HG Paper: Ecologically Sustainable Development: Where is the balance? 24 May 2010

In a paper presented at the Queensland Environmental Law Association’s conference last week, David Nicholls of HopgoodGanim’s Planning and Development practice argued that while the purpose of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 is to support a balance between ecological, economic and social considerations, much of the regulation being worked into the Integrated Development Assessment System focuses on purely ecological issues, without considering the potential economic and social consequences. As a result, the intention that lies behind the principles of ecologically sustainable development is being skewed rather than balanced.

As this paper discusses, there is no transparent and publicly accountable process whereby ecologically sustainable development principles are applied to the making of statutory instruments that regulate development under the Sustainable Planning Act. Rather, the required balance is only being correctly considered in the Planning and Environment Court.

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