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Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

30 August 2021

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

In the media

Developers in drive for carbon-neutrality
Major developers are now challenging themselves more than ever before to become the champions of change in sustainability and to have as carbon-neutral projects as possible. What was a decade ago a tick-the-box exercise to have a green star building, looking after the environment from the ground up is now as important as generating profits (14 August 2021).

Victoria

Solar power boost for volunteer community groups
Volunteer community groups will soon be saving thousands of dollars on energy costs by installing solar PV systems at no cost, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government (20 August 2021).  More...

Powering the potential of neighbourhood batteries
The Victorian Government has awarded grants to jumpstart the roll-out of neighbourhood-scale batteries and energy storage studies to maximise benefits of solar for households, businesses and community (20 August 2021).  More...

Council endorses climate declarations
Three climate declarations were endorsed by City of Melbourne councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting – Better Futures Australia, Edinburgh, and C40 Renewable Energy (18 August 2021).  More...

Proposed measures to protect Melbourne’s parks
City of Melbourne councillors will consider new laws to safeguard Melbourne’s winter sunlight, protecting more than 100 city parks from unreasonable overshadowing by new developments (17 August 2021).  More...

Science meets mechanical fuel treatment
PHOENIX Rapidfire is a bushfire simulator developed by researchers at The University of Melbourne. It is mainly used during summer to predict the path of bushfires, it can also be used for strategic planning, fuel treatment testing scenarios, and to monitor risk in planned burn sites (16 August 2021).  More...

Golf range dispute highlights fight for Melbourne’s green wedges
A golf driving range approved for Balnarring has come to symbolise the debate over Melbourne’s green wedges, which are now under review (13 August 2021).  More...

What EPA wants stone cutters to know
EPA officers conducted more than 30 inspections at businesses in the Heidelberg West Industrial Estate after Darebin Creek – to the west of the estate – was plagued by pollution problems for several years. EPA Northern Metropolitan Regional Manager Jeremy Settle says the operation targeting the industrial estate made use of improved sources of information (13 August 2021).  More...

Pocket park, underground power to energise Noble Park
Noble Park residents will enjoy brighter and greener streets and public spaces under a rejuvenation program backed by the Victorian Government. Minister for Suburban Development Shaun Leane announced the $1.3 million works in Ian and Frank streets as part of the Noble Park Suburban Revitalisation program (13 August 2021).  More...

NSW

Sydney to become a new green zone
NSW is proposing new planning rules that will cut red tape, making it easier for homeowners to install solar batteries and for telcos to install technology to improve mobile and internet coverage (19 August 2021).  More...

‘Nightmare’: Changed orders keep buyers locked into defective Parramatta towers
Apartment buyers are demanding to know why the state’s building watchdog altered prohibition orders for the twin 22-storey towers last month that could prevent them from getting their deposits back (12 August 2021).  More...

Stokes warns against delays to developer levies shake-up
The Planning Minister’s plans for a major overhaul of levies to help pay for infrastructure projects has been dealt a setback (11 August 2021).  More...

Ground breaking recycling projects to roll out across NSW
The Australian and New South Wales Governments have announced 22 new recycling projects across metropolitan and regional NSW as part of a $600 million national rollout of recycling infrastructure (09 August 2021).  More...

Developer reps slam proposed boarding house and co-living changes for NSW
Those with a foot in developer camps have slammed proposed changes to NSW housing policy, saying they will have the opposite effect to what is desired and that government planners should start again with the policy from scratch (06 August 2021).  More...

Queensland

Pastoral company fined for land clearing in state forest
A pastoral company has been fined $18,000 in the Dalby Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to illegally clearing land in the Kumbarilla State Forest, southwest of Dalby. The company was also ordered to pay $1,500 in legal costs (16 August 2021).  More...

Brisbane quarantine facility gets green light
A 1000-bed facility to “end to leaks from hotel quarantine” got the green light near Brisbane Airport. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the state and federal governments for the facility to be built by mid-2022 on a 29-hectare site.  More...

MOU signed on proposed quarantine facility in Brisbane
The Queensland Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Australian Government’s Pinkenba quarantine facility bringing it a step closer to reality (16 August 2021).  More...

Making renewables work for Queensland workers, families and communities
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni launched public consultation to collect community feedback on Queensland’s renewable energy zones (QREZs). This will be the first time in the nation that communities will be able to have their say on how renewable projects and energy infrastructure within the QREZ (10 August 2021).  More...

In Practice and Courts

PCA: Draft recovery plan for the Koala released for public consultation
The Federal Government has released the draft National Recovery Plan for the EPBC Act-listed Koala, identifying strategic actions to support recovery of the nationally threatened species. The public consultation period is open until 24 September 2021.
The draft conservation advice listing assessment for the koala is also open for consultation until 30 July 2021. This document will be incorporated into the draft National Recovery Plan as well.
 For more information on the draft national recovery plan, please click here.
 For more information on the draft conservation advice and listing assessment for the koala , please click here.

