Australia: Planning & Environment News – 9 May 2017

In the media – National

CSIRO report shows cheap renewables solution to gas crisis
Renewable technology is the cleanest, cheapest and fastest solution to Australia's energy price crisis, according to the latest CSIRO report released today. The 'Electricity Transformation Roadmap' finds that Australia can generate electricity with zero carbon emissions by 2050 by embracing more large-scale renewable technologies such as wind, solar and storage (28 April 2017). More...

Re-deployable solar taps into regional Australia
The Turnbull Government is providing $2.1 million through Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support the deployment of a 1MW movable solar farm, at Maitland, in the Lower Hunter Valley, NSW. SunSHIFT, developed by Laing O'Rourke, is a re-deployable solar technology that can be easily packed up and moved to accommodate short-term energy needs (20 April 2017). More...

Why 3D modelling is the way forward for better planning outcomes
Giving the community tools to better visualise development proposals through 3D modelling of our cities is essential, according to Planning Institute of Australia Queensland (27 April 2017). More...

Performance Framework for Australia's major cities
The Federal Government is building a National Cities Performance Framework to measure improvements in Australia's largest cities. The Performance Framework will link to the Australian Government's National Map, using the powerful open data tool to provide new insights into Australia's economic geography (26 April 2017). More...

Further information on the National Cities Performance Framework, Cities Reference Group and Smart Cities Plan is available at the Smart Cities website. See details on the Cities Reference Group.

In the media – Victoria

Regional Rail Revival: Budget 2017/18
Since 2015, the Victorian Government has invested $1.3 billion in regional rail, including the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project and the $518 million Ballarat Line Upgrade. Plans to deliver further improvements to regional Victoria's rail network area outlined here (30 April 2017). More...

Plan to Partner with the Private Sector on Airport Rail
Both Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station are privately operated and there is significant market interest in building a light or heavy rail link between these two important transport hubs. The plan will undertake a detailed assessment of the best route for an airport rail link, how much it would cost and how best to fund and deliver it (30 April 2017). More...

Building Melbourne's Missing Link
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 provides the first $100 million for the North East Link to complete critical design, planning, and preconstruction works before contracts are signed in 2019. Work will start immediately – spearheaded by the expert North East Link Authority (26 April 2017). More...

Gurner calls on Supreme Court to address VCAT's Planning Proposal Rejection
Property development company Gurner have lodged papers with the Supreme Court after a recent VCAT decision denied a planning permit for the redevelopment of Johnston Street's The Spanish Club. VCAT has issued its rejection of the permit on the grounds that in its current location, the flue was in an unacceptable position for the proposed development, and failed to meet EPA guidelines and is also a non-conforming use within the current mixed use zoning (26 April 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Burdekin Falls Dam hydro-electricity to power North Queensland: Premier
The Palaszczuk Government will invest to develop a business case for a hydro-electric power station on the State's largest dam - Burdekin Falls Dam - to secure energy and support jobs for North Queensland (29 April 2017). More...

PCA: Brisbane Metro submission
The Property Council has provided the industry's input into Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Metro project consultation. While supporting Brisbane City Council investment in public transport infrastructure, the Property Council expressed the need for a wider traffic management plan and the importance of maintaining vehicle access to buildings along the proposed route (27 April 2017). More...

Renewable energy to light up Gladstone
Expressions of interest are now being sought from the renewable energy industry to transform a 1,248 hectare site near Gladstone. In releasing the EOI documents, Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad said the project has the potential to generate an immense amount of energy, not only for the Gladstone region, but for the entire State (20 April 2017). More...

CSG could increase methane emissions on Condamine River, report warns
An Energy Institute report looking at bubbling methane emissions in a Queensland river finds the release of such gases could rise significantly with continued coal seam gas mining (17 April 2017). More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

Queen Victoria Markets - Call for Comments
The Australian Heritage Council is assessing the Queen Victoria Markets for potential inclusion on the National Heritage List. Comments close 14 July 2017. More...

Notice of the preparation of an amendment - Amendment C258
The land affected by the amendment is all land within the Melbourne municipal area affected by a Heritage Overlay and land in West Melbourne. The Amendment proposes to replace the existing A to D heritage grading system with the Significant / Contributory / Non-contributory grading system and implements the recommendations of the 'Heritage Policies Review 2016'. Any person who may be affected by the Amendment may make a submission to the planning authority about the Amendment. The closing date for submissions is 12 May 2017. More...

In practice and courts – New South Wales

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

NSW Land and Environment Court
28 April 2017: The time for the submission of comments on proposed changes to the Class 3 Compensation Claims Practice Note has been extended to 22 May 2017. Click here for the consultation questions.

In practice and courts – Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

ARITA casenote: Super priority for the State: Qld environmental protection legislation trumps liquidators' disclaimer
In Re Linc Energy Ltd (in Liq): Longley & Ors v Chief Executive Dept of Environment & Heritage Protection [2017] QSC 53, the Queensland Supreme Court has delivered a judgment which has significant consequences for the liquidation of companies exposed to enforcement measures of state governments under environmental protection legislation. The decision also puts liquidators on notice of their own personal exposure as 'executive officers' under state environmental protection legislation.

City Plan amendment package
Brisbane City Council has released a varied package of amendments to the Brisbane City Plan for public consultation. The amendments package includes: The addition of 147 properties to the City Plan's pre-1911 building overlay; A refinement of biodiversity mapping to reflect changes in vegetation and to align with State Government koala mapping and the latest reiteration of the Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan and a draft Newstead North neighbourhood plan. Submissions on the proposals are due by 2 June 2017 (27 April 2017).

Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan
Brisbane City Council has reopened consultation on its Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan, following the State Government's State Interest review. The Queensland Government deemed that changes made to the final version of the plan were significantly different from the previous consultation version and warranted a repeat of the public consultation process. Submissions are due by 2 June 2017 (27 April 2017).

Economic Impact Guidelines for Qld Major Projects Released
The Queensland Government has released the first guidelines for Economic Impact Assessment for major or coordinated projects to inform proponents, key stakeholders and the community about the information required for the Coordinator-General to evaluate the economic impacts of the project (24 April 2017).

The Mill at Moreton Bay Priority Development Area: Proposed Development Scheme
Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) gives notice that the proposed development scheme for The Mill at Moreton Bay Priority Development Area (PDA). The proposed development scheme is the draft planning document for the PDA which sets out the land uses, development criteria and infrastructure envisaged for the PDA. Submissions commenced on 12 April and end close of business on 30 May 2017. More...

Aldoga renewable energy project EOI
The Aldoga site will be Economic Development Queensland's flagship renewable energy project and is part of the Queensland Government's Advancing Our Cities and Regions Strategy which aims to renew and repurpose underutilised state land to generate jobs, and drive economic growth. The expressions of interest will close on 24 May 2017. More...

Cases – Victoria

Meade v Indigo SC [2017] VCAT 530
Section 79 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Clause 52.02 Indigo Planning Scheme; Removal of Easement; Right of Way; Whether the right of way is a road or a public highway; Interests of Affected People.

Cases – Queensland

Moreton Bay Regional Council v Caseldan Pty Ltd [2017] QCA 072
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – DEVELOPMENT CONTROL – CONTROL OF PARTICULAR MATTERS – ROADS – where the resumed land was surrounded by land owned by the applicant within a Sports and Recreation Zone – where the applicant made a material change of use application to itself in relation to this land for development purposes – where the application included the construction of an internal road which would provide access to the resumed land – where the Land Appeal Court found that the Land Court member erred in holding the concurrence agency could not impose an access condition on the applicant's development application under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 ("SPA") – where the Land Appeal Court adopted by analogy the decision in Intrapac Parkridge Pty Ltd v Logan City Council ("Intrapac") – where the applicant contends that the decision in Intrapac would suggest to a prudent purchaser that the prospect of an access condition being imposed on the applicant was "highly likely" – where the applicant contends that the facts in Intrapac are materially different to the current matter – where the applicant contends that the Land Appeal Court thereby erred in reaching a view of what a hypothetical purchaser would think – whether the Land Appeal Court erred in adopting Intrapac by analogy – whether the alleged error amounts to an error of law.
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – DEVELOPMENT CONTROL – MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION OF CONSENT AUTHORITY – GENERALLY – CONSIDERATION OF PLANNING SCHEMES – where the resumed land was surrounded by land owned by the applicant within a Sports and Recreation Zone – where the applicant made a material change of use application to itself in relation to this land for development purposes – where the proposed use conflicted with the applicable planning scheme – where s 326 SPA requires an assessment manager's decision not to conflict with the applicable planning scheme unless there are sufficient grounds to justify departure – where the applicant contends the Land Appeal Court had regard to the zoning of land in contemplating the application's prospect of success – where the definition of "grounds" in Schedule 3 SPA does not include the zoning of land – whether the Land Appeal Court incorrectly interpreted the SPA provisions as allowing an assessment manager to take zoning into account – whether the Land Appeal Court erred in envisaging that a hypothetical purchaser would have regard to zoning as an obstacle to obtaining approval – whether the alleged errors amounted to errors of law.
REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – COMPENSATION – OFFERS – where evidence of nine unaccepted offers for the resumed land was adduced before the Land Court member – where the Land Court member placed no weight on the offers because five were conditional, three were not regarded as genuine ("the Comiskey offers") and one was aged ("the Flaskas offer") – where the Land Appeal Court disagreed with the member's conclusion as to the genuineness of the Comiskey offers – where the Land Appeal Court did not adopt the evidence of either of the two valuers' respective valuations – where the Land Appeal Court's final valuation reflected the Comiskey offers, the Flaskas offer and one of the conditional offers – whether the Land Appeal Court adopted a valuation methodology based on the unaccepted offers – whether the Land Appeal Court erred in having regard to verbal offers – whether the Land Appeal Court erred in having regard to conditional offers – whether the Land Appeal Court erred in incorrectly characterising a conditional offer as an unconditional offer – whether the incorrect characterisation vitiated the valuation of the Land Appeal Court.

Gillion Pty Ltd v Scenic Rim Regional Council [2017] QPEC 024
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – Application for to proceed with changed development application - "permissible change" –– Whether "substantially different development" under s 367(1)(a) of SPA – nature and scope of change compared to original proposal – proposal premised on various operational constrains to be secured by conditions.

Body Corporate for Mayfair Residences v Brisbane City Council [2017] QPEC 022
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – appeal against approval of a development application for material change of use – proposed development for re-use of heritage place, office, health care services and food and drink outlet – whether there is conflict occasioned by bulk and scale – whether there is conflict with the planning intent for the Petrie Terrace and Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan area - whether there will be unacceptable amenity and character impacts – whether cultural heritage significance is protected - whether there are sufficient grounds to approve the proposed development despite conflict with the planning scheme – whether there is a need for the proposed development.

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.

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Authors
Gerard Timbs
 
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