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February 2017 Bulletin


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The NELA Bulletin is published on the first Thursday of each month except January.

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This month

NELA news and events
01. Climate Change and Environmental Legislation – 17 February 2017
02. Australian Environmental Law Digest

Law and policy developments
03. In the Legislature
04. Policy developments and other news
05. In the courts
06. Open for comment
07. Other

08. (Canberra) Biodiversity Lunchtime Seminar
09. (Sydney) Pollution Incident Response Management Plans and emergency response
10. (Wollongong) Improving residential energy efficiency
11. (Perth) Climate Change and Environmental Legislation
12. (Melbourne) Environment and carbon laws and funding
13. (Sydney) Green Cities Conference
14. (Sydney) Mahla Pearlman Oration
15. (Sydney) Future of Environmental Law Symposium
16. (Perth) Environmental Considerations in Planning and Property Development
17. (Sydney) Planning & Environment Law: Practical Implications of Recent NSW Reforms
18. (Hobart) Coastal frontiers: saltmarsh and mangroves
19. (Perth) Environmental Considerations in Planning and Property Development
20. (Montreal) Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change


NELA news and events

Climate Change and Environmental Legislation – 17 February 2017

Join NELA WA, Murdoch University, Glen McLeod Legal and the International Bar Association for a day of discussion about how climate change can be accommodated within environmental law. Speakers include Professor Jürgen Bröhmer, Justice Brian Preston, Dr Tom Hatton, the Hon Cheryl Edwardes, Judge David Parry, Glen McLeod and the Hon Alannah MacTiernan.

Don’t miss out! See “Events” below for more details.

Australian Environmental Law Digest

Submissions for the next edition of NELA’s Australian Environmental Law Digest are due by 27 February 2017 . Papers can be on any environmental law topic and should be between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Longer papers will also be considered.

If you’d like to submit a paper for consideration, contact review@nela.org.au

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Law and policy development

In the Legislature


New investment mandate to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

In December 2016, Minister Frydenberg issued the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Investment Mandate Direction 2016 (No.2) – the “mandate” seeks to provide guidance to the CEFC in making its decisions under Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 , but is not binding.

The revised mandate reduces the amount that the CEFC is to direct to its Clean Energy Innovation Fund (from $1 billion over 10 years to $200 million in total) and provides for investment in “green cities” projects and initiatives that deliver co-benefits to the Great Barrier Reef.

For more information regarding the investment mandate, click here .



Minor changes proposed to suite of environmental laws

The Planning Building and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (No 2) proposes relatively minor amendments to a wide range of laws, including the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010, Environment Protection Act 1997, Nature Conservation Act 2014, Planning and Development Act 2007, Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014 and associated regulations.

Substantive amendments include addressing the operation of a development permit where an application to review the permit is withdrawn and prescribing upper and lower generation limits for small and medium scale utilities.

The Bill was presented to the Legislative Assembly on 15 December 2016 and will debated in future. To read the Bill, click here .


New pest declarations

The Minister has declared the European Red Fox, the European Wasp and a number of exotic fish species to be prohibited pest animals under the Pest Plant and Animals Act 2005 .

An earlier proposal to also declare wild cats as pests was not pursued, after public consultation revealed community concern that wild cats would not be able to be distinguished from domestic cats.

For more information regarding the declaration, click here .


South Australia

New Litter and Nuisance controls

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Regulations 2017 were assented to on 19 January 2017, and will take effect when the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 commences.

The Regulations outline offences, notification requirements and remedies available, and provide definitions to assist in the determination of what does, and does not, constitute local nuisance under the Act.


Amendments to facilitate live music venues

On 25 January 2017, the Development Regulations 2008 were amended to allow live music and other entertainment events to occur in existing commercial premises without development approval, and create a series of further exemptions for other uses.

For more information, click here .



Guidelines proposed for 'chain of responsibility' law

Following the Gazettal of the Environmental Protection Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2017 on 27 January 2017, the Guidelines on Issuing ‘chain of responsibility’ environmental protection orders under Chapter 7, Part 5, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 have statutory effect.

The Guidelines seek to clarify how the government will apply new powers adopted under the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016

For analysis of the scope of parties caught by the ‘chain of responsibility’ legislation, review the paper delivered by Marita Foley at last year’s NELA conference.

