VIC - Licensing - Scheduled premises regulations released
The proposed Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 have been released for public comment following a review of the current legislation. Proposed changes include, but are not limited to, requiring larger reprocessors of electronic waste and glass to obtain an EPA works approval and/or licence, limiting works approval and licence exemptions for new sources of emissions to air of fine particles (PM2.5), removing works approval and licensing requirements for premises that temporarily store asbestos and lower hazard liquid wastes, and clarifying the descriptions and thresholds relating to organic waste processing, intensive animal industries and beverage manufacturing. Comments close December 16 Read More
Australia - Waste - Draft radioactive waste disposal and storage documents released
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is seeking feedback on two new documents: Regulatory Guide: How to Apply for a Licence for a Radioactive Waste Storage or Disposal Facility and Radioactive Waste Storage & Disposal Facilities – Information for Stakeholders. The two documents complement each other and outline ARPANSA’s role and function for regulation and assessment. The documents would replace the existing Regulatory Guide: Licensing of Radioactive Waste Storage and Disposal Facilities v2. Comments close 9 December 2016. More
WA - WorkSafe Inspections - Program to target various industries
Worksafe is undertaking multiple proactive inspection programs looking at safety issues in the:
- accommodation industry – targeting soft tissue injuries in smaller accommodation providers. More.
- furniture retailing sector – targeting soft tissue, lost time injuries. Inspectors will check for hazards in showrooms and warehouses attached to showrooms. More.
- amusement centres and operators of inflatable amusement devices – targeting the safety of children on amusement rides. More.
- goods and equipment rental and hire industry – targeting industry specific injury areas such as muscular stress from lifting, carrying and putting down objects. More.
QLD - Nature Conservation Act 1992 - Regulations for managing protected areas
The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing is inviting comment on its notice of intention to consult on the remaking of Regulations under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 relevant to the management of protected areas. It is expected that a consultation regulatory impact statement, outlining the proposed scope and potential impacts of the remade Regulations, will be released in November 2016. Comments close 30 November 2016. Click here to comment
QLD - Resources - Tougher environmental laws for groundwater extraction proposed
The QLD Government has introduced the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, to provide tougher assessment of environmental impacts for resource companies wanting to take groundwater for mining activities. The new laws, among other things, applies to new EA applications for resource activities that include groundwater extraction, and clarifies that ‘make good’ obligations arise, where underground water rights are the likely cause of impairment, even if there is an uncertainty. Read more.
TAS - Asbestos Tasmania - Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011
WorkSafe Tasmania has commissioned an independent review of the Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011. Amongst other things, the review will assess the extent the Act provides for:
- appropriate compensation, for people who have contracted asbestos-related diseases in the course of their employment
- the prompt resolution of applications and payment of expenses
- certain judgements and agreements about contracting asbestos-related diseases in the course of a worker’s employment.
Comment close 14 October 2016. Click here for more
Australia - National Heavy Vehicle Law - volumetric load capacity paper released
The National Transport Commission is seeking comment on the Increasing heavy vehicle volumetric load capacity without increasing mass limits Issues paper. The paper discusses practical applications for heavy vehicles and options for physically increasing a vehicles’ volumetric capacity. It also considers the benefits, costs and barriers to volumetric increases, and stakeholder’s perspectives. Comments close 26 September 2016. Read more
Tasmania - Construction Legislation - Building Regulatory Framework passed
The TAS Government has passed the Occupational Licensing Amendment Bill 2016 and Building Bill 2016. The proposed legislation creates a risk-based approach to acquiring building approvals where low-risk work can be carried out without a permit. In particular, the Bills allow accreditation of builders, building designers, surveyors, architects, engineers and related occupations, and provides access to a stronger audit and compliance regime. It is expected that the new legislation will come into effect on 1 January 2017. Read more
QLD - Mining Legislation- Company and Director fined $300k for serious environmental harm
A North QLD mining company has been fined $250,000 and its Director, $50,000 for 12 offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, including willfully causing serious environmental harm, contravening an environmental protection order and contravening a transitional environmental program. The offences relate to the seepage of contaminated water from a catchment dam wall to the downstream receiving environment, from a mine site that was no longer active. The mine has been in maintenance mode since 1982. Read more here
WA - Proposed amendments to Waste Avoidance legislation
The Department of Environment Regulation (DER) is seeking feedback on the Proposed Amendments to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 to Require Record-keeping and Annual Reporting of Waste and Recycling Data Consultation paper. The consultation proposes amendments to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 to implement annual reporting and record-keeping of waste and recycling data by local governments, waste recyclers and licensees of major regional landfills to the Waste Authority. Comments close 26 August 2016. More
VIC - WHS - Draft OHS Regulation Reform
WorkSafe Victoria is seeking feedback on new proposed Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, and Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations. The review aims to improve health and safety outcomes for workers, ensure that regulations align with areas of greatest risk, and streamline the regulations while maintaining current best practice, among other things. In addition to the new Regulations, updated Compliance Codes will also be issued (variants to Codes of Practice). WorkSafe has provided a summary of changes proposed to the OHS Regulations and the EPS Regulations. Comments close 9 September 2016.
