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’. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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Contact: James Plumb, Partner and Duncan Lomas, Solicitor

In QGC Pty Limited & Ors v Eugenehans Peter Vogt & Anor [2017] QLC 20, the Land Court has handed down its first compensation determination under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) (P&G Act) in recent years, and importantly since the development of coal seam gas fields to underpin a liquefied natural gas export industry in Queensland.

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