Environmental Law



Meet the Co-chairs - TAGLAW

Schiller, Baerbel E.
Spencer Fane LLP

Authors: Johanna Kennerley, Senior Associate and Ben Hall, Special Counsel

The ‘polluter pays principle’ is the corner-stone of global environmental policy, and the basis of environmental laws throughout Australia. In Yarra City Council v Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board, the ‘principle’ can be seen in action.

The Victorian Court of Appeal recently held that the Yarra City Council (Council) had to compensate the land owner for the cost of cleaning up pollution that occurred up to 100 years ago, in respect of land that had been transferred multiple times since the contamination occurred and which the Council had not owned since 1996.

This decision is important for all land owners and occupiers who participate in activities that could cause contamination across all Australian states and territories.

To read more click here, or visit www.carternewell.com

Author: Johanna Kennerley, Senior Associate


In January this year, the Labor Government released its response to the Independent Inquiry into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and environmental regulation in Victoria. The government’s response accepted nearly all of the Inquiry’s recommendations, stating that changes would be implemented to modernise Victoria’s environmental law regime.  

Progress has been made this month, with the EPA releasing the Environmental Protection Bill 2017 (VIC) (Bill), which will give effect to the first commitments made by the government regarding the structure of the EPA, and the Environmental Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 (VIC) (SP Regulations) which is the first step towards a more streamlined licensing system.  

For more information about the Inquiry and the government’s response, please refer to our article ‘Will your business be ready for Victoria’s stronger environmental regime’. 

To read more click here, or visit www.carternewell.com

The Commonwealth Parliament has passed legislation aimed at mitigating the impacts of a decision of the Federal Court that would have potentially invalidated at least 126 area Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA) signed after 2010.

In February the Full Bench of the Federal Court sent the state and federal governments, resources companies, major developers and pastoralists into a spin when it handed down its decision in the case of McGlade v Native Title Registrar (McGlade).1

To read more click here, or visit www.carternewell.com

Contact: James Plumb, Partner

On 23 May 2017, the Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources & Mines, the Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, introduced the Land Access Ombudsman Bill (Bill).

The Bill is aimed at facilitating the timely resolution of disputes between parties to conduct and compensation agreements (CCAs) or make good agreements (MGAs), by appointing a land access ombudsman (LAO) to investigate and facilitate resolution of the dispute.

To read the full article click here, or visit www.carternewell.com.

Contact: James Plumb, Partner and Johanna Kennerley, Senior Associate

Part 1: Financial Assurance Review

The Queensland Government is concerned that some 220,000 hectares of land has been disturbed by current and historical mining activities. It is estimated that only 8% of this land has been rehabilitated. This poses a key risk to the State, both in terms of environmental concerns and potential financial impacts in circumstances where the State becomes responsible for rehabilitating the land.

To read the full article click here, or visit www.carternewell.com.