Australia: Planning & Environment News – 19 July 2017

Last Updated: 23 July 2017
Article by Joseph Monaghan, Breellen Warry, Peter Holt, Gerard Timbs and Jenny Humphris

Most Read Contributor in Australia, November 2018

In the media – National

Cities to get more sustainable with smart communities code
Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) and the GBCA announce a partnership to develop a Code for Smart Communities. SCCANZ Executive Director, Adam Beck, says "the Code will provide important, voluntary guidance to the development industry and include the necessary scoping issues, metrics and model language for the planning, design and delivery of smart communities" (05 July 2017). More...

Green Star update signals industry shift towards carbon zero
The Green Building Council of Australia has updated its Green Star tools to prioritise carbon reduction, in another signal that industry is gearing up for a push towards carbon zero commercial buildings. There are now minimum greenhouse gas requirements, with 5 Star Green Star buildings needing to obtain three Greenhouse Gas Emissions credit points (04 July 2017). More...

Commercial Building Disclosure Program Extension
From 1 July all commercial building spaces of 1,000m² or more must have their energy efficiency rating disclosed when selling, leasing or subleasing. The extension to the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program from 2,000m² to 1,000m² means that another 1,000 commercial office buildings are affected by the CBD requirements (30 June 2017). More... More...

Commercial buildings get new NABERS and save on energy costs
From 1 July 2017, the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program will extend to commercial building spaces of 1,000 square metres and more, helping more businesses save on their energy costs. The Turnbull Government is expanding the program, which provides accessible information on the running costs of a commercial building, to smaller commercial office buildings (29 June 2017). More...

Census reveals the consequences of a growing housing affordability crisis
The 2016 Census has revealed more people are renting, mortgage debt is growing and the number of large households is increasing, as housing affordability crises grip multiple cities across the country. Housing owned outright fell from 41.4 per cent in 1991 to 31 per cent in 2016. Homes with mortgages, meanwhile, rose to 34.5 per cent in 2016 from 27.5 per cent in 1991, and renting went from 26.9 per cent in 1991 to 30.9 per cent in 2016 (27 June 2017). More...

London cladding prompts fire safety awareness for Australian unit owners
With discussions of the London Grenfell Tower fire turning to the apartment complex's cladding as the reason why the fire flared up, a strata company is calling for unit owners to use this incident as a reminder to inspect their own properties for fire hazards (23 June 2017). More...

Emissions scheme would threaten energy stability, Frydenberg says"> The Government places energy security at the centre of its opposition to an Emissions Intensity Scheme, claiming it would quickly force out coal generators and lead to more instability in the system (01 July 2017). More...

Consumers becoming smarter about energy use
The uptake in distributed solar generation and use of energy efficient appliances will keep grid-supplied electricity consumption stable for the next 20 years despite a projected 30 per cent increase in population and assumed average growth in the Australian economy, according to the recently released electricity forecast update from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) (30 June 2017). More...

Illegal recreational fishing fine increased to $2,100
Recreational fishers caught poaching from no-take areas in the Great Barrier Reef will face higher penalties from this weekend, with fines increasing from $1,800 to $2,100 (30 June 2017). More...

Coal or coral? The Queensland Government seems undecided
The Great Barrier Reef is worth $56bn, according to Deloitte Access Economics, but does the Adani's Carmichael coalmine fit into it. The Deloitte Access Economics report identifying the social, economic and iconic asset value of the Great Barrier Reef at $56 billion (28 June 2017). More...

What the 2016 census reveals about property
The latest snapshot from the 2016 census has been unveiled, revealing details of Australia's overall property market, and how much we're paying in rent and mortgages (28 June 2017). More...

Council recycling up 25%
The mobile phone industry's product stewardship program MobileMuster has commended the efforts of local councils who have dramatically increased their collections and helped make recycling more accessible to the community (27 June 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

Victoria forms cladding taskforce to stamp out building fires
A new taskforce has been formed to investigate flammable cladding on Victoria's buildings after the State Government gave the order in response to audit results and recent building fire cases. The VBA has audited more than 200 city properties for the combustible material (04 July 2017). More...

Future uses of coal in Victoria
The Andrews Labor Government has unveiled a new policy that will drive investment, create jobs and balance environmental needs in future Victorian coal projects. The Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal provides clarity to industry and local communities about uses of Victoria's brown coal reserves in a low-emissions setting. The final Victorian standard will be regulated under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (07 July 2017). More...

