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Samantha Hepburn

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About me

Professor Samantha Hepburn has worked at Deakin, the Australian National University and Monash.  She has published many scholarly articles and books examining different aspects of Australian land and property law, environmental property and natural resource management.  Her doctorate and subsequent publications examine the ongoing suitability of common law principles to the unique Australian landscape, with a particular emphasis upon newly emerging land interests.  There is an increasing tendency to validate new environmental land interests as statutory in order to avoid limiting common law precepts.  This has impacted upon emerging environmental property rights and regulatory frameworks. 

Carbon sequestration interests over forested land are rights that are intrinsically connected to the land and which have increasing value given their inclusion within the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 as offset mechanisms which are connected to established projects. My research suggests tha carbon sequestration rights will become highly tradable interests that require visibility and detailed regulation in order to ensure that the entitlements of the holders, as well as the interest of the land-owners to which they are connected, are properly protected. The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 is the first, comprehensive Act to attempt the integration of statutory carbon property interests.  My current research focus is the comprehensive evaluation of the schematic approach, both in terms of property articulation and regulatory mechanisms, of this framework upon different land regions within Australia.  My research also covers all aspects of the existing and emergent regulatory framework for coal seam gas mining in Australia.

My most recent journal submission is a 14,000 word article entitled: ‘The Existing and Emergent Regulatory Framework for Coal Seam Gas Mining in New South Wales’ for the Sydney Law Review.  If accepted, this article will be published in June 2013.


1st September, 2012, RightNow Human Rights in Australia online Journal, ‘Coal Seam Gas Expansion: Social and Environmental Consequences’  see the link below:


August 2012, ATSE Focus 173 (Australian Technology, Engineering and Science) at p.42, ‘Sustainable Development the Key to CGS.’   See link below:


July, 2012, Australian Science Media Centre: Interactive Media Presentation for CSG Regulation.  See link below:


April 2012, Radio National Interview on CSG and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth).  See link below:

  States grappling with coal seam gas regulations


May 2012, Radio Interview, Deakin Matters – 94.7.  See the link below:



May, 2012, ‘Who Owns NSW CBM Gas’ Natural Gas Daily, Volume 2, 86 at p. 8


Multiple published articles in the online journal, ‘The Conversation’ as follows:


June, 2012: ‘Coal Seam Gas is Coming to Victoria and We’re Nowhere Near Ready’


May, 2012: ‘Who Owns Coal Seam Gas in New South Wales and Who Can Stop it Being Mined’ (This article was republished in the Northern Rivers Echo on 31st May 2012)


See also:



March, 2012 ‘National Coal Seam Gas Agreement: An Important Step in Protecting Water’:


November, 201 ‘Not Quite the Castle: Why Miners have a Right to What is Under Your Land’


My article, ‘Carbon Rights as New Property: the Benefits of Statutory Verification’ (2009) 31 Sydney Law Review 239 (A*Journal) (Also presented as a paper at the ANU Faculty of Law Research Seminar, at the Land Science and Forestry Conference in Canberra in 2009 and as a component of the Continuing Legal Education Program at Minter Ellison Law Firm in Canberra in 2010), has been extensively referenced in the debates leading to the introduction of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 (Cth).   It was  referred to by:

the National Native Title Council’s submission into the House Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and the Art’s Inquiry into the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011 (Cth) on the 14th April, 2011; 

by the US AID Land Tenure, Issue Brief, Climate Change, Property Rights and Resource Governance Emerging Implications for USG Policies and Programming Property Rights and Resource Governance Briefing Paper #2 issued in March, 2011 and 

in the Submission by the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, ‘Australia’s Native Vegetation Framework – Consultation Draft by L. Manning and S. Drinkwater, 31 March, 2010.



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