In the media – National

Renewable energy to power Stawell Farm a “world’s first”
The Victorian state government has stated that it will build a major new wind farm with battery storage in Western Victoria that will power the expansion of Stawell’s Nectar Farms (08 January 2018).  More...

Snowy 2.0 feasibility study released
The study released today states the project is technically feasible, and estimated to cost between $3.8-4.5 billion. According to the project timeline set out in the study, Snowy 2.0 could be providing first power by late 2024 (20 December 2017).  More...

Solar research gets $29.2m boost
Australian solar cell research has received a $29.2 million boost from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and UNSW has 11 of the 22 projects (20 December 2017).  More...

Release of 2017 Climate Change Policy Review
The Department of the Environment and Energy has released the 2017 review of Australia’s climate change policies. The full review can be found on the Department of Environment and Energy's website (19 December 2017).  More...   (Corporate) More...  (Media) More... 

CEFC finance supports cleaner grid with forecasting technology at battery ready Oakey Solar Farm
The CEFC is extending its commitment to the Oakey Solar Farm in south-east Queensland, in an investment that will also deliver forecasting technology to enhance grid stability and energy reliability (30 December 2017).  More...

In the media – Victoria

Fixing More Mobile Blackspots across Regional Victoria
The Labor Government will use the $11 million it planned to invest in the third round of the Commonwealth program to build new mobile towers across regional Victoria. Those towers will remove mobile blackspots and make regional communities safer, more liveable and more connected (10 January 2018).  More...

Two big Vic windfarms show renewables tide turning
Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan has welcomed confirmation of two major windfarm developments in the state saying we’ve turned a corner in the shift to renewable energy. Construction of the first stage of the Murra Warra project begins next year. It is expected to be fully operational by mid-2019. Goldwind expects construction of the $700m Stockyard Hill development to begin in the first quarter of 2018 (22 December 2017).  More...

Like it or loathe it, here’s why Apple doesn’t need a planning permit for its Fed Square store
Despite the prominent public role played by Melbourne’s Federation Square, Apple’s new “flagship store” to be built within it won’t even require a planning permit. This is thanks to an obscure planning process that planning minister Richard Wynne has exempted from public exhibition (22 December 2017).  More...

New building fire safety laws come into force
New laws to enhance fire safety in high-rise buildings will come into force today, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. Under the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017, the government can ban building products – for example, external wall cladding – from being used in unsafe ways (18 December 2017).  More...

In the media – New South Wales

Contributions to fund Hunter development
Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC today announced the first region-wide Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC) scheme will apply in the Hunter region allowing for the funding of infrastructure to be shared with the development industry (18 December 2017).  More...

NSW Government makes it easier to deliver essential infrastructure
Planning policy amendments by the NSW Government will make it easier and faster to deliver and maintain infrastructure, while ensuring appropriate levels of environmental assessment and public consultation are undertaken (15 December 2017).  More...

In the media – Queensland

Property Council welcomes independent housing supply panel  
The Property Council of Australia has today welcomed the State Government’s move to establish a formal South East Queensland Housing Supply Expert Panel to monitor supply and demand for housing in the region (11 January 2018).  More...

Town planner James Stott turns into disrupter with sitefinder
A Brisbane town planner has launched a “disrupter” for his own industry in the form of a website providing one-click property research for homeowners, builders, architects and developers (10 January 2018).  More...

North Queensland station owner cleared land without federal approval
A North Queensland farmer has cleared a section of land without approval required under Federal Law, the Commonwealth Environment Department confirms (08 January 2018).  More...

State development scheme to boost Bundaberg industry
The first development scheme for the Bundaberg State Development Area (SDA) has been approved, and is set to boost industrial growth and create jobs in the region (22 December 2017).  More...

Palaszczuk Government moving ahead on Herston Quarter
Another milestone in the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter development has been reached, with the project development scheme approved today (22 December 2017).  More...

Development application for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane approved
The $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort development is now one step closer after Economic Development Queensland this week approved Destination Brisbane Consortium’s Plan of Development application (21 December 2017).  More...

In Practice and Courts


Commonwealth environmental water for sale in Gwydir
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder today announced the sale of 5 GL of allocation water from the Gwydir (05 January 2018).  More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017


Planning Permit Activity Report
The Planning Permit Activity Report for November 2017 is now available (24 December 2017).

Residential Aged Care Development proposed planning reforms: consultation now open
Reforms to the Victoria Planning Provisions are proposed to support appropriately designed and located residential aged care development in established residential areas to cater for an aging population. The consultation period commences 14 December 2017 and concludes 16 February 2018.  More...

