Latest news – National

Revised carbon offset standard (NCOS) released for carbon markets
The federal government has released a revised National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS), allowing Australian businesses to offset their products with pollution reduction under the Governments Carbon Farming Initiative. The Australian Government introduced the NCOS on 1 July 2010 to ensure national consistency and consumer confidence in the voluntary carbon market (02 May 2012)  More...

Carbon pricing financial services: registration and licensing
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released details regarding the registration and licensing process for those intending to provide financial services in emissions units under the Australian Government's carbon pricing mechanism.  ASIC Commissioner, John Price, said registration will help providers of financial services meet their licensing requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 (01 May 2012)  More...

Carbon tax calculated for councils
The federal government will assist local councils to calculate their emissions and costs associated with the price of waste disposal.  Council landfills that produce more than 25000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per annum will be liable, where Carbon Price Mechanism (CPM) costs will need to be factored (01 May 2012)  More...

Federal government Supporting Airports Investment
The Federal Labor Government has announced that all federally leased airports will be offered the protection of a Tripartite Deed, giving them greater certainty in securing financing for infrastructure developments. Last year the government agreed to extend existing tripartite deeds for 12 major airports by another 30 years, removing an obstacle to airports’ planned investment of up to $9 billion to expand and modernise their facilities (24 April 2012)  More...

Latest news – Victoria

Coalition invests $66 million in better water management
The Victorian Coalition Government is investing more than $66 million over the next four years with a responsible and necessary approach to improving water management in Victoria (01 May 2012)  Coalition invests $66 million in better water management

Coalition moves on $6 billion urban development
The Victorian Coalition Government will drive economic activity, productivity and jobs as it confirms funding in today's Budget to plan the redevelopment of the 23 hectare E-Gate rail yard site in West Melbourne (01 May 2012)  Coalition moves on $6 billion urban development

Insurance Council welcomes renewed commitment to replace Fire Services Levy
The Insurance Council of Australia has welcomed the commitment in the Victorian 2012-13 Budget to replace the Fire Services Levy with a property-based charge from July 1, 2013. The Budget reaffirmed the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing the 2009 Bushfire Royal Commission recommendation to abolish fire levies from insurance premiums (01 May 2012)  More...

Coalition invests in Victoria’s energy security
The Victorian Coalition Government has allocated $33.7 million over five years for a package of new measures, including stronger government oversight of the smart meter program and protecting Victoria's interests during the introduction of the Commonwealth Government's carbon tax (01 May 2012)  Coalition invests in Victoria’s energy security

Council to remove 'expensive' bluestone lanes
A Melbourne council is confident it can preserve the character of two inner city suburbs, despite plans to rip up more than 67 kilometres of bluestone laneways (30 April 2012)  More...

Court action for ACE Parking Pty Ltd and others
The Victorian Supreme Court has ordered private car park operators who issued unlawful parking ‘fines’ to stop using misleading tactics. The court’s decision confirms that private parking operators cannot levy fines or prosecute motorists who stay overtime or do not display a ticket. The court also found that requests for payments issued by ACE Parking mimicked fines issued by official agencies such as councils and government, using terminology such as ‘offence’, ‘breach’ and ‘fines.’ (26 April 2012)  More...

Largest environmental joint-project to clean up the Maribyrnong River Valley
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, today announced funding of $1.04 million towards a $3.6 million project to revitalise Melbourne's second-largest river valley, the Maribyrnong (24 April 2012)  Largest environmental joint-project to clean up the Maribyrnong River Valley

$1.2 billion infrastructure project delivers jobs and prosperity
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu today announced a $1.2 billion re-development of the Port of Melbourne which will create 2,600 jobs and enhance the economic future of the state (24 April 2012)  $1.2 billion infrastructure project delivers jobs and prosperity

Latest news – New South Wales

Planning for Sydney's big challenges
Sydneysiders are being invited to have their say on the future plans for growth, homes and jobs in the metropolitan area over the next 20 years.Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard  has released a discussion paper on the key principles to underpin a new 20-year Metropolitan Strategy (03 May 2012)  Planning for Sydney's big challenges

Latest news – Queensland

Korea legislates for emissions trading
The Republic of Korea has passed legislation last night for a national emissions trading scheme (ETS). The South Korean ETS will start in 2015 and cover facilities emitting 25,000 tonnes of carbon pollution. By the beginning of next year, 27 European Union members, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, the US state of California and the Canadian province of Quebec will be using emissions trading to cut carbon pollution (03 May 2012)  More...

Royal flush for miners - reports call for ban on fracking
Mining companies should pay full royalties from the outset of mining activities, a government inquiry into coal seam gas mining will recommend today. The report will also call for a ban on fracking until the chemical implications of the practice are assessed and a freeze on new production licences until regulatory reforms are in place. It will also recommend an ombudsman be appointed to oversee the petroleum industry (01 May 2012)  More...

