Chain of Responsibility guideline in effect

The Queensland Government has introduced a statutory guideline providing direction on how the Chain of Responsibility mechanism within the Environmental Protection Act will be interpreted.

Amendments to the Act, introduced last year, have made ‘related persons' responsible for remedying environmental defaults of companies. With the new amendments in effect for the last eight months, the Property Council has welcomed the development of a guideline to provide direction on the interpretation of the new law.

The Property Council has strongly opposed the classification of landowners as ‘related persons’ of entities undertaking environmentally relevant activity. The Property Council supports the general approach of the guideline, which clarifies that a ‘chain of responsibility’ environmental protection order will only be issued to a ‘related person’ if culpability is established. Further clarification has been sought to determine how culpability will be determined by the Department.

Given the extremely broad scope of the legislation, the Property Council has encouraged the Government to continue to listen to and act upon community and industry comment about further potential clarifying changes to the legislation.

The Property Council’s submission, put forward during the development of the guideline, can be accessed below.