EDO NSW Blog posts


Hunter group takes council to court to protect endangered species

A Hunter Valley community group is seeking to protect the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater (pictured) by taking legal action against Cessnock Council’s approval of a steel fabrication facility on land which includes potential habitat for the rare bird. Update March 2016: The Court found in favour of our client. Read more


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The Three Sisters declared an Aboriginal Place under state law

The NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage has declared the Three Sisters site in Katoomba an Aboriginal Place under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW) following a nomination by Gundungurra Aboriginal Heritage Association.

The Three Sisters is an important place of cultural significance to the Gundangurra, Wiradjuri, Tharawal and Darug nations, not just at the mountain-top, but in the valley below as an area for cultural ceremonies. 

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Have Your Say about decisions impacting the environment

Public participation in decisions impacting the environment is crucial to achieving the best outcome for local communities and the environment.

Knowing what’s happening in your local area is the first step towards protecting the environment, as it allows you to let decision-makers know what you are concerned about. You can comment on things like draft policies on how threatened species are protected, applications for new developments such as new housing estates, office buildings, mines or roads, and draft plans setting out how protected areas such as national parks are managed. This is now as easy as a few clicks with the EDO NSW’s new website Have Your Say.

This is the first time that all the information you need to effectively engage with decision-makers to achieve better outcomes for your local community and the environment has been brought together in one place.


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‘Economic benefits’ hold sway in changes to NSW mining policy

The economic benefits of a mining project will now be the ‘principal consideration’ for decision-makers such as the NSW Planning Assessment Commission when they consider new mining developments and expansions, following changes introduced this month by the NSW Government.

November 2013

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Usual suspects line up for new attacks on EDO NSW

Friends, supporters and observers of EDO NSW may have noticed a new round of attacks on our public interest environmental law office in recent days and weeks, via the usual suspects of the NSW Minerals Council and The Australian newspaper.

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EDO NSW case 'epitomises' public interest litigation

By EDO NSW Senior Solicitor Elaine Johnson

The Land and Environment Court has found that a case brought by EDO NSW on behalf of the Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group to protect the environment 'epitomises the very concept of litigation properly brought in the public interest.'

The Court ordered that, even though they lost the case, the residents should not have to pay the legal costs of the Department of Trade & Investment. The Court also ordered the Department to pay the legal costs of the residents group in disputing the costs of the court case.

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False choice for public interest environmental law

The Australian Legal Affairs Editor, Chris Merritt (Market model is worth copying for our legal centres, 11 October 2013) recently proposed a false choice between providing Legal Aid for less well-off Australians on criminal charges and ‘protecting trees’ under the law.

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Land and Environment Court makes special orders protecting cultural knowledge

Last week, EDO NSW successfully gained special orders in the Land and Environment Court to protect culturally sensitive information.

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Legal Aid cuts threaten environmental justice

From 1 July this year, one of the pillars of environmental justice is about to be torn down – that is, Legal Aid will no longer be available for public interest environmental cases. It’s been a longstanding part of the architecture for 27 years.

But let’s step back a little. Why does this matter?

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Water sources at risk in the Hunter

Changes have been made to the rules governing the water use of mining companies in the Hunter region of NSW. These changes mean that from 2015 all large open-cut and underground coal mines in the Hunter will be exempt from rules that were supposed to protect both groundwater sources (known as ‘alluvial aquifers’) and rivers, particularly during periods of drought. This highlights the importance of assessing cumulative impacts properly, as well as the need for the community to be consulted on decisions that impact how water is managed across NSW.

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