Koala now protected under national environment law
The Environment Minister announces Australia's most at-risk koala populations need to be included on the national list of threatened species. Minister Burke has decided to list koala populations in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as vulnerable under national environment law (30 April 2012)  More...

Queensland State's assessment of Central Queensland weirs approved
Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe cleared the way for SunWater Limited and the Gladstone Area Water Board to prepare the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project. The weir projects were identified as options for meeting short to medium-term urban and industrial needs in the Lower Mackenzie-Fitzroy sub-region, and  the final terms of reference for the EIS had been approved and provided to the proponent (30 April 2012)  More...

Government to press on with council de-amalgamation offer
The Queensland Government says it will push ahead with a review of options for councils wishing to undo forced amalgamations. The Government has promised to appoint a Boundary Commissioner to oversee the process (30 April 2012)  More...

Mining environmental incident investigated
The Environment and Heritage Protection department (DERM) announces an investigation into the release of drilling fluid into the Condamine River downstream of Chinchilla Weir where contractors have stopped drilling work at the site. QGC is preparing a risk assessment of the likelihood of the problem recurring in future works at the Condamine River site and will submit it to the department (28 April 2012)  More...

ClimateSmart Home Service closes in Queensland
Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell has announced the closure of the ClimateSmart Home Service, stating the  service will cease taking bookings from 26 April,  as part of the LNP's commitment to save Queensland taxpayers dollars (26 April 2012)  More...

CSG body to 'restore faith' in regime
Tree-clearing penalties, water-allocation processes and negotiations between farmers and the burgeoning coal-seam gas industry face an overhaul after the Queensland government announces a range of far-reaching land management reviews (20 April 2012)  More...

Articles – Victoria

The Basin Plan: legal debates and developments
Source: Daniel Montoya, Parliament of NSW
The Murray-Darling Basin extends over 1 million km2 of south-eastern Australia, covering three-quarters of NSW, more than half of Victoria, significant portions of Queensland and South Australia, and all of the ACT (20 April 2012)  The Basin Plan: legal debates and developments

Practice notes/directions – National

New carbon farming opportunities for livestock producers- public consultation
The Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee has released for public consultation an offsets methodology that could provide livestock producers with new opportunities to earn carbon credits for reducing methane emissions. The methodology will be released on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website for 40 days. All public comments will be considered by the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee during its assessment of the methodology. The methodology, and further information is available at   (02 May 2012)

ASIC guide to registration and licensing of financial services in emissions units
ASIC has developed a regulatory guide, Do I need a licence to participate in carbon markets? (RG 236) to help people determine whether they require an AFS licence to provide financial product advice and other financial services in emissions units. Registrations for those involved in either advising, dealing, making a market or providing a custodial or depository service in relation to emissions units can be lodged with ASIC from 1 May until 30 June 2012.  Applications for registration must be made in Form FS91.  (02 May 2012)

Practice notes/directions – Victoria

Building Code of Australia (BCA) Disability Access changes
Hendry Building Surveying Consultants have issued advice on recent major changes in the disability access provisions for buildings in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (24 April 2012)  More...

Practice notes/directions –Queensland  

Revised National Carbon Offset Scheme (NCOS)
The revised Standard provides guidance on what is a genuine voluntary offset and sets minimum requirements for calculating, auditing and offsetting the carbon footprint of an organisation, product or event to achieve carbon neutrality. The revised Standard also allows carbon credits issued under the Government’s previous Greenhouse Friendly scheme to be used to offset emissions under the NCOS (02 May 2012) The revised Standard is available at National Carbon Offset Standard.

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) - new website
ASBEC member Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has launched its new website at The site is a total revamp of GECA's previous website and features industry news, product listings, information on standards and certification. The new site offers three ways to find certified products and results can also be filtered by ‘Approved Government Supplier’ status or whether products are ‘Green Star Applicable’ Visit (May 2012)

Building Code of Australia (BCA) Disability Access changes
Hendry Building Surveying Consultants have issued advice on recent major changes in the disability access provisions for buildings in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (24 April 2012)  More...

Legislation – National  

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1) (SLI 52/2012)
Commencement 1/07/2012 Schedule 2 - immediately after the commencement of Schedule 2 to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 1) (SLI 2011 No. 115).  This regulation amends the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008 to extend the existing National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme reporting, monitoring and compliance framework so that it incorporates entities liable under the carbon pricing mechanism.  National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)

Clean Energy Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 2) (SLI 51/2012)
Commences 21 April 2012 - This regulation amends the Clean Energy Regulations 2011 to assist with compliance with the Clean Energy Act 2011 and administration issues associated with the carbon pricing mechanism  Clean Energy Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 2)

Legislation - Victoria

VIC Government Gazette S142 - Environment Protection Act 1970
Notice is given in accordance with section 67F of the Environment Protection Act 1970 of the revision of the Enforceable Undertakings Guidelines. The purpose of this guideline is to explain to Victorian businesses and the community how EPA may use enforceable undertakings as an alternative to prosecution when an alleged breach of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act) or other legislation administered by EPA has occurred.

