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Assented in early March 2018, the recently introduced Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2018 sets out to amend the Land and Environment Court Act 1979 in order to increase the scope of issues that the Court can deal with regarding Class 4 Proceedings.

The purpose of this amendment is to “strengthen and streamline procedural processes” in NSW Courts and Tribunals. While it is only a minor amendment to the Land and Environment Court Act 1979 its purpose is to ensure that the matters already heard within this Court are more appropriately prescribed as Class 4 Civil Enforcement Matters, and not as Class 3 Miscellaneous matters, which how they are classed currently.

Specifically speaking, the point of these amendments is to grant the Land and Environment court power to deal with Class 4 Proceedings Cost Orders. The amendment allows the Court the too deal with the following provisions:

  1. S 202 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  2. Ss 13.22 and 13.27 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016
  3. s 57 of the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008
  4. s 353D of the Water Management Act 2000

Not only are the proceedings limited to the recovery of costs, the amendments allow parties to recover expenses and compensation from an offender against whom an offence against the Act in question has been proved. Specifically in relation to the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 proceedings relating to the enforcement of undertakings are also included in this amendment.