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

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The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) has now officially been repealed and the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) has been reinstated with amendments.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

Recycling the Aboriginal Heritage Act: Everything you need to know

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA), which came into force on 1 July this year, will officially be repealed tomorrow, 15 November by the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Amendment and Repeal Act 2023 (WA). As covered in our blog post in August, Western Australia will be returning to an amended version of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA). This blog post summarises the key elements of the amended legislation and the transition process. 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

Heritage today and tomorrow: An update on Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation in Western Australia

On Tuesday, the Western Australian State Government formally announced the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) will be repealed, just over a month after it commenced. Regulation of Aboriginal cultural heritage will revert back to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA). In this blog post, we explain what the repeal legislation contains, implications for companies operating during the transition period and what might be on the horizon over the next year in this space. Read more

Review of Queensland Wind Farm Development Code Announced

The Queensland Government has announced a review of the Wind Farm Code (State Code 23) and accompanying guidelines used in the planning assessment of wind farm applications. Community consultation on the proposed changes will take place from Monday 7 August 2023 until Monday 4 September 2023. Read more

Overlap between the Environmental Protection Act and the ACH Act Aboriginal cultural heritage considerations

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage is a relevant factor to both the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) and Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA). The Environmental Protection Authority has released guidelines to address the overlap between the EPA’s consideration of ACH in environmental impact assessments and the ACH Act processes. We have set out the key things you need to know about the EPA guidelines in this blog post. Read more

Who to consult when there are no LACHS?

A key issue in the discussions surrounding the implementation of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) is the lack of local Aboriginal cultural heritage service providers (LACHS). The ACH Act has been designed to empower Aboriginal people with a statutory role in managing and preserving Aboriginal cultural heritage and to devolve decision making in relation to the identification and protection of ACH to Aboriginal people at a local level. Read more