In the media – National

Australian Clean Energy Innovators signal strong investment pipeline

Innovators seeking as much as $88 million in immediate financing met with investors in Sydney on 28 February, in a new push to accelerate investment into Australia’s emerging innovative clean energy sector (28 February 2017). More...

2015–16 emissions and energy data released

The Clean Energy Regulator has today released the 2015–16 National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data. During the 2015–16 year, corporations reported a total of 334 million tonnes of scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions generated as a direct result of activity, or series of activities, conducted by reporting corporations (28 February 2017). More... More...

Compliance with Renewable Energy Target remains high

The Clean Energy Regulator today released details of the electricity retailers that failed to meet their full obligations to surrender renewable energy certificates under the Renewable Energy Target. The 2016 compliance rate for certificate surrender under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme combined was 94 per cent (23 February 2017). More...

Infrastructure plan out for comment

The Attorney-General’s Department has released a discussion paper on managing the national security risks to Australia’s critical infrastructure. Entitled Strengthening the National Security of Australia’s Critical Infrastructure, the paper is open to comment from stakeholders in relation to the operation of the Government’s new Critical Infrastructure Centre (24 February 2017). The discussion paper can be accessed at this PS News link and submissions close on 21 March. More...

Solar power 'cheaper than fossil fuels in most capital cities'

Solar energy is now cheaper in Australia than retail power prices in most capital cities after dropping 58 per cent in the past five years, the Climate Council says (23 February 2017). More...

Josh Frydenberg flags changes to allow CEFC to invest in carbon capture and storage

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has revealed the Government is considering lifting a ban on allowing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to invest in carbon capture and storage. Mr Frydenberg said he was also interested in investment in high-efficiency, low-emission coal-fired plants (20 February 2017). More...


In the media – Victoria

First Home Owner Grant to Double In Regional Victoria

The First Home Owner Grant will be doubled in regional Victoria, helping thousands of Victorians buy their first home. Expected to help up to 6,000 first home buyers, the Grant will increase from $10,000 to $20,000, commencing 1 July 2017 (03 March 2017). More...

New Energy Partnership to Drive Greener Museums

Museums Victoria, Australia’s largest public museums organisation is turning green through an innovative energy management partnership with Siemens and the Andrews Labor Government. The partnership will see Museums Victoria reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent (02 March 2017). More...

Solar Jobs and Growth For Regional Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government has released tenders for large scale solar plants, bringing forward $150 million of new capital investment and creating around 300 jobs in regional Victoria. The Solar Certificate Tender will build up to 75MW of new solar projects (02 March 2017). More...

Helping Home Renovators and Small Businesses Fast-Track Planning Permits

The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to fast-track planning permits for home renovators and small businesses to under 10 days. The Government has already created new VicSmart categories in industrial, commercial and rural areas (01 March 2017). More...

Solar Feed-In Tariffs Double In Victoria

Solar households are set to receive a minimum feed-in tariff rate of 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour. This new tariff follows recent changes by the Andrews Labor Government to the current feed-in tariff legislation, to better reflect the true energy value of the electricity supplied to the grid. Included in the new tariff is a payment for the environmental and social value of energy provided to the grid (28 February 2017). More... More...

AEMO: Power system security in Victoria

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) can confirm that at no point during the heatwave impacting Australia’s eastern states in mid-February did AEMO ask, instruct or direct load shedding in Victoria (23 February 2017). More...

Climate Change Is Real – 91 per cent of Victorians accept the Science

A survey of Victorians has found 91 per cent believe humans contribute to climate change and one third of respondents rank it as one of the top three most important issues facing the state. The independent research was commissioned by Sustainability Victoria (23 February 2017). More...


In the media – New South Wales

Caltex Australia Petroleum receives record $400,000 penalty for petrol spill

Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd has been convicted and ordered to pay $850,000 by the Land and Environment Court for a 2013 incident where 150,000 litres of unleaded petrol gushed into a bund at their Banksmeadow fuel terminal in the Port Botany Industrial Estate (21 February 2017). More...

Online one-stop shop for development applications

Development applications will take less than 30 minutes when a new online lodgement portal launches later this year (02 March 2017). Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 to allow online lodgement of applications has been made public and community feedback is encouraged. To make a submission visit the Planning Portal. More... More...

New Energy Security Taskforce for NSW

A new taskforce will look at ways to manage extreme weather impacts on energy security. The taskforce will engage with all relevant stakeholders and the broader community in developing its final report. A draft report will be completed in the first half of 2017 (21 February 2017). More...

Container deposit scheme to roll out in December

The NSW 10-cent container deposit scheme will now be rolled out on 1 December 2017 (17 February 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Queensland's biggest wind farm powers ahead

More jobs and clean energy loom in regional Queensland as a $500 million wind farm proposal progresses between Kingaroy and Dalby (02 March 2017). More...

