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EDO NSW EBULLETIN – 9 December 2016: Number 987

EDO News Court & Compliance Law Reform & Policy
Have Your Say Community News Support our work

EDO NSW News and Events  

The sixth phase of the environmental defenders – and beyond

Reading Law of the Land, a book telling the story of 30 years of EDO NSW, I’m struck by the dedication and talent of the people and communities that have made this remarkable legal centre so successful. But I’m also aware that, just as the book is published, we’re already writing a completely new chapter in our story – a new ‘sixth phase’ that makes me excited for our future. – Sue Higginson

Read more »

Montage of EDO NSW 30 years

 

The new biodiversity, land clearing and vegetation laws – what next?

One of the final acts of NSW Parliament in 2016 was to radically alter our long-standing environmental laws. The new laws take a backwards step in environmental protection in NSW. Now that these laws are passed, what’s next?

Even though the new laws have been passed, a huge amount of detail is still to be decided. In a recent blog, our Policy and Law Reform Director Rachel Walmsley outlines 8 things we’ll be doing in the first half of 2017, including helping members of the community get involved.  Read more »

You can help us protect endangered wildlife, bushland and sustainable farming practices by making a tax deductible donation to our work today.

Donate to our Christmas appeal »

 

Emily RyanCongratulations Emily Ryan

Please join us in congratulating Emily Ryan, our Outreach Director, who has been appointed President of NSW Young Lawyers.

Emily joined EDO NSW in 2011. She is President of NSW Young Lawyers and the Young Lawyer Councillor on the Law Society of NSW Council, and is a member of the International Bar Association.

Read more about Emily »

 

Case update: Robert Williams v Cedar Point Quarry

We received some sad news last week when the Land and Environment Court found that works at the Cedar Point Quarry near Kyogle in northern NSW can proceed without an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit.

Our client, Gidubul Elder Robert Williams, presented evidence that the quarry is located on part of a men’s ceremonial site, including burial grounds and areas where tools were made. However, the Court found that there was not enough evidence to prove the presence of Aboriginal objects at the quarry site. The Judge noted that if Aboriginal objects are uncovered at the site, the quarry is not permitted to harm them.

Read more about the case »

 

Helping protect PNG’s sea cucumber fishery

We’re delighted to announce the release of the report Interactive Governance Analysis of the Beche-De-Mer `Fish Chain' from Papua New Guinea to Asian Markets.

We were part of this research project that will help the Papua New Guinea Government ensure the sustainability of the PNG sea cucumber fishery. 

Tropical sea cucumber, called bêche-de-mer in its dried form, is a luxury seafood. The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government banned exports and closed the fishery in 2009 due to overfishing. It is preparing to re-open the fishery in 2017 under a new sea cucumber fishery Management Plan.

This study, led by Associate Professor Kate Barclay at the University of Technology Sydney, conducted a governance analysis to help the PNG Government and stakeholders ensure the effectiveness of the new Management Plan.

EDO NSW drafted the legal analysis for the governance section of the report, and provided general legal and policy analysis into the project.

Read more »

Report cover

 

See you in 2017

This is your last eBulletin for the year. Thank you to all our subscribers for following and sharing our work, and of course for your generous donations.

Our offices and Environmental Advice Line will be closed from 12pm on Friday 23 December 2016 until 9am on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

We’ll be back in January 2017 with more weekly news, events and opportunities to have your say.

We wish all our supporters a happy festive season, and hope you are able to get out and enjoy our incredible natural environment.


Court and Compliance watch

Justice Pepper taking leave of absence from LEC

Justice Pepper will be taking leave of absence from the Land and Environment Court for 12 months from January 2017 to January 2018. She will be chairing the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Unconventional Reservoirs and Associated Activities in the Northern Territory.

Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC has been appointed an acting judge of the Court from 23 January 2017 to 31 December 2017.

Read more »

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service fined for damaging Aboriginal site

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPW Service) has been fined $45,000 plus costs for damaging an Aboriginal site known as the Clybucca-Stuarts Point Midden Complex.

The Clybucca-Stuarts Point Midden Complex contains shells, tools, and other artefacts of educational, scientific and cultural value.