WA - WHS Laws - Workplace safety regulations consultation released
The WA Government has released the Work Health and Safety Regulations for Western Australia discussion paper, which proposes amendments to the model Work Health and Safety Regulations for the WA working environment. The paper proposes 132 changes to the model regulations before adopting them in WA. Comments close 31 August 2016. More here.
WA – Fines – Company fined 50k after workplace incident
An infrastructure company has been fined $50,000 after an incident which resulted in a worker having both legs amputated below the knee. The worker had been assigned to repair a gearbox on a train indexer, but was unfamiliar with that specific machine, and was not aware that the indexer arm (14 tonnes) had to be supported when not in use. As a result, the indexing arm slid down its rollers and cut the worker’s legs. More
ACT - Building Legislation - Industry reforms announced
The ACT Government has introduced the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Bill, and announced a series of reforms to strengthen the regulation and integrity of the ACT building industry. The reforms will:
- improve documentation around approvals,
- implement a comprehensive building inspection and audit process
- improve licencing requirements
- provide more information to practitioners and consumers
- establish stronger standards of practice and contracting.
ACT – Construction Legislation – Licensed construction occupations register released
The ACT Government has released a searchable public register of licenced construction occupations online. The register provides easy access to information about licence holders including licence numbers, what the person is allowed to do, and any restrictions placed on the licence holder. More.
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QLD - Biosecurity Legislation - Regulations modernised and simplified
The Exhibited Animals Act 2015 and Exhibited Animals Regulation 2016 have been approved for commencement on 1 July 2016. The new legislation provides a risk-based framework that will allow exhibitors to choose how best to look after their animals and manage safety and biosecurity risks. It will also allow for the exhibit of some new animal species not previously permitted, provided exhibitors can demonstrate that they can manage the risks. More here and here.
QLD – Biosecurity Legislation – New cattle tick framework announced
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has announced that a new cattle tick management framework, including the location of the new tick line will commence with the Biosecurity Act 2014 on 1 July 2016. Part of the state will be designated as a tick free zone, and the remainder will be designated as a tick infested zone. Cattle tick and tick fever will continue to be notifiable when they occur in the tick free zone. More here
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SA EPA releases River Murray Shack Wastewater assessment criteria
The SA EPA is seeking feedback on the draft River Murray shack wastewater management position statement. The position statement outlines the criteria on which the EPA will respond to the assessment of River Murray shack wastewater issues and risks within the River Murray Water Protection Area. The EPA’s position statement reflects a precautionary approach to assessing water quality risks arising from River Murray shack/residential development and associated wastewater management. Comments close 1 August 2016. Have your say today.
NZ - Proposed Radiation Safety Regulations - Open for comment
The Ministry of Health NZ is seeking feedback on a consultation document which outlines the options available for the proposed Radiation Regulations. The Regulations are needed to give full effect to the Radiation Safety Act 2016, which comes into force on 7 March 2017. The current Radiation Protection Act 1965 and its Regulations will be repealed on that day. Comments close 22 June 2016. More.
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NSW - Biodiversity conservation reform package released
Land Management NSW is seeking feedback on its biodiversity reform package, which includes:
- the draft Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016. This Bill includes the introduction of a new biodiversity offsets scheme, the expansion of the biodiversity certification scheme, a new risk-based approach to regulating wildlife interactions, and the declaration of areas as ‘Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value’.
- the draft Local Land Services Amendment Bill 2016. This Bill includes a new Native Vegetation Regulatory Map which will identify where and how landholders are allowed to clear native vegetation, the replacement of Routine Agricultural Management Activities (RAMAs) with a defined list of Allowable Activities, and the introduction of 4 codes of practice for clearing of native vegetation.
Comments close 28 June 2016.
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VIC - OHS Regulations Reform - New legislation to be released
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 will expire in June 2017. WorkSafe Victoria will undertake a comprehensive review of the regulations in the lead up to replacement of the current OHS Regulations. The new regulations will be in place by June 2017 and will support Victoria’s position as having the safest workplaces in Australia at the lowest average cost to business. More.
