The past year has seen a significant increase in the number of government inquiries, committees and reports in Victoria, particularly in the planning and environment space. There have also been a number of inquiries and reports at Commonwealth level and in other States that have implications for businesses with operations in Victoria.

Since early 2015, numerous panels, committees, inquiries and reviews have been commissioned by the Victorian Minister for Planning and the Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, as well as the State and Commonwealth Governments generally. Of particular note are the Independent Inquiry into the Victorian Environment Protection Authority, the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, the CFA Fiskville Inquiry, the Environment Effects Statement process for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, and the Advisory Committee on Major Hazard Facilities.

Keeping up with all these inquiries and reports can be a challenge. King & Wood Mallesons’ Environment and Planning team has prepared a table of events to keep track of key dates. This table will be regularly updated.

Click on a report/inquiry below to jump straight to its key dates, or scroll down to read more.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the inquiries and reports, please do not hesitate to contact us.

No.

Report/Inquiry

Commencement

Key Actions and Dates

1

Independent Inquiry into the EPA

1 June 2015: appointment of Ministerial Advisory Committee.

  • August 2015: release of the Discussion Paper.
  • August 2015 to November 2015: public consultation.
  • 31 March 2016: Final Report and recommendations submitted to the Minister.
  • 16 May 2016: Final Report/recommendations made publically available.
  • Mid-late 2016: Government Response released.

2

Review of the Climate Change Act 2010

Mid-2015: appointment of Independent Review Committee.

  • 6 July-10 August 2015: public consultation and submissions.
  • 30 December 2015: review completed.
  • 11 February 2016: Report tabled in Parliament and made publically available.
  • 9 June 2016: Government Response released.

3

Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee

29 November 2016: appointment of the Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee.

  • 10 December 2015 - 14 March 2016: public consultation and submissions.
  • 2 February 2016: Residential State of Play Reports made available to the public.
  • 15 March 2016: submission period closed.
  • 1 April 2016: Directions Hearings.
  • 18 April - 19 May 2016: public hearings.
  • Mid-2016: Final Report to be provided to the Minister for Planning.

4

Plan Melbourne Refresh

March 2015: Plan Melbourne Ministerial Advisory Committee reconvened.

  • June-October 2015: preparation of the Plan Melbourne refresh Discussion Paper.
  • October 2015: Discussion Paper published.
  • 22 October 2015 - 18 December 2015: public consultation. Nearly 400 written submissions received. Feedback was also received at a series of engagement workshops, involving 266 participants representing 99 organisations. Two reports (summary of submissions and summary of engagement activities) have been released by Capire Consulting.
  • First half of 2016: public submissions reviewed; Plan Melbourne 2016 prepared.
  • Mid-2016: Plan Melbourne 2016 released and incorporated into planning schemes.

5

Infrastructure Contributions Reform

Planning and Environment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2015 wasassented to on 1 September 2015. However, the Planning and Environment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Act 2015 has not yet come into operation. This is the mechanism which will implement the standard levy rate per hectare.

.

  • 2011: Stakeholder Reference Group established to develop options for reform.
  • July 2012: Position Paper released titled A New Victorian Development Contributions System – A Preferred Way Forward.
  • Sept 2012: Standard Development Contributions Advisory Committee (SDCAC) established.
  • Jan 2013: SDCAC Report 1 released.
  • May 2013: SDCAC Report 2 released. Download both reports here.
  • 10 June 2015: Planning and Environment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2015 introduced to Assembly and second reading moved by the Minister for Planning.
  • 25 June 2016: Bill passed in Assembly; bill introduced to Council and second reading moved.
  • 20 August 2015: Bill passed by Council with amendments; amendments agreed to by Assembly (main amendment insertion of new clause 46QD – reporting requirements of collecting agencies and development agencies).
  • 1 September 2015: Bill assented to.
  • 1 June 2016: provisions must commence on or before this date, if an earlier date has not been proclaimed. Provisions have now commenced,
  • Ministerial Direction to be issued setting out the levy rates. Not yet released.

6

Metropolitan Planning Levy

1 July 2015: Levy introduced.

  • 2014: Levy introduced in state budget.

About:

  • Levy payment required prior to making a planning permit application for developments valued at over $1 million within metropolitan council areas.
  • The levy rate is set at $1.30 per $1000 (or 0.13% of the whole value of the development) for affected projects.
  • This will be about 6% of all planning permit applications received each year in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

7

Animal Industries Advisory Committee

3 November 2015: appointment of Advisory Committee

  • 21 December 2015: Discussion Paper made available for public comment.
  • 5 February 2016: submission period closed (144 submissions received).
  • 22 - 26 February 2016: public hearings.
  • 29 April 2016: Final Report was to be submitted by this date. Report not yet released.

8

Major Hazard Facilities Advisory Committee

September 2015: Appointment of Advisory Committee.

  • September - 24 November 2015: initial targeted consultation period.
  • 21 December 2015: Discussion Paper released; submissions invited from the sector and community.
  • 9 February 2016: Discussion Paper exhibition period ended and submissions closed (96 submissions received).
  • 18 February 2016: preliminary public hearing.
  • 17 - 24 March 2016: main public hearings.
  • May / June 2016: Advisory Committee Report was to be submitted to the Minister for Planning. Report not yet released.

9

Central City Built Form Review – Melbourne C270

September 2015: Interim mandatory built form controls introduced.

