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AELERT WEBINAR 27 September 2018: Combating violence

18/09/2018

FREE FOR AELERT MEMBERS

Has violence in the workplace increased? Some sectors of the community believe that it has. Certainly, the headlines illustrate the justifiable anxieties of some of our public contact workers.

What are the causes of this type of violence and how can it be reduced?

Join us in welcoming back Professor Karl Roberts to discuss workplace violence: how to recognise the signals and how to deal with them.

In this hour-long webinar, Professor Karl will address these questions and suggest some counter-measures to protect employees against violence in the workplace.

He will help us understand how to define violence, the factors that trigger it, the different types of violence and recognising the signs before a situation deteriorates. He will give us some strategies on risk assessment and risk management and tactics for negotiation and self-protection.

Date: Thursday 27 September

TIME BY JURISDICTION:
SA (host), NT 9.30am – 11.00am
NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD, TAS 10.00am – 11.30am
WA 8.00am – 9.30am
NZ 12.00pm – 1.30pm

REGISTER NOW

You will be redirected to an Eventbrite registration page. We will send all registered attendees a link to the webinar prior to the event or you can access it on the resource section on this website.

If you have any questions please contact secretariat@aelert.net

OUR PRESENTER

10137Professor Karl Roberts is a forensic psychologist and is Professor and Chair of Policing and Criminal Justice at Western Sydney University in Sydney, Australia.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts USA and Adjunct Professor of Pacific Policing at University if the South Pacific, Fiji.

His expertise is in the field of interpersonal violence and law enforcement investigation with a focus on the behavioural assessment of offenders, investigative interviewing by law enforcement and risk assessment and risk management.

Call for nominations - Intelligence Analysis for Environmental Regulators course

14/09/2018

The Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy is now calling for nominations to attend the inaugural Intelligence Analysis for Environmental Regulators training program that will be held in Canberra over 13-15 November 2018.

Full details are in the attached document.

Please email all nominations from your agency, in priority order, to intelligence@environment.gov.au by COB Friday, 5 October 2018. Please include the participant’s full name, position title and email address.

Spaces are limited. We will contact all successful and unsuccessful applicants in the week starting 8 October 2018.

2017 South Australia Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 Compliance Report

12/09/2018

The 2017 South Australia Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 Compliance Report prepared by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) Energy Resources Division was tabled in the South Australian Parliament last week in accordance with requirements under Section 123 of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000.

The report is now available on the Department’s website where you can also find all previous annual Compliance Reports from 2006 when the first report was released.

The Compliance Report details the compliance and regulatory surveillance activities undertaken during 2017 for regulated activities carried out under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 and associated Regulations.

Key areas covered in the report include:

  • An overview of DEM’s approval and compliance monitoring activities undertaken during 2017;
  • A summary of all serious incidents reported in 2017 under the PGE Act;
  • A summary of all fitness for purpose assessments undertaken by licensees on facilities, pipelines and well integrity matters during 2017 and details of work undertaken by DEM to validate these assessments;
  • Industry compliance statistics including the frequency and number of various types of reportable incidents, and analysis of root causes of these incidents. 

EPA fines quarry operator $45,000 for non-compliance

19/07/2018

A Upper Hunter based quarry company is facing $45,000 in fines for breaching its Environment Protection Licence.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued Stoneco Pty Limited with three $15,000 fines for alleged non-compliances with their Environment Protection Licence following a routine and unannounced inspection of the Braeside Quarry near Scone in February this year.

PA Officers identified a range of issues resulting from poor management practices including a lack of dust emission controls, inappropriate storage of waste and poor storage and handling of diesel, oil and waste oils.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said Stoneco Pty Limited is responsible for complying with the conditions of their licence.

“Compliance with the conditions of their licence is not optional. There was potential for harm to human health and the environment, including for workers onsite, particularly from the uncontrolled dust emissions,” Ms Marler said.

“Operating in a relatively remote location does not mean that the rules do not apply. Those rules are in place to ensure relevant risks are controlled and that activities are carried out in an appropriate manner.”

