In the media – National

CER: Record year of investment means Australia's 2020 Renewable Energy Target will be met
The CER has today released new information to the market that shows Australia will meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. Of the 6,532 megawatts of new large-scale generation firmly announced since 2016, more than 4,900 megawatts is fully financed, with most already under construction or operating, while the rest is expected to begin construction early this year. Queensland will see the bulk of this new construction, followed by Victoria and NSW (23 January 2018). More...

Boosting investment in the future of the Reef
The Australian Government is boosting investment in the Great Barrier Reef by nearly $60 million over the next 18 months. The $60 million investment will boost the number of vessels targeting crown-of-thorns starfish and the number of field officers to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The funding will also provide incentives for farmers to reduce pollution flowing into the reef (22 January 2018). More...

Sale of Gwydir water allocation provides win-win
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder has sold 6.7 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water allocations for a return of $2.878 million that will be used to improve the environment of the Murray Darling Basin (18 January 2018). More...

Partnering with Traditional Owners to help the Reef

The Coalition Government is boosting resources to support increased Traditional Owner involvement in implementing the Reef 2050 Plan with almost $1 million for a consortium of Indigenous and research organisations that will work directly with Traditional Owners to better understand and reflect their aspirations for the Great Barrier Reef and deliver on existing commitments (25 January 2018). More...

Record $12b investment will see RET met in 2020
The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has announced that there will be enough renewable energy projects built over the next three years to meet the Renewable Energy Target in 2020. The CER has previously said that to meet the Renewable Energy Target approximately 6,000 megawatts of capacity would need to be announced and built between 2016 and 2019 (23 January 2018). More...

'There's nowhere to hide': Companies warned on climate risks
Investors, regulators and litigation lawyers are all circling, ramping up their scrutiny on how companies are planning for climate change, how they are trying to tackle it, and what information they are releasing about the risks it poses to their operations (20 January 2018). More...

Review of energy efficiency legislation
The Coalition Government is undertaking the first review of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (GEMS Act) which allows the Commonwealth to set uniform, national energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment. The review will include consultation with a range of stakeholders, including industry and consumer groups as well as state, territory and New Zealand governments. The review will commence immediately and deliver a final report during 2018 (19 January 2018). More...

EG acquires Parliamentary Triangle asset for $15.4 million
EG, one of Australia's leading real estate fund managers, has acquired the East Block in Canberra as its first asset for the CEFC-backed High Income Sustainable Office Trust (HISOT) (15 January 2018). More...

Distributed energy systems a key to smarter cities
Urbanisation — along with climate change and demographic change — stands as one of the megatrends of the 21st century. Cities are under pressure from their growing populations and have to prioritise investing in infrastructure such as buildings, transportation and energy (14 January 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Kiata Wind Farm to strengthen Victoria's energy network
A new wind farm in Western Victoria will power more than 20,000 households as part of a jobs boom in Western Victoria with six projects underway or proposed in the area. The Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative supports the Labor Government's renewable energy and climate change targets by bringing around 300MW of new renewable energy generation into the grid (24 January 2018). More...

Impact Investment scores planning approval (with compliments) for Younghusband project
Impact Investment Group has won praise from the City of Melbourne for its plans to create "Victoria's first carbon and water neutral adaptive reuse precinct", following planning approval for stage 1 of its Younghusband development in Melbourne (22 January 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Better community engagement with major projects
Community Consultative Committees for state significant projects will be strengthened after the Department of Planning and Environment appointed a group of high-calibre candidates to chair these important forums for enhancing community engagement (16 January 2018). More...

CEFC finance for largest solar farm in NSW expands regional solar belt
The CEFC is supporting the expansion of the emerging solar generation belt in regional New South Wales, committing $30 million in debt finance to what will be the state's largest solar farm (24 January 2018). More...

UNSW goes 100 per cent renewable with breakthrough PPA
UNSW is believed to be the first university in the world to obtain 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables, following the signing of a corporate power purchase agreement (23 January 2018). More...

NSW's largest windfarm highlights power of community investment
The Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW has invited the locals to invest in it – the first such co-investment project in Australia (20 January 2018). More...

Developer Calls on Architects to Redevelop Prominent Chinatown Corner in Sydney CBD
A concept development application for a $127 million, 40-storey hotel and residential tower on the site of Sydney Irish pub Scruffy Murphy's has been submitted to the City of Sydney (17 January 2018). More...

EPA fines unlawful waste facility on the Central Coast
The operator of a demolition and excavation business based on the Central Coast has been fined $7,500 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for the unlawful storage of asbestos waste (17 January 2018). More...

Real Dairy Australia penalised for wastewater leak
Real Dairy Australia Pty Ltd has been fined $15,000 by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in relation to an incident that resulted in wastewater discharging its dairy processing facility in Wauchope in September 2017 (17 January 2018). More...

Fine for mine with dusty traffic
The NSW Environment Protection Authority issued a fine of $15,000 to Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd for excess dust at its Mount Arthur Coal Mine, making it clear that mines must control dust from their operations (16 January 2018). More...

