Is a site audit statement worth the ‘paper’ it is written on?

In many transactions, site audit statements have become de facto certificates that a condition precedent or condition subsequent in an agreement has been satisfied (or not). Multiple parties often rely on a site audit statement, such as vendors, purchasers, financiers, directors and decision makers within a company. However, are these parties entitled to rely on…

Environmental Management Systems: what boards can learn from the Banking Royal Commission

In Australia, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has exposed remarkable failures in risk management, compliance and culture that have claimed the careers of a number of senior managers and directors and seen the threat of litigation. The underlying issues are not unique to the world of finance.…

NSW Crown land reforms have commenced – what do local councils need to know?

The majority of the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (NSW) (the Act) commenced on 1 July 2018. The Act significantly reforms the use and management of Crown land in NSW. . The Act consolidates eight pieces of legislation into one Act, repealing the Crown Lands Act 1989, the Crown Lands (Continued Tenures) Act 1989, the Western Lands Act 1901 and certain other legislation.…

BAM! Implications of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 on the assessment of development applications

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW) (BCA) commenced on 25 August 2017 and with it commenced a restructure to the assessment of biodiversity impacts under New South Wales planning law. Among the raft of changes is the introduction of biodiversity development assessment reports (BDARs) which replace species impact statements under the now repealed Threatened Species…

The Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities

The Greater Sydney Commission has released the new Greater Sydney Region Plan, titled A Metropolis of Three Cities. This plan is the first regional plan developed by the Greater Sydney Commission and sets out a 40-year vision (to 2056) and establishes a 20-year plan to manage growth and change for Greater Sydney. Three connected cities…

Corrupt public officers on ICAC’s radar – a cautionary tale for local councils

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has announced it will be holding a public inquiry on Monday 16 April 2018 into the conduct of a number of former Canterbury City Council public officials. ICAC’s investigation – named ‘Operation Dasha’ – is examining whether, between 2013 and 2016, public officers including former Canterbury City councillors,…