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Community group’s court action forces stricter environmental protections for Queensland coal seam gas project

Community group Western Downs Alliance has successfully negotiated the addition of important environmental conditions to the Santos GLNG Gas Field Development Project in the Surat Basin, Queensland.

9 January 2017

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Defending the environment and advancing the law into 2017

It has been a busy and successful year for the EDO NSW team. Our litigation work is just one aspect of our work, but in 2016 we’ve taken on so many challenges, and we will no doubt take on many more in 2017.

By Sue Higginson, Chief Executive Officer, EDO NSW

19 December 2016

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The new biodiversity, land clearing and vegetation laws – what next?

One of the final acts of NSW Parliament in 2016 was to radically alter our long-standing environmental laws. The new laws take a backwards step in environmental protection in NSW. Now that these laws are passed, what’s next?

By EDO NSW Policy and Law Reform Director Rachel Walmsley

6 December 2016

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The sixth phase of the environmental defenders – and beyond

Reading Law of the Land, a book telling the story of 30 years of EDO NSW, I’m struck by the dedication and talent of the people and communities that have made this remarkable legal centre so successful. But I’m also aware that, just as the book is published, we’re already writing a completely new chapter in our story – a new ‘sixth phase’ that makes me excited for our future.

By Sue Higginson, Chief Executive Officer, EDO NSW

5 December 2016

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Helping Local Land Services and Council staff improve environmental outcomes

By Emily Ryan, EDO NSW Outreach Director 

28 November 2016

That's a wrap! Over the past four months we've run 13 environmental law professional development workshops for over 400 staff of Local Land Services and Local Councils from Broken Hill to Ballina, Deniliquin to Bourke, and many places in between.

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Community granted access to information on groundwater regulation at Werris Creek coal mine

Community group Quipolly Water Action Group was today granted access to documents on the regulation of groundwater at Whitehaven Coal’s Werris Creek coal mine near the Liverpool Plains in north-west New South Wales.

24 November 2016

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Community gets extra chance to comment on species impact of Manly Vale school development

We've successfully ensured that a Species Impact Statement for a development at Manly Vale Public School is re-exhibited for public comment for a period of 30 days.

23 November 2016

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Another brilliant year of public interest environmental lawyering

By Sue Higginson, EDO NSW Chief Executive Officer

18 November 2016

We’ve just released our 2015/16 Annual Report, so I have been in a retrospective mood, looking back at all we achieved between July 2015 and June 2016. And what a twelve months it was.

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Casino or Parkland? Community group fighting to save a public park planned for Sydney’s foreshore

On 14 November 2016 a legal battle begins to save a public park planned for the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. Millers Point Fund Inc, represented by public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW, is challenging a decision by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to allow the Crown Casino development at Barangaroo, in Sydney, to be located on land that had been originally set aside as public parkland.

14 November 2016

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Law of the Land: Rise of the Environmental Defenders

In Sydney in 1981 a small group of people met to conceive a bold dream – a system of law that had been geared primarily to protect private property and individual freedom should be regularly used to protect the commons against the depredations of those very interests.

Law of the Land

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It was by no means the first time or the first place that the potential of law to advance environmental values had been recognised. Conservation organisations of various kinds have existed for a long time and have shown a remarkable growth since the middle of the 20th century. From time to time they have been able to employ, or recruit on a pro bono basis, lawyers to assist them in their campaigns.

What was remarkable about the 1981 gathering was that it was a meeting of lawyers who were themselves environmentalists who wanted to establish a legal service that would be on call to protect the environment, and indeed might even at times be seeking lay clients with the courage and fortitude to take up the role of litigant.

The organisation that resulted four years later, originally the Environmental Defender’s Office of NSW Inc., now officially shortened to its nickname, the EDO NSW, remains as it was conceived in 1985, a lawyers’ organisation.

The rest, as they say, is history – a history told with passion, thoroughness and insight by Murray Hogarth in this book. 

- The Hon Hal Wootten AC QC

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