Allens

Power & Utilities

Our experienced Power & Utilities 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.

Power & Utilities Publications

  • Focus: Budget wrap - significant infrastructure investment and divestment

    24 June 2014

    Following last week's release of the New South Wales and South Australian budgets, it is clear that most state and territory budgets handed down since the Federal Budget have shown an alignment with the Federal Government's national agreement on infrastructure investment and asset recycling. Partner Paul Kenny and Senior Associates Emin Altiparmak and Penny Alexander and look at the implications of the policy.

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  • Focus: Introduction of the Emissions Reduction Fund Bill

    23 June 2014

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation for the establishment of its proposed Emissions Reduction Fund, which will provide businesses with opportunities to enter into contracts under which the Government pays them for undertaking carbon abatement. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report. 

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  • Client Update: Foreign investment changes in Indonesia

    27 May 2014

    Some Indonesian business sectors are closed to foreign investment, while others are subject to foreign ownership limits. There have been some changes to these foreign investment restrictions under Indonesia's widely anticipated revised Negative Investment List, which became effective on 24 April. The revisions reflect the intention of the Indonesian Government to prepare for a more open economy whilst preserving certain sectors for domestic investment. Overall, there has been a liberalising trend, with a number of sectors becoming more open for foreign investment. However, there are now some business sectors that are subject to foreign investment limits for the first time, some that have become subject to increased foreign ownership limits and some that have become closed to foreign investment altogether.

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  • Focus: Queensland retail energy reform

    27 May 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to apply the National Energy Customer Framework to the sale of electricity and gas to retail customers in Queensland, and to replace regulated electricity prices with a price monitoring regime in south east Queensland. Partner Anna Collyer and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report.

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  • Client Update: Abolition of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target

    26 May 2014

    The Victorian State Government has announced the closure of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Scheme at the end of 2015, which will remove the annual obligation of large energy retailers to surrender energy efficiency certificates, as well as the financial benefits provided by the scheme for implementing energy efficiency improvements. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Repeal of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program

    22 May 2014

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation which, if passed, will terminate the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program and so remove the mandatory requirement for large energy using businesses to assess opportunities to improve energy efficiency and to report publicly on the outcomes of those assessments. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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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: Using 'reasonable endeavours' - the importance of internal contractual standards

    28 April 2014

    The High Court has recently highlighted the significance of internal contractual standards when interpreting an obligation to use 'reasonable endeavours'. Partner Nick Rudge and Lawyers Goran Gelic and Timothy Leschke report on this development and its implications.

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  • Focus: Productivity Commission - third party litigation funding and contingency fees

    17 April 2014

    The Productivity Commission's draft report on its inquiry into Australia's system of civil dispute resolution has now been released. The comprehensive review focuses on ways to constrain costs and promote access to justice. One of the areas the Productivity Commission is examining is Australia's private funding for litigation regime, focusing on third party litigation funding and contingency fees. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Tim Maxwell and Lawyer Simone Kaser report

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  • Focus: Carbon pollution reduction schemes? - China one way, Australia the other?

    20 March 2014

    As part of its commitment to solving serious air pollution problems, the Chinese Government has launched a variety of pilot schemes that will eventually pave the way for the establishment of a national emissions trading market. These steps are in marked contrast to the position in Australia, where the Coalition Government plans to repeal the carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2014. Partners Kate Axup and Grant Anderson and Lawyer Shona Shang look at the Chinese schemes and the different approaches to emissions reduction being taken in China and Australia.

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  • Focus: Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper released

    10 January 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Green Paper on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund. Partner Grant Anderson reports on this proposed centrepiece of the Government's Direct Action Plan.

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  • Focus: New merits review regime commences

    9 January 2014

    Major changes to the merits review regime applying to regulated revenue and price determinations that the Australian Energy Regulator makes for electricity and gas networks have now come into operation. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: New traditional owner negotiation requirements for central Victoria

    1 November 2013

    The Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement has commenced operation, creating a new negotiation framework for activities on public land in central Victoria. Partner Chris Schulz and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Penny Creswell explore the implications.

