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…

Drones, tracking devices and contaminated land

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is considering changes to environment protection legislation. The most significant change relates to the management of contaminated land. The EPA proposes to introduce a ‘management agreement‘ to replace ‘voluntary management proposals‘ (VMP) in the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 for the management of contaminated land. The purpose of introducing a ‘management agreement’…

Changes to the Planning Act

On 6 May 2016, Planning Minister Rob Stokes announced that the NSW Government was revisiting its ‘revolutionary’ but unsuccessful bid in 2013 to amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. After months of consultation and amid community opposition, changes were blocked by Labor in the upper house. Since then, significant changes have been made to…

Coastal Management Bill 2016

Following months of public consultation, the NSW Government has recently introduced the Coastal Management Bill 2016 to Parliament. The Bill will repeal the Coastal Protection Act 1979 and the Coastal Protection Regulation 2011 and is to establish a simpler, more contemporary legislative framework for the management of the NSW coastline. The Bill contains new statutory…

VPAs: Value capture or legal bribe?

There is a lot of noise about ‘value capture’ at present. One of the current NSW legal mechanisms for value capture in NSW sits within the framework for Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPA) set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). These agreements have in some cases been used by Planning Authorities…