Australia: Planning & Environment - What's News - 22 June 2016

Last Updated: 1 July 2016
Article by Joseph Monaghan and Breellen Warry

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media – National

Remote power generation milestone marks turning point for renewable energy
Renewables are set to become 'the' power source of the future for regional and remote Australia, with energy consumption set to be transformed by innovations in power generation, new lows in solar pricing and the anticipated rapid price reduction in batteries (08 June 2016). More...

Planning the ticket to good public transport infrastructure
Transport infrastructure planning expert Diane Legge Kemp says infrastructure can take decades to deliver, planning needs to begin many years in advance so that projects are ready to go when the funding and political will to do them eventually coincide (07 June 2016). More...

RICS: Disruptive technology – responding to changing demographics and consumer behaviours
Population growth, big data, urbanisation and disruptive technologies are all having an impact on the built environment, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. These themes featured at the World Built Environment Forum (10 June 2016). More...

A new weapon in the battle to overcome car dependency
The global quest to overcome automobile dependency has a new weapon in its armoury, with the recent publication of Planning for Public Transport Accessibility: An International Sourcebook (02 June 2016). More...

PCA: Low Carbon, High Performance
Our built environment is currently the world's single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, consuming one third of our water and generating 40 per cent of our waste. Last week's release of a new report, Low Carbon, High Performance, shows we can eliminate emissions from our buildings entirely by 2050 (01 June 2016). More...

A five-point plan puts sustainable buildings, communities and cities within our grasp
The GBCA's plan outlines the policies that can drive down emissions while enhancing productivity, liveability and sustainability in our cities (01 June 2016). More...

GBCA: Sustainability around the corner for Fishermans Bend
The Andrews Government's commitment to ensure Fishermans Bend is a world leader in sustainability has been welcomed by Australia's property industry (31 May 2016). More...

How can your bank help reduce climate change risks to your home?
The Climate Institute has today released a report detailing the critical role Australian housing plays in the economy, and the risks housing faces with a changing climate. It also sets out the role of banks and insurers in promoting risk reduction and climate adaptation for Australian housing (30 May 2016). More...

Banks, insurers and governments must help avert increasing financial losses to home owners and the economy, caused by climate change
Significant and increasing financial losses will continue to be incurred by owners and buyers of properties built in areas that are vulnerable to climate change unless the governments, regulators, insurers and, especially, the banks take greater responsibility, finds the Climate Institute (30 May 2016). More...

Water assessment tool wins award
A NSW water company has received a national award from the Planning Institute of Australia for its web-based water assessment tool. WaterNSW received national acclaim for its innovative NorBE assessment tool in the 'Improving Planning Processes and Practices' category from the Planning Institute of Australia (27 May 2016). More...

GEOCON'S Abode Hotel Woden certified as Australia's first Green Star hotel
The Abode Hotel Woden has become the first hotel in Australia to be awarded a rating under the prestigious Green Star certification system (27 May 2016). More...

In the media – Victoria

PCA: Property Council welcomes emissions target
The State Government's commitment to set a net zero emissions target by 2050 is welcomed by the Property Council of Victoria. The commitment represents a steady path to 2050 underpinned by a series of five year interim targets (09 June 2016). More...

Big Ideas For Future Of Victorian Councils Released The Andrews Labor Government is inviting Victorians to have their say on proposed reforms to the Local Government Act 1989, aimed at creating more efficient and collaborative local councils (10 June 2016). More...

Victoria aims for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
The Victorian Government will aim to achieve a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with Environment Victoria calling for the state to move from coal-fired power to clean energy over the next couple of years (09 June 2016). More...

Victoria wants to lead on climate with zero emissions commitment
Victoria says it will "lead the nation" on climate change, announcing a goal to become net zero by 2050, in good news for the built environment, but also putting it in direct competition with neighbouring South Australia and the ACT ( 09 June 2016). More... More...

Local government review – directions for new Local Government Act released
Victorian councils and the community are invited to contribute to the first comprehensive review of local government in a quarter of a century (08 June 2016). More...

