EDO NSW Blog posts

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Five big challenges for the Planning White Paper – Challenge #2

Throughout this week (from Monday 20 May), EDO NSW looks at five major changes of the NSW Government’s New Planning System – White Paper. Changes that – as currently proposed – could undermine the Government’s efforts to restore accountability and public trust in the State planning system. In highlighting these issues, EDO NSW also seeks out solutions to give NSW residents, businesses and the environment a positive and sustainable future. So we’ll conclude this series with five essential improvements needed for the NSW planning reforms.

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Five big challenges for the Planning White Paper – Challenge #1

Throughout this week (from Monday 20 May), EDO NSW looks at five major changes of the NSW Government’s New Planning System – White Paper. Changes that – as currently proposed – could undermine the Government’s efforts to restore accountability and public trust in the State planning system. In highlighting these issues, EDO NSW also seeks out solutions to give NSW residents, businesses and the environment a positive and sustainable future. So we’ll conclude this series with five essential improvements needed for the NSW planning reforms.

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EPA requires BHP to stop polluting the George’s River

Nine months after Macarthur Bushwalkers filed its case against BHP seeking orders to stop alleged pollution of the Georges River in the Illawarra, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has required BHP to implement a program of works to protect this valuable river system.

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Image: Woolwash by Ken Hall, Australian Photography Tours (copyright)

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Court applies fresh approach to weighing of economic, social and environmental impacts

Last week Preston CJ, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court handed down a significant judgment on a coal mine extension project. Warkworth Mining Limited, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, had been granted approval to expand its coal mining operations near the small village of Bulga. The Court’s decision to overturn this approval has attracted considerable attention and concern about its implications.

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Fullerton Cove judgment highlights need for CSG law reform

Just before the Easter long weekend, the Land and Environment Court dismissed a case brought by residents against Dart Energy’s coal seam gas pilot project in Fullerton Cove near Newcastle. The Court lifted an injunction on drilling that had been in place since September last year, allowing Dart to proceed with drilling their wells. However, five days later, Dart announced that it would suspend its project due to proposed new controls for CSG at State and Federal levels, including the NSW Government’s recent restriction on CSG within 2km of residential areas, and the Commonwealth’s EPBC Act water trigger.

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Some funding certainty for 2013-14, but challenges remain

We have some good news and some bad news for the thousands of community groups and individuals who rallied to support EDO NSW during our funding crisis of late last year.

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The limits of adaptive management

Last week the Land and Environment Court applied the precautionary principle and refused a mining project that provided insufficient information in its environmental assessment about the impacts of the mine on groundwater and surface water. The case sets an important benchmark in environmental decision making that can now be applied to all planning decisions.

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Can community members afford access to justice?

Being exposed to cost orders in the courts is one of the major impediments to community members starting or continuing litigation to protect the environment in the public interest. Recently, there was a decision in the Land and Environment Court of NSW that will have significant consequences for community groups seeking to enforce breaches of planning or environmental laws in the future.

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EDO NSW funding update

EDO NSW has received formal confirmation that we will continue to receive Public Purpose Fund funding for a further three months, April to June 2013.

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Launch of ‘Mining Law in NSW: A Guide for the Community’

This week’s launch of EDO NSW’s Mining Law in NSW guide has turned out to be an incredibly timely reminder of a critical but often little understood role that the Environmental Defender’s Office has played for decades.

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