Australia’s enhanced decommissioning framework released

On 14 December 2020, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources released the consultation paper, "Enhancing Australia's Decommissioning Framework". The paper is the third step in a reform process and follows a Discussion Paper published in October 2018, a process of consultation and stakeholder formal submissions into early 2019. Implementation of the framework is expected to occur in 2021. We have outlined the key components of the proposed Enhanced Framework. Read more

WA Climate Policy Released

On 30 November 2020. the Western Australian Government released the long awaited ‘Western Australian Climate Policy: A plan to position Western Australian for a prosperous and resilient low-carbon future’. Read more

Trends in climate litigation – continued focus on disclosure, portfolio analysis, and role of individual activities in broader climate impacts

The settlement this week of Mr McVeigh’s proceeding against REST has underlined management of climate risk and TCFD-aligned disclosure as growing issues for institutional investors. Other recent developments include a further post-approval challenge to a coal mine, asserting that new expert evidence regarding climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef should be taken into account to revoke the approval decision and prosecution for import of synthetic greenhouse gas where a single offence attracted an agreed penalty of $500,000. 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