  • September 2015: interim mandatory built form controls introduced (effective for 12 months).
  • January 2016: background reports and a draft Planning Scheme Amendment produced.
  • April 2016: exhibition of Planning Scheme Amendment and public consultation. View here.
  • 2 May 2016 - 6 May 2016: information sessions on the proposed changes held.
  • 30 May 2016: period for making a submission closed.
  • 22 June 2016: Directions Hearing held.
  • 11 July 2016: Public Hearings to commence and run for up to eight weeks.
  • August - September 2016: Advisory Committee to submit its report within 40 working days of the last Hearing day (or from the date of the receipt of any further information requested by the Panel).
  • September 2016: permanent controls implemented in the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

10

Local Government Act Review

August 2015: Appointment of Advisory Committee.

  • September - December 2015: Discussion Paper released (download here); submissions invited from the sector and community; presentations on the review with the sector, including peak local government bodies.
  • December 2015 - March 2016: consideration of submissions on the Discussion Paper; technical working groups convened to identify and develop options on key topics for Directions Paper.
  • 10 June 2016: Directions Paper (‘Act for the Future’) released by Minister for Local Government.
  • Mid-late 2016: further consultation and opportunity to make a submission.
  • 2017: drafting of a bill and ongoing consultation.
  • 2018: implementation of a new Act.

11

Marine Act Review

June 2015: Appointment of Chair of Expert Panel

  • July 2015: remaining panel members appointed.
  • Mid - 2016: Consultation Paper available for comment. The consultation paper will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system, current and future challenges to be addressed, and opportunities for improvement.
  • 2017: following input from stakeholders and the community, the expert panel will guide the drafting of the legislation and management arrangements for Parliament to consider.

12

Heritage Act Review

22 June 2015: Release of Discussion Paper by Minister for Planning.

  • 22 June 2015: Discussion Paper released.
  • June - August 2015: public consultation.
  • 30 August 2015: period for making submissions closed (more than 120 submissions and responses to an online survey on the review received). A Summary Report provides an overview of all submissions.
  • June 2016: all submissions received are still in the process of being reviewed.

13

South Australia – Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

Long-term nuclear waste storage facility

19 March 2015: Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission established by letters patent
NB: The letters patent contain the Commission’s Terms of Reference. Draft Terms of Reference were the subject of public consultation over two periods prior to the Commission’s establishment. A total of 785 submissions were received in relation to the Draft Terms, with a further 300 people making comments on the YourSay website.

  • 17 April 2015: the first of four Issues Papers released, titled Exploration, Extraction and Milling; interested parties invited to make written submissions.
  • 24 July 2015: submissions on Issues Paper 1 (Exploration, Extraction and Milling) and/or Issues Paper 4 (Management, Storage and Disposal of Waste) closed.
  • 3 August 2015: submissions on Issues Paper 2 (Further Processing and Manufacture) and/or Issues Paper 3 (Electricity Generation) closed. The Commission received almost 250 submissions in response to all Papers from interested stakeholders, including individuals, community groups, businesses and government representatives.
  • September - December 2015: public sessions held.
  • 6 May 2016: Report released. The report makes 12 key recommendations regarding the deepening of SA’s involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle, including pursuing the establishment of nuclear fuel and intermediate level waste storage facilities in SA.

14

Better Apartments Amenity Design Measures

May 2015: Better Apartments – A Discussion Paper released.

  • May 2015: Discussion Paper released.
  • May - July 2015: submissions invited on the Discussion Paper and community survey.
  • July 2015: Minister's Forum.
  • August - September 2015: workshops with local Government, community, and industry.
  • September - October 2015: interviews with key stakeholders
  • Quarter 1, 2016: preparation of draft design guidelines and mechanisms. Not yet released
  • Quarter 2, 2016: public engagement.
  • Quarter 2-3, 2016: design guidelines and mechanisms to be finalised.
  • Quarter 4, 2016 and beyond: implementation, monitoring and review to occur.

15

Recasting Fishermans Bend for the Community

21 July 2015: Ministerial Advisory Committee announced to advise the Minister for Planning on Fisherman’s Bend

  • October 2015: Ministerial Advisory Committee provided a report to the Minister for Planning. The report includes 40 recommendations, 34 which have been adopted in full and six in part.
  • 29 February 2016: Minister for Planning’s response to the advisory committee’s recommendations were discussed at a Fishermans Bend community forum which was attend by the Minister for Planning, the advisory committee, Fishermans Bend taskforce and about 300 community members, industry stakeholders and council members.
  • 27 May – 1 July 2016: Recast Vision engagement.
  • July 2016: review of community feedback
  • August 2016: final Recast Vision incorporating public and sector consultation to be released.

16

Inquiry into the CFA Training College at Fiskville

23 December 2014: Terms of reference received from the Legislative Assembly

  • 18 & 25 May 2015; 3, 15 & 19 June 2015: public hearings
  • 24 June 2015: Committee tabled its Interim Report.
  • 27 July, 19 October, 6 & 9 November 2015: public hearings
  • 12 November 2015: Committee tabled its special report on production of documents
  • 19 – 20, 23 November; 14 & 21 December 2015; 27 – 29 January 2016: public hearings
  • 9 February 2016: Committee received the Government response to the Interim Report
  • 10 March 2016: reporting date extended to 16 May 2016
  • 24 May 2016: Committee tabled its Final Report.
  • Late 2016: Government expected to respond (required to respond within six months of the final report being tabled).

17

Senate Inquiry into Contamination of Australia’s Defence Force Facilities and other Commonwealth, State and Territory Sites in Australia

30 November 2015: the Senate referred matters relating to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown and other sites to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report.

  • 14 December 2015: submissions for Part A closed.
  • 4 February 2016: report on Part A of the inquiry (contamination of Australian defence force facilities) released
  • 5 February 2016: submissions for Part B closed.
  • 17 March 2016: the Senate extended the reporting date for Part B of the inquiry from 30 April 2016 to 11 May 2016.
  • 11 May 2016: report on Part B of the inquiry (contamination of other sites using firefighting foam) released.