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Environment & Planning

Investment in the energy and resources sector is undoubtedly growing and driving major infrastructure developments. Strong international investments, particularly in the coal seam gas and mining industries in Queensland and Western Australia, along with governments entering into public private partnerships, have fuelled a boom in new projects with environmental implications.

Approvals for these major projects and environmental risk allocation have become more complex than ever before. Environmental impact and assessment can often be protracted and opportunities to streamline approvals are not always available, or, in the case of Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW), have been withdrawn.

Corrs understands the way local planning systems have evolved and operate, and works closely and proactively with government to recognise and comprehend policy directions. We have an outstanding track record in managing planning and environmental approvals for infrastructure projects for both government and major corporations, and advise on many landmark Australian projects. 

Our Experts

Bev Kennedy.jpg

Beverly Kennedy

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
Christine Covington.jpg

Christine Covington

Partner Location Sydney Profile
BRENNANDeborahwebsitegeySIZEDTH.jpg

Deborah Brennan

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
Henry Prokuda.jpg

Henry Prokuda

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
OBRIENLeannewebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Leanne O'Brien

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
Louise Camenzuli.jpg

Louise Camenzuli

Partner Location Sydney Profile
LEONGMichael.jpg

Michael Leong

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
BLACKBURNMichellewebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Michelle Blackburn

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
Sue Davidson.jpg

Sue Davidson

Special Counsel Location Melbourne Profile

Our Experience

Defending developers

When Huntlee wanted to put 7500 new dwellings in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, the rezoning and project application created a major environmental dispute which made front page news.

A local resident action group also declared invalid planning approvals and challenged the new town’s planning regime. The Corrs team successfully countered every objection.

More

From eco-resort to rehab centre

The Salvation Army met with strong objection for its plans to convert an eco-resort on the Central Coast of New South Wales into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. They relied on Corrs’ combination of planning and environmental skills to successfully dispute all 14 grounds, and the development proceeded.

Our Thinking

Environmental regulation in Indonesia: Getting to green

The what and how of environmental approvals in Indonesia.

More

Regional Planning Interests Bill is another hurdle for resource projects

Resources projects could be excluded from areas of regional interest.

More

Amendments to the Planning and Environment Act might give rise to unexpected results

There’s a new streamlined process for amending or ending section 173 agreements, but it does have some quirks.

More

Draft carbon tax repeal legislation released - What does it mean for your business?

Repeal of the carbon tax is underway but uncertainty for business continues.

More

Concerning mining lease objections - How to deal with ‘free hit’ objections to mining lease applications

Objections to mining leases with no evidence or only unsubstantiated concerns carry little force but cost applicants both time and money.

More

Queensland’s de-amalgamating councils: Making the most of a fresh start

Four local councils in Queensland are separating from their regional councils following a March referendum in which their communities overwhelmingly voted for de-amalgamation.

More

Strategic cropping land review: Have your say

Now is the time to let government know what you think about Queensland’s strategic cropping land laws.

More

Productivity Commission caught between a rock and a hard place in finding ways to streamline project approvals

The Commission’s proposed framework for approvals processes will be controversial.

More

Who is an “occupier” under Queensland’s Petroleum & Gas Act?

The new “occupier” definition has broadened the scope of “who” is eligible to claim compensation from resource companies.

More

Don’t kill the golden goose before it lays an egg - Time to review restrictions on the unconventional gas sector

As the resources boom recedes the opportunity cost of restrictions on shale and coal seam gas is mounting.

More

New clarity on compensation for landowner time

The Land Court has confirmed the current statutory position in relation to landowner time for resources compensation.

More

What constitutes a material change in circumstances under Queensland’s Petroleum & Gas Act?

Resources companies must understand the types of changes that are ‘material’ and could trigger a compensation review.

More

Cash bidding for exploration permits in Queensland - A losing game for junior explorers?

Smaller explorers could be squeezed out of the state’s most highly prospective acreage.

More

Reviewing compensation for resources tenures - What’s done isn’t necessarily dusted

What is a material change of circumstance for the purpose of reviewing compensation?

More

Will a single state planning policy change anything in Queensland?

Queensland’s new state planning policy promises simplicity, but can it deliver?

More

Do resources companies have to compensate land owners for their time?