A NPW Service employee operated machinery that physically harmed Aboriginal objects on the site, with shells and artefacts being moved and destroyed. The works that led to the damage were attributed in part to confusion of the park’s procedure on multiple levels, and a lack of proper training of employees.

The Court found that although the NPW Service did not damage the site intentionally, it was ‘recklessly indifferent’, meaning that it was aware of the risks of harm raised by its poor practices.

Read more »

 

Mining company loses appeal of Planning Assessment Commission report

Wollongong Coal has lost an appeal against the findings in a report by the Planning Assessment Commission (the PAC) that the ‘social and economic benefits of the project as currently proposed are likely outweighed by the magnitude of impacts to the environment’. The company has been ordered to pay the PAC’s legal costs.

Read more »

 

Soldiers Point Marina operator fined $220,000 for toxic dredging

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined the operator of the Soldiers Point Marina a total of $220,000 – covering fines and clean-up costs – after the Marina undertook illegal dredging that disturbed toxic sediment.

A member of the public alerted the EPA to the dredging.

Read more »

 

Freight company fined for inadequate procedures

The EPA has issued two fines totalling $16,500 to Hunter company Crawford Freightlines Pty Ltd.

In April 2106 the company was found to have inadequate pollution control measures for the handling of ammonium nitrate at its Sandgate premises. In October 2016 it was also found to have deficiencies in pesticide application records and to have failed to comply with a 2014 prevention notice relating to methyl bromide handling.

Read more »


Law Reform and Policy Watch 

Report on an independent review into Koala population decline

The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer has released a Report of the Independent Review into the Decline of Koala Populations in Key Areas of NSW.

The report recommends that the NSW Government adopt a whole-of-government NSW koala strategy based on the best available science and in collaboration between government, researchers, land managers and the community. It also recommends a staged approach to first stabilise and then increase koala numbers, through actions that protect, rehabilitate and connect koala habitats, and measures that manage and mitigate threats to koalas.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is calling for public submissions on the strategy. See ‘Consultations’ below for more information.

Read more »

 

Review of Australia’s climate change policies: terms of reference released

The Australian Government has released the Terms of Reference for the review of Review of Australia’s climate change policies.

The review is part of the emissions reduction target commitment made in August 2015.

A discussion paper will be released and call for public submissions will be made by the Department of the Environment and Energy early in 2017.

Read more » 

 

Strengthening Social Impact Assessment

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released its draft guidelines on how social impacts are assessed for State significant projects, including mining, petroleum production and extractive industry development.

The draft guidelines outline how the social impacts of State significant resource projects are identified, assessed and dealt with. The Department is calling for public submissions on the draft guidelines by Friday 3 March 2017.

Read more »

 

Social Justice and Native Title Report 2016

Last week the Australian Human Rights Commission tabled the Social Justice and Native Title Report 2016 in Federal Parliament.

The report includes an agenda for reform based on solutions proposed by Aboriginal Australians, including:

  • Delivering on measures set out in the Redfern Statement
  • Implementing reforms developed by the Indigenous Property Rights Project
  • Allowing income programs to be opt-in

Read more »

 

Threatened Species Strategy – Year One Report

The Threatened Species Commissioner has released Threatened Species Strategy – Year One Report.

The Strategy, which was launched in July 2015, sets out a five year action plan to achieve the recovery of Australia’s threatened plants and animals. Out of the 26 year one targets, 21 have been delivered, four have been partially completed, and one has not been achieved.

Read more »

 

Recent EDO NSW submissions and reports

Read all of our law reform submissions and briefing papers on our website.

 

New legislation introduced to Parliament

Australian Parliament

  • The Australian Parliament has risen for 2016, and is in recess until 7 February 2017.

 

NSW Parliament

  • The NSW Parliament has risen for 2016, and is in recess until 14 February 2017.

 

Local Environmental Plan tracking

  • Baulkham Hills – Amendments to zoning, height and floor space ratio, Bull and Bush Hotel site, Windsor Road.
  • Penrith – Amendments to the ‘Panthers site’, Mulgoa Road and Retreat Drive.
  • Penrith – Amendments to allow for high density residential use for sites on Victoria Street, Werrington.
  • Baulkham Hills – Amendments to allow for mixed use development on land at 40 Solent Circuit.