PCA: Sustainability around the corner for Fishermans Bend
The Andrews Government's commitment to ensure Fishermans Bend is a world leader in sustainability has been welcomed by Australia's property industry. The Andrews Government has released its recast vision for Fishermans Bend – the 465-hectare site close to Melbourne's CBD which will one day accommodate more than 80,000 people (31 May 2016). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Impact of NSW council mergers to be exposed by survey
The successes and failures of the recent NSW council mergers will be laid bare using data from an annual benchmarking survey – the first of its kind in Australia (10 June 2016). More...

NSW Budget: New unit to improve service delivery
The NSW Government will establish a new Commissioning and Contestability Unit (CCU) to improve government services by exploring delivery models that include a mix of government, NGO and private sector providers, Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Finance Dominic Perrottet announced today (10 June 2016). More...

New judge for Land & Environment Court
Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today announced the appointment of barrister John Robson SC as a judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW (10 June 2016). More...

Time to lay tracks for Sydney Metro
The first railway tracks were laid today on the revolutionary Sydney Metro - a major milestone for Australia's biggest public transport project (08 June 2016). More...

Tweed developer fined for Aboriginal heritage non compliance
The Department of Planning and Environment has fined Robinson Prospect $15,000 for failing to construct a fence around an Aboriginal heritage site prior to commencing works (07 June 2016). More...

Four Penalty Notices for Waste Tyre facilities
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued four penalty notices of $1,500 each to Apex Rubber Recycling Pty Ltd in Riverwood, Renew Rubber Pty Ltd in Greenacre (06 June 2016). More...

NSW Water: Water management reforms
Major reforms have been introduced to improve water services, making it easier for the state's primary producers to be more productive through better water management (01 June 2016). More...

Compliance Officers checking sites across NSW in April
The April Compliance Report was released by the Department today showing 47 inspections across the state to make sure approval conditions are being met by companies (01 June 2016). More...

Independent decision for proposed changes to Collector Wind Farm Project
Proposed changes to the Collector Wind Farm northwest of Collector have been referred to the independent Planning Assessment Commission for final decision, with recommended conditions responding directly to issues raised during consultation (30 May 2016). More...

EPA fines W2R Pty Ltd $15,000 for garden waste stockpiles
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined W2R Pty Ltd (W2R) $15,000 for failing to comply with garden waste limits at its Bringelly composting facility (30 May 2016). More...

EPA fines No Fuss Waste Solutions Pty Ltd $15,000 for pollution of waters
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined No Fuss Waste Solutions Pty Ltd (No Fuss) $15,000 for water pollution at an unlicensed Emu Plains facility (30 May 2016). More...

Soldiers Point Marina receives fine for allowing pollutants to enter marina at Port Stephens
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Clippers Anchorage Pty Ltd (trading as Soldiers Point Marina) with a $15,000 fine for releasing pollutants into the marina at Port Stephens while undertaking maintenance on a large vessel at their slipway (30 May 2016). More...

Glimpse into NSW's future
The Future State: NSW 2056 report provides insight into what NSW might look like in the next 40 years and suggests how it might become an even more attractive place to live and work (26 May 2016) Glimpse into NSW's future Urban Taskforce (26 May 2016). More...

EPA order Greenland to clean up contaminated site in Leichhardt
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has ordered Greenland George Street Development Pty Ltd (Greenland) to clean up the former Kolotex site in Leichhardt, Sydney (26 May 2016). More...

Department fines Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd for compliance breach
The Department of Planning and Environment has fined Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd $3,000 for storing woodchips and coal at their processing plant near Bomaderry without approval (25 May 2016). More...

Funding for new councils
New councils in NSW will get up to $15 million in funding to kick-start the delivery of priority infrastructure and services for the local community (25 May 2016). More...

EPA fines Inverell Freighters $14,000 for dangerous goods offences
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued two penalty infringement notices to Inverell Freighters, including $10,000 for failure to ensure dangerous goods are transported safely, and $4,000 for inappropriate placarding of transported goods (24 May 2016). More...

In the media – Queensland

QLD Construction and the Rise of Renewable Energy
Emerging building codes, changing client requirements and tenant wishes are making renewable and sustainable energy in commercial construction much more relevant (10 June 2016). More...

Consultation opens on Kingaroy wind farm proposal
Locals have their first chance to have a say from Saturday 11 June on the proposed $500 million wind farm at Coopers Gap near Kingaroy (10 June 2016). More...

