Allens

Environment & Planning

Our experienced Environment & Planning legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. These publications will keep you abreast of changes to requirements or standards, and inform you of relevant legal and non-legal news and how it affects your industry. If you'd like to be notified when we add new environment & planning publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Read about our track record in environment & planning.

Environment & Planning Publications

  • Client Update: Environmental bond and mine rehabilitation reform in Queensland

    15 May 2017

    Major reforms to environmental bonds and rehabilitation requirements are proposed in two discussion papers released by the Queensland Government. All mining sector operators should understand how the reforms will impact their current and proposed operations. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Client Update: Review of climate change policies discussion paper

    28 March 2017

    Following the release of the terms of reference for the 2017 climate change policy review in December 2016, the Federal Government has recently released its climate change policy review discussion paper for public consultation. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Lawyer Holly Woodcroft report.

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  • Client Update: Victoria to ban fracking

    8 March 2017

    Victoria has become the first state to permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, passing new anti-fracking legislation this week. The new law also extends the moratorium on all onshore petroleum exploration and production in Victoria until 30 June 2020. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: Federal Government addresses uncertainty around Indigenous Land Use Agreements

    17 February 2017

    The Federal Government has moved to provide certainty for those who rely on registered Indigenous Land Use Agreements, following the Full Federal Court's decision that called the legal status of these agreements into question, by introducing amending legislation. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the key elements.

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  • Client Update: Registering Indigenous Land Use Agreements - it's all or nothing

    6 February 2017

    In McGlade v Native Title Registrar, the Full Federal Court has found that the Native Title Registrar does not have the jurisdiction to register an agreement on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements unless the agreement is signed by all registered native title claimants. This is a significant change from the current legal position and has potentially far reaching consequences not just for future agreements, but will also call into question the validity of many existing agreements. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate Andrea Moffatt consider the implications of the decision.

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  • Focus: Key planning reforms for developers, miners and major projects in NSW

    19 January 2017

    The NSW Government has kicked off 2017 by releasing proposed reforms to the State's ageing planning legislation. Partner Bill McCredie, Planning Special Counsel Marcia Doheny and Senior Associate Michael Zissis outline the key proposed reforms for developers and major project proponents, including miners.

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  • Focus: Adani clears latest hurdle in Carmichael Mine approval

    12 December 2016

    The Supreme Court of Queensland has upheld the decision of the Chief Executive of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to issue an environmental authority for the Carmichael Mine. In dismissing an application for judicial review by one of the mine's objectors, the Supreme Court clarified the limited scope of the consideration to be given by the Chief Executive when making a final decision to issue an environmental authority. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate Giselle Kilvert consider the court's decision and its impact on future resource projects in Queensland.

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  • Client Update: Major water reforms in Queensland to affect all water users

    6 December 2016

    Major water reforms that will affect all water users, particularly the resources industry, have commenced in Queensland. All water users should be aware of the changes and new obligations, especially as there may be potentially significant time and cost benefits and risks. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Client Update: Climate change policy news: more guidance for Australian businesses

    6 December 2016

    Over the past fortnight, both the Federal and Victorian Governments have made progress in climate change policy and regulation, with the Federal Government announcing its terms of reference for the 2017 climate change policy review, and the Victorian Government tabling its new Climate Change Bill 2016 in Parliament last week. Partner Chris Schulz , Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Associate Emily Johnstone report.

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  • Client Update: Changes to the policy framework for Voluntary Planning Agreements in NSW

    10 November 2016

    The New South Wales Government has released a draft suite of documents aimed at improving the policy framework for Voluntary Planning Agreements. These include a draft Ministerial direction for planning authorities, a draft revised practice note, and a draft planning circular. The new policy is an attempt to encourage greater transparency between developers, councils and communities to produce fair VPAs that deliver infrastructure and other public benefits that relate to the development. Partner Paul Lalich, Planning Special Counsel Marcia Doheny and Lawyer Claire Macdonald consider the new policy framework and its implications.

