ESG Snapshot: Issue 8

ESG Snapshot: Issue 8

Highlights include a NSW EPA mandatory climate change survey of environmental licensees, and a new Queensland energy efficiency rebate scheme.

Jobs include a climate and nature post with Mirvac, and roles with AGL, Hunter Water and Publicis.

ESG Snapshot is a concise weekly update for C-suite executives and sustainability and climate professionals in Australia.

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

News items are listed by jurisdiction. However, they can also be searched by relevant Sustainable Development Goal category. To do this, go to the SDG key at the end of this issue and click on the icon for the SDG that interests you.

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Key International Developments

Australia's Trade Minister Don Farrell and his NZ counterpart Damien O'Connor have signed a sustainable and inclusive trade declaration, which aims to support the transition to net zero.

NZ's O'Connor has simultaneously released a revamped Trade, Environment, and Climate Change Framework and Trade and Labour Framework.

New Zealand's EPA has approved a feed additive to reduce methane emissions in livestock, which will be supplied by DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. DSM says the additive can reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals, including cows, sheep and goats, by 30%.


The Senate has passed a Bill that makes a range of administrative changes to the GEMS energy rating and labelling scheme, and the Bill now goes to the House of Representatives. The Bill implements some of the recommendations of a 2019 review of the Act.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has launched the government's new International Development Policy, which highlights the need for action on climate change and reaffirms Australia's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

A new Senate committee inquiry into Senator David Pocock's Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill is seeking submissions by 20 October, and will report by 1 March 2024.

The reporting date for the Senate committee greenwashing inquiry has been extended from 5 December 2023 to 28 June 2024.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says an October visit to the White House will be "an important opportunity to discuss our ambitious climate and clean energy transition, and shared goal of a strong, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific".

Consultation opportunity. The federal government is seeking comments by 21 September on whether to ratify a new high seas biodiversity treaty that was adopted by the United Nations on 19 June 2023.

The treaty deals with marine genetic resources, area-based management tools in the high seas, environmental impact assessments, and capacity-building.

DCCEEW has released a waste export summary for January to March 2023, prepared by Blue Environment Pty Ltd, which supplements data in its new waste export data viewer.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has released a report on community and stakeholder views on delivering the Basin Plan.

Resources Minister Madeleine King has announced the government won't appeal a court ruling setting aside a decision by the former government that Kimba should the proposed site of a low-level radioactive waste storage facility.

NOPSEMA, the regulator of the offshore energy industry, is seeking nominations by 8 September to join its Community and Environment Reference Group.

Grant opportunity. Grants of between $30,000 and $500,000 are available through the latest funding round under the Our Marine Parks Grants Program. Applications close 27 September.

Consultation opportunity. The federal government has released a discussion paper on developing a national framework for recycled content traceability. Submissions are due by 31 August.

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 federal government is seeking comments by 1 September on proposed scheduling decisions for managing three groups of PFAS chemicals that have been widely used in firefighting foams - PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS.

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.

Grant opportunity. ARENA has invited expressions of interest by 1 November for grants under a $30 million funding initiative to reduce emissions in the aviation sector.

ACCUs last traded on the spot market at $32.00, with spot Human-Induced Regeneration ACCUs trading at $36.75, according to broker Jarden.


The state government has gazetted a Regulation to establish a new $16 million Business Energy Saving and Transformation Rebate Scheme that will provide eligible businesses with a 50% rebate for eligible energy efficiency equipment, up to a maximum of $12,500 per applicant.

More than 25% of Queensland's energy is now generated by renewables, and the state is on track to beat its renewable energy target of 50% renewables by 2030, according to Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni.

The state government has gazetted a regulation to facilitate preliminary works on the Borumba pumped hydro project, which will be built by government-owned Queensland Hydro Pty Ltd.

Consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking views on proposed updates of the Queensland Wind Farm Code and associated planning guidelines. Submissions close on 4 September.

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 is conducting a mandatory survey of  licensees to clarify what action they are already taking on climate change, and to help the agency determine how best to implement its climate change action plan. Survey responses are due by 1 September.

Minister for Natural Resources Courtney Houssos, Energy Minister Penny Sharpe and Cessnock Mayor Jay Suvaal have hosted a stakeholder roundtable on proposed new Future Jobs & Investment Authorities that will be established in the coal-producing regions of the Hunter, Illawarra, and the Central West.

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.