Call for nominations – threatened species, ecological communities or key threatening processes
Nominations are invited for species, ecological communities or key threatening processes to be considered for listing under national environment law during the assessment period starting 1 October 2021.  More...

GBCA: Green Star certification 2021 dates for your project
The guidelines below (based on typical time frames), specify the deadlines you’ll need to meet in order to have your project certified in time for key milestones (2021).  More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2021

Victoria

Approvals
GC190 applies the Public Acquisition Overlay to reserve the land for the compulsory acquisition of the land by the Minister for Health for the future development of the Melton Hospital and community hospitals in Torquay, Point Cook and Pakenham.
VC196 changes the VPP and all planning schemes in Victoria by: Providing stronger recognition and protection of existing extractive industries, and to designate land with State-significant earth resources, where extractive industries may be established in the future, as strategic extractive resource areas.

NSW

NSW LEC Judicial newsletters
Provide useful summaries of recent developments in legislation, regulations, planning policies and case law both in the Land and Environment Court and in appeal courts. View the Vol 13 Issue 2 – issued 17 August 2021.

Industrial lands policy review
The Greater Sydney Commission is undertaking a review of the Industrial and Urban Services Lands Retain and Manage policy under the Greater Sydney Region Plan. The policy applies to industrial areas in Greater Sydney that should be safeguarded from competing land use pressures. Submission close on13 August 2021. The review is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.  More...

Draft noise guide for local government
Public consultation closes on 27 September 2021. The draft Guide makes it easier to find information on the legislative framework to manage noise, who is responsible for managing noise, and the options for management. The draft Guide also reflects changes introduced by the Protection of the Environment (Noise Control) Regulation 2017 and other legislative changes since 2013. View the Draft Noise Guide for Local Government and frequently asked questions and have your say on the proposed changes.

Short-term rental accommodation policy
This framework includes limits on the number of days’ properties can be rented out in certain circumstances, new fire safety standards, a government-run register, mandatory Code of Conduct and an exclusion register to ensure properties are up to scratch. The policy comes into effect on 30 July 2021. For more information visit www.planning.nsw.gov.au/STRA. Policy update Government to delay introduction to November 1 2021.

Further extension of strata and community lands COVID-19 Regulations
The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 and Community Land Management Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 commenced on 12 May 2021. Practitioners should note that the relief measures introduced for the holding of meetings have not been extended. The temporary measures for execution of documents have been extended until 12 November 2021.

Inquiry into flammable cladding and private certification
The NSW Upper House Public Accountability Committee will report on flammable cladding and private certification as part of a further inquiry into the regulation of building standards. View the terms of reference,  Submissions close 29 August 2021.  More...

New flood-prone planning to combat disasters
Safety and certainty are at the heart of the release of the NSW Government’s updated flood-prone land planning and development rules and guidelines, with the launch of the Flood Prone Land Package. For more information visit the flooding web page.  More...

NSW Planning Department: Have your say draft plans and policies

Telecommunications and other communication facilities
Notification start-end date 16/08/2021 – 13/09/2021
We have prepared an amendment to the Infrastructure SEPP to help speed up the delivery of new telecommunications infrastructure. The proposed amendments will simplify planning pathways for telecommunications infrastructure.  More...

Electricity generating works or solar energy systems
Notification start-end date 16/08/2021 – 13/09/2021
The NSW Government is making it easier to install solar energy battery systems in your home. The proposed changes will make household scale solar batteries systems exempt development. This means you will not need development consent, under the amended the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007.  More...

Proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021
Notification start-end date 05/08/2021 – 22/09/2021
We are seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. These changes are detailed in the exhibition draft of the proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 and supporting materials at the attached link.  More...

Queensland

Public consultation: Queensland’s renewable energy zones (QREZs)
Public consultation would be followed by a technical paper later in the year, for feedback from industry and other energy stakeholders on the framework for QREZ design and access. The online survey is open until 30 September 2021.  More...

Queensland climate action consultation
Open until 27 August 2021; Department of Environment and Science
Have your say on the future of Queensland’s climate action.  More...

Brisbane City Council proposed citywide amendment – major amendment package K
The Property Council provided industry feedback on the proposed changes to the proposed citywide amendment – Major amendment package K. The council’s industrial strategy Our Productive Future: Brisbane’s Industrial Future is also out for consultation and this submission was a chance to outline the importance of the strategy and the proposed amendments aligning to unlock the future economic potential of the industrial sector to Brisbane (19 August 2021).