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  • Client Update: Implications for government acquiring agencies under NSW land acquisition reform

    25 October 2016

    The NSW Government has announced its intention to reform the land acquisition process in New South Wales. Partner Paul Lalich, Special Counsel Marcia Doheny and Lawyer Claire Macdonald summarise the key changes.

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  • Focus: Alpha Coal Mine clears further hurdle as climate change challenge is dismissed

    5 October 2016

    Last week, the Queensland Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Queensland Environment Minister to grant an environmental approval for the proposed Alpha Coal Mine in Queensland. In doing so, the court dismissed the challenge of an environmental interest group based on greenhouse gas emissions from the downstream transportation and burning of coal to be mined at Alpha. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate Giselle Kilvert and Associate David Thorpe consider the Court of Appeal's decision and its impact on the future legal challenges to resources projects in Queensland.

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  • Client Update: Further wide-ranging reforms of groundwater extraction regulation in Queensland

    19 September 2016

    Resource sector operators need to be aware of further proposed changes to how the take of groundwater is regulated in Queensland. The proposed changes will impact existing, new and expansion operations. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi consider the proposed amendments and their significance for resource projects.

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  • Client Update: Climate change challenge against Adani's Carmichael Coal Mine dismissed

    30 August 2016

    Yesterday, the Federal Court of Australia dismissed a green group's challenge on climate change grounds against the Federal Environment Minister's approval of Adani's Carmichael Coal Mine project in the Galilee Basin. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate and Co-head of Allens' Climate Change Group Emily Gerrard and Associate David Thorpe consider the decision of the Federal Court and its significance on the approval processes of proposed large-scale resources projects.

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  • Client Update: New Draft Wind Energy Planning Framework

    8 August 2016

    The New South Wales Government has released its new Wind Energy Planning Framework, with the aim of establishing a more efficient and consistent assessment and approval regime for wind energy projects and also addressing the concerns raised by stakeholders to the 2011 draft Guidelines. The 'buffer zone' focus under the 2011 draft Guidelines has been set aside in favour of a merits-based analysis, which focuses on key issues of noise and visual impact. Partner Paul Lalich, Planning Special Counsel Marcia Doheny and Lawyer Claire Macdonald consider the new Framework and its implications.

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  • Client Update: New wind farm planning code and guideline for Queensland

    19 July 2016

    The Queensland Government has announced a new wind farm planning code that shifts the responsibility for assessing wind farm developments from local governments to the State Government, and provides a consistent approach to assessing wind farms across the State. Partner Bill McCredie, Associate David Thorpe and Lawyer Kate Ah Shay look at the Queensland Government's new role and consider the planning code and supporting guideline.

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  • Client Update: Melbourne CBD set for tighter planning controls

    29 April 2016

    Following the introduction of interim built form controls for Melbourne's central business district (CBD) and parts of Southbank in September last year, Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne has announced a proposed amendment to the Melbourne Planning Scheme, which will introduce permanent and stricter built form controls. Partner Chris Schulz, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Associate Kate Kirby report.

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  • Client Update: 'Chain of Responsibility' amendments impose new environmental obligations in Queensland

    28 April 2016

    The Queensland Parliament has passed the 'Chain of Responsibility' Bill with important amendments prior to enactment. The amending Act establishes a new regime under the State's primary environmental legislation that exposes related bodies corporate, executive officers, financiers, shareholders and a select category of 'related persons' to the receipt of orders from the environmental regulator for those entities to satisfy the environmental obligations of companies operating in Queensland. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi and Paralegal Maggie Shelton report.

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  • Client Update: New environmental responsibilities for corporates, officers, financiers and others in Queensland

    16 March 2016

    The Queensland Government proposes new powers to compel related bodies corporate, executive officers, financiers and shareholders, and a select category of 'related persons', to satisfy the environmental obligations of companies operating in Queensland. The Chain of Responsibility concept has been proposed in response to concerns arising from recent events in Queensland such as the difficulties of the Yabulu Nickel Refinery. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Client Update: CEPA introduces new environment management fees

    24 February 2016

    Papua New Guinea's Conservation and Environment Protection Authority commences implementation of its new fee structure this year. Partner Vincent Bull and Senior Associate Ryan Warokra look at the changes and how they will be administered.