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Policy developments and other news


New NOPSEMA Guidelines released

Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry regulator, NOPSEMA, has released new guidelines on well integrity control measures and performance standards.

To read the guidance notes, click here .


Biosecurity reviews

The Australian National Audit Office has released its  audit report on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its supporting framework.  ANAO conclude that the Department has sound governance structures and planning approaches, but improvements could be made to the delivery of some programmes.

A draft report commissioned by State and Federal governments regarding implementation of the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement  has also been released.  The report raises concerns that environmental regulators are not sufficiently involved in biosecurity responses, undermining the effective management of biosecurity risks.

For details of how to comment on the report, see “Open for Comment” below.


New ICMM water stewardship rules

Members of the International Council on Mining and Metals commit to comply with ICMM principles and position statements. In January 2017, the ICMM released a new position statement on water stewardship, outlining a range of commitments regarding managing cumulative impacts, setting water targets and achieving sustainable water use.

Australian members, including BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto and MMG, are expected to implement the position statement.

To read the Position Statement, click here .


Productivity Commission to inquire into water reform

Treasurer Scott Morrison has instructed the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into "progress with the reform of Australia's water resources sector", focusing on implementation of the National Water Initiative and interaction of policies on water, energy, agriculture and planning.

The Commission will release an issues paper in March 2017 for public discussion, with a view to submitting its final report in December.

For information regarding the terms of reference for the inquiry, click here .


Review of the first five years of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

In late 2016, the Department of the Environment and Energy released a report on the review of the first five years of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030. The Strategy is Australia’s national framework for biodiversity conservation and acts as Australia’s principal instrument for implementing our international obligations under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The Strategy did not engage, guide, or communicate its objectives to all audiences in a useful way.
  • The Strategy is too focused on preventing the loss of biodiversity in natural terrestrial environments and does not consider biodiversity contributions across all landscapes.
  • The Strategy has not effectively influenced biodiversity conservation activities.
  • Alignment of the Strategy with the Convention on Biological Diversity, and other related international obligations, could be enhanced.

The report makes a number of recommendations in light of these findings. To read the review, click here


New South Wales

Audit Office review of PAC assessments

The Audit Office has released its report on the Planning Assessment Commission’s Assessment of Major Development Applications. The report concludes:

“Over the last two years, the Commission has improved its decision-making process… However, there are still some vital issues to be addressed to ensure it makes decisions in a consistent and transparent manner. Most importantly, the Commission was not able to show in every decision we reviewed how it met its statutory obligation to consider the matters in section 79C of the EP&A Act.”

The report also notes that many stakeholders perceive the Commission is not independent of the Department, and recommends improvements in transparency to address such perceptions.

To read the report, click here .


New Ministers

In the Cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of Mike Baird, the following Ministers have been appointed:

  • Gabrielle Upton - Environment, Local Government and Heritage
  • Anthony Roberts - Planning
  • Don Harwin - Resources, Energy and Utilities


Call for development of biodiversity assessment method

The Office of Environment and Heritage  is seeking tenders for the development and delivery of the biodiversity assessment method and accreditation training program, to support the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 .  The assessment method is expected to be rolled out by 1 July 2017.

Tenders close on 21 February 2017 .  For more information, click here .



Strategy for wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchments

The Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments Management Strategy 2016-21 sets out a framework to improve the management of wetlands in the catchment area, drawing from the Reef 2050 Long term Sustainability Plan and the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2013 .


$8.4 million “Carbon Plus Fund’ launched

A new fund to support an expansion of the carbon farming industry in Queensland has been launched. The fund will initially be used to support government purchases carbon credits from abatement projects undertaken by Traditional Owners to offset emissions from the government car fleet.

For more information, click here .


New Acland mine receives Federal approval

On 18 January 2017, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg  granted approval under the EPBC Act for the expansion of the New Acland coal mine.  To read the Minister’s statement of reasons, click here .

A decision is yet to be handed down in the Land Court challenge to the issue of authorities under State legislation. The Land Court has agreed to re-open the case to allow further evidence to be presented. For updates, click here


South Australia

Flinders Power Holdings ordered to revise dust management plans

The South Australian EPA has issued an Environment Protection Order to Flinders Power Holding requiring the company to revise dust management plans after strong winds led to dust from an ash dam being dispersed across the Port Augusta township.

