Water quality trading schemes

Environmental flows

Natural resource management

Pollution taxes

Waste management

Other market based instruments

Other environmental policy review and assessment

Research evaluation

Advisory roles

Environmental economics training programs

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Water quality trading schemes

SA Environment Protection Authority – Investigation of potential market based instruments to minimise the effect of stormwater on Adelaide’s coastal water quality. This project reviewed a range of instruments, developed a preferred design, and included consultation with key stakeholders.

Swan River Trust – A Nutrient Offset trading scheme for the Swan Canning. The Trust engaged BDA Group to scope the potential for nutrient offsets in the Swan Canning catchment, consult with key stakeholders, and prepare a nutrient offset framework and design. BDA Group also provided advice on the potential to adapt the framework in the Geographe and Peel-Harvey catchments.

QLD Environment Protection Authority – A Scoping Study on a Nutrient Trading Program to Improve Water Quality in Moreton Bay. BDA Group assessed the feasibility of using tradeable discharge rights in Moreton Bay, recommended a suitable trading instrument and pilot catchment and developed a policy framework and design principles for the proposed pilot.

QLD Environment Protection Authority – A Nutrient Offset Scheme to Improve Water Quality in Moreton Bay. QEPA advised that the Government’s announced Western Corridor Recycling Scheme would significantly impact the proposed nutrient trading scheme, and BDA Group was commissioned to recommend and design an alternative proposal.

SA Environment Protection Authority – Tradeable Nutrient Discharge Rights for the SA Port Waterways. This study investigated alternative market instruments for managing nutrient discharges from point and diffuse sources into the Port Waterways, and developed an offset scheme that will cost effectively manage discharges.

National Market Based Instrument Pilot Program – Tradeable Recharge Credits in Coleambally Irrigation Area. BDA Group, in collaboration with CSIRO, was funded under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality to investigate a recharge trading scheme to manage irrigation induced salinity.

SA Environment Protection Authority – An Investigation of Policy Mix Options to achieve Water Quality Outcomes in Adelaide’s drinking water supply area. BDA Group investigated policy options for improved management of diffuse source pollutants impacting the quality of Adelaide’s drinking water.

SA Environment Protection Authority – Development offsets in the context of the Mount Lofty Watershed. The SA EPA commissioned BDA Group to prepare this report to stimulate thinking on the potential for the use of ‘development offsets’ to address nutrient pollution impacting Adelaide’s drinking water and to prepare a research plan for the development of a scheme to an ‘implementation-ready’ stage.

NSW Department of Environment and Conservation – Scoping study on the use of economic instruments to manage nutrient loads in the lower Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. BDA Group was engaged to advise on alternative market based instruments that could be employed following the successful South Creek Bubble Licensing Scheme (which will no longer be effective with the commencement of the Western Sydney Recycling Scheme) and in light of increasing pollutant loads more broadly in the lower Hawkesbury River.

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Environmental flows

Productivity Commission – Rural Water Use and the Environment: The Role of Market Mechanisms. In 2006 we were engaged as an advisor to the Productivity Commission in relation to the preparation of its report.

NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change – Analysis of the RiverBank Water Trading Strategy – This study reviewed RiverBank’s business plan and developed simple and robust decision tools to assist water trading operation of the RiverBank portfolio.

SA Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation to undertake – Feasibility assessment of market based measures for SA water recovery for the Living Murray. This study explored alternative market instruments to assist the State to meet its commitment under the Living Murray First Step.

VIC Department of Treasury and Finance – Options for securing environmental flows in Victoria. In this study, the merits of alternative water sourcing strategies, including market-based purchases, were investigated across varying catchment circumstances and in relation to different environmental watering needs.

NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Resources – Environmental Flow Options for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Rivers. This study assessed the benefits and costs of alternative flow regimes as part of the development of the Metropolitan Water Strategy.

NSW Department of Commerce – Economic Assessment of the Shoalhaven Project. The two reports in this study present firstly an assessment of the benefits and costs of alternative flow regimes in the Shoalhaven River, and secondly an assessment of options to transfer water from the Shoalhaven to the Sydney water supply system as part of the development of the Metropolitan Water Strategy.

