In brief - Appeals commenced against environmental protection
orders prior to seeking an internal review were invalid
Consulting Pty Ltd T/A Sedgman Yeats v Logan City Council
 QPEC 2 the Queensland Planning and Environment Court has
dismissed an application for costs by Yeats Consulting Pty Ltd and
Yeats & Associates Pty Ltd in respect of two appeals each of
them had commenced against environmental protection orders issued
by the Logan City Council on the grounds that the court had no
jurisdiction to hear the appeals.
The court determined that as the appeals against the
environmental protection orders, issued under
section 358 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, were commenced
prior to seeking an internal review of the council's decision,
the court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals and the
application for costs was therefore dismissed.
Jurisdiction to hear the appeals
Sections 521 and
531 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 require
that prior to commencing an appeal against an environmental
protection order issued by a local government under
section 358 of that Act, the recipient of the order must first
seek an internal review of the decision to issue the order unless
the decision was made by the local government itself; or the local
government's chief executive officer personally.
The purpose of the internal review as referenced in the
explanatory notes was "whilst matters of policy may not be
resolved by the review of a decision, technical mistakes or
misunderstandings may be resolved without reference to the
Was the decision to issue the environmental protection orders
made by the local government itself or the chief executive officer
The environmental protection orders were issued by a development
compliance officer pursuant to a delegation from the council.
Despite the orders being issued by the officer, as the
officer's signature was accompanied by words to the effect that
it was on behalf of the council's chief executive officer,
Yeats Consulting and Yeats & Associates contended that:
the decision to issue the environmental protection orders had
been made by the chief executive officer personally;
it was therefore not required to seek an internal review prior
to commencing the appeals in the Planning and Environment
The council responded that the environmental protection orders
made it clear that they were issued by the council acting through
its delegated officer. This was also supported by the content of
the orders which identified that an internal review was available
and such a request should be made to the chief executive officer.
Such a review would not be possible if the environmental protection
orders had been issued by the local government itself or the chief
executive officer personally.
Court found that internal review of the decision to issue the
environmental protection orders should have been sought
The court rejected the contention made by Yeats Consulting and
Yeats & Associates. In making this finding, the court noted
that the inclusion of the words on behalf of the chief executive
officer on correspondence was used to identify official
correspondence and it obviously did not mean that the chief
executive officer had personally attended to all such
The court therefore found that the appeals against the
environmental protection orders were invalid as they had been
commenced without first seeking an internal review of the decision
to issue the orders. The court therefore dismissed the application
This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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