For more details, click here


Report into response to extreme weather

On 23 January 2017, the SA government released the Independent report into the adequacy of the State’s emergency management response to extreme weather events in Septemeber and October 2016.

The independent review, led by former Police Commissioner Gary Burns, finds that the response was “in general, well-managed, with coordinated, effective response and recovery operations put in place”, but makes a series of recommendations to improve future responses.

To read the report, click here .



Salmon biomass caps reduced for Macquarie Harbour

On 18 January 2017, the Director of the EPA issued final determinations reducing the cumulative biomass limits for salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour from 21,500t to 14,000t for the period14 February - 30 April 2017.  The Director’s report notes "significant deterioration in the level of compliance with benthic indicators" and a steady decline in dissolved oxygen to levels "which present a significant risk to the ecology of the harbour." 

A further determination will be made setting the biomass cap for 2017-2018 once the Director has reviewed the January 2017 benthic monitoring reports.

To read the determinations and supporting reasons, click here. The submissions made by the salmon companies will not be released until the 2017-2018 determination is made. 

Huon Aquaculture, one of three salmon farming companies operating in the Harbour has criticized the temporary biomass reduction as inadequate to address environmental concerns and commenced judicial review proceedings against the Director. For more information, click here.



New climate change framework released

The Victorian Government has released a climate change framework , designed to achieve the 2050 “zero net emissions” target proposed by the Climate Change Act (which is yet to be passed by the Legislative Council).

The framework sets the first interim state target, aiming to cut emissions to 15- 20% below 2005 levels by 2020.  The government also commits the government to reduce departmental emissions by 30% by 2020.

The framework does not rule out regulatory measures to ensure that the targets are achieved.

For more information, click here .


VEET regulations revised

The Essential Services Commission has issued a number of revisions, updates and directions regarding the operation of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme. Changes have been made to the information note  outlining requirements for creating certificates from prescribed activities, and to compliance requirements for several activities.

For more information, click here .


Latrobe Valley rehabilitation bonds

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources has released a new  statement of reasons confirming that estimated rehabilitation liabilities for coal operations in the Latrobe Valley are significantly higher than the rehabilitation bonds currently held by the Department.

The Department will continue to review estimated liabilities with a view to securing higher bonds from the three operators by mid-2017.


Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Action Plan

On 15 December, the Victorian Government launched the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Action Plan, which sets out an ‘overarching framework to connect and support councils and Aboriginal communities across Victoria’. It aims to assist councils to improve relationships with Aboriginal communities, promote reconciliation, and to engage Aboriginal people in planning, decision-making, employment, programs and services.

Implementation of the Action Plan will be led by Local Government Victoria and will be guided by an Aboriginal Reference Group and a Steering Committee. An Implementation Plan will also be developed to sit alongside the Action Plan.

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In the courts


High Court waste transport case abandoned

The High Court dispute regarding the constitutionality of Victorian EPA orders restricting  ResourceCo Material Solutions Pty Ltd from transporting waste from South Australia of lower quality than dictated by Victorian thresholds, due to be heard in January, has been abandoned.

In late December, the EPA approved the  Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Amendment (Performance Standard) Interim Regulations 2016 , temporarily making it easier for ResourceCo to satisfy Victorian requirements.


AAT rules on RET liability for iron ore operator

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that TEC Pipe Pty Ltd’s power station, linked to Fortescue's Pilbara iron ore operations, does have a RET liability. 

The company had challenged the Clean Energy Regulator’s assessment of its liability, arguing that none of its six generators, assessed individually, had a generating capacity above the required threshold.  The Clean Energy Regulator argued that the six turbines were to be assessed as a single generating operation.

The AAT held that, contrary to a common sense approach, the legislation did require the turbines to be individually assessed.  However, Justice Duncan Kerr was not satisfied that the turbines met the definition of “standby plant” as they had not been in operation for three years.  Without being able to rely on the standby plant rules, TEC Pipe was subject to the usual rules and did incur an RET liability.

To read the decision in TEC Pipe Pty Ltd and Clean Energy Regulator [2017] AATA 48 , click here .



