27 June, 2012
25 June, 2012
There are three screens in front of me.
four corners is on TV: The Gina Rhinehart episode.
I am banging on the keyboard of my computer.
A twitter feed is on my phone beside me....
Some of my favourite people on twitter are journalists......but I am gravitating towards following people who reinforce my own view of the world.
I deliberately follow a few people who have a different view of the world, just to challenge "group think".
Day by day, I am watching from the sidelines as traditional business models for receiving news, views, information and entertainment are collapsing.
So ....we need new business models.
How do I stay informed?
How much will I have to pay?
How do journalists earn livelihoods, if we all stop reading newspapers, listening to commercial radio or watching commercial television?
On the 19 March 2012, prior to the election, Campbell Newman released his 100 Day Action Plan which was to be a blueprint for the first 100 days of Government. Initially the Newman Government began machinery of Government changes such as disassembling the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
Last week, Premier confirmed his commitment to commence action to implement recommendations of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.
On the 10 April 2012, the Premier committed to act to repeal Labor’s $372 million Industry Waste Levy with the intention of cutting costs for businesses (to take effect from 1 July 2012). However, ASBG is concerned the Government is cutting it fine. No waste levy amending legislation has been seen on the Queensland Parliament’s bills list . ASBG believes that the proposed ‘cost of living Bill’ which may be out this week. However, due parliamentary process would mean such a bill cannot be enacted before 1 July 2012, hence levy may not be reduced on 1 July.
The Queensland Government has confirmed the levy will be ended on 1 July 2012 with many of the Waste reduction programs suspended due to no levy revenue to support them. One can still currently find information about the waste levy, how to pay it Some content such as those programs that the former Government put in place are disappearing off the website.
In correspondence from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, noted ASBG’s concerns about interstate waste being transported into Qld. Waste receivers on the Gold Coast are particularly vulnerable. Opposition Environment spokesperson: Jackie Trad was quoted in the Gold Coast Bulletin: “the axing of the levy would turn Queensland into a dump for NSW”.
“The LNP Government's axing of the levy will only encourage interstate businesses to dump their rubbish in Queensland, the only mainland state without a levy on non-domestic waste.”
Minister Andrew Powell intends to explore these policy options more fully and develop suitable approaches in consultation with stakeholders. Provisions of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 allow for the introduction of disposal bans, which is also referred to in Mr Roberts response. Under the existing legislation, the Minister may regulate waste for the purposes of a disposal ban, but only after considering all of the following:
· Prohibition on the disposal of the waste is the most effective point of intervention in the life cycle of the waste;
· Whether there are viable existing or potential collection systems & markets for any benefit that may be obtained from not disposing of the waste;
· Whether the costs of monitoring, enforcement & market development are proportional to the benefits;
· Whether voluntary or other measures for the avoidance of disposal have been shown not to be effective;
· Whether a prohibition on disposal is required to support an accredited product stewardship scheme, a regulated product stewardship scheme or an approved program.
The Minister may also recommend regulation that identifies waste for the preparation of a priority product statement and the use of product stewardship arrangements, to shift the obligation onto waste generators to reduce waste.
However, a ban will not stop wastes crossing the border. Free trade between states and territories is a cornerstone of the Australia Constitution. As such a ban must only cover a specific waste type, but cannot discriminate from where that waste came from within Australia, otherwise it would be unconstitutional.
Under s152-153 reporting entities includes landfills and recycling activities as defined under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011. Such entities must provide an annual report on among other things, waste types and amounts collected and as described under the regulations. Failure to provide a report is $10,000 maximum fine.
There appears no penalty for false or misleading data or reporting. ASBG has considerable issues with the ability of the EHP to police and be able to demonstrate miss-representation of the origin of waste arriving at landfills. Such monitoring appears to rely on the honesty of the waste deliverers. If there is commercial interest, the reliability of such information will be questionable
There were been a number of other commitments that are relevant to Environmental Practitioner’s such as:
· The promised Gasfields Land and Water Commission has been established with John Cotter as its chairman. The Commission’s mission is to rebuild community confidence in and have influence over government processes and decisions on Coal Seam Gas development.
· On Tuesday 19 June the State Government indicated its intention to terminate the South East Queensland Distribution and Retail Water Reform Workforce Framework 2009 as at 30 June, 2012.
On the 24 June, Premier Newman used a $45k sixty second spot, to urge one to read former Treasurer Peter Costello's interim commission of audit report on the Qld economy. So what happens if the levy is not repealed on 1 July 2012? It would make for considerable confusion in the waste industry with many customers of landfill wondering why they are still paying the $35/t levy
ASBG are running:
· Contaminated Land Conference on 18 July 2012
· Environmental Management Workshop on the 19 July 2012 to bring Managers up to speed on changes to Environmental Law.
20 June, 2012
Captain Quirk is blaming the Carbon Tax for Brisbane City Council rate rises.... He has said: "rise could have been kept to 2.6 per cent, or $31.48 a year, if not for costs associated with the carbon tax, including landfill charges."
I am trying to work out how much Carbon Tax we will pay.
