By -

Key developments

  • Mandatory workplace vaccinations
  • Proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021
  • Consultation on a common pathway for digital execution of statutory declarations and deeds
  • Inquiry into the COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • Consultation paper on Home Building Compensation construction type definitions

Mandatory workplace vaccinations

The Employment Law Committee contributed an article on mandatory workplace vaccinations to the October LSJ. The article provided a summary of relevant guidance and case law on the topic, including the recent Fair Work Ombudsman guidance which outlines four ‘tiers’ of work to assist employers with their case-by-case assessment of whether a direction to be vaccinated is reasonable. The article will be updated as case law emerges in this area.

Proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021

The Environmental Planning and Development and Property Law Committees contributed to a submission on the public consultation draft of the proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021.

The proposed 2021 Regulation will update and modernise the current Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 with targeted changes aimed at reducing administrative burdens and increasing procedural efficiency. We suggested  there should be a greater focus on more rigorous assessment requirements to ensure better design and amenity, particularly in relation to public amenities and services to meet the demands generated by increased population densities in urban areas. We also suggested that it would be useful to have a wider stakeholder consultation process in relation to the new forms to be used for development applications (‘DAs’).

We supported the inclusion of additional emerging technology development categories, which also require an environmental protection licence (‘EPL’), as designated development. This recognises the potential for these categories of development to cause significant environmental impacts. The Law Society generally supports continued alignment of designated development with requirements for an EPL. We did not support amending categories of designated development which effectively would further limit the types of development that would be subject to third party merits appeal rights where these activities present a high risk of harm to the environment, for example, poultry farms.

We supported the concept of limiting impacts to defined environmentally sensitive areas. We noted that the proposed 2021 Regulation replaces the term ‘environmentally sensitive areas’ with the new term ‘environmentally sensitive areas of State Significance’ (‘ESASS’). We supported this new definition as existing environmental protections are retained, with reform efforts focused on making them more effective and comprehensive. We also recommended harmonising the definition of ESASS using a ‘highest common denominator’ approach across different environmental planning instruments and the proposed 2021 Regulation. A stronger, harmonised definition would promote greater transparency as well as providing stronger environmental safeguards.

We also commented on the efficacy of some of the proposed changes, including in relation to the determination of DAs, modification of development consents, environmental planning requirements, designated development and planning certificates.

You've reached the end of this article preview

There's more to read! Subscribe to LSJ today to access the rest of our updates, articles and multimedia content.

Subscribe to LSJ

Already an LSJ subscriber or Law Society member? Sign in to read the rest of the article.

Sign in to read more