Environmental Management Systems: what boards can learn from the Banking Royal Commission

In Australia, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has exposed remarkable failures in risk management, compliance and culture that have claimed the careers of a number of senior managers and directors and seen the threat of litigation. The underlying issues are not unique to the world of finance.…

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…

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…

Access orders trump restrictions over community land

To what extent does the categorisation of land as community land stymie development? In what circumstances can works be carried out on community land for the purposes of development on an adjoining property? What happens in circumstances where a Council fails to properly categorise land? These questions were covered in the recent decision of Watpac…

Watch out for new environmental enforcement laws

The Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, introduced to the Legislative Assembly on 12 August, proposes to strengthen NSW environmental enforcement laws, and introduces the concept of ‘restorative justice’ into environmental enforcement. ‘Restorative justice’ is described in the second reading speech for the Bill as a process that: “brings together both an offender…

What are the benefits of planning?

Have you ever considered the impacts of good planning, or why planning is so important? I spent some time thinking about the benefits of planning and this is what I came up with: Good planning has economic benefits: the right location of uses can protect public investment in infrastructure and add value to property planning…