Queensland bolsters koala protection with $12 million budget boost
Koala conservation is set to get a boost in the upcoming State Budget after Environment Minister Steven Miles announced an extra $12.1 million over four years and ongoing funding of $2.6 million a year for koala protection (07 June 2016). More...

EDO: GVK Hancock project faces Qld's highest court
Queensland's highest court will today hear argument about the assessment of environmental impacts in relation to GVK Hancock's proposed 30-million-tonne-per-year Alpha coal mine in the Galilee Basin. This is the first time the Queensland Court of Appeal will consider the powers of the Land Court and decision-makers under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) and the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) in relation to climate change and the substitution argument (07 June 2016). More...

Budget backs coal seam gas specialist team
The Palaszczuk Government is investing more than $7 million over two years to support landholders and communities co-existing with the coal seam gas industry, with allocated over two years to fund the ongoing operations of the specialist Coal Seam Gas Compliance Unit (06 June 2016). More...

Wide Bay international airport proposal feasible says expert
An aviation management expert says a long-term business case must be made before plans for an international airport in southern Queensland's Wide Bay go ahead (08 June 2016). More...

Gold Coast council to explore three cruise terminal options
The Gold Coast City Council will explore three designs for a cruise ship terminal offshore from the Southport Spit (07 June 2016). More...

New quarry deal 'is better' says council planner
A New agreed Kin Kin quarry management plan "sets in stone more stringent conditions to protect the environment", according to a senior Noosa Council planner. The new plan was approved by the Planning and Environment Court on May 27 and now forms part of the quarry approval conditions (07 June 2016). More...

Container deposit scheme will happen for Queensland
There will be a container deposit scheme (CDS) in Queensland by the 2018 state election, whichever party seizes power. Based on South Australia's CDS, the Queensland scheme will involve a 10 cent deposit charged on drink containers between 150ml and three litres – like plastic bottles and aluminium cans (06 June 2016). More...

QLS: Changes to vegetation clearance laws unjust and backward
The State Government's proposed changes to its land clearing laws were unjust and comparable to the Newman LNP Government's stance on anti-bikie laws, according to the Queensland Law Society (03 June 2016). More...

Sustainability focus for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Environmental sustainability will be a focus of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth games, with an eye to leaving the city a green legacy (02 June 2016). More...

Public comment invited on proposed North Harbour development
The Department of National Parks, Sport and Recreation (NPSR) is seeking public comments on proposed changes to the Moreton Bay Marine Park and the Deception Bay declared fish habitat area for the proposed North Harbour Development in and adjacent to the Caboolture River (02 June 2016). More...

Coastal councils urged to dip in to $12 million fund to tackle climate change
Queensland's coastal councils are invited to submit their bids to a $12 million State Government fund to help them safeguard their communities from the impacts of climate change (02 June 2016). More...

Sugar leader sets the bar for environmental practice
Australia's largest cane farmer, MSF Sugar, is leading the way on environmental responsibility and the adoption of sustainable farming practices (01 June 2016). More...

Queensland triples solar ambition for clean energy future
The Palaszczuk Government has tripled its election commitment in providing long-term financial support to up to 120 megawatts (MW) of installed large-scale solar generation (01 June 2016). More...

Design excellence to shape world-class public spaces within Queen's Wharf development
New design guidelines released today will help transform the public space surrounding the Queen's Wharf Brisbane (QWB) development into an inviting, world-class destination, under the guidance of some of Australia's best design experts (30 May 2016). More...

Renewable energy boost for Queensland jobs and investment
The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed the offer of a power purchase agreement (PPA) to progress a 170 megawatt (MW) wind farm in the State's far north (26 May 2016). More...

Bill to phase out sand mining on North Stradbroke passed in Parliament
Sand mining on North Stradbroke Island is to substantially cease by 2019, with the Queensland Parliament voting in favour of the phase-out to allow the creation of new, sustainable jobs (26 May 2016). More...

Govt restores farmer & community rights on mining
Parliament today restored balance between the rights of farmers, miners, and the community, passing legislation that protects farm infrastructure and restores community objection rights (24 May 2016). More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

VIC: EPA seeks feedback
Environment Protection Authority Victoria is seeking industry feedback on the draft of a new guideline: Assessing planning proposals near landfills. More information is available at (08 June 2016).

