Australia: Planning & Environment News - 30 August 2017

In the media – National

PIA to Federal Government: Fail to plan for a sustainable and liveable nation, plan to fail
The Planning Institute of Australia last week said it strongly supports NSW Education Minister and PIA Honorary Fellow Rob Stokes' comments that there has been a lack of action on part of the Federal Government to 'future-proof' Australia through national urban and regional planning (08 August 2017). More...

Power to gas trial to inject hydrogen into Australia's gas grid
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced a trial for an innovative new type of electrolyser which could see excess renewable energy stored in the gas grid and used to decarbonise Australia's gas supply (07 August 2017). More...

New 2020 emissions target kicks off more Climate Change action
The Government will seek to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 20 per cent (from 2005 levels) by the year 2020, setting Victoria on the path to net zero emissions by 2050. Take2Actions by the Victorian and local governments, business and individuals as part of Victoria's TAKE2 climate change pledge program will contribute to meeting the new target (18 August 2017). More...

Queensland solar hotspot grows with CEFC finance for two Collinsville projects adding 200MW capacity
A former coal mining hub is the Sunshine State's solar hot spot with two new large-scale solar farms about to begin construction near Collinsville in north Queensland (11 August 2017). More...

Daly River project trials renewable storage for remote communities
Daly River is set to become the first remote community in the Northern Territory to be powered by solar and battery as the $55 million Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) rolls out. The outcomes of the Daly River site are expected to guide deployment of more renewable energy in other remote communities (11 August 2017). More...

Shareholders drag CommBank to court over climate change failure
Amid accusations of repeatedly breaching money laundering laws that may have led to the funding of terrorism, the Commonwealth Bank has found itself in yet another saga, now being dragged to court by angry shareholders for failing to adequately disclose climate change risk (09 August 2017). More...

Innovative technology converts commercial vehicles to run on electricity
The Turnbull Government, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, is providing $5 million in finance to help automotive technology manufacturer SEA Electric convert medium-duty trucks and commercial vans to run on electricity (14 August 2017). More...

Working together to improve engagement on network revenue proposals
The AER is pleased to be part of a new, joint initiative with Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) that will explore ways to improve sector engagement, and identify opportunities for regulatory innovation (11 August 2017). More...

Modelling predicts dire consequences for all wetlands within 80 years
Coastal wetlands around the world could have just 80 years left to live according to a warning issued by an international team of researchers who have worked on new impact modelling of sea level rise (10 August 2017). More...

AEMO and ARENA looking to evolve traditional electricity market
In an Australian first, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and South Australia's Hornsdale Stage 2 Wind Farm (Hornsdale Stage 2) are collaborating to trial whether a wind farm can provide important power system stability services (10 August 2017). More...

PIA to Federal Government: Fail to plan for a sustainable and liveable nation, plan to fail
The Planning Institute of Australia last week said it strongly supports NSW Education Minister and PIA Honorary Fellow Rob Stokes' comments that there has been a lack of action on part of the Federal Government to 'future-proof' Australia through national urban and regional planning (08 August 2017). More...

Federal policy sorely lacking on cooling cities
Federal policy on the urban island heat island effect is a sorely missing piece of the puzzle to cool our cities, according to the CRC for Low Carbon Living chief executive Professor Deo Prasad (08 August 2017). More...

Power to gas trial to inject hydrogen into Australia's gas grid
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced a trial for an innovative new type of electrolyser which could see excess renewable energy stored in the gas grid and used to decarbonise Australia's gas supply (07 August 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

New Secretary appointed for DELWP
The Andrews Labor Government has today appointed Mr John Bradley as the new Secretary of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Mr Bradley will commence in the role on 18 September 2017 (16 August 2017). More...

Melbourne named World's Most Liveable City for record seventh year
For a record seventh consecutive year Melbourne has been named the world's most liveable city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Melbourne received a score of 97.5 out of 100 on the annual list -securing perfect scores for healthcare, education and infrastructure (16 August 2017). More...

