Author Archives: matt harker

About matt harker

Matt Harker is a Senior Lawyer with Lindsay Taylor Lawyers. Matt has a background in administrative law, having been an Associate in the Commonwealth's Administrative Appeals Tribunal and has a Masters of Law from University College, London. Matt works across the fields of planning, environment and administrative law with a particular expertise in litigation, in the Land & Environment Court and Supreme Court of NSW, and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

When can a Sydney District or Regional Planning Panel ‘Direct and Control’ a Council in a Class 1 Appeal?

For the first time, the Land and Environment Court has considered a recently introduced provision of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act) which makes a council subject to the direction and control of a planning panel in the conduct of … Continue reading

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What you need to know: amendments to the Privacy Act 1988

The Commonwealth Government’s recent reforms to the Privacy Act 1988 have taken effect, heralding new obligations for a number of organisations across the country. This article will consider what those obligations are, who is affected, and how organisations will be required … Continue reading

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The Primacy of a Construction Certificate

The  NSW Court of Appeal has reversed a decision of the Land and Environment Court which limited the extent to which a construction certificate could override the terms of a development consent. In Bunderra Holdings Pty Ltd v Pasminco Cockle Creek … Continue reading

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ALERT – Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2017 passed by Parliament

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2017 (‘Bill‘) was today passed by the Legislative Assembly. This follows the passage of the Bill through the Legislative Council on Tuesday. The Bill now awaits Royal Assent.  Section 2 of the Bill provides that the new … Continue reading

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Does the minimum lot size development standard apply to strata subdivision?

It has been widely assumed that the minimum lot size development standard in clause 4.1 of the Standard Instrument – Principle Local Environmental Plan (‘Standard LEP‘) does not apply to strata subdivision. However the Land and Environment Court has held that this is … Continue reading

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Interpreting an option to extend a contract: lessons from the Court of Appeal

The NSW Court of Appeal has issued an important reminder to local councils about the need for clarity in tender documents. In Port Macquarie-Hastings Council v Diveva Pty Limited [2017] NSWCA 97, the Court considered the proper construction of an option to extend … Continue reading

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An Overview of the Proposed ePlanning Regulation

The Draft Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (ePlanning) Regulation 2017 is currently under consideration by the Minister for Planning and Environment. The Draft Regulation represents an attempt to streamline the development application process by introducing standard documents and providing a single … Continue reading

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Can a developer seek a court order to remedy its own apprehended breach of a development consent?

It is well established that there are two ways to modify a development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. A consent may be modified by resort to the process in s96 or s96AA of the Act, or in consequence … Continue reading

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New LEC Conciliation Conference Policy

In conjunction with recent changes to the Class 1 Development Appeals Practice Note (‘Practice Note‘), the Land and Environment Court has also issued a new Conciliation Conference Policy (‘Policy‘). The Policy is substantially the same as the previous version. Nonetheless, … Continue reading

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A suspended custodial sentence for contempt of planning law orders

The Land and Environment Court has taken the rare step of sentencing an individual to a 10 month custodial sentence for contempt of the court’s orders. The orders required the use of premises as a boarding house to cease. But … Continue reading

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