Environmental Law

Considering the impacts of coal mining on climate change - Lessons from Gloucester Resources case

Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] NSWLEC 7

In this judgment, handed down on 8 February 2019, the Chief Judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court dismissed an appeal by Gloucester Resources Limited against a decision by the Minister for Planning to refuse to grant development consent for its Rocky Hill Coal Project.

In dismissing the appeal, the Court held that the Project would have significant direct and indirect adverse impacts which would outweigh its potential benefits.

One of the adverse impacts considered by the Court related to the potential impacts of the Project on climate change due the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG).

This includes GHG emitted both directly and indirectly by by the Project. The lengthy written judgment handed down by the Court provides clear guidance as to how the emissions of GHG should be evaluated in the broader context of evaluating the overall merits of a proposed development.

New Coastal Management Framework for NSW

The coastal management framework for NSW has changed. The Coastal Management Act 2016 has been amended and the Coastal Protection Act 1979 has been repealed.

The development controls and approval pathway for coastal development are now found in a new Coastal Management SEPP with certain consequential changes also having been made to the Infrastructure SEPP.

Tasmanian "Protection from Protestors" legislation - Key parts struck down by High Court - Implied freedom of political communication - Implications for NSW

Brown v Tasmania [2017] HCA 43

On 23 October 2017, a majority of the High Court of Australia ruled that key provisions of the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas) (Protesters Act) impermissibly burden the implied freedom of political communication arising under the Constitution.