Victorian Government approves new suburb in Melbourne
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today approved the detailed precinct structure plan for Mt Atkinson, a new suburb aimed at boosting housing affordability and job creation. An in-principle agreement with Mount Atkinson Holdings and Stockland will see two Government schools built, land acquired for a future train station and other first-class community facilities (15 August 2017). More...

Major Melbourne road project based on 'flawed, biased' data: expert
The business case for Melbourne's West Gate Tunnel project is based on flawed traffic modelling and cost-benefit analysis, a transport planning consultant who previously advised the Victorian Government says (14 August 2017). More...

New projects to create thousands of new jobs and support local businesses
The Government has announced a multi-billion dollar pipeline of key infrastructure projects that will create tens of thousands of jobs across the state and boost local businesses. The updated Local Jobs First - Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) Forward Plan with 26 new projects brings the total number of Strategic Projects to 80 (10 August 2017). More...

Recycling company gifted huge tyre pile to foreign shelf company to avoid EPA, court hears
The secret owners of a "Panamanian shelf company" lose a legal bid to stop Victoria's environmental watchdog from clearing the notorious Stawell tyre stockpile, in the state's west (10 August 2017). More...

Route, tunnel options released for Melbourne's 'missing' North East Link
Four route options are unveiled for what has been called Victoria's highest-priority road project, Melbourne's missing North East Link, and all include expensive tunnelling and would require property acquisitions, the State Government says (07 August 2017). More...

Construction Underway on Public Park in Fishermans Bend
Construction is underway at an 8000 sqm public park in Australia's largest urban renewal project, "Fishermans Bend". Port Phillip Council is partnering with the Victorian Government to provide the park as a crucial open space for "Australia's biggest urban renewal project". The park is part of a Council's integrated approach to the Ferrars Street and Community Precinct (09 August 2017). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Have your say on the new WestConnex M4 M5 Link
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the WestConnex M4-M5 Link is now on exhibition, and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment welcomes community feedback (18 August 2017). More...

Mining allowed to resume at Appin Colliery
Following an extensive compliance review of the mining operations, the Department of Planning and Environment's Resources Regulator has today allowed limited mining operations at South 32's Appin Colliery providing remedial actions are taken (17 August 2017). More...

$500 million to Grow Local Economies
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces the opening of the Growing Local Economies Fund, which will use an innovative new funding model to target $500 million in investments in business-boosting infrastructure across regional NSW. "The Growing Local Economies Fund will not only invest in road, rail, electricity and water upgrades, but it will also look to invest in infrastructure to unlock the potential of regional businesses (17 August 2017). More...

New Macquarie Park commercial precinct a step closer
Infrastructure and property group, John Holland, is the successful proponent to develop a new commercial precinct at 45-61 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park. Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the $170 million deal for the 3.2ha site was a win for the community and another great example of the Government's asset recycling policy at work (16 August 2017). More...

Aussie Skips fined $15,000 for breach of licence condition
Aussie Skips Waste Services Pty Ltd has been fined a total of $15,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority for an observed breach of its environment protection licence (15 August 2017). More...

New social and affordable housing welcomed
The Property Council today welcomes the announcement of the successful tenderer for Ivanhoe Estate – a renewal development that will provide 3,000 new units, including at least 950 social housing units and 128 affordable rental units to NSW. The project is also a great example of the private, public and not-for-profit sectors working together to deliver affordable, sustainable development (14 August 2017). More...

NSW Planning Recommends One Sydney Harbour at Barangaroo for Approval
More than 600 new homes could join the mix of office buildings, shops and the planned Crown Sydney Hotel at Barangaroo South, after the New South Wales Government's Department of Planning and Environment recommended plans for two residential towers (11 August 2017). More...

Lake Macquarie City Council fined for chlorine discharge from Wallsend Swim Centre
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Lake Macquarie City Council with a $15,000 fine following a chlorinated water discharge into a creek (10 August 2017). More...

Corruption concerns over NSW's mandatory planning panel push
Property lobby groups are overjoyed by the NSW government's announcement it will install mandatory planning panels to approve development applications, but the local government sector and opposition parties say there are probity and accountability issues (09 August 2017). More...

