Yass Environmental Responsibility Network Inc v Yass Council & Anor

October 2011

EDO NSW, on behalf of Yass Environmental Responsibility Network Inc commenced judicial review proceedings in the Land and Environment Court to challenge development consent to a 175 lot subdivision at Yass. The primary issue in dispute was the impact that the development would have on a listed threatened species, being striped legless lizards (Delma Impar), and the fact that the proponent did not prepare a species impact statement to accompany the application.

Yass Environmental Responsibility Network raised the potential for the matter to be referred to mediation with the respondents. This course of action was subsequently agreed to by all parties and the matter was referred to a Court-appointed mediator. Commissioner Dixon of the Land and Environment Court presided over the mediation.

Through the mediation process the parties were able to come to an acceptable agreement. This included the finalisation of a conservation management plan for striped legless lizards and the imposition of restrictive and public positive covenants on the portion of land used for lizard habitat. By consent, the parties had the Court dismiss the matter on 12 October 2011.