Balancing flexibility and fairness: a review of the policy framework for Voluntary Planning Agreements

The NSW Government has responded to growing concern that the development industry is ‘being held to ransom’ by some Councils when negotiating VPAs by releasing a revised Practice Note and draft Direction and circular regarding the use of Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPAs) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). On 4 November…

Just how just are the amendments proposed under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Amendment Act 2016?

Improved transparency, certainty and fairness is the focus in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Amendment Act 2016 (Amending Act), which has received assent from the Governor and will commence on a day or days to be appointed by proclamation. The Amending Act introduces changes to the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (Act)…

When do State government decisions, undertakings and works require referral to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment?

Tasmania appears to be a focal point for Federal Court decisions with respect to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). A recent decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court has considered the definition of an ‘action’ as it relates to State Government decisions regarding works where it is…