$700M energy boost for regional Queensland jobs

The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed a $700 million advance in four large-scale renewable energy projects and the creation of more than 500 construction jobs (02 March 2017). More...

Gold Coast Hinterland ‘water mining’ outrages locals 

Residents on Tamborine Mountain fear commercial water farming is sucking their community dry — and council is powerless to stop it. Scenic Rim Council has no jurisdiction over groundwater but can refuse applications for commercial operations under planning and development laws (02 February 2017). More...

Deadline extended for written submissions to Queensland Building Plan

The Palaszczuk Government has extended the deadline for formal written submissions on the Queensland Building Plan (01 March 2017). More...

New streamlined approach for government-led housing development in Logan

The Palaszczuk Government is calling for developers, builders and community organisations to register their interest in the billion dollar Better Neighbourhood Logan project, as part of a new streamlined approach to housing development (01 March 2017). More...

Have your say on new Great Artesian Basin water plan

Residents, industry and producers can take advantage of public information sessions being held in regional centres to discuss the Palaszczuk Government’s draft water plan for the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) and other regional aquifers (24 February 2017). More...

Brisbane City Council Adopts Bulimba Barracks Masterplan

The Bulimba Barracks redevelopment took another step forward as the Brisbane City Council formally adopted the masterplan, despite the lack of unanimous support. It will guide future development on matters such as preferred land use mix, building height and type, heritage, flooding, parkland, road network, pedestrian and bike connections, use of the riverfront and any necessary infrastructure upgrades (22 February 2017). More...

Breaking ground on Queensland’s solar boom

Work has commenced on the $126 million Kidston Solar Project in North Queensland, the first solar farm to begin construction under the Palaszczuk Government’s Solar 150 program (22 February 2017). More... More...

Surat expansion proves Qld gas policy on track

Senex Energy Ltd today announced the go-ahead for its first major investment in the Western Surat Gas Project, committing $50 million to a drilling campaign, aiming for production in mid-2018. This follows specialist energy investor EIG Global Energy Partners entering the project as a substantial shareholder earlier this month (21 February 2017). More...


In practice and courts – Commonwealth

Public consultation: Small business exemption from cost recovery fees for environmental assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

The public consultation is now open and will close on Tuesday 28 March 2017 (01 March 2017). More...

Centennial Park, Sydney - Call for Comments

The Australian Heritage Council has called for comments on the heritage values of Centennial Park and whether it should be included in the National Heritage List. The period for comments closes on 28 April 2017 (27 February 2017). More...


In practice and courts – New South Wales

NSW Land and Environment Court appointment

The Chief Judge announces the appointment of Joanne Gray as a Commissioner of the Court from Tuesday 18 April 2017 (23 February 2017). More...

NSW Land and Environment Court

02 March 2017: Read the following update on Planning Principles following the decision in 193 Liverpool Road Pty Ltd v Inner West Council [2017] NSWLEC 13.

Have your say on the draft updates to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Consultation is now underway on the draft amendments to the EP&A Act. The public consultation period for the Bill is from 10 January 2017 to 31 March 2017. View the draft Bill here. More...


In practice and courts – Queensland

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: Online environmental authorities register has expanded

All environmental authorities (EAs) are now available in a spreadsheet form that can be downloaded from the Queensland Government website (03 March 2017).

Chain of Responsibility EPO guideline

The Issuing chain of responsibility environmental protection orders under Chapter 7, Part 5, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 Guideline took effect on 27 January 2017. The guideline provides information about how the department decides to issue a chain of responsibility environmental protection order (03 March 2017). More...

Renewable Energy Queensland

Farmers in regional Queensland have the chance to trial off-peak and demand-based electricity tariffs under the Regional Business Support Package being delivered in conjunction with Ergon Energy, Queensland Farmers' Federation, CANEGROWERS and Cotton Australia (23 February 2017). More...

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: Have your say on new end of waste codes by 31 March 2017 

the department invites submissions about whether there is any particular waste or resource for which an end of waste (EOW) code should be prepared under s160 of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. Submissions are invited to ensure that the department’s resources are targeted towards the development of EOW codes for which there is strong industry demand (February 2017).

PIA Policy: Queensland Submissions

23/02/17 Submission - Draft Queensland Housing Code

Department of State Development: Consultations

Closing date: 6/03/2017 SDA application for a material change of use in the Bromelton State Development Area Closing date: 27/03/2017 Cross River Rail project – application for proposed change to the project

Consultation: Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan (ShapingSEQ)

Following collaboration with the region’s 12 local governments, state agencies, and community and business, ShapingSEQ opened for community feedback until 3 March 2017. ShapingSEQ is the Queensland Government’s new regional planning framework to sustainably manage change and growth in South East Queensland. More...

