ESG Snapshot: Bills on CCS (SA), circularity (ACT), and energy (Vic and WA)

ESG Snapshot: Bills on CCS (SA), circularity (ACT), and energy (Vic and WA)

Highlights include new bills, a consultation on a Tasmanian sustainability strategy, and a South Australian parliamentary inquiry into soft plastics.

Events include an introductory online conference on hydrogen, and a Brisbane waste conference. Jobs include roles with the Commonwealth Bank, Fortescue Future Industries, and Harvey Norman.

ESG Snapshot is a concise weekly update produced by the Business Council of Sustainable Development Australia (BCSDA), which is the local network partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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Another 18 institutional investors have joined  seven founding investors in a global collaboration to work with Australian governments on climate change risks and opportunities.

The 25 global investors have about US$8 trillion under management. They will seek better alignment with Paris goals, the establishment of net-zero transition plans, a greater focus on adaptation, and improved disclosure of government exposure to risks and opportunities.

The Global CCS Institute has released its latest annual report on a wide range of CCS technologies.

The EU has published terms and conditions for a pilot auction to support European renewable hydrogen production, which will distribute up to €800 million to renewable hydrogen producers. The auction will take place in November.


Grant opportunity. The Powering the Regions Fund will shortly accept applications for grants of between $1 million and $100 million to help cement, lime, alumina and aluminium facilities decarbonise. Applications must be submitted by 2 November.

In response to anticipated rising costs, the federal and Tasmanian governments have announced new terms to fund Marinus Link. The federal government will increase its equity share to 49%, Tasmania's equity share will reduce to 17%, and Victoria's will remain at 33.3%.

The initial focus will now be on completing one of the 750MW high voltage DC sub-sea cables between Tasmania and Victoria, with negotiations to continue on a potential second cable.

Reserve Bank deputy governor Michele Bullock, who will shortly be the bank's governor, has delivered a speech on the RBA's approach to climate change risk.

Urgent and ongoing investment is needed to maintain energy reliability in the National Electricity Market, according to the latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities report from the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Townsville City Council will earn carbon credits from the introduction of a FOGO kerbside collection, following its registration of a new ERF project, and a Perth-based electric vehicle leasing and rental company, CarBon Leasing and Rentals, has registered a new ERF project under the  transport method.

APRA's corporate plan for FY24 says it will conduct a climate vulnerability assessment to assess the implications of climate change for general insurance access and affordability.

The Clean Energy Regulator has released its corporate plan for FY24 to FY27. and the Climate Change Authority has released its FY24 corporate plan.

Facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism have until 15 November to apply to the Clean Energy Regulator for a multi-year emissions limit to help manage their FY23 excess emissions.

The latest progress report for Snowy 2.0 shows total project costs are now expected to be $12 billion, with full power not delivered until December 2028.  

A new report from the Australian Energy Market Commission recommends that Australia aim to ensure all energy consumers have smart meters by the start of the next decade.

BehaviourWorks Australia, based at Monash University, has released a behavioural roadmap to circular consumption, which outlines core behaviours to help reduce Australia's material footprint.

The former head of Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Adam Fennessy, has been appointed secretary of the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The Australian Energy Market Operator will conduct a two-stage tender process for 600MW of dispatchable renewable energy generation and storage in Victoria and South Australia. Further tenders will occur in the two states in 2024.  

The federal government is inviting applications for greenhouse gas storage exploration in 10 areas.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 3 October on DCCEEW's discussion paper on implementing recommendations of the Chubb review. The paper includes sections on possible changes to auction procedures and fixed contract exit arrangements. Workshops are also planned.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 11 September on draft Recycling and Waste Reduction (Export - Waste Paper and Cardboard) Rules.

Grant opportunity. ARENA is inviting applications by 19 December under the Regional Microgrids Program, with $75 million to be allocated to First Nations communities, and $50 million to regional microgrid pilot projects.  

Consultation opportunity. DFAT is seeking submissions by 30 September on the implementation of the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement (GEA).

DFAT's Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) is calling for applications from potential business partners to trial new ideas or implement established, high-quality solutions for delivering renewable energy to remote and rural communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste. Concept notes must be submitted by 23 October.

