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

New SEQ Regional Plan released

The Queensland Government has released the updated Regional Plan for South East Queensland, ShapingSEQ 2023, replacing the 2017 Regional Plan. Key changes include expansion of the urban footprint, identifying other additional areas for future growth, a commitment to 20% of new homes being social and affordable housing and an increased focus on housing diversity. Read more

Guiding us through the transition back to the Aboriginal Heritage Act – Guidelines released

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) has now officially been repealed and the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) has been reinstated with amendments. The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has published two new guideline documents on their website to aid in understanding the operation of the amended Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA). This blog post sets out the key details of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage's guidance documents and the State Government funding that has recently been announced to assist proponents to comply with their obligations under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA). Read more

Developers must meet improved sustainability standards in NSW

Residential and non-residential development in NSW is subject to more stringent sustainability standards under the new State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022. This is expected to put sustainability at the forefront of development and contribute to the delivery of a net zero economy in NSW by 2050.   Read more

Queensland legislates for hydrogen injection into gas pipelines

The Gas Supply and Other Legislation (Hydrogen Industry Development) Amendment Bill 2023 (Qld) (the Legislation) was passed by Queensland Parliament on 10 October 2023.  The Legislation will commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation. As part of a regulatory review to support the regulation of renewable hydrogen development and use in Queensland, the Legislation will provide a regulatory framework to support the development of Queensland’s renewable hydrogen industry by amending the Gas Supply Act 2003 (Qld) (GS Act) and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) (P&G Act). Read more