Our weekly eBulletin keeps you up to date with important environmental law news from NSW and beyond, plus opportunities for public comment listed in our online resource Have Your Say
EDO NSW EBULLETIN – 24 March 2017: Number 998
New case: residents group fights to protect critically endangered plant
In our new case, we’re representing Residents Against Intermodal Development (RAID) Moorebank in their fight to protect Hibbertia fumana, a critically endangered species thought to be extinct for almost 200 years.
This delicate flowering shrub was recently rediscovered on the site of a proposed massive shipping container development in Moorebank, Western Sydney.
RAID is asking the Land and Environment Court to undertake a full reconsideration of the facility’s approval, because the presence of the Hibbertia wasn’t considered when the development was approved in December last year.
Newly discovered frog gets some help from Kangy Angy and EDO NSW
We’re excited to report that we have helped a residents’ group from Kangy Angy get an emergency listing for a rare frog on the NSW threatened species list.
Not much is known about the Mahony’s Toadlet. So far, it has been found at only eight sites, in Myall Lakes, Port Stephens and the Central Coast. With the help of University of Newcastle scientist Simon Clulow, we wrote to the NSW Scientific Committee requesting that the toadlet be included on the NSW Threatened Species List on an emergency basis. On 6 March the Committee informed us that, after considering our request, the frog had received an emergency listing.
This is both good and bad news. To be listed as ‘endangered’ means the Mahony’s Toadlet faces a very high risk of extinction in New South Wales in the near future. But listing is an important step toward protecting the species.
Find out how to have your say on Santos’ CSG activities in the Pilliga
We’re joining forces with CSG Free North West NSW to present two community workshops on Santos’ proposed Narrabri Gas Project.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project is currently on public exhibition until 22 May 2017.
The EIS is over 7,000 pages. These workshops will help you understand the EIS and support you to write the most powerful submission possible. An EDO NSW lawyer will take you through the assessment process so you know what to expect and how to respond.
NSW planning reforms 2017 – resources to help with your submission
There’s now just a week until submissions are due on the NSW Government’s 2017 planning law reforms.
If you want to make a submission, you’ll have to hurry, and we have lots of resources to give you a head start:
This is a great opportunity to tell the NSW Government what you would like planning laws to do better, and how you would like to engage in the planning system.
Our new professional development program is launched
Lawyers and planners: we’re excited to announce the launch of our new professional development program for environment and planning professionals.
The first session, EDO Insider – CPD on the Barangaroo Crown Casino Case, will look at how the Crown Casino got the go ahead on land that was set aside for a public park at Barangaroo, Sydney.
You can claim CPD points for this and all of our professional development seminars. The session costs $85, with all funds raised going towards our core work of helping the community to protect the environment through law.
Know someone who might be interested? Why not share the event page with them?
When: Wednesday 5 April 2017, 12-1pm
Numbers are strictly limited, but there are still a few places left.
Energy company ordered to repair damage to Yuraygir National Park
The Land and Environment Court has ordered Essential Energy to repair damage caused by it clearing and mulching vegetation in Yuraygir National Park, on the NSW Mid-North Coast.
The clearing occurred in October 2013 without the company first obtaining formal consent, and was found to have caused potential harm to biodiversity and habitat.
It is estimated that repairing the damage will cost over $73,000. The company was also ordered to pay the prosecutor’s (the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage) costs of $95,000.
Pollution reduction program imposed on Clarence Colliery
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has imposed a legally binding Pollution Reduction Program on the environment protection licence for the Clarence Colliery, to improve water quality in the Wollangambe River.
The Program has been implemented after the Authority provided a report on the health of the Wollangambe River.
Impacts of climate change on marine fisheries and biodiversity
Last Thursday our CEO Sue Higginson and Science Director Dr Megan Kessler gave evidence on behalf of EDOs of Australia at a Senate Committee hearing examining the current and future impacts of climate change on marine fisheries and biodiversity.
You can read what we said in the online transcript.
Recent EDO submissions and reports
Read all of our law reform submissions and briefing papers on our website.
New legislation introduced to Parliament
A Government Bill to amend the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 to address implementation issues in the crediting element of the Emissions Reduction Fund, primarily for savanna fire management projects in Northern Australia. The amendments correct drafting errors, and clarify the intent of the Act.
Local Environmental Plan tracking
To access the LEP tracking system, visit the Department of Planning and Environment website. Read more about LEPs in our Fact Sheets. Visit your local council’s website to see if there are any planning proposals or LEP changes open for public comment.
This eBulletin provides alerts for opportunities to comment on changes to law and policy, and activities that may impact the environment in your area. For a comprehensive list of current opportunities to have your say on a range of environment and planning matters, visit our Have Your Say site.
This online resource also helps the community to effectively engage with decision-makers and request a workshop for your community. We are always trying to improve our community resources and are currently seeking feedback on the effectiveness of Have Your Say. You can help us out by checking out the site and completing a short three-question survey.
The Australian Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications is calling for public comments on the rehabilitation of mining and resources projects.
Issues under consideration by the Committee relate to the Australian Government’s role and responsibilities, including the adequacy of existing regulations and policies, transparency, the effectiveness of rehabilitation and abandoned mine practices, and the potential environmental impacts of inadequate rehabilitation.
Submissions are invited until Monday 10 April 2017.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) NSW has released its draft determination of the prices that customers would pay for water from the Sydney Desalination Plant over the next five years.
The Tribunal sets the maximum prices that can be charged when the desalination plant is in both shutdown and operation modes. It has released a methodology paper to show how it has calculated its pricing.
The prices proposed would apply for five years from 1 July 2017. No drinking water has been supplied from the plant since 2012.
