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…

Recent Activities of the Greater Sydney Commission

The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) was established in late 2015 to oversee metropolitan planning and development in the Greater Sydney Region. The GSC functions as a partnership between the NSW Government and local governments, and has the power to make local environmental plans and prepare draft strategic plans for the Greater Sydney Region under the…

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…