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Rachel Walmsley, Policy and Law Reform Director, will be one of a panel of environmental experts discussing the plight of koalas and what can be done for them on Thursday 15 November in Sydney.Read more
Next to climate change, plastics arguably represent the greatest environmental threat facing the planet today. In response, EDO NSW has worked with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and with EDO ACT to produce a guide for policymakers and legislative drafters on regulating plastics in Pacific Island countries.Read more
Dr Emma Carmody, EDO NSW water law expert, has won the Dunphy Award for “most outstanding environmental effort of an individual” at the 2018 Environment Awards hosted by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.Read more
Dr Emma Carmody, Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor at EDO NSW, spoke at the International River Symposium in Sydney this week.Read more
EDO NSW has filed a new case challenging a decision of the Federal Minister for the Environment to use the least rigorous assessment method for a proposal to clear 2,100 ha of native vegetation on the Cape York Peninsula.Read more
EDO NSW filed proceedings in October 2018 on behalf of our client, the Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ), challenging a decision of the Federal Minister for the Environment in regards to a proposal to clear 2,100 ha of native vegetation on the Cape York Peninsula.
27 November 2018: The Federal Court has upheld this challenge. The Federal Minister for the Environment has conceded that the decision was not made lawfully.
Read our media release: Media concedes unlawful decision on land clearing in Reef catchment
More on the background to the case: ECoCeQ is challenging the Minister’s decision to assess the environmental impacts of the proposed clearing using the least rigorous assessment method available: ‘assessment on referral information’.
The Minister is permitted to determine that a proposal should be assessed using ‘referral information’ only if satisfied that the proposal meets a number of stringent criteria outlined in the federal environmental legislation, including that the relevant impacts of the proposal are expected to be short term, easily reversible or small scale, and that the degree of public concern about the proposal is, or is expected to be, moderately low.
We are arguing, on behalf of ECoCeQ, that:
- the decision to apply the least rigorous assessment option to the proposal was unlawful because the Minister was not satisfied, as required by law, that the proposal met the criteria outlined in the legislation.
- it was unreasonable for the Minister to find that the proposal was of ‘moderately low’ public concern in circumstances where, among other things, the Minister received more than 6,000 public submissions objecting to the proposal at the preliminary referral stage.
The Great Barrier Reef and Cape York - Envisat image.
This clearing is likely to have significant impacts on matters of national environmental significance, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and listed threatened species and ecological communities.
Emily Long, Solicitor at EDO NSW, has carriage of this matter for ECoCeQ. Brendan Dobbie, Acting Principal Solicitor, is the solicitor on record.
We are grateful to barristers Stephen Lloyd SC and Ashley Stafford for their assistance in representing ECoCeQ in this matter.
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Our short film features members of the Murray-Darling Basin community on their relationship with the mighty river.Read more
Inquiry into Australia's faunal extinction crisis - Submission by EDOs of Australia
September 2018 - Download this submission
Almost 2000 species and ecological communities are listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable to extinction in Australia. A strong legal framework to protect biodiversity and build resilience is essential for reversing the trajectory towards extinction facing many of our unique species.
EDOs are all about protecting the environment through law and our contribution to this inquiry focuses on legal solutions to the extinction crisis.
We recommend a new Environment Act for Australia is needed to address the contemporary, interlinked challenges of extinction and biodiversity protection, natural resource management, land use, human settlements, production and consumption systems and climate change. The Environment Act must be underpinned by renewed national leadership, independent and trusted institutions, high levels of environmental protection, with strong community engagement and access to justice.
This submission first notes the 13 broad recommendations for biodiversity reform, and then identifies specific recommendations related to the terms of reference.
A superb parrot. Photo: Ron Knight, Wikimedia, Creative Commons
EDO NSW has written a report for HSI Australia which sets out a vision for nationally integrated marine management, with strong national, regional and global leadership through a new Oceans Authority and clear framework legislation – an Oceans Act.Read more
EDO NSW water law expert Dr Emma Carmody appeared as counsel at the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission on Thursday 20 September 2018.Read more