Cases – Victoria

Ross v Frankston CC [2017] VCAT 274

Frankston Planning Scheme; Green Wedge Zone; definition of a place of worship; question of what is religious activity and a religion; built form and landscape impacts in the Green Wedge Zone; extent of agricultural production within a Green Wedge Zone; no permit.

Houghton v Strathbogie SC [2017] VCAT 243

Strathbogie Planning Scheme; Farming Zone; standard of plans and documentation required for a dwelling in the Farming Zone. No permit.

Palmer v Towong SC [2017] VCAT 247

Telecommunication facility; visual impact; intangible cultural heritage assets; physical impact on heritage reserve; health impacts; alternative forms of technology.

Cases – New South Wales

Environment Protection Authority v Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd [2017] NSWLEC 8

PROSECUTION: negligence causing escape of a petroleum product – air pollution – early plea of guilty to a “derivative” offence – limited environmental and human harm – moderate objective seriousness – relative culpability of company and an individual – sentencing principles – mitigating factors – assistance to authorities – contrition and remorse – fine applied to environmental projects – costs – publication orders.

193 Liverpool Road Pty Ltd v Inner West Council [2017] NSWLEC 13

DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – does the mandatory height control override in cl 29(2)(a) of State Environment Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 apply to the proposed development – override applies – consent mandated DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – in the alternative, does the discretionary height control override in cl 29(4)(4) of State Environment Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 apply to the proposed development – if so, does the proposed development warrant consent on a merit assessment basis – consent warranted DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – in the further alternative, does the mandatory height control override in cl 4.3A(2)(a) of Ashfield Local Environment Plan 2013 apply to the proposed development – override applies – consent mandated DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – in the final alternative, does the mandatory height control override in cl 4.3A(2)(b) of Ashfield Local Environment Plan 2013 apply to the proposed development – override applies – consent mandated PLANNING PRINCIPLES – review of planning principles – consideration of Karavellas v Sutherland Shire Council [2004] NSWLEC 251 principle confirmed – consideration of Cornerstone Property Group Pty Ltd v Warringah Council [2004] NSWLEC 189 and Melissa Grech v Auburn Council [2004] NSWLEC 40 principles subsumed by and incorporated in Karavellas – future reference to be confined to Karavellas. 

Cases – Queensland

Loncor Properties Pty Ltd v Redland City Council [2017] QPEC 005

PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – PLANNING SCHEMES AND INSTRUMENTS – application for 43 lot residential subdivision on appropriately zoned land in a structure plan area – acceptability of access – failure of proposal to provide an esplanade road separating greenspace from a proposed new lot – intrusion into greenspace, but for good reason – proposal to provide access via existing cul-de-sacs in an established estate to the east rather await development of planned network to the west – whether proposal fails to maximise connectivity, permeability and ease of mobility – whether proposed access to Whitby Place conflicts with structure plan – whether proposal is consistent with the functional classification of the elements of the road hierarchy – where conflict found – whether sufficient grounds to warrant approval notwithstanding conflict – where adverse amenity impact for existing residents, particularly of Caldwell Close.

Drywound Pty Ltd v Lockyer Valley Regional Council & Ors [2017] QPEC 004

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - COSTS – where court asked to exercise its general discretion in relation to costs – where appeal dismissed – where the respondent relied on noise impacts on a particular lot which had not been identified as one of those for which there was a concern until after the commencement of these proceedings – whether the appellant should recover costs – where appeal not expeditiously prosecuted – whether appellant ought be ordered to pay the respondent’s costs of the proceeding – where appellant continued the appeal after being put on notice that the respondent would be relying on impact on a particular lot – whether the appellant ought be ordered to pay the respondent’s costs from that point – where appellant subsequently ceased communicating with its solicitor, reviewed its position and decided not to proceed but did not give the other parties notice – whether the appellant ought be ordered to pay the costs of the other parties for that period – whether those costs ought be assessed on an indemnity basis.

Trevorrow v Council of the City of the Gold Coast [2017] QSC 012

ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – DEVELOPMENT CONTROL – CONSENTS, APPROVALS, PERMITS AND AGREEMENTS – INTERPRETATION AND CONSTRUCTION – PARTICULAR CASES – where an application for a development permit for a material change of use was made by an applicant who was not the proprietor of land – where an infrastructure charge was raised upon a decision notice approving the application – where the infrastructure charge was not paid – whether the registered proprietor of the land is liable to pay the infrastructure charge.

Legislation – Queensland

Bills Updated in the last week

No 28 Planning (Postponement) Regulation 2017 – 03 March - Planning Act 2016.

No 29 Planning and Environment Court (Postponement) Regulation 2017 – 03 March - Planning and Environment Court Act 2016.

No 30 Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment (Postponement) Regulation 2017 – 03 March - Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016.



Joseph Monaghan, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9857 


Breellen Warry, Partner 
T: +61 2 8083 0420 

Peter Holt, Special Counsel
T: +61 2 8083 0421


Gerard Timbs, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0644


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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