Do Queensland land owners have a right to compensation for the time they spend negotiating conduct and compensation agreements?

More

Can the NSW planning system change its spots?

The NSW Government has released the White Paper on its proposed new planning system.

More

Environmental finance: A new way to finance your building retrofit

A new lending product is incentivising property owners to upgrade the environmental efficiency of their existing buildings.

More

Land access and compensation pitfalls: Who is an “occupier”?

Planned amendments to Queensland’s definition of "occupier" will not fix the current ambiguity and resources companies will still face land access risks.

More

Productivity Commission review a ray of hope for major projects

Could reform be on the way for Australia’s infamous major projects approval regime?

More

New environmental assessment reforms are controversial, but ultimately sensible

Industry and environmental groups are polarised over reforms to streamline approvals for large projects. Who’s right?

More

Communities pay for polluters in Queensland

Queensland’s State Government is seeking to deregulate a raft of polluting industrial activities, leaving local councils to pay for the clean up.

More

Renewable Energy: Is 20% by 2020 really achievable?

The NSW Government is committed to 20% renewable energy by 2020 but are the State’s environmental and planning laws a roadblock to renewable energy development?

More Download

Green light for mining and CSG, but at what cost to developers and the environment?

The NSW Government’s Strategic Regional Land Use Policy offers little protection to farmers and the environment and manages to add costs and delays to coal and CSG projects.

More Download

Will justice be served if losers pay in Planning & Environment appeals?

Local governments and community groups may be the real losers under proposed reforms to Queensland’s Planning and Environment Court.

More Download

Greentape Reduction Bill: Will it strip local governments’ power to regulate environmental impacts?

Queensland’s Greentape Reduction Bill may make it more difficult for local governments to regulate environmental impacts.

More

Foreign investment in Australian agriculture - Where to from here?

Foreign investment in Australian agricultural land has become a hot button political issue. But there are a number of different factors at play.

More

Will the government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation really be a boon for green energy?

The government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation will commence investing in green energy projects next year. But is it really a cure for the renewable sector’s malaise?

More

Coal seam gas versus other land uses: Has Queensland got it right?

The optimistically named Resources Legislation (Balance, Certainty and Efficiency) Bill 2011 is the Queensland government’s latest attempt at addressing the conflict between the coal seam gas industry and other land users.

More

Case note: Huntlee Pty Ltd and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure v Sweetwater Action Group Inc [2011] NSWCA 378

This decision by the Court of Appeal has important implications for parties to voluntary planning agreements.

More

Overhaul of planning legislation in NSW

The NSW State Government is undertaking the most significant overhaul of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (NSW) since its introduction in 1979.

More

Our Experience

Defending developers

When Huntlee wanted to put 7500 new dwellings in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, the rezoning and project application created a major environmental dispute which made front page news.

A local resident action group also declared invalid planning approvals and challenged the new town’s planning regime. The Corrs team successfully countered every objection.

From eco-resort to rehab centre

The Salvation Army met with strong objection for its plans to convert an eco-resort on the Central Coast of New South Wales into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. They relied on Corrs’ combination of planning and environmental skills to successfully dispute all 14 grounds, and the development proceeded.

Our Thinking

Overhaul of planning legislation in NSW

The NSW State Government is undertaking the most significant overhaul of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (NSW) since its introduction in 1979.

Coal seam gas versus other land uses: Has Queensland got it right?

The optimistically named Resources Legislation (Balance, Certainty and Efficiency) Bill 2011 is the Queensland government’s latest attempt at addressing the conflict between the coal seam gas industry and other land users.

Will the government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation really be a boon for green energy?

The government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation will commence investing in green energy projects next year. But is it really a cure for the renewable sector’s malaise?

Foreign investment in Australian agriculture - Where to from here?

Foreign investment in Australian agricultural land has become a hot button political issue. But there are a number of different factors at play.

Greentape Reduction Bill: Will it strip local governments’ power to regulate environmental impacts?

Queensland’s Greentape Reduction Bill may make it more difficult for local governments to regulate environmental impacts.

Will justice be served if losers pay in Planning & Environment appeals?

Local governments and community groups may be the real losers under proposed reforms to Queensland’s Planning and Environment Court.

Green light for mining and CSG, but at what cost to developers and the environment?