Land Restoration Fund: Round 2
Applications are open for the Land Restoration Fund Investment Round 2. For more information about details required under Stage 1 and 2 read the LRF Investment Application Guidelines. Acceptance of offers – offers will be conveyed to successful applicants in the form of a Project Investment Agreement. Updated 12 August 2021.

Prosecution bulletins
A selection of the department’s enforcement actions are summarised in prosecution bulletins outlining the facts and outcomes of finalised prosecutions.  More...

Cases

Victoria

The People of the Small Town of Hawkesdale Incorporated v Minister for Planning [2021] VSC 510
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – planning permit for development and use of land as wind farm – Request for extension of time for completion of development before expiry of permit – Minister’s decision to extend time – standing of plaintiff – where plaintiff is an incorporated association – principles concerning standing – whether plaintiff has a special interest in the subject matter of the proceeding – where plaintiff formed association in order to bring proceeding – whether the association can derive standing from the interests of its members – Plaintiff has no standing – validity of extension decision – whether Minister’s power in s 69(2) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) to extend permit was enlivened – who requested the extension – Whether Minister had an alternative power to extend permit pursuant to permit condition – whether Minister’s decision affected by error of law on the face of the record – Minister’s decision not invalid – proceeding dismissed – Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic), ss 62, 68, 69.

Brooks v Stonnington CC (Red Dot) [2021] VCAT 930
Whether existing use rights for land are lost on demolition of all buildings on that land
LOCATION OF PASSAGE OF INTEREST Paragraphs 44 to 69
REASONS WHY DECISION IS OF INTEREST OR SIGNIFICANCE LAW – issue of interpretation or application
Existing use rights
PLANNING SCHEME – interpretation or consideration of VPP provision Clause 63.10
ANALYSIS – exposition of how to assess an issue or matters to consider – whether ‘destruction’ of a building in clause 63.10 includes ‘demolition’ of the building
CHANGE TO LEGISLATION OR VPPS – whether change to VPPs or statutory provisions is required or desirable
The decision is forwarded to the Minister for Planning to consider whether any amendment to clause 63.10 is warranted.

NSW

Ku-ring-gai Council v Buyozo Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCA 177
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – consent – application to modify consent – condition of consent requiring payment of monetary contribution – power to reduce contribution – no change to development – contribution paid in full – calculation of contribution – construction of “gross floor area”– loading areas excluded – only loading areas in approved plans excluded – no utility in modification.

Turnbull v Office of Environment and Heritage [2021] NSWCCA 190
CRIME – accusatorial principle – admissions in civil proceedings sought to be used in subsequent criminal prosecution – plaintiff and prosecutor same legal person – admissions made voluntarily and on legal advice of counsel – admissions made in open court – applicant deposed he would not have made admissions if advised of possible criminal prosecution – use of admissions in subsequent criminal proceedings said to breach accusatorial principle – application for a stay distinguished – practical difficulties in restraining use of admissions ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – land clearing offence prosecuted in Land and Environment Court – Class 4 and Class 5 jurisdictions – proceedings based on same alleged acts commenced in both jurisdictions – admissions made disputing extent of civil contravention of Native Vegetation Act.

Queensland

Cheung & Ors v Brisbane City Council & Ors [2021] QPEC 39
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – CONSOLIDATED APPEALS – where the appellants appeal a decision by the Brisbane City Council to approve a development application to build a 28 dwelling unit complex on 5,335m2 of land at Ascot – whether the development is of such a bulk, form, intensity and height and scale that it complies with the assessment benchmarks of the Brisbane City Plan – whether the impacts of the development on local amenity comply with the assessment benchmarks of the Brisbane City Plan – whether the development is to be considered an ‘overdevelopment’ under the Brisbane City Plan – whether there are other relevant matters in favour of approval
Planning Act 2016 Qld ss 43, 59; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld ss 43, 45, 46(2), 47; Planning Regulation 2017 Qld s 31(1), Schedule 24.

Fabcot v Cairns Regional Council (No 2) [2021] QPEC 40
PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – Application to adduce further evidence at the remitted hearing of the appeal – extent to which further evidence should be adduced
Planning Act 2016 Qld ss 45, 60; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld ss 46, 63, 65.

Legislation

Victoria

Statutory Rules
Date of assent: 10 August 2021
Energy Legislation Amendment (Energy Fairness) Act 2021 (Vic)
Act Number: 28/2021

NSW

Proclamations commencing Acts
Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016 No 38 (2021-453) – published LW 20 August 2021.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Local Government (General) Amendment (Integrated Planning and Reporting) Regulation 2021 (2021-459) – published LW 20 August 2021.
Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2021 (2021-461) – published LW 20 August 2021.

Disclaimer
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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