In the media

Canberra will be the first Australian city to run on 100 per cent renewable energy Canberra will be effectively powered by renewable energy from October 1 - the first Australian jurisdiction to do so, according to the ACT's Climate Change Minister (17 May 2019). More...

Unis call for contamination agency Environmental academics from four universities have called for a Commonwealth Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA) to be established to strengthen the regulation of environmental contaminants and protect the community from the dangers of new ones. (16 May 2019). More...

Basin authority facing $750m negligence claim from Murray River irrigators A group of nine irrigators has lodged a class action in the NSW Supreme Court against the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, claiming its negligent water management has caused $750 million in losses (14 May 2019). More...

ICA app shares property hazard data The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) will introduce a mobile app giving residents access to the latest hazard data for their homes. ICA says MyHazards, available early next month, will help reduce “information asymmetry” between insurers and their customers, and increase pricing transparency (06 May 2019). More...

Victoria

Consortium gets support from Communist Party backed developer A powerful Chinese Communist Party developer is financially backing the Scientology-led consortium proposing a controversial $30 billion high-tech city in Melbourne’s western suburbs (16 May 2019). More...

Proposed vision to revitalise Elizabeth Street Elizabeth Street would become a safer, greener and more people friendly gateway to Melbourne’s retail and commercial heart under a proposal to be considered by City of Melbourne Councillors (16 May 2019). More...

From plan to place: shaping the future of Fishermans Bend’s precincts Fishermans Bend is Australia's largest urban renewal project covering approximately 480 hectares in the heart of Melbourne. The transformation of Fishermans Bend is guided by the Fishermans Bend Framework (14 May 2019). More...

After 300 years, 'splendid' red gum will be felled for North East Link It is one of the city’s most magnificent river red gums – at least 300 years old, the height of a seven-storey building and pre-dating white settlement of Victoria. Soon, it may be cut down to make way for the North East Link toll road (06 May 2019). More...

NSW

The end of a Gloucester coal mine project turns the spotlight on NSW planning laws The NSW Government has been pressed to pass a new Climate Change Act in the wake of the landmark Land and Environment Court Rocky Hill coal mine refusal which considered a mine's climate change impacts for the first time. Land and Environment Court Chief Judge Brian Preston is the first judge to include consideration of climate change in a mine refusal (09 May 2019). More...

Queensland

Olive Downs mine may impact koala habitat the size of Sydney Harbour A new Queensland coal mine, about the same size as Adani's controversial project, did not draw opposition from environmentalists during the approval process, despite the possibility an expansive koala habitat the size of Sydney Harbour may be cleared (15 May 2019). More...

Queen Street Mall pub site put up for tender by Brisbane City Council Brisbane's Queen Street Mall is set to lose its Pig 'n' Whistle pub, after Brisbane City Council approved a decision to evict the popular watering hole and put out a tender to demolish the site and install a new tenant (08 May 2019). More...

In Practice and Courts

Commonwealth

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: a quick guide Two key regimes, which are outlined in this guide - the environmental assessment regime for actions that are likely to have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance, and the regime for biodiversity conservation, which includes processes for listing and managing threatened species, ecological communities and protected areas (such as National and Commonwealth Heritage places and Commonwealth reserves) (08 May 2019). More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2019

Victoria

Notice of making of a Local Law Notice is given pursuant to section 119 of the Local Government Act 1989 (Act) that the Melbourne City Council (Council) has made a new local law pursuant to Part 5 of the Act known as the Environment Local Law 2019 (the Local Law) to the Council’s Environment Management Plan (May 2019). More...

Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) revised guide to expert evidence PPV has undertaken a substantial revision of the Expert Witness Guide. The new guidelines are in effect immediately (09 May 2019). More...

DELWP / EPA council planner forums - Geelong 8 May 2019 The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) are holding a series of professional development forums for statutory and strategic planners and other local government staff to provide an update on the delivery of the Government’s environment protection reform agenda, to demonstrate new data tools and to seek feedback on key planning reform projects. More...

Queensland

Practice directions The Chief Judge of the District Court of Queensland has issued the following Planning and Environment Court practice directions (09 May 2019): Practice Direction 1 of 2019 - Case management procedures Practice Direction 2 of 2019 - Power of ADR Registrar to make orders or issue directions

PCA: Government calls for Build-to-Rent EOIs The Queensland Government has called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for its Build-to-Rent Pilot Project, announced in December 2018. The call for EOIs follows the Registration of Interest process undertaken in early 2019. EOI Stage 1 closes on 24 May 2019. More...

Cases

Victoria

Burgess v Port Phillip CC [2019] VCAT 681 PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT - Application under Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to review a notice of decision to grant a permit - Neighbourhood Residential Zone - Heritage Overlay - Part demolition, alterations and construction of two storey additions to the existing dwelling - Neighbourhood character - Heritage character - Overshadowing of secluded private open space and rooftop solar energy facilities and overlooking.

Al-Abbas v Boroondara CC [2019] VCAT 685 PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT - To construct a two storey dwelling above a basement on a lot less than 500 square metres. Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 - to review the refusal to grant a permit.

Xiong v Whitehorse CC [2019] VCAT 678 PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT - Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 - Whitehorse Planning Scheme - Four dwellings - Mandatory Garden Area Requirement. No permit.

Queensland

Fraser Coast Regional Council v Zacka & Ors [2019] QPEC 21 PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT - APPLICATION -applications in pending proceeding - where the substantive proceeding seeks enforcement orders under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 - where the enforcement orders relate to alleged unlawful operational work being bulk earthworks and alleged unlawful tidal works by the respondents - where the respondents rely on discretionary reasons to avoid the relief sought - where the discretionary reasons contain allegations that BGM Projects Pty Ltd made representations that the Council ought to have known were not correct – where the Council applied for an order that BGM Projects Pty Ltd be included as a party - where the Council applied to have this proceeding heard together with Application No. 2312 of 2018, being a proceeding for enforcement orders commenced by BGM Projects Pty Ltd - whether the presence of BGM Projects Pty Ltd is necessary to enable the court to adjudicate effectively and completely on all matters in dispute in the proceeding - whether the presence of BGM Projects Pty Ltd would be desirable, just and convenient to enable the court to adjudicate effectively and completely on all matters in dispute in the proceeding - whether the proceedings should be heard together with the enforcement proceedings commenced by BGM Projects Pty Ltd - Planning and Environment Court Rules 2018 Qld r 4.

BGM Projects Pty Ltd v Zacka & Ors [2019] QPEC 20PROCEDURE - PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COURT JURISDICTION AND POWERS - INHERENT POWERS - PROCEDURE UNDER RULES OF COURT - where the first and second respondents applied for the proceedings to be struck out or permanently stayed - where the Originating Application seeks enforcement orders - where the enforcement orders relate to alleged unlawful operational work - where the applicant has a current proceeding in the Supreme Court with respect to the same matter - whether the proceedings should be struck out or stayed on the basis they are an abuse of process - whether the proceeding should be struck out as it discloses no cause of action. Planning Act 2016 (Qld) s 180.

Lim v Moreton Bay Regional Council (No 2) [2019] QLC 22 PROCEDURE - CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS - COSTS - whether s 34 of the Land Court Act 2000 or s 27 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 applies - where the Court found in favour of the applicant in the originating proceedings – whether the applicant’s conduct has unreasonably and unnecessarily forced the respondent into litigation - whether the applicant presented its case in a way that imposed unnecessary burdens on the respondent or the Court - whether the applicant has pursued a vexatious, dishonest, or grossly exaggerated claim.