NSW Department of Commerce – Economic Appraisal of the Shoalhaven Transfer Scheme – This study provided a cost-benefit analysis of the preferred option for transferring water from the Shoalhaven to the Sydney water supply system.

Murray Darling Basin Commission – A Market Approach to the Living Murray Initiative. BDA was engaged to investigate potential market instruments that could be used to recover water for environmental flows, and to advise on how such instruments could be embodied in a broader market approach.

Murray Darling Basin Commission – Issues and Options in Applying Market Based Measures in the Living Murray First Step. BDA was engaged to assist Partner Governments further develop the case for the development and implementation of market based approaches to sourcing water under the Living Murray.
• Murray Darling Basin Commission – Southern Basin Market Pilot Package. BDA Group was engaged to assist the commission to design a pilot environmental water buyback and a supporting business case.

ACT Electricity and Water – Impact of Environmental Flow Rules on Urban Water Supply Options. In this study we identified the impact new environmental flow rules would have on the economics of alternative water supply options being considered, and how the costs and benefits of different rules could be integrated into broader water resource management decision making.

Land and Water Australia – Natural Resource Buybacks and their Use to Secure Environmental Flows. BDA Group was granted research funding under LWA’s Environmental Water Allocation R&D Program, with additional funding support provided by the MDBC, to investigate experiences with resource buybacks, issues pertinent to their use to source water for environmental flows and identification of promising buyback mechanisms.

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Natural resource management

NSW Department of Natural Resources – Development of Operational Rules for Offset Pools Component of Native Vegetation Assistance. In collaboration with CSIRO, we were engaged to advise on regulatory arrangements to facilitate native vegetation offset trading.

SA Department of Environment and Heritage – Policy Mechanisms for Delivering Strategic Conservation Outcomes on Private and Public Land. In this study we developed a framework for selecting policy instruments to promote conservation and identified opportunities in the SA context.

NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation – Valuing and Trading Environmental Services at the Farm Level. This study examined methods for valuing environmental services provided by landholders and pricing policy options for a Government Conservation Trust.

NSW Council of CMA Chairs – Use of Market Based Instruments by CMAs in NSW to Achieve Landscape Scale Change. This study is developing a framework to identify opportunities for the greater use of MBIs by CMAs and to develop an Action Plan for their strategic advancement.

CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems – Natural Resource Offsets for New Development: a conceptual framework. CSIRO engaged BDA Group to review international experiences with development offset schemes and to prepare a conceptual framework for such a scheme, as input to a CSIRO study – Developing a Pilot Ecosystem Services Offset Scheme in the Murrindindi Shire of Victoria.

Victorian Department of Primary Industries – The role of an ‘Environmental Duty of Care’ in natural resource management in Victoria. The aim of this study was to critically analyse the merit of a statutory Environmental Duty of Care, as foreshadowed in the ‘Land and Biodiversity at a time of Climate Change’ Green Paper, released by the Victorian Government in April 2008.

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Pollution taxes

SA Environment Protection Authority – Evaluation of Options for SA EPA Licence Fee Structure. The EPA commissioned BDA Group to firstly undertake an evaluation of conceptual options for the structure of EPA licence fees, and secondly, to develop the operational detail for the chosen fee regime.

QLD Environment Protection Authority – Evaluation of Licence Fee Options to improve water quality and the uptake of water recycling in Queensland. The EPA commissioned BDA Group to identify and evaluate alternative license fee structures, including approaches inclusive of pollutant discharge fees.

VIC Department of Sustainability and Environment – Scoping Study under the Trade Waste Review – opportunities to improve environmental licensing and fee structures in Victoria. This study investigated alternative wastewater licensing and fee regimes and opportunities to provide more targeted incentives for improved wastewater management.

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Waste Management

Environment Australia – The Potential of Market Based Instruments to Better Manage Australia’s Waste Streams. This study reviewed available market instruments, undertook a comparative assessment of instruments that could be applied for waste management and investigated more detailed design and performance issues in relation to the four most promising instruments.

Zero Waste SA – Analysis of levies and financial instruments in relation to Waste Management. This study reviewed available market instruments that could be used for waste management in South Australia, analysed the performance of financial instruments used in Australia for waste management and estimated the impacts of changes to the State’s Waste Depot Levy.