Brisbane City Council's NGER's data.
|Registered Corporation||Total scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions(t CO2-e)||Total scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions(t CO2-e)||Total energy consumption (GJ)|
|Brisbane City Council1||263,920||18,271||2,504,217|
So we are looking at:
|282,191 t CO2-e|
At $23 a tonne:
1: Brisbane City Council has voluntarily provided information to the Greenhouse Energy Data Office (GEDO) concerning GreenPower renewable energy purchases, voluntarily surrendered Renewable Energy Certificates or offset scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions totals. This information has been published on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website – www.climatechange.gov.au/reporting.
Councilor Victoria Newton (
@VictoriaNewton) directed my attention to information about capture of methane emissions from landfill: http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/emissions-from-landfill-facilities-2/ Apparently there is no charge in 2012/13 2 help deal with the changes...
19 June, 2012
On-line registration click here http://communications.
Click here to view the workshop overview and flyer
ASBG is running a Contaminated Land Conference in Brisbane.
I would appreciate it if you could forward this flyer on to your personal and professional networks.
The Standing Council on Environment and Water has approved an amendment to the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure.
The Measure establishes a nationally consistent approach to the assessment of site contamination to ensure sound environmental management practices by the community. The amendment ensures it will remain the premier document for the assessment of site contamination in Australia, used by regulators, site assessors, consultants, environmental auditors, landowners, developers and industry. The measure incorporates updated methodologies for assessing human and ecological risks and site assessment methods now in line with advances in Australia and overseas. Ministers recognised the contributions from all stakeholders, including the National Health and Medical Research Council, in the development of the updated measure.
here is details of the 2012 conference......
Enquiries: phone 0407 238 258 or email: email@example.com
18 June, 2012
Just a week after a dispute between Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, over the Alpha Coal project, they have now agreed to significant changes to the existing bilateral agreement for environmental approvals for major projects.
The changes are a major step forward and introduce project management approaches to the process.
They also give greater clarity and transparency about the respective roles of the Qld and Commonwealth Governments and impose timeframes on both for consultation and responses through the approvals process.
The new bilateral includes the setting of defined milestones and timeframes for providing documents, feedback and approvals, including the signing-off on Terms of Reference and key assessment reports.
Qld’s Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the new bilateral agreement would eliminate duplication in the environmental approval process which in the past had bogged down some projects for years.
“The changes negotiated between the State and Commonwealth will also provide certainty to project proponents around the length of time of the approval process,” Mr Seeney said.
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Andrew Powell, said the signing is a positive outcome for Qld and consistent with the LNP’s election commitment to reduce greentape.
Mr Powell said the Commonwealth and Qld Governments were committed to maintaining the highest environmental standards while at the same time streamlining the environmental assessment and approval process.
The Qld Conservation Council is not convinced.
The Federal Government is moving to create the world's largest network of marine parks protecting waters covering an area as big as India. The plan includes limits on oil and gas exploration and extends reef protection in the Coral Sea.
While it's being hailed as one of the biggest conservation moves in the nation's history, commercial fishermen say it'll drive them out of business and the compensation bill could run to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) Andrew Powell has confirmed that his department has commenced a prosecution against chemical manufacturer Orica Australia Pty Ltd.
Orica has been charged with 279 offences of wilfully contravening a condition of a development approval during operation of its facility at Yarwun outside Gladstone.
On 3 May 2012, the EHP obtained a court order from the Planning and Environment Court requiring Orica to undertake an independent audit of the plant and its procedures. Last week the EHP formally commenced a prosecution in the Gladstone Magistrates Court.
Orica has been charged with contravention of section 435(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. The alleged offending conduct includes:
• Releasing contaminants in excess of licence limits;
• Failing to notify the department upon becoming aware of contraventions; and
• Failing to test for contaminants prior to releasing effluent.
Orica acknowledges that complaints have been issued by the EHP against them and the Company intends to defend the complaints. Orica believes that there has been no environmental harm or risk to human health from these alleged complaints.
ASBG will be presenting material on how to stay out of trouble with EHP in the upcoming Equip Series: Environmental Management Workshop on the19 July 2012 in Brisbane.
Recently Premier Newman launched the QLD government’s $12m Everyone’s Environment grants program. Everyone’s Environment program was an election commitment and will support community groups, environment groups and larger environmental organisations who want to take action to improve their local environment.
The grants program is about investing in practical local initiatives that protect our environment for all Queenslanders to enjoy into the future. The three-year Everyone’s Environment program will provide grants ranging between $2,000 and $100,000 for a wide range of local environmental initiatives including tree-planting and land restoration, community and waterway clean-ups, run-off reduction and water quality improvement, enhancement of natural beauty of local communities, and monitoring pollutants in streams. The grants are available from 1 July, 2012.
In the last sitting of Parliament the Qld Government delivered its formal response to the final report from the Qld Floods Commission of Inquiry. The Commission report was made public on 16 March 2012 and contained 177 recommendations across a broad range of areas. The State Government will fully implement everything which it is responsible for and work in co-operation with local councils to deliver improved flood outcomes across the state.
Professor Jim McGowan has labeled the inquiry as "a missed opportunity" to address an imbalance in the allocation of resources through the Natural Relief and Recovery Arrangements.