Advice - EDO NSW


EDO NSW provides free initial legal advice on planning and environmental law matters. 

We deal with around 1200 telephone inquiries every year, with about 65% coming from rural and regional NSW. Callers are referred to us from a wide range of sources, including other community legal centres, courts, conservation groups, members of Parliament and Government agencies.

To request legal advice on an environmental or planning law issue, please call the numbers below. Your request will be allocated to one of our solicitors, who will call you back.

EDO NSW deals with a high volume of requests for advice, so it is important that you seek legal advice early to ensure your matter can be dealt with in time. 

EDO NSW cannot advise more than one client on the same issue, so if you are part of a community group, you will need to elect a representative to seek and receive advice on behalf of the group.

Advice can generally only be provided to the person it relates to. If you are seeking advice on behalf of someone else, we will need their written permission before providing it. 

Before calling us

You will need to be able to provide us with certain information before we can assist you: 

  1. your name, address and contact number
  2. the name and address of the other party (e.g. the developer and/or the decision-maker)
  3. any relevant information relating to your matter, such as development application numbers, date and details of a decision you are unhappy with, letters from government agencies etc. 

Initial advice is free, but is capped at 15 minutes, so it is important that you are fully prepared before calling us. Advice must be requested by telephone and cannot be requested via email or facebook.

Advice line

Sydney (02) 9262 6989
Rest of NSW 1800 626 239 or (02) 9262 6989
Outside NSW Contact the EDO office in your State or Territory

Further assistance

In very limited circumstances EDO NSW may be able to provide more detailed advice and/or representation. See the guidelines below for more details. 

Guidelines for provision of legal representation by EDO NSW

EDO NSW will consider acting for you if it is of the opinion the matter involves a public interest environmental issue.

In determining this, EDO NSW needs to be satisfied that the issue has significance beyond the material or financial interests of a particular individual or group and will also have regard to relevant matters, such as whether:

  • the issue involves a real threat to the environment; or
  • engagement in the issue has the capacity to result in good environmental outcomes; or
  • the issue concerns the manner in which the environment is regulated, now and into the future and across all areas of government; or
  • the issue raises matters regarding the interpretation and future administration of statutory provisions.

Having determined the matter is a public interest environmental issue, EDO NSW may act for you provided EDO NSW has the human and financial resources to properly act in the matter.

If the matter involves litigation, EDO NSW will need to be satisfied that:

  • the matter has reasonable prospects of success; and
  • there is utility or value in commencing proceedings.

In considering any application, EDO NSW will also have regard to the financial means available to the applicant.

As of 1 July 2013, Legal Aid is no longer available for public interest environment matters.

Rick Laird and Belinda Rayment

EDO NSW solicitor Belinda Rayment talking to Boggabri farmer Rick Laird.

Our advice line has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

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