New 80 per cent reduction by 2030 commitment for WA government emissions

Premier Mark McGowan and Climate Action and Environment Minister Reece Whitby have announced today that Western Australia will be committing to a whole-of-government reduction target in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 80 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. This commitment goes beyond that currently contained in the Western Australian Climate Policy. At this point, … Read more

New Government, new Minister, new Federal environmental laws?

Going into the recent Federal election, the Australian Labor Party committed to establishing an independent Environment Protection Agency and providing a full response to the review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). With the new Ministry now sworn in, we look at what changes these commitments might bring. Read more

Northern Territory EPA consultation on greenhouse gas and cultural heritage guidance

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (EPA) commenced consultation last week on greenhouse gas and culture and heritage guidance for assessing proposals likely to have a significant impact on the environment under the Environment Protection Act 2019 (NT) (EP Act). The guidance documents provide advice on: A proponent’s obligations in respect to the EP Act. … Read more

The election and the environment: what happens next?

The recent Australian Federal election has resulted in a change of government. While the government is settling in, our Environment, Planning and Communities partners set out their top 5 predictions for coming change on environmental matters, and where the priorities should lie. Read more

Wind farm noise may be a nuisance – but compliance remains a critical issue

The Victorian Supreme Court has found that intermittent noise from Bald Hills Wind Farm at night was a nuisance, and awarded damages, aggravated damages in light of the past management of the complaints, and an injunction (stayed for 3 months) to prevent further noise nuisance. The case is significant in confirming that intermittent noise may be a nuisance even if compliant with the regulatory regime, although the specific permit conditions for Bald Hills and different regulations that now apply to wind farms in Victoria mean that this decision cannot be directly translated to other circumstances. Uren v Bald Hills Wind Farm Pty Ltd [2022] VSC 145 (25 March 2022) Read more

Winds of change: an update on Australia’s offshore wind industry

Australia has made significant strides in its offshore wind industry in recent weeks, with the regulatory regime expected to commence on 2 June 2022. Victoria has announced Australia’s first offshore wind energy targets, and the Commonwealth Government released the exposure draft of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Regulations 2022 for public comment. These are important steps in the development of Australia’s offshore wind regulatory framework. Read more

Federal Minister for the Environment does not owe duty of care

The Full Federal Court handed down its much-anticipated judgment in Sharma today. A summary of the judgment of the Full Federal Court allowing the appeal is set out below, with the full judgment available here. The Minister for the environment does not owe a novel duty of care at common law when exercising her power … Read more

New environmental legislation operative in NSW

Directors and related bodies corporate that benefit from environmental offences committed by a corporation are subject to new liabilities and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) now has stronger enforcement powers. Due to the changes, environmental compliance and risk management practices should be reviewed and updated as required to minimise risks for corporations, their directors … Read more

Draft Greenhouse Gas Storage and Transport Bill to be drafted

The Minister for Mines and Petroleum today approved the drafting of a Bill to provide the resources industry with opportunities to decarbonise, such as mineral carbonation and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).  At present there is no fit for purpose CCUS or carbon capture and storage (CCS) regime, with existing CCS activities requiring bespoke … Read more