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On 1 March 2018, the new amended Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act) came into force. A newsletter article outlining the key amendments can be found here

New provisions vs old provisions

Clause 4A of Environmental Planning and Assessment (Savings, Transitional and Other Provisions) Regulation 2017 provides that a reference in any document to a provision of the repealed EP&A Act that has been renumbered or relocated by the new EP&A Act is taken to be a reference to the renumbered or relocated provision. In other words, wherever an old provision of the EP&A Act is mentioned, that it is to be read as if the new provision applies.

It is important to note that for the purpose of this Clause, the word “document” means any Act or statutory or other instrument or any contract or agreement, and includes any document issued or made under or for the purposes of any Act or statutory or other instrument.

Implications to Council

  1. Council is therefore not required to amend to any document previously issued by Council which refers to the old provisions as they will be read as if the new provision applies. Such document includes Court documents, statutory notices and orders or correspondence.
  2. Same applies to documents issued by Council after 1 March 2018 which inevitably refer to the renumbered/relocated provisions, providing these old provisions were not completely removed from the new EP&A Act and has a provision in an equivalent form.

A concordance table of the renumbered and relocated provisions at the end of the historical notes to the in-force version of the EP&A Act helpfully sets out the old provisions and their equivalent new provisions.

New Practice Notes

Following the amendment to the EP&A Act, some of the Practice Notes of the Land and Environment Court have since been remade to reflect the new numbering of the statutory provisions in the EP&A Act. The following new Practice Notes commenced to take effect on 3 April 2018:

  1. Class 1 Development Appeals
  2. Class 1 Residential Development Appeals
  3. Class 1, 2 and 3 Miscellaneous Appeals

The Practice Note – Class 5 Proceedings has also been amended accordingly as well as adding the following changes:

  • a new requirement to notify the Court of any proposed restorative justice process to be undertaken or proposed order for carrying out a restorative justice activity [26];
  • a new requirement to the Prosecutor to give to the defendant notice and details of any proposed order in connection with the offence (such as orders under Part 8.3 of the Protection of the Environment Operation Act 1997) if the offence is proved [34(f)]; and
  • further clarifications to the procedure for providing to the Court submissions for trials, sentencing hearings [40, 41 and 42] and notices of motion [45].