Stoneco Pty Limited will be required to remove and lawfully dispose of relevant wastes stored onsite as well as carrying out other necessary rectification works.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

Source: NSW EPA

Linc Energy fined $4.5 million for serious environmental harm at underground coal gasification plant

19/07/2018

A gas company has been fined a record $4.5 million for causing serious environmental harm at its underground coal gasification plant on Queensland's western Darling Downs.

Linc Energy was found guilty by a District Court jury in Brisbane last month after a 10-week trial.

The company was charged with five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm between 2007 and 2013 at Hopeland near Chinchilla.

Linc Energy mismanaged the underground burning of coal seams, which caused rock to fracture and allowed the escape of toxic gases which contaminated the air, soil and water on site.

The court heard the highest fine imposed upon a company so far in Queensland for similar offending was $500,000.

Linc Energy did not defend itself during the trial because it is now in liquidation.

Five executive directors have been charged with failing to ensure compliance of the company and are due to face a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in July.

Prosecutor Ralph Devlin told the court the company knew it was causing damage but pressed ahead with operations, and described its offending as "serious".

"The defendant acted in devious and cavalier way … its motivation was commercial gain," he said.

"It pursued commercial interests over environmental safeguards."

The court heard there would be monitoring and remediation of the site for decades to come, and it will take potentially between 10 to 20 years for groundwater to recover.

Judge Michael Shanahan said despite the fact the company was now in liquidation, there was good reason to impose financial penalties.

"I am unsure of any of its assets or liabilities and capacity to pay fines," he said.

"Linc was well aware of the damage being done … and attempted to hide it from the regulator."

Judge Shanahan said the offending was carried out over seven years and was "persistent and in clear breach" of its obligations.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the project had been a "blight" to the environmental and resources council, saying "99.99 per cent of the industry comply by the rules".

"This is one company that stepped outside those rules and I think it's important that the full force of the law was laid against them," Mr Macfarlane said.

Senior Queensland Government Minister Kate Jones said the fine was a clear warning for all companies impacting the environment.

"I'm very pleased with this result," Ms Jones said.

"Clearly Linc Energy has done the wrong thing and the fine sends a very strong message to other companies out there to do the right thing."

Lock the Gate spokesperson Vicki Perrin said she was deeply concerned about Linc Energy's ability to pay the $4.5 million penalty, given they were currently in liquidation.

"The Queensland Government needs to stop approving every mining and gas project that comes before it, and set higher standards in the early stages before we end up with another mess like this," she said.

Source: ABC News

Photo: Nathan Morris, ABC

PODCAST: Litter and Illegal Dumping Compliance

29/06/2018

In June 2018, The Litter and Illegal Dumping Compliance Operation (LIDCO) team of the Department of Environment and Science in Queensland, shared their work administering litter, illegal dumping and unsolicited advertising material provisions under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. Their work includes investigating matters and delivering co-ordinated, consistent, timely and transparent enforcement action as part of a state-wide network. The team also assists local government and state agencies to manage and prevent illegal dumping incidents through continual capacity building and behaviour change.

The presentation included a case study investigating an illegal dumping incident thought initially to be stagnant water, but that turned out to be an interesting investigative journey.

GO TO RESOURCE

THE TEAM

The Litter and Illegal Dumping Compliance Operation (LIDCO) team (within Conservation and Sustainability Services, in the Department of Environment and Science) undertake compliance activities with respect to litter and illegal dumping in Queensland and enforce offences under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. The team works closely with local governments, departmental regional officers and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to better manage litter and illegal dumping across the state.

 

Serial waste dumper Dib Hanna jailed for three years in NSW first

04/06/2018

Years of careful investigation, surveillance and thorough preparation by the EPA’s waste and legal teams came to a close after one of the NSW's most notorious illegal dumpers, Mr Dib Hanna was sentenced to three years in prison by the Land and Environment Court.