Grant opportunity. The federal government is offering grants of between $1 million and $20 million for projects that deliver solutions for hard-to-recycle plastics. Applications must be submitted by 13 November.

Consultation opportunity. The ACCC has published draft guidance on environmental and sustainability claims, with comments due by 15 September.

Consultation opportunity. Submissions are due by 29 September to a Senate Economics Standing Committee inquiry into residential electrification.

Spot ACCUs ended last week trading at $29.50 (down from $31.00 at the end of the previous week), with spot Human-Induced Regeneration ACCUs trading at $34.50 (down from $35), according to broker Jarden.


State-owned energy company Stanwell has signed an MoU with global renewables company RWE, with a key focus being the development of two new wind farms by 2029 - the 1,100MW Theodore wind farm in central Queensland, and a 720MW project in southern Queensland.  

Ten coastal councils will share $3.3 million for projects to protect their communities from erosion, storm tides, and the threat of rising sea levels.

Eleven Far North Queensland councils have developed a regional resource recovery plan.

Grant opportunity. A total of $53.5 million is available under the latest round of funding offered through the Industry Partnership Program. The funding round aims to develop industries that will be in demand as the world decarbonises.

Grant opportunity. Farmers and other landholders can now apply for the next round of funding under the state's Carbon Farming Advice Scheme, which provides grants of up to $10,000 to obtain carbon farming advice from approved advisors.

New South Wales

The EPA has issued a draft guideline on carbon offsetting for electricity firming infrastructure, which specifies that offsets must be ACCUs from projects in NSW.

The state government has placed on exhibition Vena Energy's proposal for a 408MW battery storage system at Bellambi Heights.

The state government has placed on exhibition Transgrid's application for environmental approval for HumeLink, transmission infrastructure that will run 360 kilometres from Wagga to Maragle and Bannaby.

A parliamentary committee has issued a report in which government members conclude that HumeLink needed to be an overhead transmission line.

The report also recommends that the state government undertake cumulative impact studies before declaring future renewable energy zones, and that it consider appointing an independent ombudsman on renewable energy projects and transmission infrastructure.

The EPA has issued a stop work order to the NSW Forestry Corporation, requiring it to cease harvesting in parts of the Tallagana State Forest, following the death of a Southern Greater Glider.

The Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer has released the findings of its independent review into the 2023 mass fish deaths in the Darling-Baaka River at Menindee, finding that further mass fish deaths are likely due to poor regulation and climate change.

Consultation opportunity. The EPA has launched a biosolids regulatory review, with comments due by 3 October, and webinars are planned.

Consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking feedback by 11 September on a proposed amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan that would allow aerial shooting of feral horses.

Award opportunity. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023 NSW Sustainability Awards. Entries close 8 September.

Statutory development. The ACT government has introduced a Circular Economy Bill to the Legislative Assembly, and has released a draft Circular Economy Regulation for comment.

The Bill creates power to require businesses to separate out for collection food organics, and recyclables. The Bill also incorporates the provisions of the Plastic Reduction Act 2021 and repeals the plastics law, so circularity provisions are in the one law. It also expands the power to prohibit products beyond only single-use plastic products to potentially include other problematic products.

Grant opportunity. The ACT government is offering rebates to small business of up to $10,000 to improve their energy efficiency.


Statutory development. Parliament has passed the Energy Legislation Amendment Bill, which contains measures intended to reduce the risk of disruptions to electricity supply and increases penalties for non-compliance with wholesale gas market rules.

The federal and state governments are providing a total of $92 million to help electrify public housing, and will contribute a total of another $16 million to support solar installations in apartments.

The apartments solar program will provide grants of up to $2,800 per apartment – or up to $140,000 total for each apartment building – for rooftop systems.

ARENA will provide a $10 million grant to Victorian-based RayGen to help develop its combined solar and thermal storage technology.

The state government has joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance - a grouping of governments that aims to achieve a total global offshore wind capacity of at least 380GW by 2030.

Grant opportunity. The state government has launched a $3 million pilot grant program, providing assistance to landowners in the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA) region interested in 'environmental plantings' carbon farming projects.

