Environmental Law Australia

Environmental regulation in Queensland, Australia

Regulatory Frameworks for Planning and Environmental Management (ENVM3103 and ENVM7123)

This page provides past learning resources from a course taught by Dr Chris McGrath at the University of Queensland from 2010-2106 and in 2020.

The course aimed to provide an introduction to environmental law in Queensland for professionals working in the fields of town planning, environmental management, engineering, government, or related fields.

It was designed for people with no prior knowledge of law.

It covered the following topics (for professionals working in Queensland):

  • Planning and development laws
  • Mining, CSG and petroleum
  • Vegetation management
  • Nature conservation & protected areas
  • Water management
  • Fisheries
  • Environmental harm and pollution
  • Climate change
  • Commonwealth environmental laws
  • Professional duties & ethics

The assessment, marking and feedback philosophy for this course is available here.

Lectures in 2020

Here are the lectures delivered in 2020 in the course:

Lecture 1 – Introduction

Lecture 2 – Planning Schemes

Lecture 3 – Development Assessment

Lecture 4 – Conditions & development offences

Lecture 5 – Mining & EIA

Lecture 6 – CSG, ports & major infrastructure

Lecture 7 – Environmental harm & pollution

Lecture 8 – Nature conservation & vegetation management

Lecture 9 – Water management, fisheries & cultural heritage

Lecture 10 – EPBC Act

Lecture 11 – Climate change

Lecture 12 – Professional duties, ethics & the courts

Lecture 13 – Course synthesis

Take a quiz

Online quizzes were used as part of the learning tools in this course. Take this quick quiz on issues covered in the lecture 2 and lecture 3 of this course.

Course offerings

The course is taught at an undergraduate level (ENVM3103) and at a postgraduate level (ENVM7123) as part of the town planning and environmental management degrees at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Queensland (UQ).

It is offered in semester 1, (March-June) each year both internally and externally (via recorded lectures similar to the recordings shown above).

It may be undertaken as a stand-alone course, not part of a university degree (this is called “non-award study“).

To view the postgraduate course profile click here.

Information on costs and how to enrol in the postgraduate course or for non-award study are available here.

Feedback on previous courses

“I loved how interesting law could be!! To be honest, I was not looking forward to this subject at all because I thought it would be dry and tedious scanning through legislation, etc. But the way it was applied to examples was great and made it really interesting.” (2016 ENVM3103 student).

“I liked how the structuring of the lectures around case studies gave insight to the practical use of environmental legislation, rather than memorization of law.” (2016 ENVM3103 student).

The ‘real life problems’ used each week to demonstrate the content were excellent. Not only did it help keep my interest, it provided practical ways to apply my thinking.” (2016 ENVM7123 student).

You can read the full student evaluations of the 2016 courses here:

Course staff

The course was taught by Dr Chris McGrath from 2010-2016 and in 2020.

Other courses at UQ

Associate Professor Justine Bell-James delivers another great course, Environmental Law (LAWS5134 & LAWS7134), at UQ for law students. Justine is an inspiring teacher.