Legal Practice

Eclipse decision Consultation Paper

This submission has been prepared by the Australian Environmental and Planning Law Committee of the Law Council’s Legal Practice Section.

The Committee welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on the WA Government's 'Consultation Paper: Amendments proposed following the decision on Eclipse Resources Pty Ltd v The State of Western Australian [No.4] 2016 WASC 62' to be incorporated into the Law Society of Western Australia's submission.

Overview of submission

The burial of inert waste type 1, which satisfies the requirements of 'uncontaminated fill', will not require a licence under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) (EP Act) and, therefore, will not be subject to regulatory oversight. There will be no reporting process (which currently exists with licensing) to ensure that the buried waste meets the thresholds in Table 1.

The proposed regime does take into account the end land use in determining the suitability of fill for burial. Subject to appropriate regulatory oversight, an expanded definition of 'uncontaminated fill' may facilitate the use of waste-derived materials for beneficial uses that do not meet the thresholds in Table 1. Alternatively, a new legislative mechanism may be required to encourage the re-use of waste-derived materials.

Consistent with the objects of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WA) (WARR Act), specific exemptions to the waste levy should be created for the re-use of waste-derived materials

You can read the full submission below.

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