Cases – Victoria

Barro Group Pty Ltd v Brimbank City Council & Ors [2012] VSC 154
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – Appeal from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal under s 148 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) – Application for planning permit to develop and use land as a landfill for solid inert waste – Legislative and policy framework for siting and developing landfills – Application of State environment protection policy - Policy of minimising landfills – Whether the lack of ‘need’ for a landfill can be grounds for refusing a planning permit – Whether the Tribunal’s consideration of need for further landfill capacity was consistent with the legislative and policy framework for siting and developing landfills – Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic) ss 16A, 19B, 50B, 50BA, 50BC – Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) ss 77, 84B, 85.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Whether the Tribunal misconstrued and misapplied policy – Whether the Tribunal’s decision was irrational or illogical or failed to give proper, genuine and realistic consideration to the merits of the case – Rees v County Court [2011] VSC 67 – Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZJSS [2010] HCA 48; (2010) 243 CLR 164  More...

Investment Management Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors [2012] VCAT 467
The construction of a three storey development above an existing basement level of car parking. These upper three levels would provide for 10 new dwellings. The ten existing basement car parking spaces controlled by the Applicant would be utilised as part of the proposal.  Application under Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.  Zone and Overlays - Business 2 Zone - Environmental Audit Overlay - Special Building Overlay.  Clauses 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21.07, 21.08, 22.11, 21.12, 22.03 and 22.10.  As this is a four level proposal, the Clause 55 ResCode provisions strictly are not applicable – instead see the Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development  More...

SJ Beaumont Investment Pty Ltd v Warrnambool CC [2012] VCAT 464
Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to review a decision to refuse a permit. State and Local Planning Policy Framework. Net social and economic effect of gaming, Minimise social and economic effects of gaming. Relative social and economic disadvantage. Car parking – no permit issued  More...

Chronis v Cimino (Retail Tenancies) [2012] VCAT 477
Retail Lease – rental fixed at lower rate until repairs completed – some repairs done but not completed – demand by Landlord for higher rental not justified – subsequent re-entry by Landlord unlawful – damage to Tenant’s stock from leaking roof - no positive obligation imposed upon Landlord to effect repairs – Retail Leases Act 2003 s.52 - no action maintainable by Tenant for failing to complete repairs  More...

Stewart v East Gippsland SC (Land Valuation) [2012] VCAT 436
Pursuant to s 101 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, and subject to any further order of a court or this tribunal, the contents of the personal taxation and financial records of the applicants produced to the tribunal on 4 April 2012 must not be published.  The applicants in each proceeding seek to review the decision of the East Gippsland Shire Council to classify the whole of their respective land as ‘commercial and industrial’ for differential rating purposes for the rating years 2009-10 and 2010-11  More...

Ho v Greater Dandenong City Council [2012] VSC 165
LOCAL GOVERNMENT − Whether a local law prohibiting ‘livestock’ on land less than half a hectare should be quashed − Functions and powers of local government − Power of a Council to make local laws regulating the keeping of animals in its municipal district − Whether local law inconsistent with planning scheme − meaning of ‘ancillary’ uses or activities − planning scheme and local law operating as cumulative controls − ss 3C, 3E, 3F and 111 of the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) More...

Cases – Queensland

Colvin v Lennard & O'Brien [2012] QDC 071
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRIN-CIPLES – INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELA-TIONSHIP – AGREEMENTS CONTEMPLATING EXECUTION OF FORMAL DOCUMENTATION – WHETHER BINDING CONTRACT – where letter of intent with details of agreement signed by all parties – where Defendants alleged letter of intent was mere lease application form – where works agreed to be done were in issue – where agreement between parties was not concluded with formal lease – where creation of formal lease in fuller terms with no different effect than letter of intent was to be created – whether letter of intent constituted concluded lease contract  More...

Salter v Towler [2012] QDC 077
Substituted service of claim and statement of claim allowed - defendant resides in rented premises in a gated community, whose rules render access by process servers extremely difficult - as well as service by post, service upon the letting agents was required  More... 

Contact details


Chris Lovell
National Managing Partner
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9832

Lou Farinotti
Managing Partner - Melbourne
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9861

Margot Sharpe
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9912

Lisa Cody
T: +61 (0)3 9321 9872


Neville Allen
T: +61 (0)2 8083 0488

Robina Kidd

T: +61 (0)2 8083 0454

Robert Moses
T: +61 (0)2 8083 0422


Michael Byrom
T: +61 (0)7 3135 0616

Ron Eames
T: +61 7 3135 0629

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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