Allens

Infrastructure & Transport

State of growth: Insights from Infrastructure NSW

Good quality, integrated infrastructure across Australia's major centres is key to sustaining a high-functioning, efficient economy. Watch Allens Partner and Infrastructure and Transport Sector Leader Emma Warren speak to Jim Betts, CEO of Infrastructure New South Wales, which advises the state government on a long-term and consistent approach to infrastructure planning across the board.

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Our experienced Infrastructure legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. These publications address a wide range of infrastructure issues, ranging from legislative changes and industry body activities to the effects that legal decisions can have on your operations. If you'd like to be notified when we add new infrastructure 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 Infrastructure & Transport.

Infrastructure & Transport Publications

  • Client Update: Australia's foreign investment regime - Budget changes

    23 May 2017

    The Australian Government flagged a number of changes to Australia's foreign investment regime in the 2017 Budget. In a welcome development, the changes seek to simplify an otherwise complex regime and encourage foreign investment in Australia. Partner Wendy Rae and Associate Nick Kefalianos examine the most significant changes.

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  • Client Update: Security of the Cape Preston port affirmed in appeal decision

    7 April 2017

    The Full Federal Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal by former federal MP Clive Palmer's company Mineralogy against a decision that gave his former business partner, CITIC Limited and its subsidiaries, the right to operate and maintain the port at Cape Preston for the Sino Iron Project. As Partner Phil Blaxill and Lawyer Jeremy Rich report, the decision affirms that commercial agreement terms between parties can be impacted by later agreements between those parties and by state agreements, and emphasises the care commercial drafters need to take.

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  • Focus: Victoria's plan for value creation and capture

    6 April 2017

    The Victorian Government has released the Victorian Value Creation and Capture Framework which articulates its policy on value creation and value capture in the planning and delivery of public projects. The intention of the framework is to harness the potential of government investments to create additional value for the community and signal to the public, private and community sectors how the Victorian Government will go about doing so. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Patrick Easton report.

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  • Client Update: Treasury consultation paper flags changes to stapled structures

    28 March 2017

    Stapled structures have been used as an investment platform in the property and infrastructure sectors for decades, and more recently have been deployed into renewable energy, agriculture and other areas. Through the issue of its Taxpayer Alert on stapled structures on 31 January 2017, the ATO indicated that it had serious tax integrity concerns with the proliferation of stapled structures. The Commonwealth Treasury has now revealed that it has also been concerned at the increasing impact of stapled structures on the corporate tax base by releasing a Consultation Paper calling for submissions on potential policy options in relation to stapled structures, the taxation of real property investments and the recharacterisation of trading income. Partner Martin Fry and Senior Associate Igor Golshtein report.

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  • Client Update: Australia's foreign investment approval (FIRB) regime: what you need to know

    15 March 2017

    Australia's foreign investment approval regime is increasingly a major political issue that is often highlighted and discussed in the media. Our foreign investment law experts have summarised the key information you need to know about Australia's FIRB regime.

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  • Client Update: Implications of the Critical Infrastructure Centre for foreign investment in Australia

    24 February 2017

    The Australian Government's Critical Infrastructure Centre, launched earlier this year, is part of the government's plans to manage national security concerns arising from foreign investment in Australian critical infrastructure. The Centre has released a discussion paper calling for input into how it can best work with governments, industry and investors to manage these risks. This paper provides greater insight into the Centre's role but there remain areas to be clarified. Partners Wendy Rae and Jeremy Low, Mergers & Acquisitions Counsel Andrew Wong and Associate Nicholas Kefalianos examine this issue from the perspective of Australia's foreign investment framework.

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  • Allens insights: Alternative models for financing water infrastructure

    23 February 2017

    A healthy pipeline of Australian infrastructure projects has created a certain level of competition for project funds. Partner Kate Axup, Associate Danielle Jones and Lawyer Luisa Colosimo recently contributed to a discussion paper on alternative funding models for financing Australia's water infrastructure in the face of a growing population, greater urbanisation and climate change.

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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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  • Allens insights: Trends over the past year in the Australian projects and infrastructure sectors

    8 February 2017

    A substantial pipeline of both private and public infrastructure projects has attracted a variety of local and offshore project finance providers wishing to gain exposure to returns from these attractive Australian investment opportunities. Allens Partners Nick Adkins, Scott McCoy and Rob Watt look at how this is unfolding, the increase in non-bank lenders competing for projects, the various funding models at play, and the opportunities available in the near future.

