State Significant Development

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.

Moorebank Intermodal Terminal - Objector appeal - Standing of objector to bring appeal

Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank Incorporated v Minister for Planning [2017] NSWLEC 115

The NSW Land and Environment Court has dismissed a challenge by a project proponent (Qube,) who is the Second Respondent in the proceedings, to the standing of the Applicant to bring the proceedings.

The proceedings involve an "objector appeal" brought in relation to an SSD consent granted for the Moorebank Intermodal Precinct East – Stage 1 project.

The Applicant/Objector, Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank Inc (RAIDM Inc), is an incorporated body. However, at the time it made its objection to the development, it was an unincorporated association known as Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank (RAID Moorebank).

In reaching its decision, the Court considered the scope of persons permitted to bring an objection to development under Section 79(5) and 98(1) of the EP&A Act and the effect of Clause 2(1)(b) of Schedule 2 of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (which provides that, upon the incorporation of an unincorporated association, its rights and liabilities vest in the incorporated body).

4Nature successfully challenges Centennial Springvale SSD consent

4nature Incorporated v Centennial Springvale Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCA 191  

The Court of Appeal has upheld 4Nature's appeal from a decision of the Land and Environment Court to dismiss its challenge to the SSD consent granted for the continued operation of the Centennial Springvale mine. 

The case turned upon the correct interpretation of the requirement, contained in Clause 10 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) 2011, that the consent authority be satisfied that the development would have a neutral or beneficial effect on water quality.