Getting the right information in contaminated land reports

The NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) updated statutory guidelines on Consultants reporting on contaminated land came into force on 3 April 2020. They provide a reporting framework for consultants preparing contaminated land reports, as well as detailed checklists for complying with reporting requirements. The guidelines aim to ensure that reports contain the right information in…

Local Planning in a Global Environment: NSW Government proposes to limit conditions of consent regulating overseas impacts

Amendments have been proposed to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (Mining SEPP) that will impact on how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered in assessing mining projects and the conditions of consent that may be imposed. The Environmental…

Brexit: Lessons in tone when producing records

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” [Hamlet, Act 3, scene2] So it is now said when a person’s protestations are laid on too heavily. We see through their protestations to their true purpose.  Protestations when overdone imply a lack of sincerity. Amongst all the other legal challenges that the Brexit process has brought to…

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…