Native Plants & Animals

EDO NSW has produced a number of resources on native plants and animals

EDO NSW undertakes law reform work relevant to native plants and animals. Read our submissions below.

EDO NSW represents individuals and community groups in public interest litigation to protect the environment. Read about our case on native plants and animals.

Our Fact Sheets on this topic include Commonwealth threatened species law, threatened species and ecological communities, and protecting native animals and plants.

See current opportunities for law reform in this area at Have Your Say about decisions relevant to native plants and animals.

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.

Federal handover of environmental powers to the States

The Federal Government’s proposed handover of environmental approval powers to the States will wind back 30 years of legal protection for the environment and put Australia’s World Heritage Areas such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests at riskRead more on our feature page.

submissions

EDO NSW Submission on the Environmental Impact Assessment Improvement Project – Environmental impact assessment for major projects

November 2016 – Download PDF

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment invited EDO NSW to make preliminary comments on stage 1 of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Improvement Project and high-level discussion paper.

Our comments build on previous submissions on the regulation of major project impacts. After commenting on the initial scope of the Project and eight proposed improvements, we recommend the Project address four issues in more detail: cumulative impacts; climate change; negative effects that ‘streamlining’ can have on public trust; and equitable appeal rights.

We also seek further clarity from the Department on whether the Project will involve legislative reform, and how it intersects with proposed reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

EDOs of Australia submission to the inquiry into flying-fox management in the eastern states

November 2016 – Download PDF

Our submission focusses on aspects of the regulatory framework for protecting flying-foxes. We recommend maintaining the independence of the Scientific Committee that makes decisions about about threatened species listings. We also recommend that there should be no further streamlining of flying-fox camp management regulations, or further exemptions of camp management actions from threatened species assessment requirements.

Productivity Commission's Regulation of Agriculture: Draft Report - EDOs of Australia submission

August 2016 – Download PDF

In our submission, we respond to specific findings and recommendations in the Draft Report regarding native vegetation clearing. We also identify a gap in relation to environmental data, ecosystem services and environmental accounts, and submit that the Draft Report does not sufficiently consider future challenges that agricultural regulation must address, adapt and respond to regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation.

This submission follows on from our February 2015 submission on the Productivity Commission’s Issues Paper on the Regulation of Agriculture.

NSW Biodiversity Law Reform Package 2016 - EDO NSW submissions

June 2016

Submission on the draft Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016 - Download PDF

Submission on the draft Local Land Services Amendment Bill 2016 - Download PDF

Technical submission on the Biodiversity Assessment Method and Mapping Method 2016 - Download PDF

Technical submission on the draft Offsets Payment Calculator - Download PDF

Find out more about the reform package, including EDO NSW blogs and workshop slides.

EDO NSW has been making recommendations for strong biodiversity, native vegetation and land management laws since 1995. We were heavily involved in the development of the current Native Vegetation Act between 2002 and 2005. 

We met with the Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel during their deliberations and produced A Legal Assessment of NSW Biodiversity Legislation to assist the panel. We engaged with representatives of the Office of Environment & Heritage, Department of Primary Industries and Department of Planning during targeted stakeholder consultations prior to the public exhibition process. We raised a number of key concerns and made recommendations in these meetings based on our extensive expertise in NSW environmental law.

Unfortunately none of these fundamental concerns or recommendations were addressed in the package developed for public consultation. 

These submissions detail our conclusion that the proposed laws are a retrograde step for NSW biodiversity and land management. While the proposed investment private land conservation is welcome, once this money runs out, we will be left with weak laws that offer no real protection for our unique threatened species and ecological communities and will facilitate ongoing decline in biodiversity. Consequently, we cannot support the proposed package.

Through a series of workshops, seminars and forums, we have spoken to local communities, Landcare members, Local Land Services officers, local councils, ecological consultants, private land conservation agreement holders, Aboriginal people, conservationists, wildlife carers, and private individuals through our advice line. Areas covered include: Hunter, Greater Sydney, North Coast, Northern Tablelands, South East and Central West. We discussed concerns with over 600 people. With the exception of representatives of the NSW Farmers Association, no-one we spoke to told us the proposed laws were an improvement on current laws, and almost all participants were seriously concerned at the implications of the new regime for biodiversity.

EDO NSW submission the development of supporting regulations for the Biosecurity Act 2015

5 February 2016 - Download PDF

This submission makes overarching comments relevant to any proposed regulations and discussion papers generally. It then comments on discussion papers on managing widespread pest animals, weeds, and wild dogs.

