Planning & Environment

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Standing the test of time: Top Ten Tips for Project Development Agreements - Aug 2019

Project Development Agreements (PDAs) are often used in urban regeneration and other development projects; they allow the government landowner to keep control of the precinct development and allow the developer to defer payment and land acquisition. Their implementation over the project lifecycle means that clauses will be tested, as will the relationship between the parties. It is important that the PDA is carefully negotiated and drafted to avoid pitfalls during project implementation.

Partner, Margot King, and Senior Associate, Sam Gou, set out their top ten PDA tips.

South Australia to ban single-use plastics - Aug 2019

In July this year the SA Government announced that it intended to introduce legislation in 2020 to ban single use plastic products.  As part of the transition, a pilot program to establish plastic free precincts has been implemented. 

Broader powers for the EPA under proposed policy changes for renewable energy projects in South Australia - Aug 2019

The State Planning Commission has released a discussion paper on proposed policy changes to renewable energy projects in South Australia.

Significant NSW Security of Payment Amendments to Apply to Contracts Entered Into On or After 21 October 2019 - Jul 2019

The long awaited changes to the NSW Security of Payment regime will commence in respect of construction contracts entered into on or after 21 October 2019.  The largely contractor friendly changes are significant and need to be understood and applied to effectively access the Act’s cash-flow benefits.

Landcom reports on feasibility of Build-to-Rent projects - Jul 2019

A recent report by Landcom Build-to-Rent in Australia: Product feasibility and potential affordable housing contribution(July 2019) looks at the feasibility of build-to-rent (BtR) developments in light of current market conditions and policy settings.  Recent changes to tax treatment of income from Managed Investment Trusts (MIT) is likely to have a significant impact for foreign investors. 

Partner, Margot King and Senior Associate, Samantha Gou review the highlights of that report and the MIT changes.

"Near enough notice is not good enough notice” – requirements for strict compliance with contractual notice provisions only get stricter. - May 2019

We recently considered the decision in Santos Limited v BNP Paribas [2019] QCA 11, that a failure to include the words of a particular form rendered a call on a bank guarantee invalid. At the time, we suggested that “parties would be wise to consider the risk that such a principle may be extended to documents to which they are a party”.  In JPA Finance Pty Ltd v Gordon Nominees Pty Ltd, the Supreme Court of Victoria has now held in a similar way, relating to notice provisions in a Call Option Deed.

Ted Williams, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate consider the decision.  

Climate Change – the gathering legal and policy storm in Australia and its impact on the energy and resources sector - Apr 2019

Recent developments suggest that the law in Australia is shifting inevitably towards a more climate change conscious approach for business. Developments include changes in the way energy and resources projects may be assessed and approved based on their carbon emissions; and the disclosures companies may have to make in relation to climate change risks.

Sarah Clarke, Partner, and Nikita Siouzev, law clerk, investigate these changes in law and policy and suggest some solutions on how companies may mitigate their risks.

Climate risk mitigation and adaptation a key focus for the Environmental Sustainability Victoria: State of the Environment report 2018 - Mar 2019

The impacts of population growth on climate risks is a key take away from the report. Only 18 of the 169 measured indicators have been identified as improving and it remains to be seen how policy will respond to the recommendations. 

Kathryn Walker, Partner, discusses the key points of the Environmental Sustainability Victoria: State of the Environment report 2018.

Major Reforms for Natural Resources Proposed Under the New 'Landscape South Australia Bill 2019' - Mar 2019

Landscape South Australia Bill 2019 to repeal the Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

The Bill aims for greater community involvement in natural resource management and the recognition of climate change impacts on the environment.

Kathryn Walker, Partner, and Kerri Hooper, Law Graduate, discuss the key points of the Landscape South Australia Bill 2019.

$55M demand scuppered in battle of form over substance. (Very) strict compliance is required when it comes to calls on performance security. - Feb 2019

In the recent decision of Santos Limited v BNP Paribas [2019] QCA 11, the Queensland Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a failure to include the words “authorised signatory of Santos Limited” meant that a demand made upon a bank guarantee was invalid.  Given the principle of ‘’strict compliance’’, the employee’s signature and position description did not amount to a representation that he was an authorised representative of Santos Limited.  Ted Williams, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate, discuss what the decision means for parties when notices under contracts.    

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