Draft Bilateral Agreement Between Commonwealth And
The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the
Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett recently invited public comment on a
proposed new bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and
Queensland under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). The current bilateral
agreement expires on 13 August 2009 and the new agreement would, in
effect, extend the operation of the existing agreement.
As with the existing bilateral agreement, the new agreement
would provide for the accreditation of particular Queensland
assessment processes under the EPBC Act. After assessment, any
proposed action will still require approval from the Commonwealth
Environment Minister under the EPBC Act.
Storage Of Greenhouse Gases
On 23 February 2009, the Queensland Parliament passed the
Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009 (Qld) (GHGS Act). The GHGS
Act introduces a regulatory regime to control the discovery and use
of underground reservoirs for the storage of carbon dioxide. It
will come into effect in January 2010.
The legislation has been encouraged by the Queensland
Government's recognition that the storage of greenhouse gas
(GHG) underground involves the use of storage reservoirs that are
the property of the State. In its application, the GHGS Act also
recognises the Commonwealth CPRS in that underground storage is
considered an important option for reducing carbon dioxide
emissions. GHGs that are captured and permanently stored are not
defined as an 'emission' under the Commonwealth CPRS
To conduct GHG activities in Queensland it will be necessary to
hold one of three types of authority available under the GHGS Act
depending on the nature of the activity.
In addition to introducing this tenure scheme, the GHGS Act has
amended the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP
Act) by introducing a new Chapter 5A that requires holders of GHG
authorities to also hold an environmental authority under the EP
To surrender any environmental authority under the EP Act, an
application must be made to the Queensland Environment Protection
Authority (EPA) supported by a final rehabilitation report. The EPA
may require the provision of security to address residual risks
arising from the activity undertaken pursuant to an environmental
authority. This will apply to environmental authorities granted for
The Regulation Of Coal Seam Gas Water
The production of coal seam gas (CSG) produces large quantities
of waste water, which if not managed appropriately, can cause
environmental harm. In response to this issue the Queensland
Department of Infrastructure and Planning published a discussion
paper containing its proposed CSG Water Management Policy in May
2009, seeking comment by 1 June 2009. The policies presented are
aimed at avoiding large scale evaporation ponds from CSG production
and are likely to result in legislative provisions affecting the
CSG industry in Queensland.
The Discussion Paper specifically refers to a three year period
to remediate existing CSG evaporation ponds but is not prescriptive
as to the alternatives available for CSG water disposal. However,
the Queensland Government's position as set out in the
Discussion Paper is that where aquifer injection or commercial use
of the waste water is not feasible, the CSG producer will bear the
cost of treating the water, either on or off site, to a level
complying with standards set by the Department of Environment and
DLA Phillips Fox is one of the largest legal firms in
Australasia and a member of DLA Piper Group, an alliance of
independent legal practices. It is a separate and distinct legal
entity. For more information visit
This publication is intended as a first point of reference and
should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice.
Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
This review has abstracts of recent developments relating to pollution and contaminated land in Australian jurisdictions.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).