It’s time for a new remediation framework

In 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Northern Ireland, India and Pakistan tested nuclear devices, Google was founded, Viagra came onto the market, Titanic became the first film to make $1 billion, and a new planning framework for managing contaminated land was implemented in New South Wales. Twenty years later and the contaminated…

Coal mines and koalas

The recent decision of Chief Justice Preston in Upper Mooki Landcare Inc v Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Ltd and Minister for Planning [2016] NSWLEC 6, related to the impact of a proposed open cut coal mine on koalas. Interestingly, both the applicant and respondent agreed that the coal mine was likely to significantly affect koalas…

Streamlining Commonwealth and State Environmental approvals

The Commonwealth Government’s Assessment Bilateral Agreement Draft Conditions Policy (Draft Conditions Policy) seeks to improve the efficiency of assessment bilateral agreements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). In particular, the Draft Conditions Policy seeks to minimise unnecessary duplication between state, territory and Commonwealth conditions on environmental approvals. The Draft…

Bilateral agreements under the EPBC Act: How easy is it to cut green tape? (Part 1)

Overlapping State and Commonwealth approval requirements leading to project risks The environmental approval process under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) operates in parallel to State-based approval processes, such as the development consent process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act). That means that, for example, a…

Another Bill passes

In our blog on 27 October 2014, we told you about the new changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (Planning Act) that were proposed by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW). That Bill has now passed both Houses of Parliament, having received assent on 19 November 2014. Other…

New environment enforcement laws have now passed

In our blog on 2 September 2014 we told you to watch out for new environmental enforcement laws proposed by the Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2014. That Bill has now passed both Houses of Parliament, having received assent on 28 October 2014. That means that the proposed changes will shortly come into…

Amended Act means tougher planning enforcement

New changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (Planning Act) are proposed by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2014 (Amending Bill), which was introduced to the NSW parliament on 22 October.  A fair amount of media attention to date has been on the particulars relating to tougher penalties and the…

Keeping regular: water users anticipate ease of burden

The Water Management Amendment Act 2014 (NSW) was passed without amendment on 17 September 2014 and contains some important changes to how water is accessed and licensed in NSW. The amendments are intended to ease the regulatory burden on water users and assist the Government to meet challenges in managing the State’s water resources that have…