North Coast quarry fined $350,000 for operating without a licence
The Land and Environment Court has convicted and fined Rixa Quarries No.2 Pty Ltd $350,000 for operating a quarry at Doonbah on the NSW North Coast, without an environment licence (08 August 2017). More...

Department recommends approval for more than 600 homes at Barangaroo
The Department's assessment report, recommending the plans for two residential towers be approved, has been sent to the independent Planning and Assessment Commission for a final decision (08 August 2017). More...

Independent panels will streamline council planning
The announcement by the NSW Government that independent planning panels will determine all development applications with a value of between more than $5 million but less than $30 million in value in Sydney and Wollongong will streamline planning in metropolitan Sydney says the Urban Taskforce (08 August 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Huge North Queensland hydro and solar project
The construction of more than 500 megawatts of hydro and solar is one step closer after an agreement was signed yesterday between Powerlink and Genex Power Limited to progress Stage 2 of the Kidston Hydro-Solar Project (19 August 2017). More...

New suburb for Caloundra
A new suburb has been created in the Caloundra South Priority Development Area (PDA), with the locality boundary of Bells Creek altered to create the new suburb of Baringa (18 August 2017). More...

Second casino under consideration for Gold Coast
Just weeks after the Queensland Government rejected plans for a $3 billion casino on the Southport Spit, a new development is being considered by the Gold Coast Mayor on the other side of the Broadwater (18 August 2017). More...

Gold Coast council hides detail in report urging higher buildings along The Spit
Buildings on the southern end of The Spit should be allowed to be built higher than the current three-storey limit, according to a report backed by Gold Coast councillors but largely kept from public scrutiny (17 August 2017). More...

New NQ solar farms and jobs on the way
The renewables boom is surging across the state with 200 megawatts of energy generation set to be available thanks to two new major North Queensland solar farms finalising connection arrangements to Powerlink's transmission network (17 August 2017). More...

Investigation into dumping of 'unsafe' interstate waste in Queensland
The Queensland Premier orders an independent investigation into the dumping of interstate waste after Four Corners last week revealed an organised network sending rubbish by road and rail to avoid paying New South Wales landfill levies. The inquiry will look at options to reform the waste industry and measures to crack-down on illegal behaviour (15 August 2017). More...

PCA: Industry welcomes release of final SEQRP
The Property Council of Australia has today welcomed the release of the Queensland Government's ShapingSEQ- South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017. The new SEQRP follows the same format as the draft document released in late 2016, however it incorporates some important changes to ensure that regional planning is no longer considered a 'set and forget' exercise (11 August 2017). More...

Adani fined $12k over Abbot Point environmental breach
The Indian mining giant Adani's Abbot Point coal terminal in northern Queensland avoids a multi-million-dollar fine, but is slugged $12,000 for releasing sediment stormwater during Tropical Cyclone Debbie at a level many times higher than allowed (11 August 2017). More...

New Everton Park Precinct to be delivered as Brisbane Booms Again
MONARC, a one-hectare precinct in the heart of Brisbane's Everton Park, is set to become Brisbane's next destination precinct. Rogerscorp expect to be lodging the preliminary Development Application (DA) and a Reconfiguration of Lot (ROL) within the next three months (10 August 2017). More...

Queensland Government to target rogue waste management operators
A joint agency operation between Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has begun targeting heavy vehicles from New South Wales dumping waste in Queensland (10 August 2017). More...

In Practice and Courts

Victoria

VEAC: Statewide Assessment of Public Land Final Report Released
The Final Report on VEAC's Statewide Assessment of Public Land was publicly released on 8 May 2017.
A supplement to the discussion paper has also been released with updated information and maps (11 August 2017). More...

Powering Queensland Plan: 400MW Reverse Auction
Under the reverse auction process, companies would bid for Queensland Government support for both renewable generation and storage projects – most of which will be situated in the regions. The 'reverse' nature of the auction process means that companies are encouraged to bid for the lowest price necessary to support their project.
Companies wanting to be considered need to register via the DEWS website www.dews.qld.gov.au. For more information or to access the register of interest visit www.dews.qld.gov.au (07 August 2017).