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  • Focus: Repeal of carbon pricing scheme

    17 October 2013

    The Federal Government has released exposure draft legislation for the repeal of the carbon pricing scheme, as well as terms of reference for the establishment of its Emissions Reduction Fund. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Levona Lavi report.

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  • Focus: Flooding generates more debate on consequential loss exclusion

    14 October 2013

    A recent decision of the Western Australian Supreme Court arising out of a flooding incident at a remote power station near Lake Argyle, WA has shone a bright light on the law on consequential loss in the wake of the previous authority that had informed this area of law. Partner Michael Hollingdale and Senior Associate Nicholas Gallina report on the case.

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  • Client Update: Queensland's 30-year electricity strategy

    16 September 2013

    The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper outlining how it proposes to meet the challenges facing the State's electricity sector in the immediate term and over the next 30 years. Partner John Greig and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report on the Government's specific proposals and reform agenda signalled in the paper.

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  • Focus: Regulated revenue guidelines released

    10 September 2013

    The Australian Energy Regulator's recently released draft guidelines on its proposed approach to regulating electricity and gas transmission and distribution revenues indicate how it intends to exercise its expanded discretion in relation to electricity and gas transmission and distribution regulatory determinations. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Levona Lavi report.

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  • Focus: Now for the Direct Action Plan

    9 September 2013

    The Coalition's election victory means that, assuming it ultimately gains control of the Senate, or is otherwise able to garner sufficient votes from the non-Coalition parties in the Senate, the current carbon pricing scheme will soon be replaced with the Coalition's Direct Action Plan. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Client Update: Draft legislation to bring forward the emissions trading scheme phase released

    30 July 2013

    The Federal Government has released exposure draft legislation to give effect to its recently announced policy of commencing the emissions trading scheme phase of the carbon pricing scheme one year before the scheduled date of 1 July 2015. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Key changes to working conditions for offshore oil and gas projects

    3 June 2013

    A proposed amendment to Australia's migration legislation seeks to ensure that foreign offshore oil and gas workers will require a 457 visa and be subject to Australian employment law. If this change is made, owners and operators of offshore oil and gas projects will need to ensure they and their contractors are aware of, and comply with, their obligations regarding visas and the application of Australian employment laws. The proposed amendment will also most likely increase the scope for union activity on these projects. Special Counsel Eleanor Jewell reports.

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  • Focus: Proposed changes to national access regime

    31 May 2013

    The Productivity Commission has released a draft report of its review of Australia's national access regime, which supports the retention of the regime but recommends a number of significant changes to its legal framework. Special Counsel Verity Quinn and Partner Ted Hill report.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    17 May 2013

    We report on union eligibility rules; what constitutes an offer of acceptable alternative employment; the consequences of an employee's refusal of a settlement offer; an ATO ruling on ordinary hours of work; and whether a complaint about employment made to an employer can constitute a 'workplace right'.

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  • Focus: Queensland Government responds to Costello audit report

    9 May 2013

    The Costello Commission of Audit Report and the Queensland Government's response last week could transform the State's economy by recasting the way the Queensland public sector interacts with the private sector. Partner John Greig examines the main recommendations and the Government's response.

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  • Focus: New EU financial disclosure requirements for resources and logging sectors

    24 April 2013

    Companies listed in the EU and large private companies in the EU that operate in the extractives and logging industries will need to report on payments made to host governments, both on a country and project basis, under a new EU legislative proposal that is part of a trend towards improving transparency in the extractives sector. Compliance costs will be significant and companies need to start preparing now, as Partner Anthony Patten, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Raquel Dos Santos report. 

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  • Focus: China encourages foreign involvement in green energy

    23 April 2013

    Although still light on specifics, a policy articulating China's plans for the development of its coalbed methane reserves has signalled the PRC Government's intention to encourage foreign investment as a way of dealing with the national demand for clean energy. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Wayne Wang and Trainee Solicitor Alice Mok look at the policy's changes that are relevant to international oil and gas companies.

