Australian businesses prepare for the new privacy regime
Duncan McGregor was appointed chair of the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee.
Minter Ellison's environment and planning team is renowned for its depth of expertise and comprehensive on-the-ground resources throughout Australia and in New Zealand, with Chambers Global describing its work as ‘strategic, focused and detailed’.
With the increasing focus on environmental impacts, our public and private sector clients rely on us to provide strategic advice in an area of law that is rapidly evolving and has a significant impact on business operations.
Our environment and planning law advice encompasses project design through to approval, implementation and operation. We advise and assist in obtaining the necessary licences and permits for projects or business operations – such as environment and planning approvals, climate change and renewable energy, land resumptions, compensation and valuation, native title and aboriginal land claims, heritage, vegetation and biodiversity management, pollution and water.
Our experience spans a wide range of environmentally sensitive industries such as mining, waste, urban renewal, industrial and retail. We provide realistic response strategies to minimise risks associated with environment and planning litigation, investigations and prosecutions.
Our team is at the forefront of policy development and many of our lawyers have first-hand experience working in environment, resource and planning agencies and engaging with industry bodies. The ALB guide on Environmental Law 2009 called us ‘strategic, commercial, legally-focused and technically strong, and also well-connected’.
Australia has a new federal Government, but we may yet face another year or so of uncertainty in the carbon arena as the Coalition Government seeks to deliver on its carbon policy commitments. One of the Coalition Government's key election promises is the abolition of the outgoing Labor Government's Carbon Pricing Mechanism (CPM) by 1 July 2014 or sooner if possible. The Coalition intends to replace the CPM with its 'Direct Action Plan'.
Minter Ellison has contributed the Australia chapter for the publication The Energy Regulation and Markets Review, published by Law Business Research Ltd in the UK.
On 21 June 2013, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) was amended to include a new matter of national environmental significance in relation to coal seam gas (CSG) and large coal mining development - the 'water trigger'. As a result, more CSG and coal mining developments will require EPBC Act approval.
The government has recently released its National Food Plan, a roadmap for the future development of Australia's food and agriculture industry. Its key focus is on ensuring that Australia has 'a sustainable, globally competitive, resilient food supply, supporting access to nutritious and affordable food'. We review how the National Food Plan responds to the trends, opportunities and challenges facing Australia's food and agriculture industry in the 21st Century.
On 1 May 2013 the Queensland government announced the details for the repeal of the gas electricity certificate (GEC) scheme, and published draft legislation to make 2013 the last liability year of the scheme. Any GECs must be created prior to 30 April 2014.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council recently released its Sustainability Commitment report for 2010-11 setting out its key objectives and targets for improving sustainability in the food & beverage and grocery industry. We highlight these objectives and targets and review the national legislative and policy underpinnings of the Sustainability Commitment in the key areas of water, waste, energy & emissions, packaging and procurement.
On 13 September 2012, the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (the Bill) was introduced into the Queensland Parliament. The Bill proposes amendments to a number of pieces of legislation, including the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA), the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (Qld) and the Water Act 2000 (Qld).
On 24 August 2012, the Queensland State Government Temporary State Planning Policy 2/12 Planning for Prosperity (TSPP) took effect. The State government announced that the TSPP will mean that 'state agencies and council must ensure that economic development considerations are a fundamental planning consideration in this state. Its aim is to speed – not impede – development.'
This alert explains how the TSPP may affect your business or organisation.
The NSW Coalition government promised to undertake a review of the NSW planning system upon being elected in March 2011. The results of the independent review have been released in conjunction with the NSW Government's response called 'A New Planning System for NSW: Green Paper'.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced this week that koala populations in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will be listed as 'vulnerable' under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth). The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has said that the listing will be effective in a matter of days, as soon as the subordinate legislation is made.
The Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011 (Qld) (SCL Act) has made several major changes to Queensland's regulatory regime which resources proponents in particular should be aware of. Under the SCL Act, the identification and management of Queensland's 'Strategic Cropping Land' (SCL) imposes an additional step for new resource tenement / EA application processes, and applications to amend those authorities. This alert:
On 16 March 2012 the Federal Court quashed a controlled action decision made pursuant to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) as LandCorp was denied natural justice in the decision making process.
Australia's carbon pricing mechanism which was introduced by the Clean Energy Legislative Package, will commence on 1 July 2012. Emissions units recognised under the Clean Energy Legislative Package will be considered as financial products under the Corporations Act from that date.
Proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994, as introduced by the Environmental Protection (Greentape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, will affect all industries that trigger environmental approval thresholds. This Alert provides an overview of the proposed fundamental changes, outlining how industry may be impacted. We will release further specific Alerts to cover the effect on the resources sector and specific industry groups.
One of the more important amendments in Queensland's Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 is the introduction of provisions that protect the existing uses of particular premises from new encroaching development. We look at how and when the protection provisions apply, exemptions, the registration process and the obligations of premises owners.
The Queensland Biodiversity Offset Policy came into effect on 3 October 2011. The state wide Policy requires offsets for a broad range of activities - including level 1 mining, petroleum and gas activities, the construction of state-controlled roads and most environmentally relevant activities. This alert explains how the Policy will apply, the exemptions, and implications for future developments.
From 1 October, Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 will be repealed and two separate approval regimes for state significant development (SSD) and state significant infrastructure (SSI) will commence. A new State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development ) 2011 will also commence on this date.
On August 24, the Australian Government announced its proposed reform package for protecting Australia's biological diversity and amending the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The package is partly in response to the review undertaken into the Act by Dr Allan Hawke in 2009 and includes a draft Australian Biodiversity Policy, draft Environmental Offsets Policy, numerous proposed amendments to the Act and information on a National Centre for Cooperation on Environment and Development.
On 3 August 2011, the Queensland Government introduced the Waste Reduction and Recycling Bill 2011. The Bill introduces a waste levy from 1 December 2011 and overhauls waste management requirements.
On June 28 2011, EPA Victoria released its new Compliance and Enforcement Policy (C&E Policy). The C&E Policy is intended to give businesses greater certainty and better protect the environment by creating a predictable and easy to understand approach to the EPA's compliance and enforcement functions.
Practice Note PNPE9 will have major consequences for any permit applicant seeking to amend plans in a VCAT proceeding.
Consistent with its March election promise, the NSW Coalition Government has introduced a Bill into Parliament to repeal Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The Bill not only seeks to repeal Part 3A but makes changes to the operation of Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPP) and the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) and introduces two separate new approval regimes for State significant development (SSD) and State significant infrastructure (SSI).