Ararat Wind Farm powering ahead
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio visited the 240MW wind farm, which is generating enough electricity to power over 120,000 Victorian homes. The Victorian Government has set Victoria's Renewable Energy Target of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025 (27 June 2017). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Size of major proposed NSW wind farm to be reduced to allay concerns
A company planning what could be one of Australia's biggest wind farms has cut the number of proposed turbines to minimise the impact on nearby landowners (06 July 2017). More...

Department seeks community input on improving environmental impact assessments
The community has a chance to improve the way state significant projects are assessed during workshops to gather feedback on new draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) guidelines (05 July 2017). More...

NSW Government planning legislation changes aim to prevent development delays
The Government proposes to amend the legislation so it is explicitly clear that staged development applications can include only a concept approval and a single subsequent detailed application. The Court of Appeal ruled last week that the development consent for the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct was invalid on the grounds that it was not a "staged development application" and proposed only one subsequent detailed development application (DA) (03 July 2017). More...

Revealed: New BASIX energy targets
Part of the government's initiative to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the BASIX changes will improve the energy efficiency of homes in NSW, resulting in lower utility bills for residents, and reduced environmental impact (30 June 2017). More...

Do you live in one of Sydney's 15 new Priority Precincts
Priority Precincts are areas generally located around transport corridors or strategic centres and have broad social, economic and environmental significance for the community. The Department will be working closely with the community, councils and other stakeholders to provide a range of opportunities to participate in planning (28 June 2017). More...

The changes to ePlanning tools and services you need to know
With the release of the Simplified Housing Code, and the expansion of planning services coming soon to the NSW Planning Portal, the Electronic Housing Code will be decommissioned (28 June 2017). More...

NSW housing approvals continue to soar
In less than eight years there has been a 194 per cent increase in approval numbers, fuelled by the growth in multi-units including townhouses and apartments (28 June 2017). More...

Nyngan Solar Farm opens to the public
Visitors are welcome at one of the largest operating solar farms in the southern hemisphere. The solar farm generates power for the Central West region of NSW, including east Dubbo and west Cobar. Since it opened in June 2015, Nyngan has been joined by solar farms in Broken Hill and Moree (28 June 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Regional Council waives fees to incentivise infill development
Moreton Bay Regional Council has created a new policy in order to incentivise infill development. Commencing 1 July 2017, Council implemented the policy which waives application fees and infrastructure charges for a range of developments within targeted areas in Strathpine, Caboolture and along the Redcliffe Peninsula Rail Corridor (06 July 2017). More...

Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Unitywater incentivise greater infill
Moreton Bay Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Council and Unitywater are offering incentives to developers who invest in infill development in targeted areas across the two regions. The development incentives policies offer reductions in infrastructure charges for infill development in Strathpine, the Redcliffe Peninsula Corridor (i.e. along the Strathpine to Kippa Ring rail corridor), Caboolture, Nambour and Caloundra (05 July 2017). More...

73 hectare breakwater community set to connect Gold Coast Regions
Australian property developer Walker Corporation has submitted a development application for a 73 hectare master-planned community that will connect Robina, Merrimac and Gold Coast City Council's planned Green Heart Parklands (06 July 2017). More...

Yeerongpilly Green to bloom with $30 million in parks and public infrastructure
The Palaszczuk Government has invested $30 million in community infrastructure and green space for the new $850 million master-planned Yeerongpilly Green development. Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad said the $30 million investment would be delivered under an historic cooperative agreement between the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council (04 July 2017) More...

Better planning for Queensland starts today
The Palaszczuk Government's new planning system has commenced today ensuring the community is at the forefront of the planning process across Queensland. The new system heralds a new era for planning in Queensland, with the Planning Act 2016, replacing the existing Sustainable Planning Act 2009, to create a new, simplified planning system that is easier to navigate for the community, local government and industry alike (03 July 2017). More...

Securing Townsville's Water Supply
The Palaszczuk Government has thanked the Townsville Water Security Taskforce for their Interim Report, and is pleased the $225 million it has previously committed will provide water supply security for Townsville (30 June 2017). More...

Heritage plan adopted for Queensland cultural icon
The heritage values of Queensland's Cultural Centre will be protected under a new Conservation Management Plan that will guide future planning and development in the area (29 June 2017). More...