The state government has invited expressions of interest (closing 8 September) from landholders in the Upper Hunter interested in receiving annual payments in exchange for implementing an agreed conservation management plan.

The EOI process for the Upper Hunter conservation tender will be followed by a bidding process that will start early next year.

A related speech by Biodiversity Conservation Trust CEO Erin Giuliani is available here.

Consultation opportunity. The state government has placed on exhibition Squadron Energy's proposed Dubbo dual fuel gas/hydrogen 64MW firming power station, with submissions due by 5 September.

The Department of Planning and Environment has released a document explaining the area clearing threshold that determines when the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme is triggered.

There are two triggers for the Offsets Scheme - whether the amount of native vegetation being cleared exceeds a threshold area, and whether the impacts occur on an area mapped on the state's Biodiversity Values Map.

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

Consultation opportunity. The ACT government has released a draft integrated energy plan, with submissions due by 12 September.


Ausnet has submitted a new referral to the state government for the Western Renewables Link between Bulgana (near Ararat) and Sydenham (north-west of Melbourne).  

Statutory development. The Lower House has passed the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Amendment Bill, and it is now before the Legislative Council.

Statutory development. Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio has introduced the Energy Legislation Amendment Bill, which will make changes to electricity and gas legislation.

The state government has released a consultation paper on its commitment to ensure all public transport buses purchased from 2025 are zero emissions.

The Latrobe Valley Authority has released the final version of the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland Transition Plan, as well as a supporting five-year implementation plan.  

The state government has released a new Statement of Planning Policy for the Bellarine Peninsula.

Latrobe University has issued a $175 million green bond.

Grant opportunity. Sustainability Victoria is offering grants of up to $100,000 to businesses in Melbourne's western suburbs to help them reduce particulate pollution. Applications close on 30 August. Businesses can either apply individually or as collaborative partnerships.

Grant opportunity. Applications close on 4 September for grants under the Recycling Modernisation Fund's plastics technology stream, which is offering grants of between $1 million and $20 million.

A new commercial and industrial noise policy takes effect on 31 October, replacing the existing policy that has been in force for 15 years.

Western Australia

Amendments to the Land Administration Act 1997 and Public Works Act 1902 are now in force, which allow for large areas of Crown land to be used for diverse purposes, including renewable energy generation.

The changes will make it easier for pastoralists and Native Title parties to get involved in renewable energy projects.

Consultation opportunity. The works approval application for Woodside's proposed Hydrogen Refueller @H2Perth project is open for comment until 28 August.

The WA Water Corporation is starting a large-scale trial of water metering technology in Perth homes and businesses.

The state government will repeal recently-introduced Aboriginal cultural heritage laws, and instead reinstate the Aboriginal Heritage Act in an amended form.

Northern Territory

Jacana Energy is seeking Expressions of Interest for the supply of up to 100MW of renewable energy for the Darwin-Katherine region.

August 21, IGCC 2023 Climate Change and Investment Summit. A Sydney event, hosted by the Investor Group on Climate Change.
August 21 and 22, Kwinana major projects conference. An Informa event in Fremantle.
August 24, Mid-year environmental compliance update. A webinar hosted by the Australian Environment Business Network.
August 28 and 29, South Australian energy developments. An Adelaide event hosted by Informa.
September 5, Smart energy Queensland. A Brisbane event, hosted by the Smart Energy Council.
September 5 and 6, Rail decarbonisation. A conference in Melbourne, hosted by Informa.
September 19, International TNFD recommendations launch webinar. Hosted by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures.
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.
Company news and resources
AGL has released its latest annual report, which includes detailed information on its climate change and sustainability performance. The power company has also released its latest TCFD report
ASX-listed and NZ-headquartered Contact Energy has released its latest integrated report
The Commonwealth Bank has released a new environmental and social framework that deals with issues including financing fossil fuel projects. 
Jobs Board
Adelaide Airport is hiring a sustainability analyst
AGL Energy has a vacancy for an environment advisor to join its Liddell Transition Team.
SA's Department for Environment and Water is recruiting a senior policy officer, climate change mitigation
ERM Australia has a vacancy for a principal technical consultant – carbon and climate, based on the east coast. 
The Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria is hiring a program lead, climate justice support unit
Mirvac is recruiting a Sydney-based senior manager, climate and nature
Publicis Groupe is hiring a Sydney-based sustainability project manager
The University of Queensland has a vacancy for a research fellow – circular economy
Thales is seeking a Sydney-based environmental advisor to join its 2024 Graduate Program. 

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