It’s our 30th anniversary!

By EDO NSW Executive Director Jeff Smith

30 March 2015

It’s our anniversary, with 2015 marking 30 years of EDO NSW protecting the environment through law!

EDO NSW was started by a small group of dedicated lawyers who recognised the need to help local communities use the law to protect the environment. By the time we officially opened our doors on 30 May 1985, our lone solicitor had already started a dozen or so cases, half of which potentially involved court action.

It’s been a long and sometimes bumpy road to get to where we are today. This is not surprising as public interest environmental law is challenging and confronting work. Over the past three decades the issues of major concern to our community clients have been diverse, including forestry, pollution, water management, native vegetation, planning and, more recently, mining and coal seam gas.

Today our twenty-strong staff provides legal advice to over 1,000 individuals and groups each a year, which leads to between 10 and 15 court cases. You can read about our current cases on our website. We also run dozens of workshops for local communities and produce many submissions on law reform.

We are working nationally on cases such as the Mackay Conservation Group’s legal challenge to the Federal Government’s approval of the Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland and its impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.

We also operate an Indigenous Engagement Program, Scientific Advisory Service  and an International Program, providing legal support to our neighbours in the South Pacific. The international work is funded by the U.S. based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The 30 year landmark is one that we are enormously proud of, and there is much to celebrate and reflect on.

Join us throughout the year at some of our exciting events, including:

  • a 30th Anniversary dinner (25 June 2015)
  • City to Surf (August 2015) and local community events
  • an EDO NSW Alumni Celebration (October 2015)

Of course, we will also continue our important work. But we need your support to meet the community’s increasing need for legal help in protecting their environment.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our eBulletin or visit our website to find out the latest about these events as well as upcoming workshops, seminars, EDO NSW news and community events.