Asbestos company and director fined over forged documents

Complete Asbestos Removal Pty Ltd, and its director, Mr Endacott, have been fined $138,000 and ordered to pay costs of $50,000 for forging ‘bonded asbestos clearance certificates’, an asbestos removal clearance report and providing false waste disposal documents.

Chief Justice Preston was satisfied that the parties knowingly provided false or misleading information, and acknowledged the guilty pleas entered by the company.

To read Environment Protection Authority v Complete Asbestos Removal Pty Ltd; Environment Authority v Endacott [2016] NSWLEC 167, click here.


Court finds bund wall ancillary to quarry operation

Sutherland Shire Council brought prosecution proceedings against Benedict Industries Pty Ltd, alleging a large bund around its quarry was constructed without the necessary planning approvals. The Council argued that the bund was intended to allow the disposal of over 200,000t of waste, a prohibited use.   The company claimed the material was not waste, but recovered fines and mulch (a ‘waste-derived resource’).

Justice Pepper was not satisfied that the material was waste, as there was no evidence that it was “unwanted, surplus or discarded" by Benedict. Her Honour held that the bund was clearly subservient to the purpose of quarrying and, therefore, was a permissible development.

To read Sutherland Shire Council v Benedict Industries Pty Ltd (No 8) [2017] NSWLEC 4, click here.


Barangaroo casino challenge fails

The Millers Point community group challenging the approval of the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort at Millers Point community group challenging the approval of the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort at Barangaroo as a State Significant Development has been unsuccessful.

The group had argued that the Planning Assessment Commission was required to decide whether or not to approve the location of the Crown Sydney Building by reference to the  Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 , without being fettered by the location determined under the  Casino Control Act 1992 .  The group submitted that the provisions of the  Casino Control Act 1992  are not intended to override planning controls.

On 23 December 2016, t he Land and Environment Court found that none of Millers Point’s grounds were made out and upheld the PAC’s approval. 

To read the decision in Millers Point Fund Incorporated v Lendlease (Millers Point) Pty Ltd [2016] NSWLEC 166, click here.



EPA fines Park Orchards company

The Victorian EPA has fined the owner of a Park Orchards property for failing to comply with EPA requirements to provide an assessment report of contaminated soil at its site, including categorising the soil and providing recommendations for its disposal.

The EPA considered that the company showed “complete disregard” for EPA requirements and hope that the fine of $7,773 will act as a deterrent against further breaches.

For more information, click here .

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Open for comment


Carbon neutral buildings and precincts consultation open

The Department of the Environment and Energy is seeking comments on two draft voluntary standards for Australia’s property sector: the National Carbon Offset Standard for Buildings and the National Carbon Offset Standard for Precincts . The standards have been developed in consultation with NABERS, the Green Building Council of Australia, carbon accounting experts and property sector businesses.

The Standards set rules for measuring, reducing, offsetting and reporting emissions required to make carbon neutral claims for building and precinct operations.

Submissions can be made until 10 February 2017 . For more information, click here .


National Heritage Places nominations

The Commonwealth Government is calling for nominations for places of exceptional natural, Indigenous, or historic significance to be added to the National Heritage List.

Nominations can be made until 17 February 2017 .  For more information, click here .


Finkel review

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, released his preliminary report on the Future Security of the National Electricity Market for public consultation in December 2016.

Comments on the report can be made until 21 February 2017 .  For more information, click here .


Environmental Risk Management for Industrial Chemicals

In November 2016, the Department of the Environment and Energy and states and territories released the  Draft National Standard for Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals  and a supporting  Draft Explanatory Document, outlining the design and operation of the National Standard for risk management.

The National Standard aims to streamline regulation of industrial chemicals, enabling a more consistent, efficient and effective approach to environmental risk management of industrial chemicals across all jurisdictions.

Comments on the draft Standard can be made until 3 March 2017.  For more information, click here .


Vehicle emissions and fuel quality standards

Following public consultation last year, the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions has released three further consultation papers:

  • draft Regulation Impact Statement for introducing fuel efficiency standards for light vehicles;
  • draft Regulation Impact Statement on strengthening noxious emissions standards for light and heavy vehicles; and
  • discussion paper on improving fuel quality standards.

Submissions on the papers can be made until 10 March 2017 .  For more information, click here .