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  • Client Update: Polluter pays principle in action

    23 February 2016

    In a recent decision of the Victorian Supreme Court, a Melbourne municipal council was held liable to compensate a landowner for the costs that were incurred by the landowner in the course of complying with a clean-up notice issued under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic), despite the pollution having occurred prior to the commencement of that Act. Partner Chris Schulz and Associate Kate Kirby discuss the key issues raised in the case.

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  • Focus: Strategic planning and the Greater Sydney Commission come to NSW

    9 December 2015

    The New South Wales Parliament has passed legislation to establish the Greater Sydney Commission and introduce a new strategic planning framework for NSW. The Greater Sydney Commission will be a key player in setting the strategic direction for the future development of Sydney. Partner Paul Lalich and Senior Associate Naomi Bergman report.

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  • Focus: Plan Melbourne: refresh of Victoria's metropolitan planning strategy

    16 November 2015

    Housing affordability, climate change and energy efficiency are key focuses of the discussion paper recently released by the Victorian Planning Minster, which aims to 'refresh' the current Melbourne Metropolitan Planning strategy, Plan Melbourne. The paper draws upon the detailed report prepared by the Ministerial Advisory Committee chaired by Professor Roz Hansen. Managing Associate Meg Lee and Associate Kate Kirby discuss the key points.

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  • Client Update: Changes to NSW strata title law - greater obligations and opportunities

    10 November 2015

    Two new pieces of legislation relating to strata title law have been passed by both Houses of the NSW Parliament. Although the new legislation, which is expected to commence on 1 July 2016, will impose obligations on developers to provide inspection reports and building bonds it will also open up redevelopment or sale opportunities by introducing a strata renewal process. Partner Paul Lalich and Nicholas Cowie and Senior Associate Sharon Heffernan examine the key changes.

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  • Client Update: Environment Minister appoints Wind Farm Committee and Commissioner

    19 October 2015

    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has appointed Andrew Dyer as Australia's first National Wind Farm Commissioner and has announced the membership of the Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines. The Commissioner and the Committee will report separately to the Australian Parliament on their progress, with their roles up for review after an initial three-year term. Partner Chris Schulz and Associate Emily Johnstone report.

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  • Focus: Mixed reactions to changes to new CBD height limits

    6 October 2015

    The Melbourne Planning Scheme has recently been amended to introduce mandatory built form controls to the central business district and Southbank area. Managing Associate Meg Lee and Associate Kate Kirby report on the changes and on the reactions of key stakeholders.

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  • Client Update: Stage 2 of NSW Integrated Mining Policy released

    27 August 2015

    The New South Wales Government has released a number of further guidelines for state-significant mining projects, focusing on post-approval requirements, as part of the second stage of public consultation on the new Integrated Mining Policy. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate Naomi Bergman and Lawyer Alexandra Lanyon report.

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  • Client Update: Resource significance no longer to be key consideration in NSW mining project approvals

    8 July 2015

    The NSW Government has released a proposal to amend the state environmental planning policy governing the assessment of mining proposals, to remove the requirement that the principal consideration be the significance of the resource and economic benefits of developing the resource. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Naomi Bergman report on the proposed removal of this requirement, less than two years after its introduction.

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  • Focus: Under construction: Planning Minister launches review of the Victorian Heritage Act

    26 June 2015

    This week the Victorian Planning Minister kickstarted a review into the Heritage Act 1995 (Vic) by launching a discussion paper outlining Heritage Victoria's suggestions for reform. Developers and heritage-listed property owners should consider the proposed changes to prepare for a public consultation period taking place in July and August. Managing Associate Meg Lee and Lawyer Emily Johnstone report.