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.


Have Your Say Alerts – Opportunities to 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.

 

Consultations

  • Developing a NSW Koala Strategy

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is inviting input on what to include in a whole-of-government NSW koala strategy.

The Office is also inviting feedback on a draft Saving Our Species Iconic Koala Project, which sets out a framework for on-ground koala conservation actions for 2016-21 and is part of the proposed koala strategy.

The Office is holding online and in-person community information sessions.

Submissions are invited until Friday 3 March 2017.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Strengthening Social Impact Assessment 

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is calling for public submissions on its draft guidelines on how social impacts are assessed for State significant projects, including mining, petroleum production and extractive industry development. 

The draft guidelines outline how the social impacts of State significant resource projects are identified, assessed and dealt with. 

Submissions are invited until Friday 3 March 2017. 

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Draft plantation forestry method and carbon farming rule

The Australian Department of the Environment and Energy is calling for public comment on a draft amendment to the Plantation Forestry Method. The Method will apply to projects establishing one or more new plantation forests, or converting one or more short-rotation plantation forests to long‑rotation plantation forests. Part of the consultation proposes changes to the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Rule 2015.

This is part of the Department’s consultation over amendments to the Emissions Reduction Fund methods, including Savanna fire management.

Submissions are invited until Friday 30 December 2016. (However, the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee has indicated it may consider submissions received as late as Monday 9 January 2017.)

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Ivanhoe Estate – State and Regional Development listing

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is calling for public comment on the listing of the Ivanhoe Estate as a NSW Land and Housing Corporation site in the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011. The changes are being proposed so that the NSW Land and Housing Corporation can implement the planned redevelopment of the Ivanhoe Estate, on the corner of Epping and Herring Roads, Ryde, Sydney.

Submissions are invited until Friday 31 January 2017.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Ingleside precinct

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is calling for public comment on a Land Use and Infrastructure Strategy for Ingleside, a 700-hectare land release area near the Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal national parks, in Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Submissions are invited until Friday 31 January 2017.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Northern Road and Andromeda Drive intersection, Cranebrook/Llandilo

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is seeking public comment on a proposal regarding work on the The Northern Road and Andromeda Drive, Cranebrook/Llandilo intersection. The work would include installing new traffic lights, widening, vegetation removal and utility relocation and drainage alterations.

Submissions are invited until Friday 16 December 2016.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Parramatta Road, Granville to Lidcombe

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is seeking public comment on proposed traffic and road modifications on Parramatta Road between Church Street, Granville and Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe.

Submissions are invited until Friday 16 December 2016.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Parramatta Road, Homebush

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is seeking public comment on proposed traffic and road modifications to Parramatta Road between Bridge Road and Knight Street, Homebush.

Submissions are invited until Friday 16 December 2016.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Night work Menangle Road, Menangle Park

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is seeking public comment on a proposed night work construction schedule. The work includes removing and replacing sections of asphalt.

Submissions are invited until Tuesday 13 December 2016.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Carlisle Avenue, Mount Druitt

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is seeking public comment on a proposal to ban right turns into Frank Street and extending the northbound right turn bay into Fuller Street, Mount Druitt.

Submissions are invited until Monday 12 December 2016.

Read more and have your say »

 

  • Threatened Species and Endangered Ecological Community Listing Consultations
    • No new listings have been placed on exhibition since the last eBulletin.

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.

 

  • Fisheries assessments
    • No new assessments have been placed on exhibition since the last eBulletin.

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.

 

Legislative reviews

  • No new legislative reviews have been announced since the last eBulletin.

 

Major Project proposals: Invitation to comment

  • Bulli – Construction of residential aged care facility and extension of facilities for Bulli Hospital – Submissions invited until Tuesday 31 January 2017.
  • Thredbo – Internal and external alterations of Ridge Creek Apartments – Submissions invited until Wednesday 21 December 2016.
  • Kensington – Internal refurbishment, Biological Sciences Building at the University of NSW – Submissions invited until Tuesday 31 January 2017.
  • Wollondilly – Developer monetary contribution, 45 Brundah Rd, Thirlmere – Submissions invited until Tuesday 31 January 2017
  • Wollondilly – Developer monetary contribution,100 Rita Street – Submissions invited until Tuesday 31 January 2017
  • Hill Top – Modification to the Southern Highlands Regional Shooting Complex project – Submissions invited until Tuesday 31 January 2017.