National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement

Commonwealth, State and Territory governments are undertaking an independent review of the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement, which sets out responsibilities for responding to significant pest and disease incursions. A discussion paper is now available, providing background to the Agreement and its key policies and processes, and highlighting key themes for discussion under the review.

Submissions to the review can be made until  17 March 2017 .  For more information, click here .


Govt to ratify Minamata Convention

The Department of Environment and Energy has released an exposure draft of a Regulation Impact Statement on ratifying the Minimata Convention on Mercury and options for meeting obligations under the Convention.

Comments on the draft can be made until 17 March 2017 . For more information, click here


Nomination of threatened species

The Department of Environment and Energy is inviting nominations for the EPBC threatened species list until 31 March 2017 . For more information regarding eligibility and the nomination process, click here .


Draft Threat Abatement Plan - Marine Plastics

The Department of the Environment and Energy has released a draft  Threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine species  outlining a national strategy to manage threats posed by marine debris and guide investment and efforts by governments, research organisations and NGOs. 

Key actions are proposed to encourage a circular economy, reduce single use plastics, ensure planning decisions consider the potential to increase marine debris, improving management of ghost nets and shipping waste, and improving data collection methods.

Comments on the draft plan can be made until  13 April 2017 . For more information, click here



Draft Social Impact Assessment guidelines for state significant developments

The NSW government has released draft Social Impact Assessment guidelines for State Significant resource projects under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act .  The guidelines outline how to account for ‘significant issues from a community perspective which may appear to be at odds with other specialist technical studies’, such as mental, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing, and fears about safety and the future of the community.

Proponents of major projects have been encouraged to consider how these changes can be applied in their sector.

Comments on the proposed guidelines can be made until 3 March 2017 .  For more information, click here .

Koala Strategy

The NSW government intends to develop a whole-of-government NSW koala strategy to stabilise and then start to increase koala numbers across the State, following estimated population declines of 25% since 2000.

Comments on what should be included in a statewide strategy are invited until 3 March 2017 . For more information, click here .


Draft amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act

Amendments to the EPAA have been proposed to deal with a range of planning issues, including the completion of the strategic planning framework, improvements to environmental impact assessment for State Significant developments, and enhanced community participation.

Comments on the draft Bill can be made until 10 March 2017 .  For more information, click here .



Planning policy review

The Queensland Government is reviewing the Planning Regulation, State Planning Policy and State Development Assessment Provisions with a view to improving procedures for assessments and plan making.

Submissions to the review can be made until 10 February 2017 . For more information, click here.


Draft Protected Area Strategy

The Queensland Government has released a draft strategy for the management of national parks and privately owned nature refuges.

Comments on the draft strategy can be made until 24 February 2017 . For more information, click here


Plastic bag ban – discussion paper

Queensland's Environment Minister, Steven Miles, has released a  discussion paper  outlining the government’s proposal to ban all lightweight plastic bags less than 35 microns (even if biodegradable, but excluding rubbish and fruit bags) from 2018.

Comments on the discussion paper can be made until 27 February 2017 . For more information, click here .


SEQ Regional Plan

The Queensland Government has released ShapingSEQ , a review of the current SEQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 and framework for managing the region's growth, as well as a series of background papers and technical notes to support the draft Plan.

Comments on the draft Plan can be made until 3 March 2017 . For more information, click here .


Draft water plan for the Great Artesian Basin

The Qld government is seeking public input on the draft water plan on the Great Artesian Basin and other regional aquifers.  The plan aims to ensure a balance between management and access to the resource for existing users and the environment.

Comments on the plan can be made until 17 April 2017 . For more information, click here .


South Australia

Leading Practice Mining Acts Review of South Australia’s Mining Laws         

The Mineral Resources Division has released a series of discussion papers as part of its ongoing review of mining legislation. Discussion Papers 1-3, addressing the Mines and Works Inspections Act 1920, the Mining Act 1971, and the Opal Mining Act 1995 are currently subject to public consultation.

Comments on the Discussion papers close on 24 February 2017 . For more information, click here.


Draft Aboriginal Heritage Regulations and Guidelines

Recent amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 provide a framework for decision-making about Aboriginal Heritage in South Australia.  The draft regulations and guidelines developed to support this new framework seek to ensure that Aboriginal groups are effectively involved in decision-making about Aboriginal heritage.