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NSW - Waste Management Legislation - Container deposit scheme & fines
The NSW government is introducing a refund container deposit scheme to assist in the reduction of litter by 40% by 2020. Anyone who returns an empty eligible beverage container to an approved NSW collection depot or reverse vending machine will be eligible for a 10 c refund. The scheme is expected to commence from July 2017. More
NSW – Waste Management – Operator fined for failing to report and pay levy
A waste operator has been fined $4,000 for failing to pay the liquid waste levy and $750 for failing to submit reports relating to the levy. The operator has over $12,000 in outstanding levy payments from March to May 2015. More
Australia - Heavy Vehicle National Law - Two amendments proposed
The National Transport Commission is seeking feedback on Enforcement approaches for speeding heavy vehicles – discussion paper May 2016, which would change the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The first provision would be an evidentiary provision, which would deem a speed limiter defective if a vehicle is travelling at or above 115km/h. The second provision would allow for an immediate grounding of heavy vehicles travelling 15km/h or more over speed limits. Comments close 24 June 2016. More information
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TAS - Biosecurity Act - Biosecurity legislation for Tasmania released
The TAS Government is reviewing biosecurity and has released its Draft Position on Revised Biosecurity Legislation for Tasmania. The draft document recognises that there are inefficiencies in the way the current biosecurity legislation is structured, and identifies improvements that could be made. The draft proposes a new regulatory framework, which will consist of a single Biosecurity Act and subsequent regulations, codes of practice and guidelines. More.
VIC - Construction Legislation - Companies fined after fatal fall
Two companies have been fined a total of $1.5 million over the death of a worker who fell 40 m after a piling rig collapsed. The original fine was $450,000 for each company, but then increased to $750,000 each following an appeal. An investigation revealed that the employee had raised concerns about training concerns, however, these were ignored and work continued.
Click to learn more.
Vic – Construction Legislation – Company fined $30k
A construction company has been fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $4,423 in costs after an employee fell 8 m through unsecured metal sheeting onto the road below. An investigation found that there was a Safe Work Method Statement stating that metal sheeting was to be locked into position, but the work had not been performed in accordance with the statement. 19 pieces of sheeting were left unsecured.
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SA - Asbestos Legislation - Company banned and fined $24k
An employee of an asbestos removal company has been fined $24,000 and banned for 3 years, after several counts of unsafe removal work. The man was convicted of undertaking Class A removal work without authorisation, providing false and misleading information to the regulator, and failing to engage a qualified person to carry out mandatory air monitoring, among other things.
For more information on this asbestos legislation ruling, click here.
Looking for guidance on the sampling process?
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has released guidance on taking materials for testing. The guidance recommends that a professional takes samples, but provides self-guidance including steps for preparation, sample taking and cleaning up.
Click here to view the three steps in full detail.
Australia - Environmental Acts - NGER (Measurement) Amendment Determination
The Department of the Environment has released the consultation draft for the proposed National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2016 (No. 1). The amendment determination is planned to apply to the 2016-17 reporting year, and aims to achieve:
- reinsertion of provisions supporting estimation of legacy waste emissions at landfills
- finalisation of additional methods to complete NGER system guidance for estimation of emissions from carbon capture and storage (CCS) activities
- annual update of scope 2 emission factors reflecting changes within the National Electricity Market in the last financial year, among other things.
For more information on NGER environmental acts, click here.
WA - Health and Safety Legislation - Building inspection program
WorkSafe WA has been running a proactive inspection program, looking at workplace safety laws and standards in construction sites around Perth. The inspection program which targets electrical safety, working at heights, and ensuring that workers hold proper induction training cards and High Risk Work Licences, has proven to be successful till date. WorkSafe inspectors plan to continue to visit sites unannounced. More
ACT - Environmental Management - Planning and Environment Legislation
The ACT Government has introduced the Planning, Building and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, which will:
- adopt the national standards for wood heaters sold in the ACT
- allow the minister to declare a controlled native species
- prompt a yearly review of the Heritage Amendment Bill 2013
- implement other minor changes. More.
Environmental Legislation QLD - ‘Chain of responsibility’ laws enacted
The Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Bill, has passed parliament. These new laws create a legal chain of responsibility for environmental harm through which environmental protection orders can be issued to parties covered by the chain of responsibility, and not just to the holders of the environmental authority. Many of the amendments will take effect from the Bill’s introduction (15 March 2016), to ensure companies cannot change control or structures to avoid the impact of the proposed changes. More here and here.
