ICAC – new guidelines for direct negotiations

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption has published new guidelines for public sector organisations ‘Direct negotiations: guidelines for managing risks‘ (‘2018 Guidelines‘).

The 2018 Guidelines replace the guidelines published by the Commission in 2006 (‘2006 Guidelines‘).

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Complying development certificate for dwelling found invalid for lack of retaining wall certification

The Building Professionals Board (‘BPB‘) recently investigated a complying development certificate (‘CDC‘) issued by an accredited certifier for the erection of a dwelling.  The CDC was issued without an engineer’s certificate for a retaining wall to support the excavation for the concrete slab. The BPB concluded that the CDC was issued inappropriately as the development did not comply with the relevant prescribed development standards in that regard.

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Protective (or maximum) costs orders in the LEC

The power of the Land and Environment Court to make protective (or maximum) costs orders – orders which cap the costs that may be recovered by a party from another in litigation  – was considered by Pepper J in the recent case of Nerringillah Community Association Inc v Laundry Number Pty Ltd [2018] NSWLEC 157. Continue reading

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Coastal Reforms Transitional Provisions – Coastal Management SEPP

The coastal reforms comprising the State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 (CM SEPP) and the Coastal Management Act 2016 (Act) commenced on 3 April 2018. These reforms repealed the Coastal Protection Act 1979 (Former Act). However, the Act and CM SEPP do not automatically apply to all actions taken in the coastal zone from that date. There are transitional provisions which need to be carefully considered. This article discusses the transitional provisions in the CM SEPP, and a recent Court decision on those provisions.

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Public Sector Agencies’ – Civil Liability for Child Abuse

On 26 October 2018 the NSW Parliament passed legislation to introduce a statutory duty on both public sector agencies and private organisations to prevent the abuse of children.  Continue reading

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Conciliation agreements – Commissioners must give reasons

A development consent granted by a Land and Environment Court Commissioner following a s34 conciliation conference has been set aside by the Court of Appeal because the Commissioner failed to give reasons evidencing her satisfaction as to the legal prerequisites to her power to grant the consent.

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Thinking of challenging the validity of a development consent? The sooner, the better!

Generally proceedings challenging an administrative decision must be commenced within 3 months of the decision being made.  However, the Court does have the discretion to vary this time frame.

Three recent decisions in the Land and Environment Court involving challenges to the validity of development consents have required it to exercise this discretion.

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Is it a bird or is it a plane? – the use of drones for enforcement activities

In September 2018 the Department of Planning and Environment (‘DPE’) released guidelines for the DPE compliance unit for the operation of remotely piloted aircraft , also known as drones or unmanned aircraft (‘Drones’) in compliance and enforcement functions. Continue reading

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Western Sydney Airport – development in protected airspace

The protected airspace for Western Sydney Airport was declared under the Airports Act 1996 (Cth) and the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Amendment Regulation 1996 (Cth) on 19 October 2017.

Development that infringes on protected airspace may require approval from the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (the ‘Department’) in addition to any approvals required under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). Consent authorities and certifiers are obliged to notify Western Sydney Airport of applications received for development that infringes on protected airspace.

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UPDATE – proposed planning framework for Short-Term Rental Accommodation available for comment

The Department of Planning & Environment (Department) has recently released for public comment an Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) regarding proposed amendments to the planning rules relating to short-term rental accommodation (STRA) in New South Wales (NSW).

Amendments to existing planning instruments will establish the state-wide planning framework that will form part of the regulatory framework for STRA in NSW that is expected to commence in 2019.

The key amendments include: Continue reading

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