coastal hazards in the land use planning system. It adopts a risk-based approach based on the best available evidence to inform appropriate planning and building controls, including the coastal inundation and erosion codes in the draft State Planning Provisions.

    To review the Draft Package, click here.


    Interim Planning Directive No.1 – Bushfire-Prone Areas Code

    The Government has issued Interim Planning Directive No.1 – Bushfire-Prone Areas Code, effectively suspending the existing Planning Directive No. 5 – Bushfire-Prone Areas Code until February 2017 (while the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme is developed).

    The Interim Planning Directive introduces revised Bushfire-Prone Areas provisions that coincide with changes to the Building Regulations 2014, and the Director of Building Control’s determination – Requirements for Building in Bushfire Prone Areas. It applies only to interim planning schemes, and will not affect the development of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

    For more information, click here.


    Planning Commission Practice Notes

    The Tasmanian Planning Commission introduced three Practice Notes to replace the former Planning Advisory Notes, which have been retired following successive changes to the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. The Practice Notes assist planners and other practitioners with information about the Commission’s processes. Current titles include:


    Natural Resource Management Review Tasmania

    In 2015, the Tasmanian Government reviewed the effectiveness of Tasmania's two principal instruments for natural resource management, the Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Framework 2002 and the Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Act 2002.

    The review has now been released. Its recommendations include increasing the emphasis on stewardship and sustainable management activities, removing accreditation requirements and conducting more regular reviews of the NRM principles and priorities.

    For more information, click here.


    Hobart Airport runway extension approved

    On 22 April 2016, the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport approved the Hobart Airport Runway Major Development Plan. The approval of the 500m extension of the existing runway will allow larger aircraft to use the airport, facilitating direct international flights.

    For details regarding the runway expansion proposal, click here.


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    Open for comment


    Smart Cities Plan

    On 29 April 2016, the Prime Minister released the Commonwealth’s Smart Cities Plan. The Plan “prioritises smart policy, smart investment and smart technology to improve accessibility, create more jobs, more affordable housing and build healthy environments” and includes:

    • The establishment of an infrastructure financing unit to work closely with the private sector on innovative financing solutions; and

    • committing $50 million to accelerate planning and development works on major infrastructure projects to develop business cases and investment options.

    Comments on the Smart Cities Plan can be made until 24 June 2016. For more information about the Plan, click here.


    Productivity Commission Inquiry into Data Access

    The Productivity Commission is conducting an inquiry into information sharing options, accessibility of public and private datasets and disclosure issues. While not limited to environmental information, the inquiry’s scope explicitly includes environmental data sets.

    Comments on the Issues Paper can be made until 29 July 2016. For more information regarding the inquiry, click here.


    New South Wales

    Biodiversity package

    The NSW Government has released a legislative package designed to implement its new native vegetation clearing framework. The package includes a Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016, amendments to the Local Land Services Act 2013 and a series of codes of practices outlining allowable clearing and clearing for which a permit is required.

    Comments on the legislative package can be made until 28 June 2016. For more information, click here.



    Low Carbon Future options paper

    The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper, Advancing climate action in Queensland: Making the transition to a low carbon future, for public comment.

    The report discusses a range of options, including tighter land clearing controls, expanding carbon offsetting activities, and signing the international agreement Under2MOU (SA is already a signatory).

    Comments on the paper can be made until 5 August 2016. For more information, click here.



    State Planning Policies

    The draft State Planning Provisions (SPPs) are currently available for public comment. The SPPs are a principal component of the proposed Tasmanian Planning Scheme (to replace individual planning schemes) and will make a number of significant changes to the way that use and development is assessed in Tasmania.

    Comments on the draft SPPs can be made until 18 May 2016. For more information, click here.


    Draft Noise Regulations

    The EPA has released draft Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016, designed to replace the existing regulations on their expiry in July 2016. The draft Regulations propose noise management measures based on identifying inappropriate times for noisy activities, rather than technical noise emission limits for specified activities.

    Comments on the draft Regulations can be made until 3 June 2016. For more information, click here.


    Draft Cat Management Plan

    The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has released a Draft Tasmanian Cat Management Plan, which aims to reduce the negative impacts of cats on the environment, agriculture and human health. The Plan makes a series of recommendations regarding confining domestic cats and managing feral cats.

    Public comments on the Draft Plan can be made until 30 June 2016. For more information, click here.


    Western Australia

    North Kimberley Marine Park

    The Department of Parks and Wildlife is working with Wunambal Gaambera, Balanggarra, Ngarinyin and Miriuwung Gajerrong traditional owners to create the proposed North Kimberley Marine Park. The park will cover 1.8 million hectares from north east of Derby to the NT border.

    The Draft management plan proposes eight sanctuary zones to protect critical habitat and a further eight special purpose zones for recreation, conservation and protection of cultural heritage. Approximately 65% of the park will be available for general use.

    In recognition of the significant cultural values and ongoing connections to sea country, it is intended that the marine park will be jointly managed with traditional owners.

    Comments on the draft management plan can be made until 20 May 2016. For more information, click here.


    Draft Environmental Standard for composting

    The Department of Environment Regulation has released a revised draft Environmental Standard for Composting for public comment following earlier consultation. The Standard would apply to certain composting facilities that are prescribed premises under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The Standard would be used to assess new applications for works approvals and licenses for these facilities and to review existing licences.