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  • Focus: Softening the investment rules in Mongolia

    23 April 2013

    Foreign investment in Mongolia fell away dramatically after the Mongolian Government last year introduced laws regulating foreign investment into strategically important business areas as well as investment by state-owned entities. Now the Government has introduced amendments which soften some of those restrictions in an effort to again encourage inbound capital. Lawyer Anthony Lepere looks at the amendments and their significance to foreign investors.

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  • Focus: US Supreme Court reins in scope of Alien Tort Claims Act

    19 April 2013

    In the much-awaited decision of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, the US Supreme Court has determined that the Alien Tort Claims Act cannot be used to bring claims for alleged violations of customary international law where the relevant conduct occurs outside the US. The court remained silent on the question of whether corporations can be held liable for breaches of customary international law under the statute. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report. 

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    19 April 2013

    We report on the clarification of when an 'arrangement' could meet the transfer of business test; changes to the Fair Work legislation; under what circumstances a termination payment is a genuine redundancy payment; issues when seeking to stay a reinstatement order; and policy requirements for avoiding vicarious liability for an employee's unlawful sexual harassment.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Outlook for M&A in 2013

    15 March 2013

    Global economic uncertainty has hindered M&A activity. Cautious corporates have generally elected to use their profits to fund working capital rather than pursue acquisitions. Could this begin to change in 2013?

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  • Linklaters Insights: Directors' Remuneration Report Guide for 2012 reporting year

    7 March 2013

    Our global alliance partner Linklaters has compiled an updated Directors' Remuneration Report Guide for the 2012-13 reporting season.

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  • Focus: Further regulation of coal seam gas activities in NSW

    25 February 2013

    In response to widespread community concerns regarding increasing coal seam gas activities, particularly near residential areas, the New South Wales Government has announced a package of measures to strengthen the regulation of the coal seam gas industry. Partner David Maloney and Senior Associate Georgina Cowdroy report.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    20 February 2013

    We look at a case that points to greater shareholder power to scrutinise executives' termination pay; the limits on the operation of restraint of trade clauses; difficulties faced by employers relying on abandonment of employment as a basis for termination; and the importance of strict compliance with prescribed legislative steps when negotiating an enterprise agreement.

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  • Focus: The PPSA 12 months on

    19 February 2013

    With the midpoint of the two-year transition period under the Personal Property Securities Act having just passed, it is a good time to reflect on some issues that have come to light in the past 12 months. The Allens PPS team reports.

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  • Focus: Important changes to transfer pricing laws

    15 February 2013

    The Federal Government has introduced legislation into Parliament that involves a substantial re-write of Australia's transfer pricing laws. Partner Toby Knight explains the proposed amendments that will permit, in certain circumstances, the actual cross-border transaction entered into by the taxpayer to be ignored, with tax being imposed instead on a different, hypothetical arrangement.

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  • Client Update: Resource industry operators - are you ready for the Greentape Reduction Act?

    14 February 2013

    New environmental legislation that will soon come into force in Queensland will have implications for the resources industry. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate Michael Zissis and Lawyer Gobind Kalsi report on the key changes to the approval regime that will affect the assessment timeframes for new projects and expansions to existing projects.

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  • Linklaters Insights: The evolution and current state of play for the definition of 'US person' for purposes of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act

    30 January 2013

    As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulators have worked to implement Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, uncertainty has arisen with respect to the extraterritorial scope of Title VII and its application to cross-border derivatives transactions and international market participants.

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  • Focus: The Australian implications of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy

    21 December 2012

    The criminal charges arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico during 2010 are a timely reminder of the potential criminal consequences of breaching duties under Australian work health and safety laws. Partner Tracey Greenaway and Special Counsel Eleanor Jewell report.

