All Articles

JOB AELERT: Senior Intelligence Officer

09/12/2019

The Department of the Environment and Energy’s Office of Compliance is seeking a skilled intelligence practitioner to contribute to its emerging operational and tactical intelligence capability.

The Operational and Tactical Intelligence Team discovers, understands and responds to current and emerging matters of organised environmental crime and serious non-compliance.

We connect the Department to intelligence, building strong collaborative relationships with internal, domestic, and international intelligence partners and customers.

We are looking for an intelligence professional with experience in collecting and producing intelligence, analysing information and identifying intelligence gaps, and building strong relationships with external stakeholders.

Read more.

New webinar available!

22/11/2019

You can now watch the latest AELERT Webinar: Regulating the Reef – Innovative approaches to protecting a natural wonder.

This webinar has been added to our Resources section.

You can watch it here: https://www.aelert.net/resource/view/570

Sydney and Brisbane air quality plummets

19/11/2019

Source: ABC website

The Sydney CBD is barely visible from much of the city as a thick smoke haze from the bushfires chokes large parts of NSW, with health experts warning those with medical conditions to stay inside.

Key points:

  • Sydneysiders woke to a thick blanket of smoke on Tuesday morning
  • It is from a bushfires at Gospers Mountain, north-west of Sydney
  • The Rural Fire Service is on high alert today, amid hot, dry conditions

The Department of Environment said the smoke had pushed air quality beyond "hazardous" levels in Sydney's north-west, the northern tablelands and the north-west slopes.

The smoke is spreading from the Gospers Mountain fire, which has burnt more than 120,000 hectares north-west of Sydney and remains an out-of-control fire.

Read more.

Meanwhile...

South-east Queensland has again been shrouded by smoke from the bushfires, raising air pollution levels.

State government data shows the air quality in Southport, South Brisbane and Woolloongabba is "very poor".

It is ranked as "poor" in nine other locations, including the Brisbane CBD, Rocklea and Springwood.

According to a global index of air pollution, that puts the current air quality in Southport on par with that in Beijing and worse than in Mumbai.

Read more.

New VIC AELERT Representative

08/11/2019

Greg Elms joins the AELERT network as the new Victorian Jurisdictional Representative. Greg is the General Counsel to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, heading up the Legal Services and Major Investigations Units.

Greg has extensive experience in all aspects of public sector legal work including military and civilian

policing, with a strong background in investigations and court and tribunal hearings in prosecutions and disciplinary proceedings.

After spending 9 years at Victoria Police in general duties and criminal investigations, Greg spent a further 7 years with Victoria Police as a prosecutor and discipline advisor. Following that, he spent 8 years with the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office providing specialist advice and advocacy to a broad range of government regulatory clients both directly and as a team leader.

Greg is a military police investigator and is still an active Reservist with the Australian Army, involved in investigations as well as acting as prosecuting or defending officer in administrative and disciplinary matters. A highlight of Greg's military career was his deployment to East Timor in 2007 where he provided peacekeeping and criminal investigative capacity-building assistance to the East Timorese authorities.

New Chair of the Water Compliance CoP

08/11/2019

AELERT would like to welcome Grace Mang to the role of Water Compliance Community of Practice (CoP) Chair. Grace is the Director of Compliance Strategy at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Grace has worked with not-for profits and government for over 15 years to promote stronger relationships and multi-sector dialogues to support better protection and sustainable management of rivers around the world.

Grace has worked as International Rivers’ Director of Programs and oversaw its China Program from Beijing, China and the United States.

Free Live Stream Webinar

08/11/2019

Regulating the Reef – Innovative approaches to protecting a natural wonder

When: Thurs 14 November 10-11:30am (QLD AEST time)

Where: www.aelert.net/events/61_webinar_regulating_the_reef

Managing the health of a system as complex as the Great Barrier Reef requires an approach that recognises and responds to that complexity.

In this webinar, learn how Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science is approaching its role in preserving the health of the Reef for future generations. From voluntary programs, through education and capacity building to behaviour change programs and traditional regulation, the department has brought the full range of modern regulatory interventions to this challenge.
 
We will hear perspectives from both the policy and programs and operational on-ground sides of the department about the successes and challenges of this uniquely Queensland, but still very Australian, regulatory scheme.

Latest AELERT Updates

04/10/2019

Find out all the latest about the upcoming joint conference with INECE, new AELERT Cluster names, our Webinar about how to deal with aggressive people, and much more.

READ MORE

AELERT-INECE Conference

23/09/2019

The Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators neTwork (AELERT) and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) are delighted to announce their first joint conference in Adelaide, South Australia which will take place from 10-13 March 2020.