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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: Queensland security of payment regime: more change on the horizon

    16 January 2017

    The Queensland Government recently released a Queensland Building Plan discussion paper for public consideration that coincided with the enactment of the Federal Government's Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013. Both developments have the potential to affect the existing security of payment regime in Queensland. Partner Nicholas Ng, Managing Associate Nikki O'Leary, Senior Associate Matt Thomas and Associate Brydon Wang consider the proposed changes to security payment regimes under the Queensland Building Plan and the ABCC legislation.

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  • Client Update: Value capture for major transport infrastructure projects discussion paper

    17 November 2016

    The Federal Government has released the discussion paper foreshadowed in its Smart Cities Plan about how to use value capture to fund infrastructure projects in Australia. Infrastructure & Transport Sector Leader Leighton O'Brien, Government Sector Leader Paul Kenny, Special Finance Counsel Phillip Cornwell together with Senior Associates Michael Zissis and Nick Beresford-Wylie take a look at the paper and highlight issues for stakeholders to consider when preparing their submissions.

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  • Focus: Bill to establish Cross River Rail Delivery Authority

    24 October 2016

    The Queensland Government introduced legislation to establish the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, an independent statutory body charged with delivering the Cross River Rail project and the wider economic developments along the project's corridor. Partner Nicholas Ng, Senior Associate Matt Thomas and Associate Brydon Wang consider the legislation and its implications.

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  • Client Update: Court determines Native Title compensation for the first time

    25 August 2016

    Yesterday afternoon, the Federal Court handed down a decision which, for the first time, provided judicial consideration of how to calculate native title compensation. A decision on this issue has been long awaited, ever since the Native Title Act commenced in 1994. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Senior Associate Giselle Kilvert summarise the key aspects of the decision and its significance.

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  • Focus: Extending the reach of Australia's cartel laws and the first criminal prosecution

    28 July 2016

    Recent decisions handed down in separate cartel proceedings confirm that Australian courts will take a broad approach to the extraterritorial ambit of Australia's competition laws. This means that more foreign businesses could be caught by Australia's criminal and civil cartel laws. These decisions coincide with the commencement of the first criminal cartel case in Australia. Partner Kon Stellios and Senior Associate Amanda Richman report on these developments and their implications.

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  • Focus: Compliance with multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses

    28 July 2016

    The Queensland Supreme Court has stayed proceedings on the basis that the parties did not follow the agreed contractual provisions for the proper escalation of a dispute. Partner Leighton O'Brien, Senior Associate Julian Berenholtz and Law Graduate Flora Ma report on the decision that emphasises the importance of constructing appropriate dispute resolution clauses for each transaction.

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  • Allens insights: Value capture and getting smart

    30 June 2016

    The Australian Government has identified value capture and innovative financing as key elements of its Smart Cities Plan. The move will have significant implications for traditional project finance. By Paul Kenny, Sector Leader, Government, and Phillip Cornwell, Project Finance, Consultant at Allens.

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  • Special Report: Understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain

    17 June 2016

    Authored by a multidisciplinary team from Allens, Blockchain Reaction is designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges.

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  • Focus: Resolving and valuing disputed variation claims under BCIPA in Victoria

    2 June 2016

    The Victorian Court of Appeal has confirmed that a dispute resolution clause providing for mediation is insufficient to exclude variations claims from the statutory adjudication process under the Victorian Security of Payment regime. The decision also confirms that, when determining the value of a progress payment, an adjudicator is not required to adopt a valuation certified by the superintendent under the contract. Partner Nick Rudge and Senior Associate Luisa Uriarte look at the decision and the practical ramifications for drafting construction contracts in Victoria.

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  • Focus: Glencore's Newcastle success opens the channel for further access regulation

    1 June 2016

    Glencore has succeeded in its bid to have the access to the Newcastle shipping channel declared under Australia's national access regime. The Australian Competition Tribunal's decision reversed the acting Treasurer's decision and has settled (for now) the uncertainty about the interpretation of the critical 'promotion of competition' criterion for declaration. Partner John Hedge and Lawyer Jessica Rusten consider the implications of this decision for the future application of access regimes to other infrastructure facilities. 

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  • Paper: The Public-Private Partnership Law Review

    18 May 2016

    Partners David Donnelly and Nicholas Ng examine public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Australia, including the year in review, the general framework, bidding and award procedures, recent decisions and the outlook for 2015.

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  • Allens insights: Capturing value - NSW's ambitious infrastructure programme

    18 May 2016

    Allens Partners Paul Kenny and Tim Stewart hosted a roundtable with the NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian in Sydney involving fund managers and financiers to talk about how the private and public sector can work together to deliver on NSW's ambitious infrastructure programme.

