The Queensland Government is expected to soon deliver further
A significant feature of the former Newman Government's
Greentape Reduction Project is anticipated to come into effect by
mid-September 2015, with the proclamation under the Environmental
Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014, which will
bring about the entire repeal and replacement of Chapter 7, Part 8
of the Environment Protection Act 1994, which deals with
contaminated land in Queensland.
Of significant interest to property developers will be the more
prominent role to be performed by approved auditors when there is
proposed development/rezoning of lands registered on the
Environmental Management Register or Contaminated Land Register.
Contaminated Land Investigation Documents (CLIDS) prepared by
Suitably Qualified Professionals (SQP) will require mandatory
Auditor certification prior to their submission to the Department
of Environmental and Heritage Protection (DEHP). DEHP will be
relying on Auditors for technical assessment of site suitability
and they will perform a quality control function.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
anticipates that these amendments will substantially "improve
the efficiency of the development approval process for contaminated
land sites", by requiring approved auditors to provide the
evidence "that any contamination has been suitably managed or
remediated". It is further suggested that "this
requirement halves assessment timeframes and provides a more
responsive technical assessment service reducing development delay
Broadley Rees Hogan recommends that the selection of an auditor
should be undertaken as early as the due diligence stage of site
acquisition, to streamline the process from contamination
investigation through to certification of suitability for the
development purpose. The content of CLIDs will be prescribed in
detail such that compliance reporting variations and interpretive
variations should be substantially reduced and require Audit
According to David Gregory, Contaminated Sites Auditor and
director of Geo-Logix,
the key to project efficiency will result from early engagement of
the Site Auditor and the SQP. The proposed Audit function appears
very prescriptive and there is little option for flexibility in
terms of preparing a compliant CLID. Early engagement enables the
Auditor to communicate the expectations of the SQP in assessing and
remediating contaminated sites and in preparing a compliant CLID.
To enable identification of SQP David recommends a starting point
should be enquiry of the new contaminated land professional
certification schemes administered by Site Contamination Practitioners
Australia, or Environment Institute of Australia and New
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The article is a review of recent developments in compliance, enforcement and prosecutions relating to environmental law.
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