Comments on the draft Regulations can be made until 28 February 2017. For more information, click here.


Northern and Yorke Catchment Action Plans

Submissions are invited on the development of Catchment Action Plans for the Willochra, Broughton, Wakefield and Light Catchments. 

The completed Willochra and Broughton Draft Plans have been released for public comment , while general feedback regarding the yet to be finalised Wakefield and Light Draft Plans can be made via an online survey .

Submissions and survey responses can be made until 30 June 2017 .  For more information, click here .



Draft Aboriginal Heritage Bill

The Tasmanian government has released draft legislation to amend the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975 . The Bill is designed to give effect to the immediate, minimal changes flagged by the Government in 2016, including:

  • renaming the Act as the “Aboriginal Heritage Act”; 
  • removing the 1876 “cut-off” for what is considered as Aboriginal heritage; 
  • increasing penalties for damage to Aboriginal heritage;
  • replacing the ignorance defence with a due diligence defence, supported by due diligence guidelines;
  • establishing a statutory Aboriginal Heritage Council of Aboriginal people to advise the Minister; and

The Government intends to undertake a more comprehensive review of Aboriginal heritage laws within 3 years.

Comments on the draft Bill can be made until 24 February 2017 .  For more information, click here .



Port Philip Bay management plan

Comments on the draft environmental management plan for Port Phillip Bay can be made until 10 February 2017 .  For more information, click here .


Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act review

DELWP has released a Discussion Paper as part of its review of the  Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 , aimed at modernizing Victoria’s approach to biodiversity protection. The paper discusses preliminary feedback on deficiencies in the current Act and suggested improvements.

Comments on the Discussion Paper can be made until 13 March 2017 .  For more information, click here .

For analysis of the existing Act, review Sarah Brugler’s presentation from the NELA conference. Her subsequent thoughts on the Discussion Paper are available here .

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Citizen science grants

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is offering grants of $50,000 to $500,000 to support community participation in scientific research projects with a national impact. 

Applications close on 17 February 2017 . For more information, click here .

Grants for native vegetation projects

The Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) Grants scheme has become available to organisations or individuals interested in restoring native vegetation in South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges.

Expressions of Interest must be submitted by 22 February 2017.  For more information, click here .


Mahla Pearlman Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year nominations

The Law Council’s Australian Environment and Planning Law Group is calling for nominations for the 2017 Mahla Pearlman Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year award.  The award will be presented at the Mahla Pearlman Oration on 9 March 2017 (see “ Events ” below).

Nominations must be received by 28 February 2017 .  For more information, click here .


Victoria’s New Energy Jobs Fund – Round two open

The Victorian Government established a $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund in 2015 to support Victorian-based projects that “create long-term sustainable jobs, increase the uptake of renewable energy generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive innovation in new energy technologies.”

The second round of funding has two streams: community and industry. Applications for projects in manufacturing, technology, community and skills are invited until 1 March 2017 . For more information, 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!

(Canberra) Biodiversity Lunchtime Seminar

EIANZ are hosting a series of free lunchtime seminars for environmental and other professionals across the ACT and surrounding region.  The February seminar explores biodiversity issues, with Julian Seddon discussing biodiversity and fire management and Robert Speirs talking about the practical application of science

When :  14 February 2017, 12:30pm

Where :  Dame Pattie Menzies House 

For more information, click here .


(Sydney) Pollution Incident Response Management Plans and emergency response  

Join the Australian Sustainable Business Group for a conference discussing the latest issues to be considered when developing response plans for pollution incidents.

When :  16 February 2017

Where : Baker & MacKenzie, Level 27, AMP Centre

For more information, click here .


(Wollongong) Improving residential energy efficiency

This conference will bring together a global array of researchers and practitioners in the energy efficiency field to discuss improvements to energy efficiency in Australian homes and all of the latest news, polices and technologies.

When: 16-17 February 2017

Where : University of Wollongong Innovation Campus

For more information, click here.


Header (Perth) Climate Change and Environmental Legislation

NELA WA, the International Bar Association, Glen McLeod Lawyers and Murdoch University present a one day conference to consider how environmental laws can be reformed to accommodate climate change and sustainable development concepts, internationally and in Western Australia.

