Offshore Wind in Australia – March 2024

A number of steps have occurred towards development of Australia’s offshore wind industry, although significant challenges remain. On 6 March 2024, the Southern Ocean region off the coast of Port Fairy and Warrnambool was declared an offshore wind zone under the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021. Applications for feasibility licences are now open, closing 2 … Read more

Queensland introduces Bill to strengthen regulatory responses under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld)

On 13 February 2024, the Environmental Protection (Powers and Penalties) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 (Qld) (Powers and Penalties Bill) was introduced to the Queensland Parliament.  The Powers and Penalties Bill proposes a suite of amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP Act) intended to strengthen and streamline regulatory responses to environmental harm, in response to the recommendations of the Independent Review of the EP Act undertaken in 2022. Read more

Queensland’s hydrogen laws under review

The Queensland Government has released a consultation paper on options for better regulation of Queensland’s hydrogen industry. The Department of Energy and Climate is inviting feedback on the proposals until 1 March 2024. Read more

Consulting on consultation: clarifying the offshore environmental management framework

The Department of Industry, Science and Resources has recently released a paper on the consultation requirements under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2023 (Cth) for public comment. The consultation paper follows recent court decisions impacting consultation requirements for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas activities, and forms part of the Federal Government’s May 2023 announcement of a broader review of the environmental management framework applicable to the offshore resources and carbon storage industry. Read more

New year, new environment legislation

2024 is tipped to be a big year for environmental law reform, as the Commonwealth Government prepares to introduce legislation to replace the existing Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). While draft legislation is yet to be introduced, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has been consulting about the proposed reforms, with some of the consultation papers released for public comment by 30 March 2024. HSF looks at the proposed new framework for Commonwealth environmental approvals. Read more

The future of environmental offsets – a sneak peek at the National Environmental Standard

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has released the draft National Environmental Standard (NES) for Restoration Actions and Restoration Contributions, which is set to replace the existing concept of environmental offsets. The consultation papers from the Department’s stakeholder consultation session held in November 2023 are now available on the DCCEEW consultation hub. Read more