EDO NSW Blog posts

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EDO NSW: standing up for communities and the environment

By EDO NSW Outreach Director Jemilah Hallinan

17 December 2014

2014 began with major government funding cuts, later a landmark victory in the NSW Court of Appeal to stop a coal mine expansion by Rio Tinto, then a legal action which made coal seam gas company Santos hand over water testing data to farmers, another which stopped Whitehaven’s bulldozers from winter and spring clearing at Maules Creek and finally we received an amazing $500,000 donation.

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NSW Government strengthens planning laws

By EDO NSW Executive Director Jeff Smith and EDO NSW Volunteer Morgan Cowdery 

14 November 2014

This week, the NSW Government passed a raft of changes to planning law in NSW. These new laws modernise the approach to planning and development breaches in NSW, increasing maximum penalties and importing additional penalties, as well as introducing broad enforcement powers and providing a statutory foundation for ePlanning tools. The changes will commence shortly.

 

 

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Clearing code must be based on actual bushfire risk

By EDO NSW Policy and Law Reform Director Rachel Walmsley

14 November 2014

The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code is currently being reviewed, providing an opportunity for the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to amend the code in response to community concern and evidence of unintended consequences of the code’s application.

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CSG Licence Cancellations Show Need for Regulatory Overhaul

By EDO NSW Principal Solicitor Sue Higginson

16 October 2014

A company has lost its licences to explore for coal seam gas over prime rural land after a local farming group highlighted alleged breaches of the title holder’s licence conditions to the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy. It is the first time the current State Government has cancelled an existing coal seam gas licence for compliance breaches.

 CSG development in the Hunter Valley

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What will Australia's nature look like in 50 years’ time?

By EDO NSW Executive Director Jeff Smith

8 September 2014

By 2070, nature will be a very different beast in Australia. Our environment will be substantially and radically changed. In fact, scientists are telling us that, even under moderate climate change scenarios, our environment will be more ecologically different than it is the same.

The threatened leadbeater's possum (Courtesy of Zoos Vic)

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Federal government to wind back 30 years of legal protection for the environment

By EDO NSW Policy and Law Reform Director Rachel Walmsley (First published by ABC Environment)

3 September 2014

 The Federal Government’s handover of environmental approval powers to the States for development projects will wind back 30 years of legal protection for the environment and put at risk Australia’s World Heritage Areas such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests.

Picture: World Heritage listed Upper Florentine forest, Tasmania, by Kip Nunn

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Parliamentary Inquiry into EPA after serious air and water pollution incidents

By Outreach Solicitor Emily Ryan

15 August 2014

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is currently under scrutiny following a number of serious environmental incidents ranging from air and water pollution to the destruction of habitat for threatened species. 

As the independent environmental watchdog in NSW, it is vital that the EPA is a strong and effective regulator. The role of the EPA should not only be to ensure that compliance with environmental laws is monitored and enforced and environmental harm remediated, but also to deter future environmental harm by ensuring that appropriate, timely action is taken, and adequate fines are imposed. However, recent events have called the EPA’s performance and effectiveness into question.

CSG operations in the Pilliga

pilliga-CSG.jpg

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Less environmental scrutiny of CSG drilling in NSW under new rules

By Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor Nari Sahukar

6 August 2014

Fewer new coal seam gas (CSG) wells will require a full environmental impact statement under amended NSW Government regulations.

The immediate effect of this amendment appears to reduce the environmental assessment and public consultation requirements for the Gloucester Gas Waukivory Pilot Project. This is despite community concerns that the hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, of CSG drilling wells up to 1,000 metres deep could have serious environmental consequences, including on fresh groundwater resources.

Countryside near Gloucester by Dean Sewell courtesy of Groundswell Gloucester

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Reforms must give Aboriginal people central role in heritage protection

By EDO NSW Aboriginal Solicitor Mark Holden

9 July 2014

As one Aboriginal Elder puts it: ‘our culture is our identity’. But under the current system in NSW, the experience of Aboriginal clients of EDO NSW is that it is an uphill battle to protect their culture and heritage.

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Clearing Stops of Leard Forest for Open Cut Coal Mine

By EDO NSW Principal Solicitor Sue Higginson

17 June 2014

The threatened animal species hibernating in the Leard State forest received a reprieve  from the clearing by Whitehaven Coal, thanks to the tenacity and vigilance of a local community group near Narrabri in north-western NSW.

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