Queensland Government – Market Based Instruments for Managing Queensland’s Waste. This study reviewed available market instruments that could be used for waste management in Queensland and provided detailed case-studies into landfill levies, recycling subsidies and tradeable quota instruments.

WA Department of Environment and Conservation – Container Deposit Systems for Western Australia: A full economic analysis and triple bottom line determination. This study investigated a range of policy designs and evaluated their relative merits.

National Environment Protection Council – National Packaging Covenant: Complementary Economic Mechanisms Investigation. A Jurisdictional Working Group nominated by EPHC commissioned BDA Group to identify, investigate and evaluate economic mechanisms that would be complementary to the Covenant and assist realisation of the Covenant’s targets for recycling and disposal of packaging to landfill.

Business Roundtable on Sustainable Development – Expert Advice on a National Waste Management Framework. BDA Group was engaged to advise the BRSD on waste management policy reforms and to assist with the drafting of a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Waste Management.

Collex Pty Ltd – Review of Nolan-ITU (2004), National Benefits of Implementation of UR-3R Process – BDA Group was asked to critically review this study, including its life-cycle & economic valuation of waste diversion benefits.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts – Landfill cost and performance study. This study involved a desk-top assessment of the full cost of landfill disposal in Australia.

Zero Waste SA – Benefit Cost Assessment of South Australia’s Waste Strategy 2005-2010. This study involved a benefit cost analysis of the South Australian Waste Strategy using a TBL assessment framework. The analysis involved life-cycle analysis of alternative waste management policies, non-market valuation of benefits and estimation of compliance and administration costs and their incidence.

Australian Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts – Analysis of social and environmental valuation methodologies for waste management. This study reviewed methodologies for estimating market and non-market values applicable to waste management, and methods for integrating economic, environmental and social impacts.

National Environment Protection Council – Assessment of potential options, including container deposit legislation, to address packaging wastes. The project included extensive data collection, analysis of the environmental benefits from reduced packaging waste, an economic assessment of options and engagement with a Stakeholder Advisory Group

ACT NoWaste – A triple bottom line assessment of policy options that might be adopted under the ACT Government’s No Waste by 2010 Strategy. The assessment identified the incremental economic, environmental and social impacts of a range of options compared to a business as usual situation.

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Other market based instruments

Environment Australia – Design of a Tradeable Certificate Scheme for Used Oil in Australia – This study developed detailed design parameters for a tradeable certificate scheme, and estimated the costs and benefits of introducing the scheme compared to the current levy / benefit regime.

Environment Australia – A Tradeable Certificate System for Biofuels. This study investigated issues likely to affect a tradeable Certificate System for Biofuels, developed a scheme that would meet Commonwealth policy objectives and undertook a benefit-cost analysis of the proposed scheme relative to alternative policy settings.

Qld Department of Natural Resources and Water (on behalf of the National Market Based Instruments Capacity Building Programme) – A decision support tool for the selection of market based instruments for natural resource management. BDA Group was engaged to develop operational guidance for the selection of MBIs for natural resource management.

NSW Environment Protection Authority – Scoping of Perverse Financial Subsidies that Impact the Environment. This study reviewed available literature on perverse subsidies, identified opportunities for subsidy reform in NSW and issues likely to affect the success of reform efforts.

Department of Environment and Heritage / AFFA – Commonwealth support mechanisms that may inadvertently lead to adverse environmental outcomes. This study reviewed available literature on perverse subsidies in the agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors, identified opportunities for subsidy reform and issues likely to affect reform efforts.

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Other environmental policy review and assessment

Murray Darling Basin Commission – Economic Assessment for the Living Murray Initiative. BDA was engaged to firstly chair an independent panel advising the Commission (the Social and Economic Reference Panel), and secondly to provide oversight and interpretation of studies initiated by the Commission and to prepare the final assessment report.

Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on behalf of the National Biosecurity Committee of the Natural Resource Management and Primary Industries Ministerial Councils – A national approach to cost-benefit analysis for biosecurity. BDA Group was engaged to facilitate an expert workshop to investigate suitable approaches for undertaking cost-benefit analysis for biosecurity, and to document workshop findings.

Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Final report of the National Market Based Instruments Pilot Program. BDA Group was engaged to collate and draw together a non-technical final report of the MBI Pilot Program

Sydney Water – Independent International Expert Panel advising their Desalination Planning Study. BDA Group provided membership to this advisory panel.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change – Review of the benefits of efficient and effective environmental regulation. This study, undertaken in 2005 and updated in 2009, assessed the effectiveness of environmental regulations in NSW in achieving their intended environmental outcomes and the extent to which these regulations were promoting a socially optimal level of environmental protection.

NSW Department of Environment and Conservation – Impacts of policy options for controlling emissions from solid fuel heaters in new release areas of NW and SW Sydney. This study examined the environmental, economic and social impacts of a range of policy measures to control emissions from wood heaters in the new land release areas of North West and South West Sydney

Rio Tinto – An evaluation of the outcomes of the Rio Tinto Foundation for a Sustainable Minerals Industry. BDA Group was engaged to assist The Sustainable Minerals Institute undertake this assessment.

Sydney Catchment Authority – Evaluation of Braidwood land use options – including accounting for the impact on SCA carbon neutrality for energy and electricity. This study assessed the economic, financial and carbon implications of options for the use of land held by the Authority in the Braidwood area.

VIC Department of Treasury and Finance – The Economics of Sustainable Consumption. This study reviewed theoretical and experiential developments in the application of sustainable consumption policies and developed a conceptual framework and operational criteria for the assessment of sustainable consumption policy proposals.

Murray Darling Basin Commission – Assessment of Options for the Sustainable Rivers Audit. BDA was engaged to investigate the costs and benefits of alternative Audit strategies.

NSW State Forests – Review of Strategies for Effecting the Sale of Carbon Credits held by NSWSF. This study examined likely market demand and prices for carbon credits and recommended a sales strategy that would balance the duel objectives of revenue maximization and price discovery.

Department of Environment and Heritage – Cost Benefit Analysis of Wood Heater Emissions and Operating Efficiency Standards. This study assessed the benefits across six urban airsheds that are likely to arise from changing national standards for fine particle emissions and energy efficiency standards for wood heaters.

NSW Environment Protection Authority – Prioritisation of Lead Management Strategies in NSW. This study assessed lead management strategies and involved consultation with government, industry and community groups and using an application of multi-criteria analysis that captured economic, environmental, health and social impacts.

NSW Department of Environment and Conservation – Framework for Assessing Actions for Improving Air Quality in the Greater Metropolitan Region. For this project we developed a detailed model of the NSW economy and interactions with air emissions, in order to undertake a benefit-cost assessment of alternative air management policies being investigated by DEC.

Commonwealth Department of Environment and Water Resources – The economic and social impacts of Protected Areas in Australia. DEWR engaged BDA Group, to review economic and social impact assessment concepts, indicators and techniques; their use in Australian assessments of protected areas; and to identify gaps and priorities for future impact assessments.

Commonwealth Department of Environment and Water Resources – An Economic Activity Study of Australia’s World Heritage Areas. This study assessed the economic activity stimulus to the economy arising from expenditures in maintaining world heritage areas.

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Research evaluation

Cotton CRC – Economic evaluation of the outcomes of the Cotton CRC and payoffs to a new CRC. The Cotton Research and Development Corporation engaged BDA Group to determine the payoff to cotton growers and the Australian community from their investment portfolio between 2003 and 2008 as well as a number of technology specific investments. The evaluation of heliothis resistance to transgenic cotton was modelled in collaboration with CSIRO scientists. In two separate studies, BDA Group firstly evaluated R&D returns to the Cotton CRC and secondly potential payoffs to a new Cotton Catchments CRC.

CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry – Economic Evaluation of the Proposed CRC for Sustainable Forest Landscapes. In this study, BDA Group estimated the likely return on investment, and flow-on benefits, to a new CRC.

Dairy Australia – Over 2007 BDA Group undertook an audit of their proposed five year investment portfolio and cost benefit analysis of eight major outcomes achieved between 2003 and 2006. In 2008 and 2009 six randomly selected programs were evaluated using BCA and BDA Group was also engaged to audit their in-house portfolio evaluation process. Several other stand alone investments have also been evaluated including the Feed Fibre Future initiative and Dealing with Today Planning for Tomorrow.BDA Group has also been engaged by Dairy Australia on an annual basis to review BCA’s for all investment programs and make recommendations to improve in-house evaluation capability.