OHS Legislation WA - Construction - Multiple companies fined
Multiple construction related companies have been fined for various offences:
- A tiler has been ordered to pay over $178,000 for failing to ensure work contracts contained all terms and conditions, and were signed by the company and owner, failing to obtain a home indemnity insurance policy, and other monetary offences. More
- A builder and his supervisor have been fined $5,000 and $3,000 respectively for slab works which did not comply with applicable building codes and standards. More
- Another builder has also been fined $2,500 for slab works not complying with the building codes and standards. More
- A painter has been ordered to pay fines of $4,500 for multiple charges of being unregistered, and an offence for not complying with a building order from the Building Commissioner. More
SA Environmental Legislation - Waste - Unsuccessful prosecution
A waste recovery company was charged with two counts of contravening a condition of its environmental authorisation as they had stockpiled mixed construction and industrial waste in an uncovered area. However, the judge has ruled against the EPA because the waste does not fit the definition of ‘waste’ under the Environment Protection Act 1993 and the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010. The judge considered the fact that the waste had been reprocessed and, although it required further reprocessing, it was to be sold for immediate use. The EPA is considering the option of appealing the decision as it has created uncertainty for the regulation of recyclable. More here and here.
WHS Legislation QLD - Construction - Formwork Code of Practice
WorkCover QLD has released its Formwork Code of Practice 2016, which has now commenced. The updates to the existing Formwork Code of Practice 2006 will ensure it is responsive to any industry needs or safety concerns, current best practice in formwork safety management, and be consistent with the model work health and safety laws. More
NT - Oil and gas - Petroleum (Environment) Regulations released
The Department of Mines and Energy is seeking feedback on the draft Petroleum (Environment) Regulations. The Regulations will use Ecologically Sustainable Development principles, and will focus on minimising environmental impacts to as low as practicable. Under the Regulations, approved Environment Management Plans will become legally binding public documents. Comments close 4 April 2016. More here and here.
WA OHS Legislation - Safety - supermarkets inspection program announced
WorkSafe WA is conducting an inspection program, targeting safety standards in supermarkets and grocery stores. During the inspections, inspectors will focus on manual tasks, training, safety systems, procedures, access, forklifts, ladders, safety steps and trolleys, among other things. The campaign will be conducted throughout the state, for the remainder of the financial year. More
Australia - Biosecurity - Draft Biosecurity Act 2015 released
The Australian Government has released a third tranche of delegated legislation under the Biosecurity Act 2015. It has also released the draft Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-Prohibited Goods) Determination 2016) and draft Biosecurity (Reportable Biosecurity Incidents) Determination 2016. The tranche provides information on how cost recovery will work under the new Act, and includes exposure drafts of the Biosecurity (Cost Recovery) Regulation 2016, Biosecurity Charges Imposition (General) Regulation 2016 and the Biosecurity Charges Imposition (Customs) Regulation 2016. More
Click to learn more about the 10 obligations that are vital to achieving compliance against the Biosecurity Act today.
WHS Legislation QLD - Smoking - New smoking laws passed
The QLD Government has passed new smoking laws, reducing smoking areas and tobacco sales. The new laws will ban smoking at children’s organised sporting events, childhood education centres, residential aged care facilities, and all outdoor pedestrian malls. The smoke-free buffer will also be increased to 5 m away from entrances of all government, commercial and non-residential buildings. The new laws will come into effect on 1 September 2016. More
WHS Legislation QLD - Fire management - Changes to smoke alarm laws released
The QLD Government has introduced comprehensive legislation to mandate the installation of high-tech smoke detectors in houses by 2027. The changes are planned to be phased in over the next 10 years, with dwellings sold or leased from January 2022, to be required to meet the safety standards. More
WHS Legislation NSW - Dangerous goods - Battery manufacturer fined $4k
A battery manufacturer has been fined $4,000 after transport documents did not include sufficient information about the consigned dangerous goods. Furthermore, the EPA found that the load was not stowed and restrained in accordance with the ADG Code, the vehicle was not displaying appropriate placards, and the markings and labels on the dangerous goods did not fully comply with the code. More
Australia - Energy - Draft amendment to NGER regulations
The Australian Government has released the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2016: Exposure Draft. The draft amendment regulations propose to, among other things, clarify and streamline reporting requirements for scope 1 emissions and electricity production in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008. The draft regulations would also reduce regulatory and administrative burdens imposed in relation to registration and suspension of greenhouse and energy auditors.
Environment Victoria - Marine - Illegal harvesting syndicate members jailed
Ten divers from an illegal harvesting syndicate have been convicted and sentenced with various penalties including indefinite bans on fishing, orders to pay up to $16,500 and two months jail. The divers were found to be illegally taking abalone, rock lobster and other shellfish from the southwest Victorian coastline. More