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

Environmental law enforcement in WA is on the uptick

The Perth Magistrates Court recently found gold miner Bellevue Gold Limited liable for two environmental offences relating to a hypersaline spill after enforcement action by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. Bellevue was fined $41,000 in total for the offences. Read more

Queensland passes amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994

The Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (Qld) (EPOLA Bill) was passed yesterday. The EPOLA Bill amends the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) with wide ranging implications for Queensland operators, in particular for the resources sector. It also makes minor amendments to the Waste Reduction and recycling Act 2011 (Qld) and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993 (Qld). Read more

Treaty on maritime biodiversity finalised

On 4 March 2023, the UN Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (Conference) reached agreement on the text of a new treaty which seeks to protect the marine environment. The Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological … Read more

Environment and climate features in 2023 Federal Budget

The 2023 Federal Budget has promised increased funding and programs supporting climate and environmental initiatives. Snapshot This is the first Federal Budget since the Government committed Australia to a 43% emissions reduction target by 2030 and net zero by 2050 and the release of the State of the Environment Report.  The Budget contains key funding … Read more