Nature Conservation Council of NSW Inc v the Minister for Sustainable Natural Resources

In 2003, EDO NSW represented the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) in a case challenging the validity of the water-sharing plan for the Gwydir Regulated River Water Source because it failed to address environmental necessities. NCC argued that the plan had failed to specify performance indicators or establish environmental water rules in respect to both environmental health water and supplementary environmental water. However, in February 2004, the Land and Environment Court dismissed the appeal, finding the plan was validly made.

EDO NSW was granted special leave to appeal to the High Court in late 2005. Unfortunately, the NSW Government subsequently passed legislation to retrospectively validate all water sharing plans made under the Water Management Act 2000, including plans that may have been invalidly made. As a result, the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) was forced to abandon its High Court challenge to the Gwydir Water Sharing Plan.

Judgment