The court found Mr Hanna guilty on five charges brought against him by the EPA. The charges related to the illegal transport and dumping of asbestos waste on private properties in western Sydney in 2015 and 2016.

Mr Hanna was also ordered to clean up the waste, publish details of his conviction in several newspapers and to pay the EPA’s legal costs.

Justice Brian Preston said Hanna had shown limited remorse for his actions and the likelihood of reoffending was high.

"You caused harm to the environment and harm to human health," he said.

"Your conduct was deliberate and intentional ... you did this to save money by avoiding paying tipping fees for a licenced waste facility."

He will be eligible for parole in July 2020.

 

INECE Discussion Series: Connecting Environmental and Social Impact Assessment with Compliance and Enforcement

22/03/2018

We wanted to remind you about the upcoming INECE Discussion Series, “Connecting Environmental and Social Impact Assessment with Compliance and Enforcement.” This four-part webinar-based series will begin on April 17, and it will bring together experts and practitioners to discuss best practices for aligning environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) with compliance and enforcement.

Each session will feature a 30 minute introductory presentation by one or two experts in the field, followed by 45 minutes of moderated discussion among participants. Confirmed speakers include representatives from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Brazil IBAMA, and the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network.

A Discussion Series Summary with further details and registration information can be found on the INECE website here.

Recognizing that the time difference may make it difficult to join the discussion from Australia, INECE will record the webinars and post them on the INECE website at a later date.

AELERT and Alarmed

12/03/2018

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Mar 10, 2018 as "AELERT and alarmed" and is published here with their permission.

By Tanya M. Howard, research fellow at the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law, University of New England, NSW.

Environmental regulation is a tough field. Incidents can erupt into public awareness, such as the Hazelwood mine fire in Victoria, or the chemical contamination at Williamtown RAAF Base in New South Wales. In times of crisis, the need for strong environmental regulations and a professional, well-resourced workforce to enforce them is clear. But the majority of environmental crime doesn’t make it to the front page of the newspaper. Polluted rivers, contaminated aquifers, smuggled wildlife and choking air pollution – these are the “repeat offenders” of routine environmental crime, and they are harder to address in regional or remote locations where public impacts are limited.

It is in this mind that I am at the annual environmental regulators conference in Sydney. I am here to take the pulse on the frontline experience of environmental regulation in Australia. As an industry outsider, I want to understand more about the lived experience of designing and implementing environmental regulation. I am also curious to gauge the impact of the 2014 murder of NSW compliance officer Glen Turner on the activities of environmental regulators on the ground. This tragic event led to a criminal trial and a murder conviction for Ian Turnbull, a well-known Moree landholder who had in the preceding years been repeatedly investigated for illegal land clearing. In 2017, the NSW Coroner ordered an inquest into Glen Turner’s death, the date of which is yet to be announced. The inquest is intended to help better understand the risks faced by officers such as Turner.

Environmental protection authorities and a wide variety of environment departments exist in all jurisdictions and prosecute breaches of state and territory legislation, with their federal counterparts responsible for enforcing federal law.

To continue reading this article please use this link to The Saturday Paper. -  Read more.

PODCAST: Erosion and Sediment Control Compliance

05/03/2018

In February 2018, Eugene Immisch of the Department of Environment and Science in Queensland explained how evaluating the performance of erosion and sediment controls can be technically challenging.

Determining compliance can be a tricky business and the range of potential control measures to manage risks is large and riddled with technical complexity. Eugene explored the use of a consistent, transparent and repeatable investigation methodology as a tool to assist regulators when assessing the effectiveness of erosion and sediment controls and establishing compliance.

Available only to AELERT Members

GO TO RESOURCE

 

THE SPEAKER

Eugene Immisch is a Compliance Delivery Manager, with the Environmental Services and Regulation Division of the Department of Environment and Science.

Eugene holds qualifications in both Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering and has 18 years of experience in the environmental sector, 10 in the department. He has championed compliance programs focused on improving erosion and sediment control practices and worked to improve the regulator's understanding.