The state government has raised the income limit for eligibility for its Solar Homes grant program from $180,000 a year to $210,000 a year.

The government is now also offering home owners discounted home energy rating assessments, through the Victorian Energy Upgrades scheme.

Consultation opportunity. The state government is consulting on a proposed new sustainability strategy for Tasmania, with submissions due by 6 October.

Statutory development. Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis has introduced the Petroleum and Geeothermal Energy (Energy Resources) Amendment Bill, which will introduce a rental fee regime for storing regulated substances in natural reservoirs.

However, rental fees will not apply to CO2 produced in Australia and stored in the state, so as not to disincentivise CCS projects like the Santos Moomba project. The exemption will not apply to any CO2 imported into Australia for storage.  

Consultation opportunity. A parliamentary committee inquiring into the recycling of soft plastics and other recyclable material is inviting submissions by 8 September.

Western Australia

The federal and state governments have signed a Rewiring the Nation agreement that will encompass support of up to $3 billion from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for new and upgraded transmission in WA's two main grids.

Statutory development. The state government has introduced the Electricity Industry Amendment (Distributed Energy Resources) Bill, which is designed to support the uptake of technologies such as solar PV and batteries. It also introduces a new State Electricity Objective.

The state government will ban the use of single-use plastic film for outdoor promotional materials from March 2024.

Grant opportunity. Round 2 of the Carbon for Farmers Voucher Program, which provides up to $15,000 for farmers to access professional advice on carbon farming, is open for applications until 29 September.

Grant opportunity. The WA Waste Authority is offering grants of up to $250,000 for waste and recycling infrastructure, with applications closing on 2 October.

Northern Territory

Statutory development and consultation opportunity. The Territory government is seeking comments by 18 September on a draft Mining Bill.

September 11 to 13, Industrial net zero conference 2023. A conference in Sydney, hosted by Quest Events.
September 13 and 14, NT resources industry environmental management and decarbonisation forum. ). A Darwin event, hosted by Informa.
September 14 and 15, Australasian emissions reduction summit. An event in Sydney, hosted by the Carbon Market Institute.
September 18 to 20, EcologiQ greener infrastructure conference. An event in Melbourne, hosted by Victoria's Big Build.
September 19 to 20, The hydrogen economy – a practical guide for market entrants. An online event hosted by Informa.
September 19 to 20, Goldfields-Esperance major projects. A conference in Perth, hosted by Informa.
September 20 to 21, Critical minerals and energy investment. An event in Perth, supported by the WA and SA governments.
October 5, Queensland waste and recovery forum. Hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia.
Company news and resources
Ansell Ltd has released its latest sustainability report.
Alumina Ltd has released its latest sustainability report. 
BHP has reduced its operational emissions by 11% from last year, and is on track to achieve its 2030 operational emissions target of reducing emissions 30% below 2020 levels, according to chief executive Mike Henry.
The QBE Foundation has invited applications from community organisations for grants of $40,000 for climate resilience and inclusion projects in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific.
Telstra's latest annual report for the first time incorporates its TCFD disclosures, and it has also released its latest sustainability report.

The company reports it has reduced operational emissions by 30% and its scope 3 emissions by 28% from an FY19 baseline. 
Jobs Board
Arrow Energy is recruiting a Brisbane-based manager, environment and carbon.
Carbon Growth Partners has a vacancy for an advisor – international carbon policy & markets, based in Australia or Hong Kong.
The Commonwealth Bank is recruiting a Sydney-based assistant director, commodities and carbon sales.
Fortescue Future Industries is hiring a Brisbane-based senior environmental advisor - approvals.
GPT Group has a vacancy for a Sydney-based manager of sustainability integration.
Harvey Norman is seeking a Sydney-based environment and sustainability manager.
IGO Ltd has a vacancy for a WA-based environmental advisor.
NEXTDC Ltd is hiring a Brisbane-based head of sustainability.
The Town of Port Hedland is seeking a sustainability advisor.
Vicinity Centres has a vacancy for a Melbourne-based sustainability advisor.
Wesfarmers is seeking a Perth-based environmental advisor in its WesCEF business.

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