Australian Pork Limited – In 2006 we were engaged to undertake cost benefit analyses for several completed investment projects and a cost benefit analysis to support their application for government funds to develop a technology to measure lean meat yield. This work also built on previous evaluation assignments including the evaluation (using cost benefit analysis) of several completed investment projects, APL’s proposed strategic investment portfolio as well as individual program areas.

•  Australian Wool Innovation – between 2004 and 2006 BDA Group was engaged by AWI on a number of occasions to undertake a review of their on-farm and off-farm investment portfolios as well as a number of investment specific cost benefit analyses (including use of molecular markers for sheep breeding, real time fleece measurement and the use of RF ear tags for the individual management of sheep). In 2009 BDA Group evaluated their Japanese Market Development program and mulesing alternatives.

Forest & Wood Products Research & Development Corporation – Review of the National Timber Development Program. This study identified the life-cycle impacts associated with timber, steel and concrete products, and estimated the environmental benefits to the Australian community associated with changes in the mix of building materials used.

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation – Economic Evaluation of Selected Environmental Investment Projects. This study used cost benefit analysis and environmental valuation techniques, to evaluate a number of FRDC projects that have successfully targeted the generation of environmental benefits.

Land and Water Australia – Return on Investment Evaluation Consultancy, In this study we explored methodologies for investment analysis and applied the developed method to evaluate returns to LWA’s 1990 – 2000 R&D.

Land and Water Australia – Cost Benefit Analysis of Land, Water and Wool initiative. This study used cost benefit analysis to estimate the economic and environmental benefits of the proposed initiative and to determine the expected pay off to the potential equity partners.

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Advisory roles

Examples of advisory roles performed by BDA Group personnel include:

• Appointed by the Federal Minister for the Environment as a member of the Market-based Instrument Selection Advisory Committee under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

• Appointed Chair of the MDBC’s Independent Social and Economic Reference Panel charged with developing and overseeing a program of assessments to support the Murray River Environmental Flows Program.

• Appointed to an Independent Expert Panel advising Sydney Water Corporation’s Desalination Planning Study.

• Engaged by ACT Electricity & Water Corporation to advise on proposals for new ACT environmental flow guidelines and implications for Canberra’s water supply.

• Engaged by the Productivity Commission to provide expert advice during the course of its study of Rural Water Use and the Environment: The role of market mechanisms.

• Engaged by Rio Tinto Australia to provide advice to the Business Roundtable on Sustainable Development in relation to the development of a National Framework for Waste Management.

• Engaged by the Canadian Government to advise on Australian experiences with water quality trading schemes and to contribute to a study investigating opportunities in Canada.

• Appointed by the NSW Minister for Planning and Minister for Primary Industries as a member of the Panel established to undertake an independent inquiry into the impacts of underground coal mining on natural features in the Southern Coalfields.

• Appointed to the Senior Executive Group (chaired by the Secretary to the Treasury Dr Ken Henry), overseeing the CERF Environmental Economics Research Hub at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University.

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Environmental economics training programs

• NSW EPA in 2002: Applied environmental economics – market based instruments

• NSW EPA in 2003: Applied environmental economics – market based instruments

• VIC Department of Sustainability and Environment in 2005: Communicating economics to policy practitioners

• Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage in conjunction with the Victorian Trust for Nature in 2005: Biodiversity Conservation Incentives

• VIC Department of Treasury and Finance in 2005/06: Environmental economics

• VIC Department of Sustainability and Environment in 2006: Communicating economics to policy practitioners

• VIC Department of Infrastructure in 2006: Economics for policy practitioners

• VIC Department of Treasury and Finance in 2007: Environmental economics

• VIC Department of Primary Industries in 2008: Natural resource economics

• Productivity Commission in 2009: Market simulation workshop

• QLD Public Sector in 2009: Environmental Economics training course

• NSW Public Sector in 2009: Environmental Economics training course

• Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts in 2010: Market based instruments

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