When :  17 February 2017

Where :  Murdoch University

For more information, click here .


(Melbourne) Environment and carbon laws and funding  

The Australian Environment Business Network is presenting a seminar outlining changes to Federal and State environmental and carbon legislation, guidelines, upcoming reviews and opportunities for business funding in 2017. The keynote speaker is Nial Finegan, CEO of EPA Victoria.

When : 24 February 2017

Where : Lander & Rogers Lawyers, Lvl 12, 600 Bourke St

For more information, click here .


(Sydney) Green Cities Conference

Register for Australia’s premier sustainability conference for the built environment to visit sites, hear from speakers and develop strategies for a sustainable future.

When: 6-8 March 2017    

Where: International Convention Centre, Sydney

For more information, click here.


(Sydney) Mahla Pearlman Oration

This year’s Mahla Pearlman Oration will be delivered by Professor Jane McAdam, UNSW, addressing the topic: “ Should I Stay or Should I Go? Shaping International Responses to Climate Change, Disasters and Displacement ”.

This annual event, co-hosted by the Law Council’s Australian Environment and Planning Law Group and EPLA, honours the late Honourable Mahla Pearlman AO and the inspiration she has provided to younger generations of environmental lawyers.

The event includes the presentation of the Mahla Pearlman Young Australian Environmental Lawyer of the Year Award (see “ Opportunities ” above).

When :  9 March 2017, 5:00pm

Where :  Court 21, Federal Court Building, Sydney

For more information, click here .


(Sydney) Future of Environmental Law Symposium

The Law Council’s Australian Environment and Planning Law Group is hosting this event, examining a range of interactions between business law and environmental law.  Eminent speakers from a range of disciplines will address topics including investment and climate risk disclosures, implications of the Paris agreement for business, corporate energy transition, indigenous partnerships in ERF projects, and consumer laws.

The event will also pay tribute to the significant contribution of the Hon Justice Michael Barker and Professor Christine Trenorden to environmental law in Australia.

When :  10 March 2017

Where :  The Langham, Kent Street

For more information, click here .


Header (Sydney) Planning & Environment Law: Practical Implications of Recent NSW Reforms

This Legalwise seminar offers presentations on NSW planning reforms, changes to biodiversity laws, progress in wind energy developments and an update on recent environmental prosecutions

When: 14 March 2017, 9am

Where: UNSW CBD Campus

For more information, click here .

** OFFER ** NELA is pleased to offer one free registration to this event to the first NELA member to email review@nela.org.au and correctly answer this question:  Before her appointment as Minister for the Environment, Local Government and Heritage, what portfolio responsibility did Hon Gabrielle Upton hold?


(Hobart) Coastal frontiers: saltmarsh and mangroves

CSIRO and the University of Tasmania are proud to host the 3rd Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Network Conference, bringing together researchers, industry, community and environmental consultants to discuss the latest science and management strategies for saltmarsh and mangrove ecosystems.

When : 21 – 24 March 2017

Where: CSIRO, Hobart.

For more information, click here .


Header (Perth) Environmental Considerations in Planning and Property Development

Legalwise Seminars is running this practical forum examining a range of environmental issues, including the implication of the Banksia Woodland nomination for planning approvals, managing dust and other emissions and bushfire planning.

When :  29 March 2017, 2:00pm

Where : Parmelia Hilton, Perth.

For more details, click here .


(Montreal) Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change

The International Association for Impact Assessment is hosting a global conference to share information, best practices, success stories, innovations, and lessons learned about the way impact assessment can address climate change issues.

When: 4-7 April 2017
Where: Le Centre Sheraton, Montréal

For more information, click here .

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Thanks to the NELA Bulletin team

The NELA Bulletin is researched and written entirely by volunteers. NELA thanks this month’s contributors:

  • Jess Feehely , EDO Tasmania - editor
  • Ebony Holland – contributor, Cth
  • Katharine Huxley – contributor, NT and SA
  • Julia Pitt – contributor, ACT
  • Victoria Shute – contributor, SA
  • Grace Dudley – contributor, Tasmania
  • Natasha Hammond – contributor, NSW
  • Emily Long – contributor, Victoria