Some general comments include:

  • Shared responsibility – The principle of shared responsibility for biosecurity and development of management tools is welcome. These tools should be supported by a stronger focus on preventing new incursions to reduce overall biosecurity risks.

  • General duty – The General Biosecurity Duty is also welcome. The legislative framework needs to be supported with community education and shared management initiatives.

  • Environmental weeds – The regulations would benefit from a greater focus on environmental risks than the Discussion Papers suggest, particularly for environmental weeds and pest species (noting that many ‘key threatening processes’ to biodiversity are also biosecurity risks).

  • Compliance – Proposed management arrangements would benefit from a clear hierarchy of compliance. As well as local council officers, the Secretary should be empowered to nominate Authorised Officers to fulfil all biosecurity risk compliance duties, and the community should have rights to bring civil enforcement in court (as other laws allow).

  • Review – Biosecurity risks in NSW should be systematically reviewed and response measures should be prioritised according to risk. Rather than simply transfer existing management measures and priorities to new systems under the Biosecurity Act, a transparent, science based methodology should be established to manage risk and measure progress.

EDO NSW submission on the NSW Travelling Stock Reserves State Planning Framework 2016-19

3 December 2015 - Download PDF

We recommend the draft Framework be developed and clarified for the following issues:

  • Integration with other legislative, planning and biodiversity frameworks
  • Assessing environmental benefits, cumulative impacts and future threats
  • Primary use classification – methodology, criteria and implications
  • Community engagement, respect and dialogue about TSR roles in the future
  • Recognition of diverse indigenous interests in TSR management
  • Adequate resources and capacity
  • Identifying, monitoring and reporting outcomes
  • Piloting ecosystem services assessment and accounting
  • Legislative change must address community concerns about the wider Crown Lands Review.

EDO NSW submission on Local Land Services Draft State and Local Strategic Plans

20 November 2015 - Download PDF

Our submission makes three key recommendations

  1. Local Land Services (LLS) Strategic Plans should not be finalised until the full suite of LLS responsibilities has been clarified, given the significant changes that have been foreshadowed in relation to native vegetation and biodiversity legislation in NSW. Alternatively, the Strategic Plans should build in a formal review process when a new Biodiversity Conservation Act is passed.

  2. Strategies and performance indicators should be made ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

  3. The Strategic Plans should better articulate the clear role of LLS in ensuring compliance with environmental and natural resource management legislation.

EDOs of Australia submission on Draft Outcomes-based Conditions Policy

9 October 2015 - Download PDF

The Australian Government is proposing a shift in focus for EPBC Act approval conditions, where development has significant impacts on a matter of national environmental significance. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that arise from the Draft Policy’s approach. While we support improved condition-setting on development projects, including specific environmental outcomes where possible, a mix of conditions is likely to be appropriate.

We recommend:

  • not proceeding with the Outcomes-based Conditions Policy at present; 
  • a more holistic assessment of the Department’s approach to conditioning, compliance and enforcement (including how to better monitor, achieve and report on environmental outcomes, and increase oversight efficiently); 
  • input from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and independent environmental experts (and clear integration with recent ANAO findings); 
  • identification of current strengths, weaknesses and options for reform; and 
  • public consultation on those reform options and departmental proposals.

Submission on EPBC Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015

11 September 2015 - Download PDF

EDOs of Australia strongly oppose the EPBC Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015.

In our view, passage of the Bill would:

  • reduce oversight of executive actions that affect the national environment – oversight that has operated successfully since the EPBC Act began; 
  • disadvantage both conservationists and landholders (as landholders would bear an increased burden for protection of the national environment); 
  • diminish public confidence in major environmental decision-making and the rule of law; and 
  • further erode the national response to the independent Hawke Review of the EPBC Act (2009) – which supported existing standing rights for judicial review, and proposed that standing be further expanded in other ways.

As a starting point for both State and Federal laws, EDOs of Australia supports ‘open standing’ for any person to seek judicial review of government decisions and civil enforcement of breaches.

Read our briefing note Who should have standing to protect Matters of National Environmental Significance in Court?, September 2015 - Download PDF

Submissions on the Integrated Mining Policy

Stage 1 submission, 9 July 2015 - Download PDF

Stage 2 submission, 7 September 2015 - Download PDF

The NSW Government is proposing a new whole-of-government approach to mining applications through an Integrated Mining Policy. The Government called for public submissions in two stages from May to September 2015. EDO NSW made key submissions at both stages of the consultation.