Farmers save through Energy Savers audits
Potential power bill savings in excess of $3 million have been identified in the audits of Queensland farming enterprises through the Energy Savers program – a joint initiative of the Palaszczuk Government and industry (27 June 2017). More...

Subdivision activity up
Ipswich City Council has released its latest planning and development quarterly activity report covering January to March this year. Redbank Plains, Walloon, Brassall, Silkstone, and Spring Mountain were the hot spots for new lot creation (23 June 2017). More...

In practice and courts – Commonwealth

Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements
From 1 July 2017, the Australian Government is introducing a new water entitlements register to increase transparency around foreign investment in Australia. Foreign persons with registrable water entitlements or contractual water rights may need to notify the ATO. A new registration form is available here for foreign persons to register their water holdings. This website also contains information on a series of Water register webinars being promoted by the ATO (07 July 2017).

Inquiry into the Australian Government's role in the development of cities
The inquiry will investigate potential for the Commonwealth Government to provide leadership and coordinate longer-term national city planning and will be split into two sub-inquiries: Sustainability transitions in existing cities and Growing new and transitioning regional cities and towns. Submissions are open until 31 July 2017. For more information about how to make a submission, contact the Committee secretariat. Further information on the inquiry, including the full terms of reference, is available on the Committee website.

NELA National Conference: Addressing Past Harm, Managing Future Risks, Brisbane 4 August 2017
This year's conference brings together a range of experts to discuss the state of Australia's environment, how various States are addressing past impacts, and innovative mechanisms being explored to avoid future harm. Examining mining rehabilitation, groundwater management, climate risk disclosure, sustainable business practices and much more. More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

Landmark legislation to protect the Yarra River
Landmark legislation to protect and enhance the Yarra River for future generations was introduced into State Parliament on Thursday 22 June. It is the first Bill in Victoria to include the language of Traditional Owners, in recognition of their custodianship of the river and connection to the land through which the river flows (29 June 2017).

Have your say on the West Gate Tunnel
An Environment Effects Statement, works approval application, and draft planning scheme amendment for the West Gate Tunnel Project are on public exhibition. Submissions are open until 10 July 2017. More...

In practice and courts – New South Wales

Community Consultations on Exhibition

Revised Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Strategy
Open 25/06/2017; Close 03/09/2017.

Environmental Impact Assessment Improvement Project draft guidelines
Close 01/09/2017.
Proposed amendment to Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act)
Close 24/07/2017.

Sydenham to Bankstown urban renewal corridor strategy
Department of Planning and Environment (NSW): 25 June 2017
It is estimated that Sydney's population will grow by approximately 1.7 million people over the next 20 years. To meet the needs of a bigger population, 725,000 new homes and 817,000 new jobs need to be provided within the Sydney metropolitan area. More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Works for Queensland Program: second round

Councils are encouraged to nominate projects for the second round of funding by 28 July 2017. All approved projects are expected to be completed by June 2019. The Works for Queensland Program is part of the State Infrastructure Fund. More...

Release of the Guide to Traffic Impact Assessment
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has released its new Guide to Traffic Impact Assessment (GTIA), which provides guidance for development proponents on how to assess the traffic impacts of a proposed development on the state-controlled road network. In line with the commencement of the State's new planning framework, the GTIA came into effect on Monday, 3 July. The GTIA will replace the existing Guidelines for Assessment of Road Impacts of Development (GARID), which has been under review for several years (03 July 2017).

New era for planning in Queensland
Queensland's new planning framework took effect on Monday, 3 July.
The following Acts came into effect on 3 July 2017:
Planning Act 2016
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016
Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Act 2016

Supporting instruments developed alongside the new legislation also came into effect on 3 July. These are:
State Planning Policy (the SPP)
State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP)
Minister's Guidelines and Rules (MGRs)
The Planning Regulation 2017

The Department has also unveiled a new website to assist stakeholders in navigating the new system.

Department of State development
Bromelton SDA Draft Development Scheme – closing date 02 August 2017.

Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee
Land Access Ombudsman Bill 2017 - The committee is required to report by 7 August 2017.

Cases – Victoria

Grub Food Van Pty Ltd v Yarra CC [2017] VCAT 850
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Yarra Planning Scheme; Amendment to existing permit pursuant to Section 72 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Existing food and drink premises; Proposed Function centre; Hours of operation; Patron Numbers; Sale and consumption of liquor.