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  • Focus: New development levy framework introduced in Victoria

    18 June 2015

    The Victorian Planning Minister has introduced legislation to implement a new development levy framework for the state. Developers and land owners in growth and strategic development areas will need to understand the new system of standard and supplementary levies, although much of the detail is still to come. Managing Associate Meg Lee explains.

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  • Client Update: Consultation Open on New Integrated Mining Policy

    3 June 2015

    The New South Wales Government has released its new Integrated Mining Policy for consultation. It clarifies the development application requirements for major mining projects and aims to streamline the assessment process. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associates Naomi Bergman and Michael Zissis report.

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  • Focus: Number of proposal objectors to be recognised in new planning Bill tabled by Minister Wynne

    29 May 2015

    This week, the Planning Minister Richard Wynne introduced a Bill to amend the Victorian planning legislation to make the number of objections a planning application receives a relevant factor when considering whether a proposed use or development may have a significant social effect. Will this improve the decision-making process in the planning system, as Minister Wynne claims? Managing Associate Meg Lee and Lawyer Emily Johnstone report.

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  • Client Update: Public inquiry into Victorian Environment Protection Authority to begin next week

    25 May 2015

    A public inquiry into the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has been announced and will commence on 1 June 2015. The inquiry will cover a variety of issues, including the EPA’s role in relation to public health issues and environment protection, as well as governance, funding and powers of the authority. The industrials sector with EPA licences and works approvals may be affected by the outcomes of the inquiry, including the potential for greater third party involvement. The inquiry also has the potential to impact the wind farm industry. Partner Chris Schulz, Managing Associate Meg Lee and Associate Kate Kirby report.

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  • Client Update: Sizing up options for better apartments

    15 May 2015

    Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne has made his views on apartments known through comments to the media and at industry events about small apartments where he can touch the ceiling and where the shower is over the toilet. Mr Wynne has now released a discussion paper on 'better apartments'. Managing Associate Meg Lee examines the key issues raised by the paper.

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  • Focus: The low down on tall towers in Melbourne

    17 March 2015

    Recent press reports have made much of Leanne Hodyl's Churchill Fellowship report findings that high-rise apartment towers are being built within Melbourne's Hoddle Grid at four times the maximum densities allowed in cities such as Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo. In the light of this report, Managing Associate Meg Lee sets out some key considerations for developers, city planners and the new Victorian Minister for Planning in ensuring that Melbourne plays its part in providing much-needed housing stock, while also maintaining our much lauded liveability.

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  • Client Update: What does the change of government mean for Queensland's energy and resources sector?

    13 February 2015

    With the results of the Queensland election having now been declared and the Labor Party invited to form government (with the support of an independent), Partner Ben Zillmann , Managing Associate John Hedge and Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the key policies announced by Labor before the election that could impact on the energy and resources sector.

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  • Client Update: Costs decisions of the Queensland P&E Court - the year in review

    29 January 2015

    In the past 12 months there have been a number of important decisions of the Queensland Planning and Environment Court that provide an insight into the application of the court's discretion to award costs. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Senior Associate Michael Zissis discuss the lessons learned from these decisions, as parties increasingly seek to test the court's costs power.

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  • Focus: New port zone for Geelong, Hastings and Portland

    17 October 2014

    A new 'Port Zone' has been applied to three major Victorian ports, at Geelong, Hastings and Portland, with announcements that it will make it easier for port operations to expand. The Port of Melbourne, however, is not included in the new zone, consistent with the State Government's intention to develop the site for alternative commercial uses in the medium term. Managing Associate Meg Lee and Lawyer Emily Johnstone report.

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  • Client Update: Major changes proposed to environmental regulation in Queensland

    24 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced amending legislation that will result in new flexibility, new obligations and higher penalties in relation to environmental regulation in Queensland. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Focus: New stormwater licencing in the pipeline

    22 September 2014

    New legislation that seeks to establish a statutory framework for the access to and use of stormwater in Victoria is an attempt to increase the use of stormwater in urban areas and furthers the Victorian Government's policy of limiting the diversion of water from rural areas for urban use. The process to access this alternative water source appears, at first glance, to be straightforward. However, uncertainty still exists. Partner Kate Axup and Lawyer Danielle Atkin report.

