03 June 2019

Electrical Safety Regulation found to be beyond power

This article was written by Shannon Etwell, Philippa Robinson and Aisling Scott.

The Supreme Court has declared the key provision in the Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019 (Qld) (Regulation) invalid in a decision handed down on 29 May 2019. The Regulation came into force on 13 May 2019. 

As highlighted in our earlier alert (accessible here), the Regulation required all “work” on solar farm PV modules to be conducted by licensed electrical workers, and was likely to significantly increase the costs of solar farm construction in Queensland.

Mayrorough Solar Pty Ltd, the developers and builders of Brigalow Solar Farm (Maryrorough), successfully challenged the Regulation on the basis that the Regulation exceeded the regulatory making power conferred by the Electrical Safety Act (2002) Qld (ESA). Justice Bradley found that the operative provision in the Regulation in relation to PV modules, s73A, went beyond the purpose of the ESA and was inconsistent with the ESA.

It is unclear at this stage whether the Queensland Government will seek to implement the restrictions contained in s73A in fresh legislation.

The full text of the decision is available here.

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