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  • Client Update: ACCC successfully appeals air cargo cartel - the widening of 'market in Australia'

    23 March 2016

    The ACCC has won an appeal in the Full Federal Court in the air cargo cartel case against Air New Zealand and Garuda. Those airlines were found to have engaged in price fixing conduct within a 'market in Australia' even though the point of competition was outside the country. The case clarifies and potentially expands the circumstances in which conduct engaged in overseas may be caught by Australia's competition laws. Partner John Hedge and Lawyer Jessica Rusten report.

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  • Focus: Predictive coding: the future of electronic document production?

    25 February 2016

    A recent decision of the English High Court may pave the way for the use of 'predictive coding' in large scale discovery and regulatory investigations in Australia. Partners Nick Rudge and Duncan Travis, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Associate Emily Giblin look at the benefits and risks of the new software.

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  • Focus: World Bank compares public procurement globally

    12 January 2016

    The World Bank has released its Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016 report, which provides comparable data on regulatory environments that affect the ability of private companies to do business with governments in 77 countries. Partner Leighton O'Brien* (who contributed to the report's analysis of Australia's public procurement practices) and Lawyer Patrick Easton look at the report and the lessons it provides Australian procuring entities on global best practice in public procurement.

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  • Client Update: Across Australia and to Paris - Recent developments in the nuclear fuel cycle

    23 December 2015

    Partner Richard Malcolmson, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Associate Emily Johnstone report on recent developments in the Australian nuclear fuel cycle debate, including: the recent shortlisting of potential sites by the Australian Government for a radioactive waste management facility; the conclusion of the uranium export deal between Australia and India; and potential implications for nuclear energy following the 'COP21' climate change negotiations in Paris.

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  • Allens insights: Opportunities in infrastructure - 2015

    16 December 2015

    The World Bank has released its Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016 report, which provides comparable data on regulatory environments that affect the ability of private companies to do business with governments in 77 economies. Allens Partner Leighton O'Brien and Linklaters Counsel Julia Voskoboinikova were among the contributors to the report.

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  • Focus: Increasing private investment in the urban water sector

    1 December 2015

    Water Services Association of Australia and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, the peak bodies for water utilities and infrastructure respectively, have released a joint report that calls for major reform in the provision of urban water services across Australia. The report suggests that there is a need for greater private sector involvement in the urban water sector but that current regulatory settings need to change in order to facilitate this. Partner Kate Axup, Associate Danielle Jones and Vacation Clerk Katy Milne report.

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  • Focus: UK Supreme Court counters High Court on penalties

    19 November 2015

    The highest appellate court in the UK has affirmed and restated the penalty rule as it applies in the UK in a recent decision that directly addresses, and counters, the High Court of Australia's approach to the rule in Andrews. Partner Nick Rudge and Lawyer Patrick Easton report.

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  • Allens insights: World Bank: Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016 report

    11 November 2015

    The World Bank has released its Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016 report, which provides comparable data on regulatory environments that affect the ability of private companies to do business with governments in 77 economies. Allens Partner Leighton O'Brien and Linklaters Counsel Julia Voskoboinikova were among the contributors to the report.

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  • Client Update: NSW Budget 2015-16

    29 June 2015

    A significant suite of infrastructure projects across transport, public housing, health and prisons, as well as new bodies to facilitate their delivery, have been announced in the NSW Budget. Partner Leighton O'Brien and Associate Dennis Smith report.

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  • Focus: There's no such thing as a free lunch (or road): user charges and road pricing

    26 June 2015

    Whether or not to more broadly adopt a 'user-pays' model for road infrastructure is a contentious debate within Australia. A number of industry participants and bodies have shown leadership in framing and enriching the debate, while others have sought to politicise or inflame the core issues. Partner David Donnelly considers the current state of the debate on user charges for road infrastructure in Australia.

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  • Focus: Support for principals with bank guarantees

    25 June 2015

    A principal has successfully challenged a decision to grant an interlocutory injunction restraining it from calling on performance bonds. The Victorian Court of Appeal's decision reaffirmed the court's general approach in favour of rejecting such applications where, as in many cases, the purpose of the bond is to provide security and allocate cash flow risk. Partner Nick Rudge and Senior Associate Julian Berenholtz report on the Victorian Court of Appeal decision in Sugar Australia Pty Ltd v Lend Lease Services Pty Ltd and its implications.

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  • Focus: WA Supreme Court provides further guidance on challenging adjudication determinations made under the Construction Contracts Act

    21 May 2015

    The Western Australian Supreme Court has provided additional guidance on the types of errors that can lead to an adjudicator's determination being quashed by the court. The Delmere Holdings Pty Ltd v Green decision is of interest to anyone who deals with security of payment adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA). Partner-elect Jeremy Quan-Sing and Law Graduate James Illich report.

