Law Reform

We actively engage in environmental policy and law reform in NSW and Australia

View our recent submissions

Our policy and law reform work reflects our status as an independent, specialist legal centre. We put forward policy proposals suggesting ways that the law can be improved in NSW and Australia.

Our policy proposals may be in the form of:

  • submissions to Governments or parliamentary inquiries
  • proactive reports and consultancy projects
  • policy advice to Governments as a member of expert panels or stakeholder reference groups.

For national environmental matters, we work with our colleagues in EDOs of Australia and with national groups, to improve the law and protect the environment.

Review our submissions by topic using the right hand menu or use the search feature below to find a document of interest.

You can see current opportunities for law reform at Have Your Say.

Major review of biodiversity laws by NSW Government

The NSW Government has released a new biodiversity conservation law and policy package that's a serious retrograde step as it involves removing many of NSW’s long-held environmental protections. Read more on our feature page.

Recent Submissions

Cut Flower Sustainable Management Plan 2018-22 & Whole Flower Sustainable Management Plan 2018-22 - EDO NSW submission

November 2017 - Download submission

As the new biodiversity laws are rolled out, EDO NSW will continue to provide feedback on different elements of the new regime. Our latest submission comments on proposed sustainable management plans for protected plants and asks that appropriate environmental assessment for licences is demonstrated under the new licensing provisions.

Link to this submission page.

Submission responding to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into National Water Reform - EDOs of Australia.

3 November 2017 - Download this PDF.

EDOs of Australia (EDOA) has made a submission on the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into National Water Reform, building on our previous submission in May 2017.

This submission focuses on the following seven matters: 

  1. Threats to environmental water
  2. Access to information
  3. Compliance and enforcement
  4. Water markets and trade
  5. Climate change (including assignment of risk)
  6. Extractive industries
  7. Aboriginal water ownership and management.

For more info about the review process, see: https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/water-reform#report

Link to this submission's page.

Submission to the Inquiry into the Integrity of the Water Market in the Murray-Darling Basin - EDOs of Australia.

17 October 2017 - Download PDF

EDOs of Australia’s submission to the Inquiry into the integrity of the water market in the Murray-Darling Basin focuses on seven core areas, including threats to environmental water, compliance and enforcement, access to information and governance arrangements. We believe that law reform – as per the recommendations contained in our submission – is urgently required across these areas to protect the Murray-Darling Basin.  

Link to this submission's page.

Comment on Draft Technical Notes supporting the Guidelines for the Economic Assessment of Mining and Coal Seam Gas Proposals

23 October 2017 - Download PDF

This submission builds on our  previous comments on the draft Economic Assessment Guidelines for Mining and Coal Seam Gas Projects. We raise a number of concerns regarding guidance on costing biodiversity, noise and greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed Technical Notes are too vague, discretionary and unenforceable; and as drafted are unlikely to improve transparency or consistency of cost benefit analysis for NSW mining and coal seam gas projects – in relation to either public interest considerations or environmental impacts.

Link to this submission's page.

Draft Crown Land Regulation 2017 - EDO NSW submission

September 2017 - Download our submission

NSW communities value their Crown lands in many different ways – culturally, environmentally, socially and economically. This submission comments on draft Regulations to underpin the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (NSW). Together the Act and Regulations will regulate the future management, use and potential transfer or sale of a diverse range of publicly owned land in NSW.

Part A of this submission makes high-level comments on:

  • what is and is not addressed in the draft Regulation
  • how key concepts could be applied and strengthened (such as community engagement strategies and Crown land rules and principles) and
  • how the reform package fits together and interacts with other in-progress reforms.

Part B comments on the details of the draft Regulation including:

  • the use, management and transfer of ownership (vesting) of Crown lands, and
  • improvements to governance, transparency and environmental protection.

Link to this submission's page.