Coal and gas mining in Australia: Opportunities for national law reform

Coal and gas mining in Australia: Opportunities for national law reform (August 2013)

This report was commissioned by the Australia Institute and prepared by the Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices Inc (ANEDO).

The purpose of this report is to identify existing Commonwealth law and policy relevant to the regulation of coal mining and unconventional gas exploration and production in Australia. Having identified the regulatory gaps, this report outlines opportunities for law reform in 9 key areas, with an emphasis on ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and decision-making based on best-available science.

The report makes a number of key findings. It is now clear that the Commonwealth may rely on a range of constitutional ‘powers’ to create laws to manage our environment in accordance with the principles of ESD. It is also clear that they may regulate coal mining and unconventional gas development in order to protect Australia’s unique natural heritage and food producing land.

2013 - Download Report

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