Submissions are invited until Tuesday 18 April 2017.
Transport for NSW is calling for public comments on accessibility improvements to Victoria Street Railway Station, Maitland. Changes include new lifts, canopies, and refurbishment of the heritage platform building.
Submissions are invited until Friday 7 April 2017.
For a full listing of threatened species and endangered ecological community listings currently open for public comment, visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website and the Australian Department of the Environment website.
For a full listing of fisheries assessments currently open for public comment, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website and the Australian Department of the Environment website.
Major Project proposals: Invitation to comment
For a full listing of major project proposals currently open for public comment, visit the Department of Planning and Environment’s website. To learn more about the planning process for major projects, read our Fact Sheet on State Significant Development and State Significant Infrastructure.
EPBC Referrals: Invitation to comment
Referrals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) can be viewed on the Australian Environment Department’s website. To learn more, read our Fact Sheet on the EPBC Act.
Plans of Management: Invitation to comment
The full listing of plans of management for protected areas can be viewed on the Office of Environment and Heritage website. To learn more about the Plans of Management, see our Fact Sheet on Protected Areas.
New Coal and Petroleum Exploration Licence Applications
To view current coal and petroleum (including CSG) exploration licence applications and approvals, visit the Minerals and Petroleum website. The NSW Government Gazette also contains a list of all exploration and mining lease applications and determinations. Public comment can be made on coal and petroleum (including CSG) exploration licence applications on the Minerals and Petroleum website. To learn more, read the EDO NSW publication Mining Law in NSW: A guide for the community.
New this week
New website celebrates 25 years of Native Title recognition
To celebrate 25 years of the recognition of Native Title, the National Native Title Tribunal has created a website, www.nativetitle25.gov.au, with stories, images and videos on native title and the benefits brought by recognition.
Contributions to the site are welcome.
NSW Supreme Court appointments
Three new judges have been appointed to the NSW Supreme Court:
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness course
The NSW Division of the Environment Institute of Australian and New Zealand (EIANZ) is holding a one day course with renowned Aboriginal environmental educator Clarence Slockee.
The interactive course will provide an insight into, and an understanding of, Australia’s first inhabitants, including Aboriginal use of native Australian plants of the Sydney region.
Cost: $60 members, $90 non-members (lunch included)
When: Saturday 22 Apr 2017, 8:30am-4:30pm
Earth Hour turns 10
Tomorrow, Saturday 25 March 2017, Earth Hour celebrates its 10th birthday.
What can you do to celebrate this event, started in Australia, that has raised so much awareness about environmental protection?
Community workshop on Santos’ proposed Narrabri CSG Project
Our CEO, Sue Higginson, will be presenting at the Wilderness Society’s community workshop on Santos’ proposed Narrabri Gas Project. Attendees will find out about CSG in the Pilliga and will get tips on how to make a submission on the Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which is currently on public exhibition until Monday 22 May 2017.
When: Thursday 6 April 2017, 6-7:30pm
Key roles at environment and planning agencies
A number of key positions are currently being advertised at NSW environment and planning agencies:
From last week
Safeguard our Crown Lands Community Forum
This community forum will provide participants with knowledge of the new legislation and the skills and motivation to improve the management of crown lands and to reduce the likelihood of their inappropriate disposal or conversion to freehold.
Our Outreach Director - Professional Programs Emily Ryan will be presenting on recent changes to Crown Lands legislation.
Tickets are $45 ($38 concession), and include morning and afternoon tea, and lunch.
When: Saturday 13 May 2017, 5:30pm
SOS Green Spaces Community Forum
At this Total Environment Centre forum, community groups will discuss how we can better protect Green Spaces in the Greater Sydney Area and other urban centres across NSW.
Our Outreach Director – Professional Programs Emily Ryan will speak on how new and proposed legislation and the Greater Sydney Commission District Plans will impact the protection of Green Spaces as well as the best protection mechanisms.
When: Saturday 1 April 2017, 10am-3pm
Start Something Workshops
If you have a bright idea that would help your natural environment, you may be interested in the Start Something Workshops series.
These free workshops help budding entrepreneurs and environmental groups focus on three skills areas: shaping your idea; finding finance; and telling your story.
The next workshop is in Ewingsdale, in the Northern Rivers, this Saturday 18 March 2017. There will also be a workshop in Albury for the Murray-Riverina community on Saturday 25 March 2017.
The Trump Administration and the Future of US Environmental Law
Professor Robert L Glicksman, George Washington University Law School will speak about the impact of the changed political landscape in the USA on US environmental law.
If the President and his legislative allies have their way, US environmental law will become unrecognisable to anyone familiar with its substance and process over the past half century.
When: Tuesday 4 April, 6.00-7.30pm
Regional Director, IUCN Oceania Regional Office
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is looking for a Regional Director based at its Oceania Regional Office, Suva, Fiji.
This senior leadership position provides an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the implementation of the regional program for the IUCN Oceania Region.
Applications close Sunday 2 April 2017.
Help plan for a sustainable future
The NSW Government is proposing significant changes to planning legislation. These are the laws that will shape the way our cities and rural centres are developed, and will define how our precious natural areas, plants and animals are protected in the years to come.
Your support can help to make sure that your community has a voice in this conversation.
Other ways you can help us defend the environment
You can have an even greater impact by becoming a Friend of the EDO. Our regular donors are an invaluable source of funding and help us ensure we are ready to respond when the community needs our help.
Visit our website for even more ways to support our work.
Read more about how your support can help protect the environment in the latest edition of our supporter newsletter, Environmental Defender.
EDO NSW has been providing critical legal support to NSW communities for 30 years. We are the only legal centre in NSW specialising in public interest environmental issues.
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