Partnerships, science and innovation
By 2027 we aim to have:
- Further developed an enhanced intelligence and science-based regulatory capability.
- Improved data accessibility to provide information to the public and interest groups.
- Partnered with industry, the community and other regulators to promote continuous improvement and innovation while ensuring strong environmental outcomes.
- We are committed to intelligence-led and science-based regulation.
- We are supporting operators to innovate while ensuring strong environmental outcomes through the delivery of actions such as proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to provide for a short-term environmental authority to trial new and innovative approaches (Action 5.8)
Action status indicator
- Awaiting commencement
- In progress
- The original timeframe for Action 5.1 was 2022. However, Action 5.1 has been updated to be an ongoing action in recognition that we will continue to be innovative in our use of emerging technologies in assessment and compliance beyond 2022.
- We continue to expand our use of remote sensing, drones and other emerging technologies in our regulatory activities.
- Our Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems capability is used in a variety of applications, such as undertaking volumetric surveys at landfills to confirm the integrity of the Queensland waste levy framework.
- As part of our response to New Chum Odour issues, we provided air quality monitoring devices to a number of households in the area. This Community monitoring includes hydrogen sulfide monitoring and the deployment of air sampling canisters that sample up to 74 different types of chemical compounds.
- We finalised the scientific Moreton Bay Sand Study to inform allocation of sand resources and permits and provide industry long-term certainty of sand supply.
- The study was co-funded with industry and examined the environmental, social and economic impacts of increasing sand extraction from the Bay and explored possible alternative sources of fine sand.
- The original timeframe for Action 5.3 was 2022. However, Action 5.3 has been updated to be an ongoing action in recognition that we will continue to take action on emerging contaminants beyond 2022.
- We are regularly engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to understand the impacts of PFAS on the community and communicate departmental expectations for the management of PFAS contamination.
- We are working with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions on the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on a Framework for Responding to PFAS Contamination, including the development of the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (PFAS NEMP) version 3.0.
- We worked with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions on the development of nationally consistent Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS), and the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
- We are working with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to develop a national framework for the assessment and management of Contaminants of Emerging Concern.
- The original timeframe for Action 5.4 was 2022. However, Action 5.4 has been updated to be an ongoing action in recognition that we will continue to develop our capability to regulate emerging industries.
- We are assessing applications as they are received and applying the legislation as appropriate.
- One EIS process is currently in train for a trial project aiming to demonstrate the effective permanent storage of captured carbon dioxide.
- We are engaging with the Independent Expert Scientific Committee and Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment to ensure independent expert advice is provided for assessments.
- We have also employed specialist staff with expertise in greenhouse gas emissions to build our capability to deal with emerging industries.
- This is awaiting commencement and will be completed in FY 2023–24.
- Initial scoping work has been undertaken. The timeframe for delivering the action has been revised in acknowledgement that delivery timeframes will be determined in consultation and negotiation with the Australian Government.
- The Digital Environmental Assessment Program aims to digitally transform environmental assessment processes by enabling more:
- transparent decision-making
- streamlined processes
- integrated systems
- There are two projects within the program:
- The Portal and Assessment System which is simplifying and connecting assessment processes/systems.
- The Biodiversity Data Repository project which is improving the management of Australia’s biodiversity data.
- This body of work is due for delivery in 2023.
- Initial planning and engagement steps have commenced regarding:
- the capture of applicable EIS data on the Public Register.
- an approved spatial schema for EIS data.
- The Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 was introduced to the State Parliament on 12 October 2022.
- The Bill amends the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to provide for a short-term environmental authority to trial new and innovative approaches.
- The Bill was passed by Parliament in March 2023.
- Actions to implement the framework for short-term environmental authorities, will continue into 2023. Implementation actions will include the development of application and assessment material and guidance.
- This body of work is due to commence in 2023.
- Action 5.9 will complement Action 11 of the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan which relates to continuing to investigate the feasibility and financial sustainability of common user infrastructure opportunities in partnership with industry.
- We regularly work with the Australian Government, local government, industry and other stakeholders to inform and improve our regulatory actions.
- We are a principal member of the Heads of EPA Australia and New Zealand (HEPA). HEPA is an informal alliance of environmental regulation leaders from Australia and New Zealand that provides collective leadership across all jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand to protect the environment and communities.
- We are delivering the Local Government Illegal Dumping Partnership Program to support local government projects that aim to prevent or reduce illegal dumping in hotspot areas.
- Officers within the department are members of the Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators network (AELERT). This allows the officers to participate in capability building and knowledge sharing with other regulators.
- Our officers also participate in functions hosted by the ANZSOG National Regulators Community of Practice (NRCoP). The NRCoP is an active network of public sector regulators from all three levels of government and from every regulatory sector, professional background, role and level of seniority.
- We are committed to further building the capacity and capability of our officers. We have onboarded additional technical capacity in both emissions and biodiversity areas.
- We maintain and develop a range of support materials including procedural guides, guidelines, forms and templates which are available internally for officer use as well as materials which are available externally on our website.
- New support materials include training videos for the revised estimated rehabilitation cost calculators.
- We continue to build the behavioural science capability of our workforce through virtual and face-to-face training and provision of training tools.
- We provide ongoing and efficient responses to ad hoc needs as well as for strategic and in-depth projects that require behavioural science insights.
- Our embedded behavioural scientist is a member and contributor to behavioural science and communication groups of the Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators network (AELERT) and working member of the DES Behavioural and Social Science (BASS) Hub – an internal community of practice sharing knowledge and resources and delivering behavioural and social science support across the department.
- The Queensland Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner (QMRC) publishes a report annually on their website outlining work undertaken as required by legislative requirements, independent from the department's work program.
- Reports are published on the QMRC website.