Read a summary of the key points in our submissions

Saving Our Species ‘Landscape Species Strategy’ – consultation draft, and Proposed amendments to the Priorities Action Statement

18 September 2015 - Download PDF

Summary
This submission to the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage comments on proposed amendments to NSW threatened species priorities, and a Strategy for protecting some species at a landscape scale. It addresses:

  • major ongoing biodiversity law reform and integration of the Priorities Action Statement (PAS);
  • problems with biodiversity protection under planning laws;
  • objectives, indicators, targets and monitoring under the draft Landscape Species Strategy, and
  • PAS amendments for specific species must be transparent, responsive to climate change, and aim to recover species.

Submission on Strategic Assessment of RMS ‘Part 5’ environmental impact assessment procedures to replace EPBC Act assessments/approvals

13 February 2015 - Download PDF 

Amendment to the Priorities Action Statement - Letter

13 February 2015 - Download PDF 

Submission on Revised NSW Commonwealth Assessment Bilateral Agreement. EDOs of Australia submission.

30 January 2015 - Download PDF 

EDO NSW submission to the Draft Flying-fox Camp Management Policy 2014

December 2014 - Download PDF

A legal assessment of NSW biodiversity legislation - Submission to independent review of biodiversity legislation in NSW

September 2014 Download PDF

The gap between the environmental standards in state laws and national standards is widening, not aligning. Despite this the Australian Government is poised to hand over assessment and approval powers to States and Territories. 

Read the report by the Australian Network of EDOs

Sept 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft Report - Active and adaptive management of cypress forests in the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas

8 August 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice

21 July 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the NSW Crown Lands Management Review

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft NSW - Commonwealth Bilateral Approval Agreement

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Northern Councils Environmental Zones Review

June 2014 - Download PDF

Senate Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2014

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Draft NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects 

May 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Draft Landholder Guides and Draft Orders to implement self-assessable codes under the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013

May 2014 - Download PDF

ANEDO submission to the Federal parliamentary inquiry into Environmental Offsets

April 2014  - Download PDF

ANEDO submission to Federal parliamentary inquiry into environmental regulation

April 2014 - Download PDF

Draft Terms of Reference for a Threatened Species Commissioner (Commonwealth)

April 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Remake of the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs)

April 2014 - Download PDF

Review of the Weed Management in NSW – Draft Report

4 April 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on amendments to the NSW threatened species Priorities Action Statement

21 February 2014 - Download PDF

ANEDO submission on the EPBC Act Koala Referral Guidelines

7 February 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft NSW-Commonwealth Bilateral Assessment Agreement

December 2013 - Download PDF

ANEDO submission on streamlining of environmental approvals for offshore petroleum

December 2013 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications regarding theEnvironment Protection and Biodiversity Amendment Bill 2013

April 2013 - Download PDF

Submission the Review of the NSW Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme

9 July 2012 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission on the Draft Framework of Standards for Accreditation of Environmental Approvals under the EPBC Act 1999

23 November 2012 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Amendment (Emergency Listings) Bill 2011

15 December 2011 - Download PDF

Submission on proposed amendments to the Biobanking Assessment Methodology

19th November 2010 - Download PDF

Submission on the Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995

17 November 2010 - Download PDF

Draft Biodiversity Certification Methodology - EDO NSW submission

July 2010 – Download PDF

ANEDO Submission - further comments on EPBC interim report

28 August 2009 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission to the 10 year review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 – interim report

10 August 2009 - Download PDF

Submission on the National Parks and Wildlife Amendment Bill 2009

13 July 2009 - Download PDF

Submission to the National Biodiversity Strategy

29 May 2009 - Download PDF

Proposed National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009

27 March 2009 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission on EPBC Act: Recommendations for Reform

5 March 2008 - Download PDF

Biodiversity Report - Recommends Regulatory Change

18 December 2006 - Contact Us

Submission on Threatened Species Priorities Action Statement

18 August 2006 - Download PDF

Possible new matters of National Environmental Significance under the EPBC Act 1999

May 2005 - Download PDF

Accreditation to undertake threatened species and biodiversity assessments

February 2005 - Download PDF

Threatened Species Position Paper and Response to Reforms

19 April 2004 - Download PDF

Comment on the proposed National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Threatened Species) Regulation 2005, Threatened Species Conservation Amendment (Listing Criteria) Regulation 2005, and the Threatened Species Conservation (Savings and Transitional) Amendment (Significant Effect) Regulation 2005

