Oil & Gas

Our experienced Oil & Gas legal team regularly publishes articles and updates – the full list of publications appears below. These publications provide a snapshot of the latest legislation, court cases, policy changes and contentious issues. If you'd like to be notified when we add new 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.

For publications in other legal areas see our recent publications page.

Oil & Gas Publications

  • Client Update: Opposition's promise of $1 billion for hydrogen reflects growing optimism

    14 February 2019

    The Federal Opposition's recent announcement of a $1.1 billion 'National Hydrogen Plan', to support development of hydrogen technologies and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, is only the latest development demonstrating the industry's potential growth. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Associate Holly Woodcroft, Lawyer Bridgette Gorman and Vacation Clerk Charlie Pitney report.

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  • Client Update: Reserving gas for domestic markets - Queensland's next step

    18 December 2018

    Both Queensland and Western Australia have mechanisms designed to ensure that, in the face of the competing demands of LNG exports, adequate gas is available for domestic use. Queensland is now looking to go a step further, by imposing a condition on identified petroleum authorities to the effect that the gas produced be used to supply domestic manufacturers. Partner John Greig and Lawyer Mark Young review these developments.

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  • Client Update: Important changes to Queensland's mineral resource legislation

    25 October 2018

    On Thursday, 18 October, the Queensland Parliament passed the Mineral, Water and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, which will make important changes to the various Acts governing resource activities in that state. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate Giselle Kilvert consider the changes to mineral resources legislation.

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  • Allens insights: Getting The Deal Through: Boom in renewables

    4 August 2017

    Allens Partners Ben Farnsworth, Michael Ryan and Tim Stewart were part of the global panel analysing the boom in renewables in the Australian project finance market. In Getting the Deal Through's third annual issue focusing on the global project finance markets, Ben, Michael and Tim look at the trends over the past year and what they anticipate unfolding over the next year, including any proposed legal and regulatory changes that may give rise to new opportunities.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Distributed Energy Resources: Unlocking potential and future partnerships

    23 June 2017

    In the second of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment on the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) in the Australian energy landscape and his suggestions for future incentivisation and 'orchestration'. These suggestions have raised a number of considerations and opportunities, particularly in relation to the pioneering of business and government programs and partnerships to incentivise DER. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Law Graduate Sarah Dobbie report.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Gas: A revolving door or real change?

    20 June 2017

    In the first of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment on the place of gas in the Australian energy landscape and his suggestions for the creation of 'more efficient gas markets'. These suggestions include both the familiar and the novel, but it is yet to be seen if Dr Finkel's vision of the future will be realised. Partner Igor Bogdanich (view CV) and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: Finkel: the solution for our energy future?

    13 June 2017

    As the saying goes, 'never let a good crisis' go to waste. The Finkel Review, commissioned after blackouts in South Australia and delivered by Australia's Chief Scientist last week, may prove to be the right report at the right time to garner support for energy and emissions policy positions that could provide investment certainty, regulatory direction and political peace for generations. Our energy experts consider the report's broader implications for Australian business: what questions should business leaders be asking of their teams in a post-Finkel world?

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  • Client Update: Victorian Government proposes reforms to reserve domestic gas production

    7 June 2017

    The Victorian Government has today proposed significant gas market reforms, primarily involving the introduction of a cap on the export of gas from Victoria, in order to facilitate the reservation of domestic gas production for domestic supply. The proposed reforms are aimed at reducing domestic gas prices, preserving jobs in the industry and ensuring the security of supply for Victorian homes and businesses. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: Budget measures to increase gas supply

    10 May 2017

    The 2017 Federal Budget introduced several measures designed to increase domestic gas supply to the Australian market. Key measures include the direct financing of onshore gas development and studies into potential programs aimed at increasing the efficiency, transparency and security of the gas market. However, the effectiveness of this funding package depends on whether state and territory governments will continue to impose regulatory constraints on the exploration and production of onshore gas. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Law Graduate Maddy Foote report.

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  • Focus: Parliament passes diverted profits tax legislation

    31 March 2017

    Legislation to implement a diverted profits tax has passed the Federal Parliament. From 1 July 2017, the tax may potentially apply to the diversion of profits offshore through arrangements between related parties. Targeted at large multinational groups, the diverted profits tax is a fusion of anti-avoidance and transfer pricing rules. Partner Toby Knight and Senior Associate Scott Lang discuss the final form of the legislation and the steps multinational groups should take to prepare for its implementation.

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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: 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: 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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  • 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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  • Focus: Room to move in joint operating agreements

    5 December 2016

    The Western Australian Supreme Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in Apache v Santos, allowing the appeal by Apache and overturning the first instance decision. The Appeal Court's decision has important implications for the interpretation of joint operating agreements and the ability of parties to undertake development activities outside the operation of such agreements at their own expense. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Law Clerk Erin Molony report.

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  • Client Update: Move to national regulation delayed

    14 November 2016

    As part of the Western Australian Government's electricity market review, legislation was introduced recently into Parliament for Western Australia to participate for the first time in the National Electricity Law from 1 July 2018. However, the Public Utilities Office has confirmed speculation that time has run out for those reforms to be enacted ahead of the election in March 2017. Partner Jodi Reinmuth and Lawyer Alex Ninkov give an overview of the proposed reforms and next steps.

