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Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

18 March 2020

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

In the media

PFAS class actions over groundwater contaminated by toxic firefighting foam settled by Federal Government
An "in-principle" settlement has been reached between the Australian Government and residents of three communities who had their groundwater contaminated by toxic firefighting foams used at defence bases until the early 2000s (27 February 2020).  More...

Accelerated global warming constitutes a climate emergency: PIA
The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) has declared a “climate emergency”, saying communities need help to ensure their aspirations for meaningful climate change adaption and mitigation strategies are met (05 March 2020).  More...

Federal government settles years-long PFAS contamination class actions
An 'in-principle' agreement has been reached between the Defence Department and residents of three towns in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory (27 February 2020).  More...


$24 Million to get organics out of landfill
The NSW Government will provide $24 million funding to support local councils and the alternative waste industry improve kerbside separation of food and garden waste and encourage other better uses of waste (05 March 2020).  More...

Planning changes for bushfire-affected communities
Small businesses in bushfire-affected communities will be able to operate from portable offices without council approval, under the latest bushfire recovery initiative from the NSW Government (05 March 2020).  More...

Plans for high towers dwarfing Sydney's Central station spark concerns
A high rise for tech giant Atlassian will be among the first buildings to be constructed at the southern end of the CBD as part of a massive redevelopment (05 March 2020).  More...

Stamp duty relief for bushfire-affected homeowners
NSW Government will provide stamp duty relief for people who lost their homes during the bushfires and who choose to purchase a replacement home elsewhere rather than rebuild (03 March 2020).  More...

Exhibition Extended for Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade Project
The community has more time to have its say on the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade Project with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment extending the consultation period until 30 March 2020 (02 March 2020).  More...

Levy for developers tripled on new buildings in Sydney's CBD
Developers and business will be slugged with the proposed 3 per cent levy, part of the biggest shake up of planning controls in the core of the CBD in more than four decades (25 February 2020).  More...


Brisbane’s Top 10 Major Development Projects
With $20 billion worth of development projects in its pipeline, Brisbane is fast becoming a city of mega projects. Sizeable residential masterplans and commercial precincts have added to the city's burgeoning development pipeline, with strong population growth continuing to unlock development opportunities (06 March 2020).  More...

Linc Energy's former executives committed to stand trial over failed coal gasification plant
Five executives who were in charge of Linc Energy's experimental coal gasification plant on Queensland's Western Downs have been committed to stand trial over their handling of the failed operation (05 March 2020).  More...

Qld Government puts a lid on mountain water
No new groundwater bores can be constructed on Mount Tamborine and Springbrook for at least a year – except for farming and household use – while further research and more community engagement about water needs are prioritised. From 6 March, a 12-month moratorium is in place preventing new bores in the two areas (05 March 2020).  More...

PCA: Thirteen ways to energise Queensland’s Economy
The Property Council has provided its 2020-2021 Pre-Budget submission to Queensland Treasury, suggesting measures the government can take to boost Queensland’s economy (28 February 2020).  More...

Developer Aland Wins Approval for Four Towers in Southport
Sydney developer Aland will build four towers in Southport after gaining approval from the Gold Coast City Council. Only one submission was made against the proposal relating to traffic impacts for access to a neighbouring property (26 February 2020).  More...

Court approves Brisbane townhouse development despite council rejection
A 23-townhouse development on Brisbane's southside has received the green light from the state's Planning and Environment Court, despite council originally rejecting the proposal which removed provisions allowing for multiple dwellings in the low-density residential zone (25 February 2020).  More...

In practice and courts

The Threatened Species Scientific Committee 10-point Bushfire Response Plan
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee has released its Bushfire Response Plan which was approved by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP (02 March 2020).  More...

Extension to submissions for EPBC Act review - Statement
Acknowledging that the bushfires are the focus of many of the review’s stakeholders, it is appropriate to extend the timeframe for providing submissions. I am keen for every interested stakeholder to have their say about the EPBC Act and how it operates. Submissions are now due by close of business 17 April 2020.  More...

New NatHERS certificate to be rolled out by 30 April 2020
A new NatHERS certificate will soon come into use as software tools transition to Chenath Engine version 3.21. The new NatHERS certificate has been developed after significant consultation with industry users and will replace the previous “universal certificate” for all new assessments from 1 May 2020.  More...