VIC: Plan Melbourne refresh submissions online
Nearly 400 written submissions made to the Plan Melbourne refresh discussion paper are now online along with two summary reports summarising feedback received from submissions and engagement workshops (02 June 2016).

In practice and courts – New South Wales

NSW Planning: Part 3A transition process clarified
Due to the repeal of Part 3A in 2011, some Part 3A projects were not able to be assessed and approved under Part 3A and required a Ministerial Order to become State Significant Development (03 June 2016). More...

LGNSW: Comment On State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs)
The Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) is asking councils to give initial feedback on a range of current State Environment Planning Policies to improve their effectiveness. The review will examine existing policies to consider relevance and determine whether the policies need to be retained, amended, transferred or updated Initial comments due Friday 10 June 2016.

NSW Land and Environment Court
The court has released aNotice to representatives of local councils affected by the proclamations concerning amalgamation on 01 June 2016.

NSW EPA: Draft Amendment to Protection of the Environment Operations Regulation (Scheduled Activities) 2016: Public exhibition
The EPA is seeking comments on the draftProtection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Scheduled Activities) Regulation 2016 (Amendment Regulation). The draft Regulation is on public exhibition from 18 May 2016 to 16 June 2016. More... More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

QLD: Revised Draft SEQRP
A consultation website was launched by the Qld Government to guide the development of a revised SEQRP. The Draft SEQRP will be released for public consultation in October 2016. The "Shaping SEQ" website provides an overview of the role of regional planning and the themes the Government is looking to incorporate into the revised plan (May 2016).

Cases – New South Wales

Environment Protection Authority v Sydney Drum Machinery Pty Ltd (No 4) [2016] NSWLEC 59
OFFENCES – prosecution – liquid waste pollution incidents – failure to comply with issued clean-up notices – pleas of not guilty – whether regulatory authority reasonably suspected pollution incident – whether notice directions sufficiently related to pollution incident – whether notice terms sufficiently clear – whether regulatory authority failed to take into account certain considerations in issuing notices – whether notice legally invalid due to unreasonableness – whether reasonable excuse for failure to comply – whether due diligence exercised to prevent failure to comply.

The Lawson Clinic Pty Ltd v Ku-ring-gai Council (No 2) [2016] NSWLEC 65
DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTION – reasonableness – contribution in Contributions Plan based on vehicle movements – whether vehicle movements expected from proposed psychiatric hospital significantly different from assumption in the plan – whether indicative formula adopted by plan appropriate in light of available information concerning implementation of the plan – adjustment of vehicle-based element of formula reasonable – no basis to consider indexation formulae unreasonable – contribution to be adjusted to reflect revised vehicle movement factor.

Gray v Sutherland Shire Council [2016] NSWLEC 64
APPEAL – appeal against Commissioner's decision on questions of law – refusal of development consent for boarding house – determination by Commissioner that necessary development consent condition could not lawfully be imposed – whether Commissioner's finding that condition could not lawfully be imposed an error of law – whether Commissioner's finding that condition not for proper planning purpose an error of law – whether Commissioner's finding that condition manifestly unreasonable an error of law.

Ku-ring-gai Council v Mr Garry West in his capacity as delegate of the Acting Director-General of the Office of Local Government & Ors [2016] NSWLEC 62
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – notice for production of documents – public interest immunity – whether documents sought are subject to public interest immunity – documents submitted to Cabinet – interests of justice in their availability – examination of reasons advanced by the Plaintiff – reasons of limited or no validity – public interest protection not outweighed by interests of justice – access denied.

Cases – Queensland

Body Corporate for Surfers International v Gold Coast City Council & Anor [2016] QPEC 029
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING – DEVELOPMENT CONTROL – APPLICATIONS – OBJECTIONS ฌ– where the respondent Council approved a development application for a material change of use for apartments – where the development application was approved by way of Code Assessment under the relevant planning scheme – where the applicant appealed to the Planning & Environment Court for a declaration that the Council's Decision Notice approving the development was invalid - and of no effect – whether the decision maker of the Council fell into jurisdictional error – whether the decision maker failed to establish a jurisdictional fact – whether the subject building consisted of an apartment use above or within podium level – whether level 4 of the subject building was above or within the building podium – whether level 4 was characterised as apartment use – whether the Council failed to properly assess the development application.