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  • Focus: Impact of reforms to Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA)

    25 October 2016

    Proposed amendments to the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) will, if passed, result in significant changes to the adjudication process in Western Australia. Partner Jeremy Quan-Sing, Senior Associate Fiona Potter and Law Graduate Thanushar Sridaran report on the potential impacts of the changes.

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  • Client Update: ASIC clarifies stance on forward-looking statements by mining and resources companies

    20 October 2016

    ASIC has revised its Information Sheet 214 on forward-looking statements by mining companies, following industry feedback. While continuing to emphasise that these statements must be based on reasonable grounds, ASIC has clarified that forward-looking statements based on estimates of mineralisation can be made so long as miners disclose the assumptions upon which they are based and, in particular, do not mislead investors about their financial capacity to deliver the forecast results. Partner Richard Malcolmson and Associate Jerome Entwisle report.

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  • Focus: Employment Law

    10 October 2016

    In this issue: we look at whether employers have a right to direct employees to perform higher duties; an employer's consultation obligations during a redundancy process; how an employer's failure to give a balanced view to employees resulted in it being forced to the bargaining table; and a decision that casts doubt on the effectiveness of set-off clauses in contracts for employees who are covered by a modern award.

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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: LNG destination clauses under scrutiny by Japanese competition regulator

    7 September 2016

    Part of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's strategy for LNG market development, which aims to achieve stability in LNG supply and lower prices, is to 'abolish or relax' destination clauses with the view that this would lead to lower prices through increased reselling and arbitrage selling. Japan's Fair Trade Commission has since launched an investigation into whether destination clauses impede fair competition and contravene Japanese competition law. Certain types of destination restrictions have long been held to infringe EU competition law. Partner Ted Hill, Managing Associate Robert Walker and Associate Sophie Matthiesson consider the implications of this investigation in light of the approach taken in the EU.

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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: 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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  • Client Update: Penalties: The final word

    27 July 2016

    Today, the High Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Paciocco v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, bringing an end to six years of litigation. The High Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the late payment fee charged by ANZ on credit card accounts was not a penalty or otherwise unconscionable, unjust or unfair under the relevant statutory prohibitions. The decision provides the final word on the application of the penalties rule (at least for now). Partner Belinda Thompson, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Lawyer Kelly Roberts consider the decision and its implications.

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  • Client Update: ASIC's take on forward-looking statements

    4 July 2016

    ASIC has recently raised concerns about forward-looking statements by Australian miners that are made on the basis of preliminary scoping or feasibility studies. In a new Information Sheet, it has suggested that, without certainty as to project funding, such statements could constitute misleading conduct. In light of the controversy surrounding the publication of this Information Sheet, Partner Richard Malcolmson and Associate Jerome Entwisle revisit the current law on misleading statements as to future matters.

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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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  • Client Update: Proposed amendments to the PNG Land Act

    3 May 2016

    Amendments to the Papua New Guinea Land Act have been proposed which, among other things, will restrict ownership of land by non-citizens, including PNG incorporated companies that are wholly or partly owned by non-citizen individuals or companies. Senior Associate Sarah Kuman looks at what is proposed.

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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: ACCC inquiry into the east coast gas market - key findings and recommendations

    22 April 2016

    The final report of the ACCC inquiry into the east coast gas market was released today. The ACCC has made recommendations about removing government moratoria on gas developments, revising the test to determine when a pipeline should be regulated and increasing consistency and transparency in information provided to the market. Partner Ted Hill and Law Graduate Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Focus: Queensland resource legislation is 'back to the future'

    7 April 2016

    The Queensland Government is continuing its review of mineral and energy resource legislative reforms, with proposed amendments currently before Parliament, many of which undo earlier proposed reforms. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate Giselle Kilvert and Associate Andrea Moffatt consider the changes and what they mean for resource developers in Queensland.

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  • Focus: Anti-bribery and corruption regulation developments in 2016

    16 March 2016

    2016 looks to be a busy year for directors, executives and legal and compliance teams who need to be aware of developments in Australian anti-bribery law and compliance practice. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Tom Bland 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: Australia has lifted certain sanctions on Iran

    18 February 2016

    In response to recent confirmation that Iran has met its international nuclear commitments, the Australian Government has lifted all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against that country. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Sarah Jenkins report on what has changed and the potential opportunities for Australian businesses.

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  • Focus: Offshore petroleum resource management review

    19 January 2016

    In December 2015, the Federal Government released an interim report of its review into the management of Australia's offshore petroleum resources. The review suggests that, while the current regime is fundamentally sound, there is still a need for action to be taken across the offshore petroleum exploration and development lifecycle to ensure that the system can navigate future market conditions and encourage continued and new investment. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Senior Associate Helen Verrier and Lawyer Helen Santamaria report.

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  • Focus: Mongolia's Law on Petroleum revised

    24 December 2015

    Mongolia has revised its Law on Petroleum which will operated in tandem with its 2005 Law on Petroleum Products. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Consultant Manduul Altangerel look at the new law and what it will mean for companies prospecting and extracting petroleum products in Mongolia.