    Comments on the draft Standard can be made until 6 June 2016. For more information, click here.


    BHP Billiton seeks approval for Pilbara projects

    BHP Billiton has released a public environmental review regarding its future activities in the Pilbara for consideration by the EPA. Comments on the public environmental review document can be made until 13 June 2016.

    The review complements an application made under the EPBC Act for strategic assessment of its projects in the region. Comments on that application closed on 2 May 2016.

    For more information on both assessments, click here.


    Draft Guideline on Environmental Noise for Prescribed Premises

    The Department of Environment Regulation has released a draft guideline describing the methodology for predicting and measuring noise emissions for prescribed premises.

    Comments on the draft guideline can be made until 16 June 2016. For more information, click here.


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    NSW organic waste collection grants

    Round 4 of the NSW Environmental Trust Local Government Organics Collection Systems Grants Program is open until 19 May 2016. Grants of up to $1.3 million are available to assist councils to introduce new or enhanced kerbside organics bin collection services.


    SA Entrepreneurs Prize

    South Australia's Premier Jay Weatherill has invited applications for a new Entrepreneurs Prize to provide $250,000 in seed funding for "bold ideas" to help Adelaide become the world's first carbon neutral city.

    Applications may be made by individuals or organisations, both within and outside Australia, however overseas applicants must partner with a South Australian organisation.

    Applications close on 30 May 2016. For more information, click here.


    NSW Food Waste Grants

    The NSW Environmental Trust is inviting applications to its “Love Food, Hate Waste” Grants Program by 14 June 2016. Local councils, NGOs and community groups can apply for grants of between $5,000 and $70,000 for projects designed to reduce food waste.

    For more information, click here.


    NTEPA launches environmental grants program

    On 3 May 2016, the Northern Territory EPA launched its 2016-2017 environment grants program. Schools and other organisations can apply to the EPA for funding to assist with a range of projects. Grants of up to $30,000 are also available for Container Deposit Scheme infrastructure projects.

    For more information, click here.


    WA Grants for Construction Waste Recycling

    Environment Minister Albert Jacob has invited applications for funding to subsidise companies and local councils seeking to boost recycling rates for construction and demolition waste. Up to $8 million will be available to local councils, with a further $2 million available to private sector operators.

    Priority will be given to purchases that involve a significant tonnage of product and that represent the lowest cost per tonne.

    Applications close on 30 June 2016. For more information, click here.



    The SA Department of State Development has invited energy service companies to join a list of energy performance contracting service providers for the Government Building Energy Efficiency Investment program.

    For more information, click here. Tenders can be submitted until 30 November 2016.



    Call for papers for AELA Conference 2016

    The Australian Earth Laws Alliance is calling for abstracts for its 2016 conference, “The Future of Australian environmental law: politics, reform and community activism”. If you are interested in presenting at the conference, submit an abstract by 1 June 2016.

    For more information about the conference, click here.


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    Events offered by NELA’s partners (marked Header) can provide substantial savings for NELA members - so check them out and make the most of your NELA membership!


    EDO NT Aboriginal Art auction

    The 2016 Aboriginal Art Auction to support EDO Northern Territory has been launched. Until 6 June 2016, you can make an online bid for some spectacular Aboriginal art, with all proceeds going to support the work of EDO NT.

    The event is sponsored by Gilbert + Tobin lawyers and Outstation Gallery, and culminates with a live auction on 6 June 2016 at Gilbert + Tobin’s Sydney office. Get your bids in!

    To check out the art and make a bid, click here.


    (Canberra) Accessing and Managing Sensitive Ecological Data

    EIANZ’s popular PEP talk series invites you to hear more about the Australian Government’s new approach to making sensitive ecological data more accessible, discoverable and re-usable.

    When: 25 May 2016, 6:30- 8:30pm
    Where: Hotel Realm

    For more information, click here.


    (Sydney) Professional Development for Environmental Experts

    EIANZ is running this professional development course to assist experts to improve their skills in relation to court appearances, writing and commission reports and providing advice and complying with ethical responsibilities.

    When: 27 May 2016
    Where: Clayton Utz, Bligh Street, Sydney

    For more information, click here.


    (Canberra) EPBC Act approval condition setting and advanced environmental offsets

    Join EIANZ ACT for a session discussing the Australian Government’s new policy positions concerning approval condition setting and advanced environmental offsets under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

    When: 15 June 2016, 6:30 – 8:30pm
    Where: Hotel Realm

    For more information, click here.


    Leaf(Hawaii) 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

    Held every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and indigenous and grass-roots organizations to discuss and decide on solutions to the world’s most pressing environment and development challenges.

    When: 1 – 10 September 2016
    Where: Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

    For more information about the 2016 Congress click here.


    Leaf(Melbourne) 2016 NELA National Conference

    When: 18 November 2016, 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Where: King & Wood Mallesons, Level 50, 600 Bourke St, Melbourne.

    More details to be announced soon!

    Thanks to the NELA Bulletin team

    The NELA Bulletin is researched and written entirely by volunteers. This month, we thank the following people for their contributions:


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