New Sydney Planning Panel Chairs announced
Community and business leaders have been appointed to Chair the Sydney Planning Panels to help build on their strengths to make decisions on major development proposals (15 January 2018). More...

Construction company fined $15,000 for polluting local waterway
John Holland Pty Ltd is responsible for the construction of the new Grafton Correctional Centre at Lavadia, east of Grafton (11 January 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

Last stage of Veloway Cycleway gears up
A $45 million project to make cycling to the CBD from Brisbane's southside safer and faster is a step closer, with companies invited to tender for Stage E of the Veloway 1 (V1) (29 January 2018). More...

Renewables powers jobs, investment in Western Downs
Large-scale projects are generating new energy, new jobs and new investment in regional Queensland, with the Western Downs Regional Council hosting 10 proposed projects (23 January 2018). More...

$400 million Works for Queensland program supports 8,442 regional jobs
The Palaszczuk Government's $400 million Works for Queensland program is proving itself a jobs-generating powerhouse throughout Queensland, supporting 8,442 local jobs to November 2017, in a huge boost for regional economies (23 January 2018). More...

Work starts on power link for Darling Downs Solar Farm
Construction is underway on the transmission line that will connect APA Group's $220 million Darling Downs Solar Farm to the state's electricity network later this year (23 January 2018). More...

Fast Rail from Brisbane to Sunshine Coast Could Become a Reality
The Federal Government is evaluating a fast rail project that could connect Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast in as little as 45 minutes. A consortium of planners has developed the confidential plan (18 January 2018). More...

North Australian grazing industry to benefit from new climate project
Graziers across Northern Australia will benefit from an $8 million partnership between the Palaszczuk Government, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to better manage drought and climate risks (17 January 2018). More...

In Practice and Courts


Geological and Bioregional Assessment of the Isa Superbasin
The Australian Government has announced the Geological and Bioregional Assessment of the Isa Superbasin in Queensland. The third assessment region will be announced in coming months. The assessments will highlight the areas that are prospective for shale and tight gas and outline any potential environmental impacts of their extraction (18 January 2018). More...

RET: Submitting an application for an Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed exemption certificate in 2018
The 2018 exemption certificate application forms are now available for companies who conduct eligible emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities and are applying for exemption certificates under the Renewable Energy Target. Recently amended regulations mean that applicants can now choose to use either the new electricity use method or existing production calculation method to apply for an exemption certificate. Applicants can transition to the new method in 2018, 2019 or 2020. Exemption certificate applications for 2018 must be made on or before 3 April 2018 (22 January 2018). More... More...

Australian Government Review of GEMS Act
The Australian Government will review the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (GEMS Act) to ensure that it remains appropriate and effective. This is the first time the GEMS Act has been reviewed. A written report is expected to be completed by mid-2018. Review terms of reference here. More... (22 January 2018). More...

New carbon neutral certification fees
Carbon neutral certification provides credibility to carbon neutral claims made by organisations, or claims made relating to products, services, events, precincts and buildings. New certification fees are available starting 1 January 2018 (18 January 2018). More...

Invitation to comment on 10 draft conservation advice documents
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee is seeking comments on the proposals for ten frog species. Consultation closes 2 March 2018 (17 January 2018). More...

Regional Land Partnerships Request for Tender released
The Regional Land Partnerships Request for Tender opened on Monday 18 December 2017 and will close at 3:00 pm Canberra time on 28 February 2018. More... More...

National Heritage List nominations
Nominations are now open for places of outstanding natural, Indigenous or historic significance to the nation for possible inclusion on our National Heritage List. Nominations are open until 26 February 2018. More...

Regulation Impact Statement for a national phase out of PFOS
The Department of the Environment and Energy has released a Regulation Impact Statement on options for a national phase out of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and related chemicals, including its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride. Submissions are invited until 26 February 2018. More...

Draft revision of Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy: Public comment
The Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy says the strategy has been revised to improve its ability to drive change in biodiversity management priorities, and to better align it with Australia's international biodiversity commitments. The draft revised strategy is open for public comment until 16 March 2018.


Planning Permit Activity Reports

The Planning Permit Activity Reports for December 2017 and Q2 2017-18 are now available (25 January 2018).

New South Wales

Proposed Reforms for Buildings with Combustible Cladding
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) has released a package of proposed reforms requiring owners to register their building/s with the NSW Government and engage an expert to do a fire risk assessment of the cladding. Councils and Fire and Rescue NSW will have powers to direct owners to register their buildings within a set timeframe if they have not already done so. The package is on exhibition until 16 February 2018. More...

NSW Draft Freight and Ports Plan
The NSW Government has released the NSW Draft Freight and Ports Plan, a key supporting plan of the Future Transport 2056 Strategy released in October. To access the draft Freight and Ports Plan and submit feedback, visit the Future Transport website. Submissions close on 25 March 2018. More...