Court v Greater Shepparton CC [2017] VCAT 884
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme; Industrial 1 Zone; Depot and Garden Supplies; Relationship with Land in a General Residential Zone; Relationship with Land in a Public Park and Recreation Zone; Cussen Park; Existing Dwelling; Future Dwelling.

Cases – New South Wales

Fife Capital Pty Ltd v Cumberland Council [2017] NSWLEC 1354
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL: consent sought for bulk earthworks – impact on endangered ecological community – whether a species impact statement is required – required buffer to Prospect Creek – required buffer to vegetation community – land zoned for industrial and environmental purposes.

Terra Ag Services Pty Ltd v Griffith City Council [2017] NSWLEC 1355
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – refusal – characterisation – rural supplies business or heavy industrial storage establishment – dominant and servient use does not arise in this case – more than one purpose.

Penrith City Council v Konemann [2017] NSWLEC 79
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT ­– whether semi-rural land used for prohibited innominate purpose – whether land used for prohibited purpose of junk yard and/or storage premises or waste or resource management facility – whether applicant bears onus to prove the absence of development consent – whether applicant required to prove use for a particular innominate prohibited purpose – whether alleged prohibited use ancillary to lawful residential use.

PRJM Pty Ltd v Hawkesbury City Council [2017] NSWLEC 1339
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: subdivision - inconsistent with some aims of the local environmental plan - inconsistent with some objectives of the zone - impact on existing vegetation - inappropriate method of disposal of sewage - inadequate arrangements for water supply, stormwater disposal, waste collection and road access – appropriate conditions of consent.

Karimbla Properties v Council of the City of Sydney; Bayside City Council; and North Sydney Council [2017] NSWLEC 75
CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION – proper construction of s.516(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1993 – correctness and applicability of decision in Meriton Apartments Pty Ltd v Parramatta City Council [2003] NSWLEC 309 – applicability of the Recovery of Imposts Act 1962 – Court's jurisdiction to order payment or repayment of money. RATING – whether vacant land to be classified as "residential" or "business".

Cases – Queensland

Hancock Galilee Pty Ltd v Currie & Ors [2017] QLC 35
Application for a mining lease and objections to its grant, objections to environmental authority.

Colman v Department of National Parks, Sports and Racing [2017] QCAT 209
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where decision to refuse application for private use pontoon. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – PARKS AND RESERVES – RESTRAINT OF ACTIVITIES WITHIN PARKS AND RESERVES – where declared marine park – where main purpose of zoning plan to conserve marine environment – where zoning plan did not list private pontoon as use within habitat protection zone – where uses within each zone and across zones are to be read together to achieve objects of Act of a comprehensive and integrated strategy for use of the park to conserve the marine environment – where a use specifically listed within a lesser protected zone cannot be imported into a more protected zone without the same wording – where extending the generic wording of 'another purpose' or 'low impact activity' to include a private pontoon would render the specific wording that includes it in the general use zone as meaningless and run contrary to ascending order of protection – where Legislature shown intent for private pontoon to be permitted in general use zone only by specifically including it in that zone and not habitat protection zone – where this interpretation consistent with framework of Act and objects of each zone.

Legislation - Commonwealth


Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Act 2017 Act No. 53 of 2017 – 26 June 2017.

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation Amendment Act 2017 Act No. 67 of 2017 – 26 June 2017.

Legislation – New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2017
(2017-303) — published LW 30 June 2017.
Civil Procedure Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2017
(2017-304) — published LW 30 June 2017.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017
(2017-307) — published LW 30 June 2017.

Bills assented to

Electronic Transactions Legislation Amendment (Government Transactions) Act 2017
No 25 — Assented to 27 June 2017.

For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.

Legislation – Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made
No 103: Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2017 – 30 June 2017 – This regulation, other than part 20, commenced on 3 July 2017 - The policy objective of this regulation, as described in its explanatory notes, is to ensure consistency of existing subordinate legislation with the Planning Act 2016 and the Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016, both of which were scheduled to commence on 3 July 2017, which objective is effected by amending the 48 regulations and other instruments of subordinate legislation listed in the regulation.

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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Peter Holt
Gerard Timbs
Jenny Humphris
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