Young Australians bring climate claims against the Australian government

A group of Australian teenagers has filed a class action against the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, and is seeking an injunction to prevent the Minister approving a proposed coal mine expansion. The claim alleges that approving the mine would breach the Minister’s common law duty of care to young people. The case follows the recent landmark proceedings alleging that the Commonwealth and others failed to properly disclose information about climate change risks to prospective investors in government bonds. We provide a snapshot of the issues and implications of these proceedings. Read more

WA Environmental Protection Act Reform – Bill Tabled

Government’s intent to reform the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) has been formalised with the tabling of the Environmental Protection Amendment Bill 2020 (WA) on 16 April 2020. While framed as a modernisation of the Act, the substantive reform proposed in the Bill is modest in nature and not comparable to the wholesale reform elsewhere in Australia. However, a number of the amendments will see far greater clarity and real procedural efficiencies, particularly in the Part IV and Part V assessment and approval processes. Read more

COVID-19 – Plan now to manage environmental compliance during the crisis

COVID-19 poses a real risk of staff absences and impacts on environmental supply chains. There may also be the need for operations to cease temporarily, and at short notice. Business will need to consider the threat this poses to their capacity to comply. COVID-19 will not excuse businesses from meeting environmental obligations. Read more