[Draft] Green Infrastructure policy, Greener Places
The discussion draft for Greener Places builds on Sydney Green Grid which forms part of the Plan for Growing Sydney, Draft District Plans and the Draft Sydney Regional Plan. This draft is for formal consultation with the community and stakeholders. All feedback will be considered and a final version will be developed during 2018. More...

State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) review

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) has released its Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for a State Environmental Planning Policy that aims to simplify planning rules for a number of water catchments, waterways, urban bushland, and Willandra Lakes World Heritage Property. To make a submission on the Explanation of Intended Effect or for more information, visit

Community Consultations on Exhibition


Greater Newcastle draft Metropolitan Plan Close 28/02/2018.
Wilton North Draft Precinct Plan Close 18/02/2018.
Draft Sirius Site SSP SEPP Close 16/02/2018



Proposed amendments to the Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy and Mining SEPP Close 16/02/2018.
Draft Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline Close 16/02/2018.
Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) SEPP No. 70 Close 31/01/2018.
Draft Hunter Special Infrastructure Contribution Close 28/02/2018.
Draft Special Infrastructure Contribution Scheme for Rhodes East Close 07/03/2018.
EP&A Amendment - Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding Close 16/02/2018.

Greener Places draft Policy Close 26/02/2018.
Draft Environment SEPP Close 31/01/2018.

Mine Rehabilitation Discussion Paper Close 16/02/2018.
Proposed amendments to the Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy and Mining SEPP Close 16/02/2018.



Anderson v Stonnington CC [2018] VCAT 102
The Applicants' application for declarations under ss 149A and/or 149B of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 is refused. The declarations relate generally to the issue of whether works authorised under building permits prior to the introduction of a Heritage Overlay can lawfully continue without a planning permit being obtained under that overlay.

Williams v Mornington Peninsula SC [2018] VCAT 87
Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme, Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987, General Residential Zone – Schedule 1, Vegetation Protection Overlay – Schedule 1, Environmental Significance Overlay – Schedule 25, Design and Development Overlay – Schedule 1, abuttal to road zone category 1, building bulk, coastal environs, neighbourhood character, overshadowing of communal open space, presentation to the street, interface to coastal reserve. No permit.

Barkly II Custodian Projects Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC [2018] VCAT 61
Stonnington Planning Scheme; Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; proposal for the variation of an easement, the use of the land for childcare, buildings and works and the construction of two or more dwellings on a lot, many objections received and Council does not support proposal, issues arising including car parking and traffic, the degree of stategic support for the proposal, internal and external amenity issues; ResCode issues, the implications of the proposed child care centre and 'neighbourhood character' issues, part-oral decision given by Tribunal at the end of the hearing, permit granted subject to design modification and numerous conditions.

Powell v Hepburn SC [2018] VCAT 59
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Hepburn Planning Scheme; Township Zone (TZ); Environmental Significance Overlay – Schedule 1 (ESO1 Proclaimed Catchment Protection); Change of use to Accommodation and Health Retreat and Spa; Land capability for on-site waste treatment and disposal; Neighbourhood character, and neighbour amenity.

New South Wales

88 Gregory Pty Ltd v Randwick City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1020
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: dual occupancy, impact on views.

ArtMade Architectural Pty Ltd v Willoughby City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1022
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Child care centre; design quality; overdevelopment; setbacks; amenity for neighbours; streetscape impacts; landscaping; design of play areas; compatibility with surrounding residential development; impact of altering intersection on neighbours; resident objections; public interest; evacuation considerations; applicability of child care SEPP and Guideline; disputed conditions of consent.

Parker Logan Property Pty Ltd v Woollahra Municipal Council [2018] NSWLEC 1013
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL: New penthouse level to existing consent – requested variation to maximum height limit – site specific controls – whether the exceedance of height has unreasonable impacts on views from adjoining properties.

John Watts v Mid Coast Council [2018] NSWLEC 1012
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL: Subdivision application – whether the access to the new allotments is safe and consistent with the relevant planning controls – does the site have legal access over right of carriageway.




Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989
23/01/2018 - Act No. 7 of 1989 as amended.

Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012
23/01/2018 - Act No. 166 of 2012 as amended.

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Act 1995
18/01/2018 - Act No. 126 of 1995 as amended.
An Act to impose levies on the import of HCFCs, methyl bromide, SGGs, ODS equipment and SGG equipment under licences granted under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (Snowy Advisory Committee) Act 2014 No 47 (2018-7) — published LW 19 January 2018.

Environmental Planning Instruments

Canterbury Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 14) (2018-16) — published LW 25 January 2018.
Holroyd Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Amendment No 10) (2018-17) — published LW 25 January 2018.
Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Amendment No 21) (2018-18) — published LW 25 January 2018.
Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 4) (2018-19) — published LW 25 January 2018.
Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan 2015 (Amendment No 9) (2018-10) — published LW 19 January 2018.
Deniliquin Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Amendment No 8) (2018-11) — published LW 19 January 2018.
Ku-ring-gai Local Environmental Plan 2015 (Amendment No 14) (2018-12) — published LW 19 January 2018.
The Hills Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 49) (2018-13) — published LW 19 January 2018.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.