Planning for welcoming and inclusive communities: guidelines for regional growth
John van Kooy, Rebecca Wickes, Aleem Ali; Government of Queensland: Regional migration can stimulate economic growth and revitalise communities, while offering new migrants opportunities to integrate into Australian society. These guidelines are designed to help regional and remote communities — in partnership with service providers, development authorities and the three tiers of government — to attract, retain and support migrants (04 March 2020).  More...


NSW Planning Department: Have your say - Draft plans and policies


State and Regional Development SEPP - Water Treatment Plants
NSW Planning Portal
 Notification start-end date 02/03/2020 - 16/03/2020.  More...

Koala Habitat Protection Guideline
NSW Planning Portal
 Notification start-end date 02/03/2020 - 16/03/2020.  More...


Western Sydney Aerotropolis Planning Package
NSW Planning Portal
Notification start-end date 06/12/2019 - 13/03/2020.  More...


North Queensland Regional Plan
The first North Queensland Regional Plan has been finalised and will come into effect in March 2020. You can read an overview of the plan which includes five initial catalytic projects that have also been identified including renewable hydrogen, defence, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing and tourism. The region includes five local government areas: Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville (February 2020).

Brisbane City Council: Draft Central Park Masterplan
The draft plan is now out for public consultation following the release of five creative concepts from architecture and planning firms last year. The Victoria Park concept plan is now open to the public until April 28 on the Brisbane City Council’s website.

Applications open for Queensland carbon farming projects
Applications are now open under the 2020 Investment Round of the Land Restoration Fund. This year, the Queensland Government is investing $100 million for carbon farming projects that deliver extra benefits for our environment, threatened species and regional communities. Applications for the 2020 Investment Round are now open and close 15 April 2020.



Omaya Investments Pty Limited v Dean Street Holdings Pty Limited (No 5) [2020] NSWLEC 9
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – construction of development consents and construction certificates – development without development consent – scope and purpose of statutory regime – over excavation of subject site – validity of construction certificates – whether construction certificate was validly modified – whether development was carried out otherwise than in accordance with the construction certificate – development without consent – public notification of voluntary planning agreement – occupation certificates – discretion and relief

Younes v Ku-ring-gai Council [2020] NSWLEC 1093
APPEAL – development application – seniors living – whether adequate written evidence of compliance with requirements for access to facilities and services – bus service not available on weekends – whether cl 4.6 request adequate – whether consistent with objectives – issues of site compatibility

Smith v Waddingham [2020] NSWLEC 1089
TREES (DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS): dropping branches; roof damage; apprehension of injury

Cox v Newcastle City Council [2020] NSWLEC 1081
MODIFICATION APPLICATION – Heritage Item – whether the works have a detrimental impact on the significance of the heritage item – appeal dismissed 

Gardiner v Central Coast Council [2020] NSWLEC 1077
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION — subdivision – flood affected land – whether there is a safe evacuation route – satisfaction of precondition to consent – whether the creation of an easement for evacuation is warranted.


Taylor & Anor v Brisbane City Council [2020] QPEC 5
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against refusal of proposed demolition of a timber and tin dwelling in the Traditional building character overlay in City Plan 2014 – whether the demolition will result in the loss of traditional building character – whether the demolition complies with the Traditional building character (demolition) overlay code in City Plan 2014. Planning Act 2016 Qld ss 45 and 60; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 45

JRD No 2 Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council & Ors [2020] QPEC 4
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against refusal of a development application seeking a development permit for material change of use for a retirement facility in a Low density residential zone – whether the proposed development is of an appropriate height – whether there is inconsistency between a zone code and neighbourhood plan code and, if so, which prevails – whether there is conflict occasioned by bulk, scale, form and intensity – whether there is a need for the proposed development
Planning Act 2016 Qld s 45, s 59, s 60; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 43, s 45, s 47

YQ Property Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council & Ors [2020] QPEC 2
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against refusal of a development application for multiple dwellings in the low density residential zone
ASSESSMENT – compliance with the planning scheme – whether the proposed development complies with the planning scheme – whether there are relevant matters which justify approval – weight to be given to amendments and prospective amendments of the planning scheme Planning Act 2016 Qld; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld



Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Planning for Bush Fire Protection) Regulation 2020
(2020-64) — published LW 28 February 2020
Plantations and Reafforestation (Code) Amendment (Planning for Bush Fire Protection) Regulation 2020
(2020-65) — published LW 28 February 2020

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Bush Fire Response) (No 2) 2020
(2020-70) — published LW 28 February 2020

State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Planning for Bush Fire Protection) 2020
(2020-69) — published LW 28 February 2020

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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Peter Holt

Peter Holt

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