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

  • Glenning Valley, NSW – Residential subdivision, Berkeley Road, including conservation of swamp sclerophyll forest – Submissions invited until Wednesday 21 December 2016.
  • Castlereagh, NSW – Development of a residential subdivision, Rickards Road – Submissions invited until Tuesday 20 December 2016.
  • Waterloo, QLD – Establishment of a dam at Mullet Creek, 38km northwest of Bundaberg – Submissions invited until Thursday 15 December 2016.
  • Moranbah, QLD – Open cut pits extension to the Isaac Plains Mine – Submissions invited until Thursday 15 December 2016.

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

  • No new National Park plans of management have been placed on exhibition since the last eBulletin.

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

  • No new coal or petroleum exploration licence applications have been listed since the last eBulletin.

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.


Community News

New this week

Environmental Law: What Can We Do Better?

A selection of papers from the National Environmental Law Association Conference 2016 are now available online, including our Policy and Law Reform Director Rachel Walmsley’s presentation on ‘Biodiversity laws – Are we making progress?

Read the papers online »

 

Women's environmental leadership program 2017

Are you a woman, an active environmentalist and living in Australia? The Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) program is calling for applications for its 2017 program.

WELA is designed by and for women environmentalists. The 12-day 2017 residential program will examine critically ideas about women taking even more environmental leadership in Australia.

Applications for WELA 2017 close on Friday 10 February 2017.

Read more »

 

Senior roles at environment and planning agencies

The Office of Environment and Heritage is currently advertising a number of key senior positions:

More NSW environment positions »

From last week

EPLA 2016 Law Vacation Drinks

The Environment & Planning Law Association’s 2016 Law Vacation Drinks follow directly after the Association’s Annual General Meeting. Costs are $77 for members, $88 for non-members, and $55 for government staff and students. RSVPs are required by Friday 9 December 2016.

When: Wednesday 14 December 2016, 6pm – 8.30pm
Where: The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney

Register »

 

2017 Wentworth Group Science Program

The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists is offering scholarships to Australian postgraduate students to assist them in bridging the gap between science and public policy.

The scholarships are open to students studying science, economics, geography, philosophy, law and/or engineering (especially those majoring in environmental science/studies/management/law or ecology).

The scholarship will cover participation at a Wentworth Group Master Class in March 2017.

Applications close on Monday 9 January 2017.

Read more »

 

Wild Law: The Theory and Practice of Earth Jurisprudence

This Summer course run by the Griffith Law School introduces students to selected ecological, social, ethical and legal issues that must be addressed by industrial societies if we are to respond to life threatening climate change and ecological destruction.

The course will consider the implications of Earth Jurisprudence for Australian domestic law, including: property law, the doctrine of standing, constitutional law and 'traditional' environmental and planning law. It will also introduce students to alternative legal frameworks being proposed and implemented by Earth law advocates, including the Rights of Nature, Ecocide, Earth democracy and rights-based approaches to local environmental law making.

When: Monday 5 to Friday 9 December 2016
Venue: Griffith Law School, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, Brisbane

Read more »

 

Australian Environment Review October 2016

This month’s edition of the Australian Environment Review  (volume 31, no 8) contains papers on restorative justice for environmental crime, the inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations, the effectiveness of the Marine Parks Act 2007, and the implications of Queensland’s vegetation clearing laws for climate change, the Great Barrier Reef and Australian environmental policy.

Read more »


Support EDO NSW

Help protect our precious biodiversity

The NSW Government has passed legislation that changes the way we will manage biodiversity in NSW, and it’s not good news for the environment.

even though the biodiversity and local land services bills have been passed, many of the details on how to implement these laws have not yet been decided. We still have a lot of work to do, and we need your help.

Your donation will help us continue working to ensure that our laws will protect our biodiversity for generations to come.

Please make a donation today

 

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.

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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