Fishermans Bend Draft Framework Plan Consultation
Draft Planning Scheme Amendment GC81 to the Melbourne and Port Phillip Planning Schemes has been prepared to implement the vision for Fishermans Bend through a suite of permanent controls and a new Fishermans Bend Framework Plan. A Directions Hearing was held on 20 December 2017. A Public Hearing will be held the week commencing 12 February 2018.  More...

New South Wales

State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) review
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) has released its Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for a State Environmental Planning Policy that aims to simplify planning rules for a number of water catchments, waterways, urban bushland, and Willandra Lakes World Heritage Property.  More...

Draft Primary Production and Rural Development State Environmental Planning Policy and planning reforms Closed 15/01/2017.
Proposed amendments to the Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy and Mining SEPP Closes 16/02/2018.


SDA application for a material change of use in the Galilee Basin State Development Area – closes 02 February 2018.



Knol v EPA & Greater Geelong CC [2018] VCAT 33
Intensive animal husbandry – Dairy farm for 14,000 goats; Works Approval; Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit; Key issues relate to Q fever human health risk and wastewater management.

Hanger v Moonee Valley CC [2018] VCAT 37
Neighbourhood character; Overshadowing open space; Sunlight to windows; Overshadowing solar panels.  


Gallo v Chief Executive, Department of Natural Resources and Mines [2017] QSC 331
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — JUDICIAL REVIEW —REVIEWABLE DECISIONS AND CONDUCT — STATUTORY INTERPRETATION — Where applicant seeks statutory review of a decision regarding the applicant’s water entitlement as licensees under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) — where applicant argued the decision-maker erred by failing to take a relevant consideration in to account — whether s 66(3)(a) Water Regulation 2002 (Qld) needed to be taken into account — whether a water entitlement of 0% bespeaks error — whether the decision maker should have taken the outcomes listed in the Water Resource (Barron) Plan 2002 (Qld) into account.

Nichols Constructions P/L v Intensia P/L [2017] QDC 319
CONTRACT – RESCISSION – Where contract for sale of land – where land contaminated with asbestos after contract – whether seller knew land would become contaminated – whether breach of warranty that seller not aware of any facts or circumstances that may lead to the land as being classified as contaminated land within the meaning of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
CONTRACT – RESCISSION – Where seller warrants there is no outstanding obligation to give a notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 of notifiable activity being conducted on the land – where removal of asbestos from buildings into a bin for transport away from land sold – whether breach of warranty – whether asbestos was being “disposed of on the land” within the meaning of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
CONTRACT – RESCISSION – ESSENTIAL TERM – Whether obligation not to do anything regarding the property that may significantly alter it or result in later expense for the buyer is an essential term – whether by reason of asbestos contamination the seller breached that obligation – whether that breach gave the buyer a right to terminate.
CONTRACT – RESCISSION – Where sewer line undisclosed on title and by contract – whether material error, encroachment or mistake – whether material to the buyer – whether material objectively – whether buyer entitled to terminate.
STATUTES – INTERPRETATION – Where removal of asbestos from buildings into a bin for transport away from land – whether a “notifiable activity is being carried out on the land” within the meaning of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

G8C Pty Ltd ATF Crick Family Trust v Sunshine Coast Regional Council [2017] QPEC 077
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – APPLICATION – s 71 Planning Act 2016 – Where the applicant applied for the making of changes to a development approval previously granted by the Court – Where the applicant requests to make purportedly minor change to the development approval – Where the respondent supports the application – Where the application is supported by the uncontested evidence of a town planner – Whether the proposed changes are minor changes and should be approved.

Traspunt No 4 Pty Ltd v Moreton Bay Regional Council (No 2) [2017] QPEC 076
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – COSTS – where further order required in respect to the proper disposal of the proceeding – where respondent seeks its costs on an indemnity basis, limited to those costs of its second set of written submissions and the hearing on 3 December 2015 – where appeal to be allowed to the extent that it be declared that the clearing of firebreaks is essential management and not assessable development is appropriate – where an order made that each party must bear its own cost of the appeal.



Statutory Rules made

No. 132: Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2017
Date of Making: 19/12/2017 Commencement: 19/12/2017. Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 19/12/2027.


Statutory Rules as made

No 229: Economic Development (Herston Quarter PDA) Amendment Regulation 2017 – 22 December 2017.

No 233: State Penalties Enforcement (Nature Conservation) Amendment Regulation 2017 – 22 December 2017.



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

Jenny Humphris, Special Counsel
T: +61 7 3135 0690


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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