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  • Client Update: WA State Budget - Government responds to economic conditions by significantly widening asset sales program

    15 May 2015

    In its 2015 Budget, handed down yesterday, the WA Government confirmed the expansion of its asset sales program to manage the state's debt. In response to the first forecast budget deficit in WA in 15 years, a significant new second tranche of assets has been added to the sales program. Partners Andrew Pascoe and Ben Farnsworth report.

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  • Focus: Mergers & Acquisitions: changes to Australia's foreign investment framework

    7 May 2015

    The Australian Government has announced wide reaching changes to Australia's foreign investment framework that will apply from 1 December 2015. Partner Wendy Rae reports on the potential impacts of the changes, which include new fees, stricter enforcement and penalties, and increased scrutiny around foreign investment in agriculture.

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  • Paper: The Public-Private Partnership Law Review

    21 April 2015

    Partners David Donnelly and Nicholas Ng examine public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Australia, including the year in review, the general framework, bidding and award procedures, recent decisions and the outlook for 2015.

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  • Focus: Social benefit bonds - their role in the funding challenge for social infrastructure and services

    20 March 2015

    With the recent Intergenerational Report having further highlighted the need to deliver social outcomes in an efficient way, Partners David Donnelly and James Darcy report on the potential role of social benefit bonds in providing social infrastructure and services.

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  • Focus: Market-led Proposals Guideline - a new framework for assessing unsolicited proposals in Victoria

    27 February 2015

    The Victorian Government has declared Victoria 'open for business' by releasing new guidelines that provide the framework for how it will assess unsolicited proposals from the private sector for the delivery of projects and services. These new guidelines, which build on the previous government's unsolicited proposals guideline, provide strong guidance for proponents in relation to how they may successfully pitch a unique idea to the Victorian Government. In addition, the new guidelines provide greater transparency for the community via the new public register of proposals that are under consideration by the Government. Government sector leader and Partner Paul Kenny, Senior Associate Penny Alexander and Associate Amelia Hanscombe report.

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  • Client Update: First Asset Recycling Initiative agreement signed

    24 February 2015

    The Federal Government announced late last week that the first agreement under its $5 billion Asset Recycling Initiative has been signed with the ACT Government, demonstrating the Federal Government's commitment to the Initiative despite the underlying legislation remaining stalled by the Senate. Government sector leader and Partner Paul Kenny, Managing Associate Emin Altiparmak and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland report.

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  • Paper: Getting the deal through - Australia PPP chapter

    5 November 2014

    Partners Leighton O'Brien and Nicholas Ng provide an overview on public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Australia, examining the general PPP framework, trends in the industry, the procurement process, operation and maintenance, default and termination and financing.

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  • Client Update: Law reform to improve conditions for investors in Mongolia

    29 September 2014

    Last week, the Mongolian Government released the agenda for the upcoming autumn sitting of parliament. The release of the agenda, twice annually, is always of interest to investors, and the autumn 2014 agenda is no exception. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Associate Tess Fitzgerald look at what may be of interest to foreign investors.

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  • Client Update: Major water reform in Queensland to affect all water users with significant changes for the resources industry

    25 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced amending legislation that will significantly reform all parts of water regulation in Queensland. The reform introduces significant streamlining opportunities but also new obligations, particularly for those in the resources industry. Partner Bill McCredie, Special Counsel Philip Murray 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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  • Focus: Amendments to BCIPA regime passed in Queensland

    18 September 2014

    The Queensland Parliament has passed amendments to the state's security of payment legislation that aim to address concerns raised by the construction industry about unfairness in the payment claim and adjudication process. Managing Associate Nicholas Ng, Associate Laura Nagy and Lawyer Timothy Leschke report on the key changes and the implications for the industry.

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  • Focus: Make informal payment arrangements for construction work at your own peril

    5 September 2014

    A recent decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court serves as a timely reminder that a 'construction contract' under security of payment legislation can include an arrangement to carry out construction work that is not legally enforceable. Managing Associate Nicholas Ng, Associate Matt Thomas and Lawyer Timothy Leschke report on this decision and its implications for the construction industry.

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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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  • 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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  • Unravelled: The Financial System Inquiry - matchmaking superannuation and infrastructure investment?

    8 July 2014

    The vast pool of capital held in Australian superannuation funds (now approximately A$1.8 trillion) has long been touted as a natural solution to Australia's infrastructure funding deficit. With the stable long-term cash flows characteristic of infrastructure assets providing a natural fit to the liability profile of the typical superannuation fund, the two seem a perfect match. However, in the words of Shakespeare, 'the course of true love never did run smooth'.

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