How to Gather Information
Gathering information is an important step in developing an understanding of the issue you are interested in, the relevant laws and government authorities involved, and what you can do.
Information was key in our issue. We needed to talk to the right people and ask the right questions. Policy and legislation had to be understood, or as best we could. Information from Council, correspondence and file notes in regards to the dealings with the sand mining company were obtained under access to information laws. The AustLII library was helpful in reviewing how the Land and Environment Court had determined other matters involving a sand mining operation. The internet was a valuable resource. I found conference notes posted by some of the government employees which gave insight into what was important to them. Information such as survey maps were obtained from the Historical Society. Basically we had enough information to support our position and have informed conversations with the various officers.
- Sue Chivers, Terara resident
Environmental investigations by community members or groups can be important for the enforcement of environmental laws, either to provide the basis for third party enforcement action, or to inform regulatory authorities of an environmental incident and to allow them to more fully investigate and take action.
Knowing how to do basic legal research will help you understand your rights and obligations and to participate more effectively in the issues that matter to you.
Parliament can be an excellent source of information.
Government has a wealth of information in its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.