As environmental regulation becomes more complex and prescriptive, communities are not only better informed, but have increasingly higher performance expectations.
The risk of brand damage associated with non-compliance and prosecution is often higher than the risk of penalties.
Against this background, our clients value our extensive experience in advising across Australia and our understanding of the way in which regulators are likely to respond from both a policy and enforcement perspective.
Adopting a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach, our environmental team is experienced in advising on environmental management systems and pathways to minimise risk for organisations and their directors, officers and managers.
Acted for DNRME in relation to various proceedings concerning the clearing of some 20,000 hectares of vegetation at Strathmore Station in far north Queensland. This included defending two judicial review proceedings relating to decisions on PMAVs, an appeal to the P&E Court against an enforcement notice, and peripheral assistance to a prosecution run in-house by the State (including disclosure of 27,500 documents in a 7 day timeframe). DNRME was successful in the prosecution, the judicial review proceedings were both withdrawn, and the enforcement notice appeal was resolved on the basis of extensive rehabilitation requirements.
Advised QAL on a range of environmental incidents associated with its Alumina refinery in Gladstone, including responding to s451 notices, assisting in DES interviews, making submissions to DES, responding to statutory notices, and defending prosecutions.
Advised on the approvals strategy for the environmental impact assessment, planning and other approvals for the Port of Hastings Container Expansion Project including road and rail infrastructure to connect to port to the existing freight network.
Understanding of the system and the ability to negotiate a commercial, pragmatic outcome.