The Australian Resources and Energy Law Journal (ARELJ) began as a collaboration between The Centre for Energy and Resources Law of the University of Melbourne, The Centre for Mining Energy and Natural Resources Law of the University of Western Australia and Energy & Resources Law Association (formerly AMPLA Limited).

A peer reviewed, academic publication, the ARELJ covers current issues, recent developments and challenges relevant internationally and locally to each state and territory.

As well as peer reviewed articles, the ARELJ contains comments on matters of interest, notes on recent developments in case law and legislation, case notes and occasional book reviews.


ARELJ 40 (1)






Golden Pig Enterprises Pty Ltd v Crocker and others [2021] WAMW 7Golden Pig Enterprises Pty Ltd v Crocker and others [2021] WAMW 7

On 31 March 2021, Warden O’Sullivan handed down a decision of the Warden’s Court in Golden Pig Enterprises Pty Ltd v Crocker and others [2021] WAMW 7. This case concerned an objection made in relation to an application for an exploration licence on grounds that the application was non-compliant with the Mining Act 1978 (WA)(the Act).  
The Court found that, where an application for a mining tenement requires the application to be accompanied by a document specifying certain matters, those matters must be stated clearly, explicitly and in sufficient detail in that document itself.  In this case, the accompanying document was non-compliant and, as a result, the application was invalid.

A Climate Change Duty Of Care Owed By The Commonwealth Minister For The Environment

In the landmark Federal Court decision of Sharma v Minister for the Environment, Justice Bromberg found that the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment has a duty to avoid causing personal injury to Australian children arising from emissions of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere, when exercising power under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).

Implications of water trigger provisions for resource proponents following Federal Court Decision

In Australian Conservation Foundation Incorporated v Minister for the Environment,1 the Federal Court held that the Commonwealth Minister for Environment (Minister) should have applied the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) ‘water trigger’ provision to Adani Infrastructure Pty Ltd’s (Adani Infrastructure) North Galilee Water Scheme Water Infrastructure Project (NGWS Project). The significance of this decision is that any ancillary activities carried out which are integral to the mining of coal or the physical extraction of coal seam gas has the potential to enliven the application of the water trigger
provision.This Case Note considers the background of the decision and analyses the
potential implications of the decision for resource proponents.

Procedural Fairness in a Mining Objections Hearing – can an “active objector” call evidence of a “nonactive objector”?

On 20 August 2021, President Kingham of the Land Court of Queensland dismissed an application bought by New Acland Coal Pty Ltd (NAC) to prevent Oakey Coal Action Alliance Inc. (OCAA) from relying on two lay affidavits made by non‐active objectors in the mining objections hearing scheduled for November 2021.1 NAC had argued that to allow OCAA to do so would be inconsistent with Land Court Practice Direction 4 of 2018 (Practice Direction) and contrary to an undertaking in a “no costs” agreement between NAC and the deponents of the two affidavits. President Kingham found that to make the orders NAC sought would not be in the interests of justice and would deny OCAA procedural fairness. Further, by its terms, the Practice Direction did not prevent OCAA seeking to lead evidence from the two deponents as relevant witnesses.

The Hague District Court orders Shell to cut CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030

In Milieudefensie and others v Royal Dutch Shell plc ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:5339, the Hague District Court ordered Royal Dutch Shell, the parent company of the Shell group, to reduce the CO2 emissions of the Shell group's activities by net 45% by 2030 relative to 2019, through the Shell group's corporate policy. The reduction obligation covers the Shell group's entire energy portfolio and its aggregate volume of Scope 1 to Scope 3 emissions. The Court found that Shell had an 'obligation of result' to reduce its own operational emissions, and a 'significant bestefforts obligation' to reduce the emissions of suppliers and end users. The decision could encourage similar duty of care and 'greenwashing' claims in Australia.



On 20 May 2020, Queensland passed the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (Qld). Among other things, the Act introduced industrial manslaughter offences into the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 (Qld), Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 (Qld), Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld), and Explosives Act 1999 (Qld). These provisions took effect on 1 July 2020. The commencement of these changes coincides with a strong focus from safety regulators across Queensland on enforcement action and accountability at the senior management level. This paper addresses the new industrial manslaughter regime for the Queensland resources sector including practical implications. 

Editorial Committee

The Editorial Committee is responsible for the publication of AREL Journal, reviewing all submissions, and approving or rejecting each for publication.

Editor: Dr Alexandra S Wawryk, Senior Lecturer Law School, The University of Adelaide
Committee Members:
• Simon Bladen, Rio Tinto
• Kanaga Dharmananda, Francis Burt Chambers WA Bar
• Mark Gerus, Francis Burt Chambers
• Peter Holden, ActewAGL
• Lauren Kirkwood, Baker & McKenzie
• Natalie Lonergan, Norton Rose Fulbright
• Robert Merrick, Herbert Smith Freehills
• James Minchinton, Sparke Helmore
• Peter Rose, Johnson Winter & Slattery


Authors considering a submission should contact their State Coordinator to discuss whether any proposed topic has already been assigned to an author.


Submission Requirements

An article is 3-10,000 words and argues a core substantial point with appropriate supporting analysis and references. An article may be submitted to the Branch Coordinator at any time. Articles are subject to peer review and will not be published until that process is complete.

Comments, case notes and book reviews are 1-3,000 words and will give an explanation and analysis of a recent topical issue, case or book.

Recent development reports are up to 1,500 words and describe a recent policy, legislative or case law development with minimal analysis


Notes for Authors

Authors preparing submissions for the AREL Journal should ensure that all references and other material are in accordance with the Notes for Authors.


Articles subject to peer review - authors are required to provide an assignment of their copyright.

Other submissions - authors are required to provide Energy & Resources Law with a licence to publish

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