Part 2: Clearing in urban areas and E zones
It’s been almost two years since the NSW Government introduced a new scheme for regulating land clearing and biodiversity in NSW. This EDO NSW series looks at how these laws are being implemented and the regulatory gaps that are putting our wildlife and healthy sustainable landscapes at risk.
Our first update looked at clearing in rural areas and outlined the fundamentally important parts of the scheme that are still missing even while tree clearing has continued apace under self-assessed codes. This second update looks at elements of the new scheme that are missing or lack clarity for tree clearing in urban areas and e-zones.Read more
Part 1: The missing pieces
It’s been almost two years since the NSW Government introduced a new scheme for regulating land clearing and biodiversity in NSW. While the business of tree clearing has continued apace under self-assessed codes, fundamentally important parts of the scheme are still missing. This EDO NSW series of legal updates looks at how the laws are being implemented and the regulatory gaps that are putting our wildlife and healthy sustainable landscapes at risk. This first update looks at the missing pieces.Read more
On 20 August 2018, a 15-year-old girl named Greta Thunberg sat alone outside the Swedish Parliament to protest government inaction on climate change.1 Her solitary school strike would spark a global movement of children striking for their futures.2 On the same day, on the other side of the world, a court convened in Sydney to begin the second week of a hearing into an application for an open-cut coal mine. The case would give rise to a landmark judgment on climate change in Australia.3Read more
At our March 2019 EDO Insider on the Rocky Hill litigation, Scientific Director Megan Kessler gave an overview of the expert evidence given in the Land and Environment Court during the Rocky Hill hearing in August 2018. This was the first time climate change has been addressed in an Australian court using the concept of a carbon budget. In refusing approval for a new coal mine at Gloucester, the judgment relied on evidence from expert witnesses, Professor Will Steffen and Tim Buckley, who had been engaged by our client Groundswell Gloucester.
In this legal update, Megan outlines the expert evidence that informed Chief Justice Preston’s consideration of climate change in the Rocky Hill case and asks what’s next for the carbon budget.
The Gloucester surrounds. Photo courtesy Groundswell Gloucester.Read more
While most people are still digesting the recently released 756-page final report of the South Australian Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission, law reform responses are already being drafted to address some of its alarming findings.
Parliamentary responses have included private member’s bills ranging from a broad sector-based approach – for example to ban cotton exports – to a specific amendment to the water buy-back limit under the Commonwealth Water Act 2007, to calls from indigenous groups for legislation to establish a federal Royal Commission into the issue.
This blog identifies the key findings made by Commissioner Bret Walker SC and discusses what could be next for law reform in the Murray Darling Basin.Read more
In August 2017, the Wollar Progress Association (WPA) commenced judicial review proceedings in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (LEC) to challenge the decision of the then New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) (since replaced by the Independent Planning Commission) to approve the extension of the Wilpinjong open-cut coal mine near Wollar.
The decision1 was the first time the LEC considered whether, and to what extent, cl 14 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (NSW) (Mining SEPP) requires a consent authority to consider an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, including downstream emissions, when determining a development application for a mining project, including by having regard to any applicable state or national policies, programs or guidelines concerning greenhouse gas emissions.
On 19 June 2018, the LEC dismissed WPA’s application and upheld the PAC’s decision to approve the extension.The judgment demonstrates that broad aspirational policies regarding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets do not have any meaningful application to the assessment of mining projects in New South Wales.Read more
The draft Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (draft IFOA) proposes a new rulebook for public forestry in NSW.
By Rachel Walmsley, Director Policy and Law Reform, EDO NSW
13 September 2018Read more
Background: On 25 June 2018, the Water Amendment Bill 2018 (Bill) was passed by the Australian Parliament. The primary purpose of this Bill is to allow an amendment to the Murray Darling Basin Plan that had already been disallowed by the Senate, to be re-tabled and voted on again. The motivation for this unusual Bill was the disallowance of the Northern Basin Amendment by the Australian Senate in February 2018.Read more
In November 2017, the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC) commenced judicial review proceedings in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (LEC) to challenge the decision of the Minister for Primary Industries to make the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2017 (Code) under the provisions of the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act).
This would have been the first case to test the new provisions of the LLS Act, however the matter resolved before it went to hearing. On 9 March 2018, the LEC made orders, by consent, declaring that on and from 24 August 2017 the Code had been invalid and of no effect, and the decision to make the Code be quashed.
The Code was re-made in an identical form later that day. It came into effect on 10 March 2018.Read more