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River lore, water law - a short film on the Murray-Darling Basin

Our lawyers have worked tirelessly, alongside farmers, scientists, Aboriginal people and communities right along the river system to put forward solutions that work for the environment and people.

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NCAT decision on Shenhua coal documents

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has upheld a decision of the NSW Government to withhold key documents relating to the Shenhua Watermark Coal Mine on the Liverpool Plains, in administrative review proceedings run by EDO NSW on behalf of our client Lock the Gate.

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Toxic: what is rotten in the Murray-Darling Basin?

It’s not just fish.

The devastating scene of thousands of dead fish in one of Australia’s most important river systems highlights a failure of governance and policy, Quentin Grafton, Emma Carmody (of EDO NSW), Matthew Colloff and John Williams write.

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A visitor with 'PNG magic'

In December 2018, we were fortunate to host a visit from Mr Murray Maroroa, Chair of the Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR), our principal partner in Papua New Guinea. 

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Concerns about bottling in the Tweed

Water is a precious resource in Australia, of intrinsic concern to us all. Yet water rights are often in dispute; mining can jeopardise water quality and quantity; and sharing often limited reserves can place community relationships under strain. EDO NSW continues to apply and advance the law concerning this most vital resource.

Read this account from our Annual Report 2017-2018 of our response to concerns about water bottling in the Tweed valley:

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Protecting heritage-listed and critically endangered woodland

We are environmental and planning lawyers. We empower communities to identify unlawful behaviour, to challenge unwelcome or unhealthy developments and navigate their way through a planning system that can be confusing and intimidating.

Here is the story of the Fernhill estate, as told in our Annual Report 2017-2018:

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A community gains access to justice

Merits appeal rights were introduced over 30 years ago as part of extensive law reform designed to improve the integrity of the planning system. They allow communities to challenge a development approval on a project’s merits, taking into account environmental, social and economic impacts.

Over recent years, community merits appeal rights have been eroded – routinely, in cases involving mining projects. EDO NSW advocates for the reinstatement of community rights to a merits appeal. It’s crucial that the people with most to lose – whose homes, businesses, communities, land, air and water quality are at risk from mines and other developments – are able to have their voices heard in Court.

Here is the Gloucester merits appeal story, as told by Julie Lyford, from the EDO NSW Annual Report 2017-2018.

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Case note: Wollar Progress Association Inc v Wilpinjong Coal Pty Ltd

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 decision [Wollar Progress Association Inc v Wilpinjong Coal Pty Ltd [2018] NSWLEC 92; BC201805282] 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.

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Welcome commitment for new Environment Act for Australia

EDO NSW welcomes the commitment from the Australian Labor Party to enact a new National Environment Act and establish a new national Environment Protection Authority if elected in 2019.

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US environmental lawyer Lisa Garcia at the EDO

We were very pleased to welcome US environmental lawyer Lisa Garcia to a series of discussions in our office this week.

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