Allen & Anor v Cairns Regional Council & Anor (No 3) [2016] QPEC 025
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – COSTS – Where application for a declaration that an existing use was lawful – where Calderbank offer to respondent neighbour – where the applicant and council incurred costs after the Calderbank offer – where the applicant and Council would have incurred substantial costs if the respondent neighbour had withdrawn opposition - whether respondent neighbour should pay costs of obtaining the declaration.

Guiney v Brisbane City Council [2016] QPEC 026
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – Proposed demolition of a pre-1947 dwelling in the traditional building character overlay – where subject house is a fine example of traditional building character in a street in which post-1947 houses predominant – whether a street has no traditional character – whether subject house contributes positively to the visual character of the street.

Kinka Beach Pty Ltd v Livingstone Shire Council [2016] QPEC 027 (15/651) Jones DCJ 27/05/2016 (delivered ex tempore)
The substantive appeal is concerned with the council's refusal of a development application involving significant development in or about the township of Kinka Beach – contempt of court - the orders of the court will be that the appellant is to fully comply with all outstanding orders of the court.

Nichol v Campbell [2016] QCAT 057

NEIGHBOURHOOD DISPUTE RESOLUTION – TREES – loss of view – where applicant purchased vacant block – where applicant built new home – where unobstructed view - where palm trees obstructed view – where bamboo obstructed view – whether severe obstruction of the view

Legislation – Commonwealth

Bills Updated in the last week

Nature Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Introduced on 27/10/2015. Stage reached: PASSED with amendment on 10/05/2016. Assent Date: 25/05/2016. Act No: Act No. 22 of 2016

Planning Bill 2015
PASSED with amendment on 11/05/2016. Assent Date: 25/05/2016. Act No: Act No. 25 of 2016

Planning and Environment Court Bill 2015
PASSED with amendment on 11/05/2016. Assent Date: 25/05/2016. Act No: Act No. 26 of 2016 Commences: by Proclamation

Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
PASSED with amendment on 11/05/2016. Assent Date: 25/05/2016. Act No: Act No. 27 of 2016. Commences: by Proclamation

Acts as passed 25 May 2016

No 22 Nature Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016

No 25 Planning Act 2016

No 26 Planning and Environment Court Act 2016

No 27 Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016

Legislation – New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Act 2016 No 7(2016-277) — published LW 1 June 2016

Bills assented to

Coastal Management Act 2016 No 20 — Assented to 07 June 2016

National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Adjustment of Areas) Act 2016 No 21 — Assented to 07 June 2016

Water NSW Amendment (Staff Transfers) Act 2016 No 22 — Assented to 07 June 2016

For the full text of Bills, see here...

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Siding Spring Observatory) Regulation 2016(2016-303) — published LW 10 June 2016

Management of Waters and Waterside Lands Amendment (Fees and Classification of Licences) Regulation 2016 (2016-307) — published LW 10 June 2016

Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 No 101 — Notice of Determination (2016-318) — published Gazette No 47 of 10 June 2016, page 1319

Water Management (River Murray Traffic) Regulation 2016 (2016-312) — published LW 10 June 2016

City of Sydney Regulation 2016 (2016-262) — published LW 25 May 2016

Home Building Amendment (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation) Regulation 2016 (2016-264) — published LW 27 May 2016

Residential Tenancies Amendment (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation) Regulation 2016 (2016-267)

Environmental Planning Instruments

Burwood Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 8) (2016-313) — published LW 10 June 2016

Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 (Amendment No 19)(2016-314) — published LW 10 June 2016

Liverpool Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Amendment No 57)(2016-315) — published LW 10 June 2016

Rockdale Local Environmental Plan 2011 (Amendment No 12) (2016-317) — published LW 10 June 2016

Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Observatory and Defence Facility) Order 2016 (2016-309) — published LW 10 June 2016

State Environmental Planning Policy (Integration and Repeals) 2016(2016-310) — published LW 10 June 2016

Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2010 (Amendment No 7) (2016-270) — published LW 27 May 2016

Willoughby Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 7) (2016-271) — published LW 27 May 2016

Wollondilly Local Environmental Plan 2011 (Amendment No 21) (2016-272) — published LW 27 May 2016

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