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  • Client Update: Liquid fuels opt-in scheme

    14 December 2012

    The Federal Government has made regulations to establish a liquid fuels opt-in scheme that will allow entities to opt their liquid fuel use into the carbon pricing scheme, rather than face indirect carbon liability through reduced fuel tax credits for their fuel acquisitions. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: World Bank to publish contract details in anti-corruption push

    14 December 2012

    The World Bank has moved to make its dealings more open and transparent, as part of a global initiative to fight corruption. It hopes that a new on-line database giving details of World Bank-financed contracts will reduce corruption and increase value for money.

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  • Client Update: Doha and its implications for Australia

    12 December 2012

    At the recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Australia signed up to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and an agreement on a pathway for the adoption of a new global climate change treaty that is to come into effect in 2020. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Review of the national access regime

    10 December 2012

    The Productivity Commission has been tasked with reviewing the effectiveness of Australia's national third party access regime, which potentially applies to all nationally significant infrastructure. As part of this process it has released an Issues Paper setting out the matters it will focus on in its review. Special Counsel Verity Quinn and Senior Associate John Hedge report on the key topics raised in the paper.

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  • Focus: Victoria's new anti-corruption commission

    5 December 2012

    As part of the State's integrity reforms, Victoria has created its first anti-corruption commission. Two Bills representing the final legislative instalment in the reforms were introduced into the Victorian Parliament last month. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Jess O'Brien report.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    4 December 2012

    We look at serious misconduct relating to pay arrangements as a basis for summary dismissal; the reinstatement of an employee terminated for posting offensive comments about his managers on social media; the reinstatement of a union delegate dismissed for bullying; redundancy not being genuine because of the employer's failure to consider all available redeployment options; and two recent decisions upholding restraint clauses in employment contracts.

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  • Focus: Major privacy reforms passed

    30 November 2012

    The Federal Parliament has passed much anticipated reforms that will have a significant impact on the way companies and government agencies collect and deal with various forms of personal information. Partners Michael Pattison and Gavin Smith, Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd and Lawyers Amy Dobbin and Ishwar Singh report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: US Treasury issues final determination respecting FX swaps

    28 November 2012

    On 16 November 2012, the US Treasury issued a final determination with respect to FX swaps and FX forwards under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act. The Final Determination will become effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register.

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  • Focus: EU linkage and other carbon pricing scheme amendments

    27 November 2012

    The Federal Parliament has passed legislation to allow Australia's carbon pricing scheme to be linked with the European Union emissions trading scheme from 1 July 2015, and to make significant amendments relating to the treatment of natural gas, the fuel opt-in scheme and the auctioning of carbon units. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Guide on US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Relevance to Australian business

    23 November 2012

    The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have issued a resource guide to US foreign corrupt practices legislation. It provides helpful regulatory direction on the enforcement of the legislation, including on issues relevant to its application to Australian business. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyers Stuti Sethi and Rebecca Grover report.

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  • Focus: Senate Select Committee on Electricity prices report released

    21 November 2012

    The Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices has released its report, which lays out a series of recommendations, findings and comments in relation to rising electricity prices in Australia and the current electricity regulatory framework in the National Electricity Market. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Saving Private MAC

    21 November 2012

    In these uncertain economic times, we are seeing material adverse change triggers increasingly sought in private M&A deals, particularly in leveraged deals or where a private equity buyer is involved. These triggers are prevalent in private deals overseas but somewhat less so in Australia and so they have been traditionally resisted by sellers of Australian private businesses. Partner Mark Malinas, Senior Associate Emin Altiparmak and Lawyer Jarrod Woodward discuss how the use of a reverse break fee may make these triggers more acceptable to such sellers and reduce the likelihood of a dispute when buyers seek to rely on such triggers.

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  • Focus: What AFS licensees need to know about ASIC's latest proposed changes to financial requirements

    19 November 2012

    The Australian Securities and Investment Commission's new Consultation Paper 194 proposes reforms to the financial requirements for providers of custodial or depository services. Surprisingly, stricter financial requirements are proposed for REs, even though new RE financial requirements have only just come into effect. New financial requirements for trustees of wholesale funds that provide incidental custodial services are also proposed.

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