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Bulletin | February 2013

The NELA Bulletin is the monthly bulletin of the National Environmental Law Association (NELA) and is published on the first Thursday of each month. Contributions to future issues of the NELA Bulletin are welcome and should be emailed to the editor by 5pm AEDST on the last Thursday of each month.

Welcome to the new-look NELA Bulletin, one of many changes being undertaken at present to revitalize NELA and provide our members with tangible benefits.
We hope you like it, and welcome your feedback and suggestions. We also welcome contributions, particularly on law and policy developments, to future issues.


What’s Happening at NELA?

Law and Policy Developments

News and Events from NELA’s Partners

Other Events


What’s Happening at NELA?

NELA National Conference: Delivering a Low Carbon Future

The biennial NELA national conference will be held this year on 7–9 March 2013 at the Sebel Albert Park, Melbourne.

Don’t miss the chance to debate the role of state governments in planning a low carbon future, and hear about how clean energy regulations, carbon markets and planning are working in practice. Hear from leading international and Australian speakers from the judiciary, law firms, academia, government, policy think tanks, environment NGOs and business.

For more information or to register, click here

Law and Policy Developments

In the legislature

2013 sittings for both Houses of the Parliament of Australia began on 5 February 2013. To see all Bills currently before Parliament, please click here and click on the “Bills” tab.

News and Events from NELA’s Partners

UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA)

Wildlife, Wilderness and Wild Law weekend – Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park: Friday 24 May to Monday 27 May 2013.

UKELA’s annual outdoors weekend at the Balmaha House bunkhouse on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

Click here for more detail about the weekend including costs and accommodation and to book your place.

Other Events

(NSW) Communicating Marine Conservation Forum, hosted by the ACIUCN

Professor Dan Laffoley, Head of Marine for IUCN WCPA, Senior Advisor to the IUCN on Marine Conservation, one of the architects of Google Ocean and a very innovative communicator of marine values, will be the key speaker at this forum, hosted by the ACIUCN. Other speakers will include Rebecca Hubbard who led the Stop the Super trawler campaign and Tim Silverwood, the originator of Take 3.

A very collegiate approach is planned with lots of discussion however as ACIUCN is apolitical it needs to be emphasised this is not a campaigning meeting but a chance to share thoughts on good communication for marine conservation across both government and non-government.

When: All day, 14 February 2013

Where: NSW Parliament House, Sydney

Places are limited so register early by emailing Penelope Figgis on penelope.figgis@aciucn.org.au


(NSW) 8th Annual Water Symposium

The controversial Murray-Darling Basin Plan has finally been given the go ahead by the Federal Government but will continue to face scrutiny and opposition as the Plan is implemented.

Don't miss your chance to hear directly from the The Hon. Craig Knowles, Chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Tony Windsor MP, Independent Member for New England, The Hon. Karlene Maywald, Chair, National Water Commission as well as industry experts on this and other key water developments from across Australia at the 8th Annual Water Symposium on Friday, 22 February 2013. Click here for more information.


(NSW) 2013 Mahla Pearlman Environment and Planning Law Oration

The Mahla Pearlman Oration is held in honour of the late the Hon. Mahla Pearlman AO, former Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales.

The Oration is the premier annual environmental and planning law address held in New South Wales and is delivered by a distinguished person in the field.  For example, the 2012 Mahla Pearlman Oration was given by Emeritus Professor Ben Boer.

This year the lecture will be delivered by the Hon. Paul Stein AM QC (former judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW and former judge of the NSW Court of Appeal).

When: 5pm, 14 March 2013

Where: Dixson Room, State Library of New South Wales

Cost: FREE


(NZ) 11th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium


The 11th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium will be held on 24-28 June 2013 at the Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Visit the Colloquium website to view the Colloquium programme, register an interest in attending the Colloquium or to file an abstract online.

This event is proudly supported by NELA.


Opportunities for Comment

Draft management plans for Commonwealth Marine Reserves

The Director of National Parks has prepared five draft management plans under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for the Commonwealth marine reserves in the South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Networks, and for the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve following consideration of comments received after an initial round of public comments.

Submissions on the existing draft management plans close on 14 February 2013.

For more information and/or to make a submission, please click here.


Draft National Harmonized Regulatory Framework for Coal Seam Gas

The COAG Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER) has released its Draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework for Coal Seam Gas for public consultation.

The National Harmonised Regulatory Framework will be a reference tool and guide for Australian federal, state and territory government regulators for the coal seam gas (CSG) industry. Its purpose is to collate leading national and international practices to consider and implement in the assessment and ongoing regulation of proposed CSG projects.

Submissions close on 28 February 2013. For more information and/or to make a submission, please click here.


Draft Environmental Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin

A draft Environmental Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin has been released by the Australian Government for public consultation.

The draft Strategy outlines the Government's proposed approach to environmental water recovery in the Murray-Darling Basin and includes water recovery through investment in more efficient water delivery infrastructure, environmental works and measures and water purchase.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on issues outlined in the draft Strategy until 28 February 2013. For more information and/or to comment, please click here.



Volunteer contributors—NELA Bulletin

NELA seeks volunteers to contribute to the NELA Bulletin, particularly for the law and policy developments section. Please contact Ellen Geraghty by email or mobile 0407 459 490.