This year, we wanted to do something different. As networks, both of our groups spend a lot of time contemplating the power of cooperation, recognising the reality that we are stronger through partnership. While this objective of collaboration is well appreciated across the world, there is a need to share success stories and unpack challenges to working together effectively given the circumstances imposed by the ballooning complexity of environmental protection.

The conference theme, “Environmental Collaboration: Shaping the future of regulation, compliance and enforcement together” will challenge you to consider the ways in which working together and sharing knowledge contributes to environmental protection at all levels.

This joint conference is a unique opportunity for environmental practitioners and leaders in the pollution (brown), wildlife and conservation (green) and marine (blue) subject areas as well as other environmental spheres that fit within our umbrella.

The conference will be open to members and non-members of either network alike, and there will be no restrictions on which sessions participants may attend. The conference organisers aim to attract a diverse range of perspectives for the event, and we encourage practitioners from traditionally under-represented groups to participate.

On behalf of AELERT and INECE, we look forward to seeing you there so don’t forget to save the date. Visit the conference website for more information: 2020aelert-inece.net

Network News - Out now!

02/09/2019

This month’s issue features the relaunch of our AELERT Environmental Liabilities Community of Practice. Environmental liability and compliance regulations are very important - industry needs to know of its obligations when leasing land, extracting resources, or dealing with the by-products of manufacturing. And environmental regulators, like us, need to take the lead on making sure industry is aware of, and complies with, any legislation relevant to their business undertakings.

AELERT Executive Officer, Zoé Kennedy recently attended the annual seminar of the Australian Institute of Local Government Rangers where she met with Council Rangers from across NSW and introduced them to the benefits of AELERT membership. So far there have been three new agency sign ups as a result of this conference.

The Water Compliance Community of Practice update us on the success of their recent forum. With over 13 organisations represented, this is a great example of how the AELERT network aims to improve capacity building and information sharing amongst environmental regulators.

Also featured in this month's Network News are upcoming events, new member agencies, highlighted discussion board topics and a select digest of the latest news – local, national and international – on environmental protection and enforcement.

VIEW HERE

Environmental Liabilities Re-established

29/08/2019

The Environmental Liabilities Community of Practice (CoP) has been re-established. This CoP sits under the Operations Cluster and focuses on finding common ground with jurisdictions looking for approaches to managing environmental liabilities, including the use of financial assurances.

Please welcome Joanne Stuart as the new Environmental Liabilities Chair. Joanne is the Manager of Regulatory Practice and Programs, part of the Contaminated Land Management Section at the NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Joanne has worked with the NSW EPA for 20 years, her expertise includes engaging in regulatory reform in important, but not always visible, areas such as petroleum storage systems, increases in penalty amounts, and development of regulatory tools. One of her current tasks is a review and remake of the Underground Petroleum Storage Systems Regulation.

While each jurisdiction has its own challenges, the newly reconstituted Environmental Liabilities CoP aims to recognise successful approaches, learn from precedents, and share this knowledge among jurisdictions.

Issues vary in size and scope. Queensland has experience managing the environmental impacts of mining, in particular coal seam gas extraction, while Victoria has been working on financial assurances related to landfill after EPA Victoria was called to conduct clean-up operations following illegal dumping of tyres.

Financial assurances mitigate the risk of companies, such as now bankrupt Linc Energy, from walking away from environmental damage. The negligence in this instance cost taxpayers upwards of $30 million to clean up. In Victoria, an illegal tyre dump at Numurkah, saw taxpayers’ foot a $1.5 million bill. Financial assurances can cover any foreseen environmental degradation, ensuring companies take responsibility for environmental protection.

Financial assurances can take the form of a bond, commitments to undertake specific works including monitoring and maintaining containment cells, and post-closure rehabilitation. Joanne explains that a financial assurance is intended to cover the EPA's 'reasonable costs' in the event the EPA had to undertake these works. Monitoring and enforcement is ongoing, with licences to operate on land up for periodic review.

Managing environmental liabilities is only going to grow in importance and intricacy, so the relaunch of the Environmental Liabilities Community of Practice is a good opportunity for the AELERT network to discuss emerging issues and share their expertise.

If you would like to join the Environmental Liabilities CoP or find out more information, contact the Chair, Joanne Stuart through our Members Directory.

Image: Sitting in the NSW EPA Regulatory Practice and Programs Unit is the Environmental Liabilities team, with Kim Boxsell, Magdalena Paszkiewicz, Audrey Yim, and Joanne Stuart.