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Section 34 Conciliation Conferences – Requirement for Reasons

A recent development consented to by a Commissioner of the Land and Environment Court during a Court mandated section 34 conference has been set aside by the Court of Appeal due to the fact that the Commissioner failed to give proper and adequate reasons for their decision. The Commissioner further failed to give proper reasons with respect to her satisfaction as to the legal perquisites to their power to grant the consent.

Huajun Investments Pty Ltd filed a class 1 appeal against City of Canada Bay Council’s deemed refusal of their DA which sough to demolish pre-existing structures on the DA site and replace it with an 8 storey-residential flat building.

After being sat down for a section 34 conference pursuant to section 34 of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979 (“the Act”) , The Commissioner overseeing the matter granted development consent in accordance with the agreed terms under section 34(3) of the Act. Section 34(3) states that once an agreement is reached, the Commissioner must:
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Can an intervener/objector participate in s34 conciliation conference after the onsite consultation?

On 19 April 2018, judgment was delivered in M.H.Earthmoving Pty Ltd v Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council [2018] NSWLEC 56 dismissing a motion by Gundagai Community Environmental Impact Group (GCEIG), an objector to the subject class 1 proceedings seeking an order to be permitted to participate in the “closed door” part of the s 34 conciliation conference.

Full judgment can be found here.

Background

The Class 1 proceedings in question concerned an application made by the Applicant in relation to the decision of the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) to refuse the Applicant’s development application for the expansion of an existing solid waste, non-putrescible, landfill at the subject land. The Respondent Council is the relevant public authority to defend the decision of the JRPP in this matter.

GCEIG, a not-for-profit, ‘grass roots’ community based group, established to protect and enhance the environment, social and economic wellbeing of the Gundagai and District  GCEIG, filed a Notice of Motion in the proceedings, seeking two primary orders:
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