The NSW Government’s Strategic Regional Land Use Policy offers little protection to farmers and the environment and manages to add costs and delays to coal and CSG projects.

Renewable Energy: Is 20% by 2020 really achievable?

The NSW Government is committed to 20% renewable energy by 2020 but are the State’s environmental and planning laws a roadblock to renewable energy development?

Communities pay for polluters in Queensland

Queensland’s State Government is seeking to deregulate a raft of polluting industrial activities, leaving local councils to pay for the clean up.

New environmental assessment reforms are controversial, but ultimately sensible

Industry and environmental groups are polarised over reforms to streamline approvals for large projects. Who’s right?

Productivity Commission review a ray of hope for major projects

Could reform be on the way for Australia’s infamous major projects approval regime?

Land access and compensation pitfalls: Who is an “occupier”?

Planned amendments to Queensland’s definition of "occupier" will not fix the current ambiguity and resources companies will still face land access risks.

Environmental finance: A new way to finance your building retrofit

A new lending product is incentivising property owners to upgrade the environmental efficiency of their existing buildings.

Can the NSW planning system change its spots?

The NSW Government has released the White Paper on its proposed new planning system.

Do resources companies have to compensate land owners for their time?

Do Queensland land owners have a right to compensation for the time they spend negotiating conduct and compensation agreements?

Will a single state planning policy change anything in Queensland?

Queensland’s new state planning policy promises simplicity, but can it deliver?

Reviewing compensation for resources tenures - What’s done isn’t necessarily dusted

What is a material change of circumstance for the purpose of reviewing compensation?

Cash bidding for exploration permits in Queensland - A losing game for junior explorers?

Smaller explorers could be squeezed out of the state’s most highly prospective acreage.

What constitutes a material change in circumstances under Queensland’s Petroleum & Gas Act?

Resources companies must understand the types of changes that are ‘material’ and could trigger a compensation review.

New clarity on compensation for landowner time

The Land Court has confirmed the current statutory position in relation to landowner time for resources compensation.

Don’t kill the golden goose before it lays an egg - Time to review restrictions on the unconventional gas sector

As the resources boom recedes the opportunity cost of restrictions on shale and coal seam gas is mounting.

Who is an “occupier” under Queensland’s Petroleum & Gas Act?

The new “occupier” definition has broadened the scope of “who” is eligible to claim compensation from resource companies.

Productivity Commission caught between a rock and a hard place in finding ways to streamline project approvals

The Commission’s proposed framework for approvals processes will be controversial.

Strategic cropping land review: Have your say

Now is the time to let government know what you think about Queensland’s strategic cropping land laws.

Concerning mining lease objections - How to deal with ‘free hit’ objections to mining lease applications

Objections to mining leases with no evidence or only unsubstantiated concerns carry little force but cost applicants both time and money.

Draft carbon tax repeal legislation released - What does it mean for your business?

Repeal of the carbon tax is underway but uncertainty for business continues.

Amendments to the Planning and Environment Act might give rise to unexpected results

There’s a new streamlined process for amending or ending section 173 agreements, but it does have some quirks.

Regional Planning Interests Bill is another hurdle for resource projects

Resources projects could be excluded from areas of regional interest.

Queensland’s de-amalgamating councils: Making the most of a fresh start

Four local councils in Queensland are separating from their regional councils following a March referendum in which their communities overwhelmingly voted for de-amalgamation.

Environmental regulation in Indonesia: Getting to green

The what and how of environmental approvals in Indonesia.

Case note: Huntlee Pty Ltd and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure v Sweetwater Action Group Inc [2011] NSWCA 378

This decision by the Court of Appeal has important implications for parties to voluntary planning agreements.

Our Experts

Bev Kennedy.jpg

Beverly Kennedy

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3404
Christine Covington.jpg

Christine Covington

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6428
BRENNANDeborahwebsitegeySIZEDTH.jpg

Deborah Brennan

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9494
Henry Prokuda.jpg

Henry Prokuda

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9791
OBRIENLeannewebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Leanne O'Brien

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9453
Louise Camenzuli.jpg

Louise Camenzuli

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6621
LEONGMichael.jpg

Michael Leong

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9474
BLACKBURNMichellewebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Michelle Blackburn

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3353
Sue Davidson.jpg

Sue Davidson

Special Counsel Melbourne +61 3 9672 3209