EHP Prosecution Bulletins
Prosecution bulletin no 5/2017

Cases

Victoria

Coventry Street Group Pty Ltd v Port Phillip CC[2017] VCAT 1255
Section 79 Planning and Environment Act 1987 application to review failure to grant planning permit – design response – contemporary architecture in a Heritage Overlay – carparking – principles and perspective identified in Ronge v Moreland City Council [2017] VCAT 550.

EP Robinson Pty Ltd v Greater Geelong CC [2017] VCAT 1203
Greater Geelong Planning Scheme; Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Proposal for the use and development of the subject land as a place of assembly (reception centre) and for the sale and consumption of alcohol plus the development of the balance of the land for 8 warehouses and a reduction in the required car parking provision; council supports proposal but objection brought by an industrial neighbour; that neighbour has sought the Tribunal's review of the proposal; issues of potential 'reverse amenity issues', including questions of 'odour impacts', together with debate about 'strategic planning' issues and the adequacy or otherwise of the proposed car-parking arrangements.

Gembrook Views Estate Pty Ltd v Greater Cardinia SC [2017] VCAT 1261
The fees reimbursement and costs totalling $34,658.65, inclusive of GST, must be paid by Gembrook Views Estate Pty Ltd to the Council within 60 days of the date of this order. The applicant (Gembrook Views) had unsuccessfully contended that a permit and section 173 agreement required it to act unlawfully pursuant to ss 50 and 52 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (EO Act) on the basis of age, and that the restrictions in the permit and section 173 agreement had the effect of unlawfully discriminating against potential owners and/or occupiers under the age of 55. The application was dismissed in part for want of jurisdiction, and in part on substantive and discretionary grounds.

Russell v Murrindindi Shire Council [2017] VSC 468
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT — Application for leave to appeal from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal under s 148 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 — Three lot subdivision — Development approval already granted —Whether the Tribunal Member considered how the planned subdivision effected the urban landscape objectives in cl 56.05 that provide for attractive and continuous landscaping in streets and public open spaces — Leave to appeal refused.

Queensland

GS Coal Pty Ltd & Ors v Cross [2017] QLC 40
Hearing of an application - PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – EXPERT EVIDENCE – CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION – where the respondent engaged an air quality expert witness – where the expert witness identified a possible conflict of interest – where the expert witness received information which was not common or public knowledge, for the purpose of preparing an expert report for the respondent – where the respondent objected to the applicant's nomination of the expert – where it was found there is a real and sensible risk the confidential information will be misused.

The Avenues Highfields Pty Ltd v Toowoomba Regional Council [2017] QPEC 048
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – where the applicant made an application to convert infrastructure required by conditions of a development approval from non-trunk infrastructure to trunk infrastructure – where the application was refused – where the roadworks the subject of the infrastructure conversion application had started – whether the infrastructure was consistent with trunk infrastructure – whether the criteria for conversion of the infrastructure have been satisfied – whether the infrastructure conversion application ought be approved.
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION FOR DECLARATION – where the applicant made an application to convert infrastructure required by conditions of a development approval from non-trunk infrastructure to trunk infrastructure – where that application was refused and the decision appealed – where Council indicated that, if the applicant's infrastructure conversion application is successful on appeal, it would impose a different condition with respect to infrastructure to require more significant roadworks – whether Council can amend the infrastructure condition.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Acts

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Act 1995
01/08/2017 - C2017C00254 - Act No. 125 of 1995 as amended.

Bills

Registered 11 August 2017
Product Emissions Standards (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2017

Registered 10 August 2017
Product Emissions Standards (Excise) Charges Bill 2017 Product Emissions Standards Bill 2017
Product Emissions Standards (Customs) Charges Bill 2017

Regulations

Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Exemption) Instrument (No.3) 2017
07/08/2017 - This instrument provides an exemption to the upper washer unit to Samsung's Flexwash washing machine from the requirements of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Clothes Washing Machines) Determination 2015.

Bills assented to

Coal Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 2017 No 37 — Assented to 14 August 2017.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Staged Development Applications) Act 2017 No 38 — Assented to 14 August 2017. Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Act 2017 No 39 — Assented to 14 August 2017.

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

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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