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Emissions a factor in Dartbrook extension refusal

The Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has ruled that the Dartbrook underground mine near Aberdeen in the Upper Hunter valley can re-open. However, the IPC decided against approving a five-year extension, which means that the mine can only operate until 2022 - a decision that may affect the overall financial viability of the project.

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Response to IPC condition linking coal export to Paris Agreement

On behalf of the Hunter Environment Lobby, EDO NSW has provided a full response to the Independent Planning Commission on its proposed condition linking coal export with the Paris Agreement.

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Inquiry into koala populations and habitat in NSW

Inquiry into koala populations and habitat in New South Wales - EDO NSW submission

August 2019 - Download this submission

EDO NSW has made a submission to the NSW Upper House Inquiry into koala populations and habitat in NSW.

There are significant deficiencies in current NSW laws in relation to the protection of koala populations and habitat. The ongoing concerns of experts and the community have not been addressed by the introduction of the NSW Koala Strategy or the stalled review of the Koala SEPP. Major reforms to biodiversity and land management laws and the renewal of RFAs and IFOAs have weakened environment protections, including for koalas, and there are concerns that current proposals to remap old growth and rewrite PNF Codes will do the same.

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The strongest legal protection for koalas under current law would be to reserve designated protected areas. We strongly support proposals from koala experts for additions to the National Park Estate that specifically target koala habitat. We also strongly support incentives for private land conservation, with significant investment going to landholders to manage and protect koala habitat on their properties. Funding management of koala AOBVs would be a critical improvement.

Our recommendations identify a number of overarching areas where urgent law reform is needed, and provide specific recommendations for amendments to key pieces of legislation, regulations and policies.

Until our laws are strengthened to truly limit or prohibit the destruction of koala habitat, koala populations and their habitat will continue to be at risk and koala numbers will continue to decline in NSW, possibly to the point of local extinction.

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IPC considers linking coal export to Paris Agreement

The Independent Planning Commission has called for public comment on a condition it is considering in relation to the proposed United Wambo open-cut coal mine at Singleton in the Hunter Valley.

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Climate-ready planning laws for NSW - Parliamentary briefing

Please join us in the Jubilee Room, Parliament House, at 3:30pm on Thursday 22 August 2019. RSVP below.

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As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at unprecedented rates, extreme weather events such as fires, flooding and drought, changes in rainfall patterns, sea level rise and the warming and acidification of oceans are already affecting the safety and wellbeing of the people of NSW.

Lawmakers are in a unique position to help. Please join us to learn more about the issues facing the people of this state and the important role the NSW Parliament can play in creating robust laws to reduce emissions and help constituents adapt to the current and projected severe impacts of climate change.

Hear from our CEO David Morris on the everyday citizens who seek advice from the EDO on the threats and risks of climate change already impinging on their lives and properties.

International expert, Professor Will Steffen, will brief you on the science underpinning the urgent need to ensure planning decisions are consistent with our global commitments to limit global warming.

And hear from our law reform expert, Rachel Walmsley, on proposals to make NSW planning laws climate-ready now.

Speakers:

  • CEO David Morris, EDO NSW
  • Earth system scientist Emeritus Professor Will Steffen, ANU / Climate Council of Australia
  • Planning law expert Rachel Walmsley, Policy and Law Reform Director, EDO NSW

Constituents across the state, from drought-stricken river communities to those threatened by eroding coastlines, are pleading for greater action on climate change. This briefing is an opportunity to decide what role NSW lawmakers can play in safeguarding our future.

We hope to see you there.

Please RSVP by Friday 16 August 2019.

Light refreshments will be provided.

WHEN
August 22, 2019 at 3:30pm
WHERE
Jubilee Room, NSW Parliament House
Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia
Google map and directions
rsvp

Community fundraiser thanks

We would like to send a big thank you to jewellery artist Bridget Kennedy, who raised $4650 for us through her jewellery line this year.

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Implementation of the NSW land clearing laws

Part 3: Compliance and enforcement

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 and a new Vegetation SEPP, 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.

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. The second update looks at elements of the new scheme that are missing or lack clarity for tree clearing in urban areas and e-zones. This third update looks at compliance and enforcement of new clearing laws.

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A visitor from Solomon Islands

William Kadi, Senior Legal Officer with the Landowners Advocacy and Legal Support Unit of the Solomon Islands Public Solicitors Office, is spending two weeks working in the EDO NSW office.

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Implementation of the NSW land clearing laws

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. Part 3 looks at compliance and enforcement.

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Empower people and places under threat

We are part of an international movement using the law to protect wildlife, people and our planet.
More than ever, communities and creatures across Australia urgently need our help, and we need you to help provide access to justice and advance the law.

Exactly one year ago, I wrote to our supporters about the climate litigation cases we were preparing to go to Court, representing community groups as they defended their land, water, farms, heritage, towns and wild places against coal mining projects that would not only have serious social, cultural and environmental impacts locally, but also contribute to dangerous climate change.

One year on, sustained by dedicated people like you, we’ve won some major battles. The ground-breaking judgment in the case of Gloucester Resources Ltd v Minister for Planning & Groundswell Gloucester set a new standard in Australian environmental and planning law, and put us on the map in terms of international climate litigation.

This judgment has been covered by international media, reported on and analysed by dozens of law firms and mentioned in the board rooms of Australia’s leading financial institutions.

But the fight is far from over. As last year’s UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, and this month’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Report on global species extinction illustrate in terrible detail, we need to do much more to avoid the destruction of our shared home.

There is much more we need to do, and little time to do it. You can help by making a gift today. 

Across NSW, Australia and the South Pacific, communities like Gloucester face threats to their homes and livelihoods, their cultural and architectural heritage, social and emotional wellbeing, landscapes and wildlife. You can give them access to justice and a chance to stand up to powerful forces threatening everything they – and we – hold dear.

We need to raise $100,000 by June 30 in order to provide the core support our expert litigation, education and law reform teams need to underpin this work. Your generosity will help empower people and communities under threat.

Now’s absolutely the time to act – the Rocky Hill judgment shows that the law can work to protect us, as long as it’s applied in a way that gives the necessary weight to the health of humans, animals, plants and our shared home.

Thank you for your commitment to stand with us to protect the environment and advance the law,

Yours truly,

David Morris
CEO - Solicitor

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A message from Julie Lyford, chair of Groundswell Gloucester:

The community of Gloucester and most importantly the affected residents are absolutely delighted that they can now get on with their lives. The uncertainty and anxious waiting is over.

The decade-long fight to protect our homes, families and the beautiful Gloucester valley has been arduous and distressing. The community can now move forward with progressive and sustainable industry.

Indeed, since the news in early 2016 regarding AGL not proceeding with their 330-well gas field, then the refusal of the Rocky Hill coal mine, house prices have risen and housing stock as well as new builds are in hot demand. Tourism this Easter weekend was very strong. Service industries and light industrial business continue to grow. Gloucester has always been a desirable destination to visit, live and grow the economy.

With climate change threatening the planet, we owe it to this and future generations to step away from fossil fuel, embrace renewables and work towards just transitions.

EDO NSW has been the backbone of all environmental community campaigns.

Everyone: support the Environmental Defenders Office!