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  • Client Update: Major overhaul of Australia's foreign investment laws: what's new?

    4 December 2015

    The new package of legislation overhauling Australia's foreign investment laws, the first major revision in 40 years, commenced on 1 December 2015. While many features of the previous regime have been retained (and sometimes re-named), there are also a number of significant changes. Partners Jeremy Low, Wendy Rae and Richard Kriedemann and Senior Associate Eve Regnard review the key new elements.

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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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  • Client Update: PPS deregulation measures to take effect

    29 September 2015

    From 1 October 2015, short-term leases of serial numbered goods will no longer be deemed security interests under the PPSA. Businesses should review their current PPS policies and, where appropriate, implement changes to processes, as Partner Karla Fraser and Lawyer Katharine Ward explain.

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  • Focus: Major reform of Queensland resource regulation proposed

    21 September 2015

    Wide-ranging reforms to the legislative regime for resource tenures in Queensland, for all commodity types, have been proposed. Partners Ben Zillmann and John Hedge and Senior Associate Giselle Kilvert consider the proposals and what they mean for the state's resource sector.

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  • Client Update: Next phase for onshore oil and gas regulatory reform in the Northern Territory

    7 September 2015

    The Northern Territory Government has released its Guiding Principles for the onshore oil and gas industry that set out the minimum expectations for the industry until a comprehensive regulatory review is completed. Operators and investors in the sector should review the compliance of their current operations with the Guiding Principles and consider the impact on future developments. Partner John Hedge and Senior Associates Gobind Kalsi and Julieane Bull report.

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  • Focus: Pre-emptive rights decision flags need for careful drafting

    11 August 2015

    The Western Australian Supreme Court has handed down a decision that has significant implications for the drafting of pre-emptive rights clauses in both joint venture/operating agreements and shareholders' agreements. The decision also has ramifications for the conduct of sale transactions that involve assets or shares subject to rights of pre-emption. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Managing Associate Penny Alexander and Law Graduate Malak Johnson report.

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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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  • Focus: Federal Government releases Energy White Paper

    13 April 2015

    The Federal Government has released its long-anticipated Energy White Paper, outlining the Government's policy on strategic issues facing the energy sector in Australia. Partner and Government Sector Leader Paul Kenny, Associate Amelia Hanscombe and Lawyer Alexandra Lanyon provide an overview of its key findings and recommendations.

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  • Focus: Australia implements expanded sanctions against Russia

    2 April 2015

    Australia has imposed sector-wide prohibitions on a range of imports to, exports from and commercial activities with Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Andrew Wilcock and Law Graduate Alice Crawford report on how these sanctions will impact on companies engaged in business in these regions.

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  • Client Update: A boost for NT onshore oil and gas opportunities

    5 March 2015

    The Northern Territory Government has decided not to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for its onshore oil and gas industry, giving the Territory's onshore oil and gas operators and investors investment certainty at a time that export and domestic opportunities are arising. Partner Ben Zillmann, Managing Associate John Hedge and Senior Associates Gobind Kalsi and Julieane Bull report.

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  • Focus: Supreme Court decision limits the scope of landholder duty in Queensland

    3 February 2015

    The Queensland Supreme Court has held that mining leases did not constitute an 'interest in land' for the purposes of the former land rich duty regime. While subsequent amendments to the Duties Act 2001 (Qld) mean that mining tenements are now treated as an interest in land, the decision provides much needed clarification on what amounts to an 'interest in land' for both landholder and transfer duty purposes. Partner Adrian Chek and Associate Scott Lang outline the decision and its implications.

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  • Focus: South West settlement agreed to in principle

    3 February 2015

    The West Australian Government and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council have come to an in-principle agreement in relation to a collective native title claim of the Noongar people. The 'South West Settlement Agreement', which should provide greater clarity regarding aboriginal heritage surveys may also become an important template for future agreements. Partner Marshall McKenna, Associate Ranjani Sundar, Lawyer Dianna Barton and Research Assistant James Illich report.

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  • Focus: Exploring the duty implications of farm-in agreements in Queensland

    9 December 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced into Parliament legislation to provide a stamp duty concession for eligible farm-in agreements relating to exploration authorities and transfers of interests in exploration authorities under such farm-in agreements. Partner Katrina Parkyn and Associate Jay Prasad examine the scope of the concession.

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  • Focus: NSW Government releases NSW Gas Plan to 'reset' its regulatory approach for the sector

    17 November 2014

    The NSW Government has released the NSW Gas Plan which foreshadows more gas development in the State in conjunction with the introduction of 'tough' new legislation to manage future developments. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Senior Energy & Resources Counsel David Maloney AM, and Senior Associate Michael Zissis report.

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  • Client Update: Reforms proposed for Western Australia's resources safety legislation

    14 November 2014

    Western Australia's Department of Mines and Petroleum has invited submissions into the future of the State's safety legislation covering mining, petroleum and major hazard facilities. Special Counsel Eleanor Jewell and Associate Katie Gardiner report.

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