We actively engage in environmental policy and law reform in NSW and Australia
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.
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.
Submission on the Environmental Impact Assessment Improvement Project - Draft EIA Guidelines
September 2017 - Download PDF
The Department of Planning and Environment is reviewing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for State significant projects in NSW to identify areas for improvement. This submission makes comment on the need to improve EIA processes and makes recommendations on the proposed series of 9 guidelines. The guidelines relate to the following EIA stages:
Guideline 1 - Overview of the EIA Improvement Project
Guideline 2 - Community Guide to EIA
Guideline 3 - Scoping an Environmental Impact Statement
Guideline 4 - Preparing an Environmental Impact Statement
Guideline 5 - Responding to External Submissions
Guideline 6 - Community and Stakeholder Engagement
Guideline 7 - Approach to Setting Conditions
Guideline 8 - Modifying an Approved Project
Guideline 9 - Peer Review
Draft Water Management (General) Regulation 2017 - EDO NSW submission
August 2017 - Download PDF
This short submission focuses on 4 proposed changes to the Draft Water Management (General) Regulation 2017 concerning: subdividing approvals; correcting descriptions in approvals; streamlining requirements for private pontoons, jetties and moorings on public land; and the use of water for dust suppression.
More broadly, EDO NSW is working on a range of recommendations for water law reform as part of our ongoing legal advice and law reform work. See our Blog on our ongoing work to protect the Murray Darling Basin for more information.
Inquiry into the Future of Australia’s Cities – EDOs of Australia submission
August 2017 – Download Submission
This submission to the House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities covers two sub-inquiries.
On Sustainability transitions in existing cities we discuss:
- Reviewing evidence and recommendations from past inquiries
- Prioritising sustainable transport and infrastructure
- Global best practice green cities
- Strong leadership needs institutions, vision and harmonisation.
On Growing new and transitioning regional cities and towns we highlight five critical issues for planning in regional Australia:
- Ecologically sustainable development
- Good strategic planning
- Natural Resource Management goals, data, environmental accounts
- Climate change readiness
- Community engagement, including regional Aboriginal communities
Environmental Planning & Assessment Amendment (Staged development Applications) Bill 2017 – EDO NSW submission
July 2017 – Download Submission
This submission expresses concerns about the Bill proceeding as drafted, and makes a number of recommendations.
Inquiry into the Environment and Infrastructure Legislation Amendment (Stop Adani) Bill 2017 – EDOs of Australia submission
July 2017 – Download Submission
This submission responds to the Inquiry into the Environment and Infrastructure Legislation Amendment (Stop Adani) Bill 2017.