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All the latest news from Energy & Resources Law

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High Court decision on the right to mine

The High Court recently handed down its decision in Harvey v Minister for Primary Industries and Resources [2024] HCA 1. The case considered the meaning of mining activities under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). 

The case involved an application for a mineral lease that Mount Isa Mines applied for in 2013 under the Mineral Titles Act 2010 (NT). The application was to process sediment from a channel to a dredge spoil emplacement area but did not involve any production of minerals. The applicant gave notice under section 24MD(6A) of the Native Title Act but the native title holders argued the notice should have been under section 24MD(6B) instead. 

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Recent State legislative updates

Both Victoria and South Australia have recently progressed significant legislation focused on renewable energy. 
The Victorian Government’s Climate Change and Energy Legislation Amendment (Renewable Energy and Storage Targets) Bill 2023 has had its second reading in the Legislative Assembly. The Bill is intended to reduce the cost of power bills, create tens of thousands of jobs and encourage investment in the State’s renewable energy industry. 


Chilean Committee Launch Event

On 8th November in Chile (9th Nov in Australia), the Chilean Committee of the Energy and Resources Law Association was officially launched. The event took place at the office of the Sustainable Minerals Institute International Centre of Excellence Chile (SMI-ICE-Chile). The event started with opening words by the Mr. Ambassador of Australia in Chile, His Excellency Todd Mercer, the Executive Director of the SMI-ICE-Chile, Doug Aitken, and Gordon Bunyan , Executive Director of the Energy & Resources Law Association.

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Recent environmental cases in Australia

Two recent cases involving environmental actions provide some guidance on how the law and Ministerial decision making can apply.  

Recently two judicial review proceedings were dismissed by the Federal Court. The case was brought by Environmental Justice Australia and has been called the Living Wonders case. The case sought to challenge the Federal Environment Minister’s failure to adequately consider climate change risk when assessing two coal mine expansions under s78 of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.