CREEL aims to promote research, teaching and publication into the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that engage with:
- the production and distribution of energy, including consideration of climate change regulation;
- the sustainable development of natural resources;
- the protection of the environment and the promotion of ecologically sustainable development;
- the planning for, and provision of infrastructure in urban areas, and that associated with energy and resource development; and
- the recognition and protection of Indigenous rights and interests in land and resources.
The Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (CREEL) was established in 1986. Until 1996 it was known as the Centre for Natural Resources Law, and the teaching program was focused upon laws relating to mining, petroleum and water resources; the legal structure and financing of major resources projects; and some aspects of environmental regulation.
In 1996 substantial changes were made to extend the program. Subjects were added to cover contemporary issues of national and international importance. These include production and distribution of energy; development of infrastructure; environmental impact of energy, resources and infrastructure projects; and indigenous rights over land and waters. Studies focus upon the inter-relationship of government policies, legal and regulatory regimes and administrative practices.
CREEL liaises closely with:
- the Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association Limited (AMPLA) - at both national and State branch levels;
- the Resources Law Committee of the Business Law Section (BLS), Law Council of Australia;
- the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC);
- the Murray-Darling Basin Commission;
- the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT); and
- the Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL) of the International Bar Association.
CREEL also maintains contact with leading environmental and resources centres in the USA (Colorado), Canada (Vancouver and Calgary) and United Kingdom (Dundee). One of CREEL's objectives for the near future is to strengthen existing contacts and to develop new relationships, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.