13 July 2005 - Download PDF

Submission on "BioBanking - A Biodiversity Offsets and Banking Scheme" Working Paper

5 March 2006 - Download PDF

Submission on the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology under the Native Vegetation Act 2003

4 February 2011 - Download PDF

Submission to the Joint Select Committee on the Threatened Species Conservation Amendment (Biodiversity Banking) Act 2006

9 May 2007 - Contact Us

Accreditation Scheme for Individuals Involved in Threatened Species and Biodiversity Survey and Assessment - Draft for Comment

7 June 2006 - Download PDF

Biobanking consultation - Key concern: variation of red flags

21 November 2007 - Download PDF

Productivity Commission Draft Report into the impacts of native vegetation and biodiversity regulations

January 2004 - Download PDF 

briefing notes

EPBC Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014

September 2015 - Download PDF

Summary

The EPBC Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill would make it easier for the Federal Government to pass its oversight of national environmental impacts over to States and Territories. 

Remake of the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals - Discussion Paper February 2014

March 2014 - Download PDF

ANEDO - Objections to the proposal for an environmental ‘one stop shop’

December 2013 - Download PDF

discussion papers

Assessment of the adequacy of threatened species & planning laws (UPDATED Sept 2014)

This updated report was commissioned by the Places You Love Alliance of more than 35 environment groups and prepared by the Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices Inc (ANEDO).

Based on feedback from EDO offices in each State and Territory, this report outlines the legal framework for managing threatened species in each jurisdiction and identifies some of the key issues in terms of: strengths and weaknesses of the relevant laws, an assessment of whether the laws are effectively implemented and enforced, and some analysis of the interaction of threatened species laws with planning legislation in each jurisdiction.

Sept 2014 - Download PDF

Assessment of the adequacy of threatened species & planning laws (Dec 2012)

This report was commissioned by the Places You Love Alliance of more than 35 environment groups and prepared by the Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices Inc (ANEDO).

Based on feedback from EDO offices in each State and Territory, this report outlines the legal framework for managing threatened species in each jurisdiction and identifies some of the key issues in terms of: strengths and weaknesses of the relevant laws, an assessment of whether the laws are effectively implemented and enforced, and some analysis of the interaction of threatened species laws with planning legislation in each jurisdiction.

The report makes a number of key findings.

Our analysis confirms the finding that no state or territory meets all the core requirements of best practice threatened species legislation.

2012 - Download PDF

Climate change and the legal framework for biodiversity protection in Australia: a legal and scientific analysis

Climate change has profound implications for biodiversity conservation in Australia. It will require us to re-evaluate our current approach to conservation, which will involve consideration of ethical questions such as what to protect and why. It will require dynamic and responsive tools, and overarching approaches.

This paper analyses the current legal regime at a Federal level in Australia and its adequacy to protect biodiversity under climate change. The paper was prepared with the assistance of a number of legal and scientific experts who provided written feedback on a draft discussion paper, and attended a one-day roundtable.

The first part of the paper outlines the predicted impacts of climate change on biodiversity and identifies general scientific principles for the protection of biodiversity under climate change.

The second part of the paper describes and analyses a range of legislative tools in terms of their efficacy in protecting biodiversity currently, as well as how adaptive and applicable they will continue to be in the future, in light of climate change.

The paper provides a set of recommendations for legislative and policy reform necessary for the conservation of biodiversity under climate change.

2009 - Download PDF

Climate change and the legal framework for biodiversity protection in NSW: a legal and scientific analysis

Climate change has profound implications for biodiversity conservation in NSW. It will require us to re-evaluate our current approach to conservation, which will involve consideration of ethical questions such as what to protect and why. It will require dynamic and responsive tools, and overarching approaches.

This paper analyses the current legal regime in NSW and its adequacy to protect biodiversity under climate change. The paper was prepared with the assistance of a number of legal and scientific experts who provided written feedback on a draft discussion paper, and attended a one-day roundtable.

The first part of the paper outlines the predicted impacts of climate change on biodiversity and identifies general scientific principles for the protection of biodiversity under climate change.

The second part of the paper describes and analyses a range of legislative tools in terms of their efficacy in protecting biodiversity currently, as well as how adaptive and applicable they will continue to be in the future, in light of climate change.

2009 - Download PDF