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  • Client Update: Employment area expanded to cater for demand associated with Badgerys Creek airport

    5 September 2014

    The NSW Government has released for comment a draft amendment to its Statement Environmental Planning Policy for the Western Sydney Employment Area. The amendment will provide for the expansion of the Western Sydney Employment Area to meet the expected demands of economic growth in Western Sydney generated by the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek. Partner Paul Lalich and Senior Associate Trent March report.

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  • Focus: Amendments to Federal environmental regulation

    28 August 2014

    The Federal Government has implemented a variety of policy and legislative reforms to its environmental approvals regime. Partner Chris Schulz, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Associate Katherine Kirby report on two legislative amendments that facilitate recent reforms: the introduction of a 'user pays' system for environmental assessments and the Federal Government's proposed 'one stop shop' environmental approvals.

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  • Focus: New planning legislation for Queensland's development

    18 August 2014

    The latest component of the Queensland Government's planning reform package has been released. The draft Planning and Development Bill aims to facilitate Queensland's development by balancing economic growth, environmental protection and community wellbeing. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Senior Associate Anna Vella report.

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  • Client Update: New infrastructure charges, environmental offsets and regional planning regimes commence in Queensland

    17 July 2014

    New frameworks for infrastructure planning and charging, environmental offsets and regulating activities in 'areas of regional interest' have now commenced in Queensland. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling, Senior Associate Michael Zissis and Associate Julieane Bull report on how the reforms may affect you.

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  • Focus: Final version of Metropolitan Planning Strategy released

    23 May 2014

    Following consultation and feedback, a final version of the Metropolitan Planning Strategy, known as Plan Melbourne, has been launched. While the focus of Plan Melbourne continues to be on employment cluster locations and urban renewal opportunities, there is also a renewed focus in the final document on key Government infrastructure projects - the East-West road project and the Melbourne Rail Link project. Special Counsel Meg Lee reports.

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  • Client Update: 'One stop shop' environmental approvals a step closer in Queensland and NSW

    19 May 2014

    A 'one stop shop' for Commonwealth and state environmental approvals in Queensland and New South Wales is a step closer with the release of draft Approval Bilateral Agreements. If implemented as planned, Queensland and New South Wales will each become responsible for assessing and approving projects for the purposes of both state and Commonwealth environmental legislation. Partner Bill McCredie, Special Counsel Philip Murray and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Focus: Changes to infrastructure planning and charging in Queensland

    14 May 2014

    A new infrastructure planning and charging framework for Queensland has been proposed by the State Government. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Senior Associate Michael Zissis report on the changes to be introduced by the new framework.

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  • Client Update: Changes for developing wind farms in Queensland

    9 May 2014

    The Queensland Government has released a draft code and guideline that empowers the State to assess and decide any future wind farm projects in Queensland. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Anna Vella look at the Queensland Government's new role and consider the draft code and guideline.

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  • Focus: Warkworth mine - another victim of over-regulation

    29 April 2014

    The NSW Court of Appeal has upheld the Land and Environment Court's refusal of the proposed Warkworth mine expansion. This case highlights the complexity and onerous nature of the environmental assessment regime for major projects in NSW, which empowers the courts to overturn a project approval despite a project having already undergone three levels of environmental assessment. Partner Jim Parker and Lawyer Naomi Bergman report.

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  • Focus: Draft NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects

    16 April 2014

    The NSW Government has released a draft Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects that will apply to the assessment of State Significant Development and State Significant Infrastructure. Partner Paul Lalich, Senior Associate Trent March and Lawyer Dennis Smith consider the implications of the draft policy in the context of the State Government's ongoing planning reforms.

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