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April 2014

The NELA Bulletin is published on the first Thursday of each month. Contributions are welcome and should be emailed to the editor, Ellen Geraghty, by 5pm AEDST on the preceding Friday.

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This Month

NELA news and events
01. Recent NELA submissions
02. 2014 NELA Essay competition - Are we selling ourselves short?

Law and policy developments
03. In the legislature
04. In the courts
05. News and policy developments

News and events from NELA’s partners
06. (Melbourne) State Planning Policy Framework Review Seminar
07. (Sydney) Sustainable Business Australia presents Crime and Corporate Punishment
08. (Melbourne) VPELA 25th Birthday Silver Screen Gala Dinner
09. (Canada) 2014 Annual Canadian Bar Association Environmental, Energy and Resources
      Law Summit

10. (Brisbane) ACIUCN’s Science Informing Policy Symposium Series
11. (New Zealand) Resource Management Law Association (RMLA) Conference 2014

Other events
12. (UK) University College London / King’s College London Postgraduate Environmental
      Law Symposium

13. (Australia – various locations) Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) events
14. (Gold Coast) Queensland Environmental Law Association (QELA) 2014 Conference
15. (Sydney) 2014 Government Sustainability Conference
16. (Sydney) IUCN World Parks Congress 2014
17. (Australia – various locations) Legalwise Seminars

18. Opportunities for comment
19. Roles
20. Study
21. Other
22. Resources

NELA news and events

Recent NELA submissions

NELA continues to contribute to the dynamic developments in environmental law in Australia.
This month we prepared a submission on the Queensland Parliament’s Inquiry on the Environmental Offsets Bill 2014 which highlighted gaps between the Queensland Bill and the Federal Environmental Offsets Policy and NELA’s proposal for a national standard on biodiversity offsets.

A big thank you to Allens Linklaters lawyer Julieane Bull and partner Bill McCredie for drafting NELA’s submission, with input from Dr Justine Bell and Amanda Cornwall. A copy of the submission will be available on request and will be published via the Queensland Parliamentary committee website here

We’re also preparing a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Environmental Offsets which is examining the history, appropriateness and effectiveness of the use of environmental offsets in federal environmental approvals in Australia with specific regard to Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek Project, Waratah Coal’s Galilee Coal Project, QGC’s Queensland Curtis LNG project, North Queensland Bulk Port’s Abbot Point Coal Terminal Capital Dredging Project, and Jandakot Airport developments.

Submissions are due on 4 April 2014 and NELA’s submission will be published via the committee’s website here.

NELA’s submission to the Senate inquiry on the Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 is available here and the Committee’s report is available here.


2014 NELA Essay competition - Are we selling ourselves short?

The 2014 Essay Competition, Are we selling ourselves short?, will open shortly. The deadline for submissions will be 12 December 2014 and the competition will be open to any student enrolled at an Australian tertiary institution in either an undergraduate or postgraduate program. NELA members will receive details when the competition opens.

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Law and policy developments

In the legislature


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bill 2014 (Cth)

Former Labor Fisheries Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig, has introduced a private members Bill to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to restore powers to ban commercial fishing operations such as the supertrawler. 

The current 2-year ban on the use of supertrawler vessels in the Small Pelagic Fishery expires in November 2014. The current sunset clause on declaration powers under Part 15B means that no new bans can be imposed. Senator Ludwig’s Bill does not propose a permanent ban, seeking only to restore powers to make new temporary bans in future if the Environment and Fisheries Ministers agree that there is uncertainty regarding the environmental impacts of specified fishing activities.


Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No. 2]

This Government Bill repeals the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 and gives effect to the Government’s intention to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. An earlier version of the Bill was recently repealed by the Senate. This version has now passed the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting debate in the Senate.


Australian Capital Territory

Nature Conservation Bill 2013

The exposure draft of the Nature Conservation Bill 2013 will be the subject of a stakeholder roundtable chaired by the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment. A detailed report about the roundtable will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly by May 2014 on the range and extent of issues  raised by stakeholders on the draft  Bill.



Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 (Qld)

The Bill for this Act was passed and assented to following the tabling of the report of the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee regarding the Bill, which recommended that the Bill be passed subject to a number of amendments and further clarifications by the government.
The Bill was intended to balance the competing interests of the resource industry with agriculture, environmental protection, and human settlements, and replacing existing legislation like the Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011(Qld).



Environment Protection and Sustainability Victoria Amendment Bill 2014

The Victorian Parliament passed the Environment Protection and Sustainability Victoria Amendment Bill 2014 (Vic) without amendment on 25 March 2014 and it was awaiting assent at the time of writing. The Bill will amend Victorian legislation relating to waste management arrangements and resource efficiency. The main elements of the Bill include:

  • the replacement of the existing thirteen regional waste management groups with seven new waste and resource recovery groups and accompanying governance changes,

  • the transfer of responsibility for administering the Victorian landfill levy proceeds to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and the provision for landfill levy distributions to occur via ministerial determination rather than through regulations,

  • the formal ending of the Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP) program under the Environment Protection Act 1970, which required Victoria’s largest energy and water users to identify and implement resource efficiency measures with a payback of three years or less, and

  • amendments to the Sustainability Victoria Act 2005 aimed at focussing Sustainability Victoria on waste management and resource recovery, including changing the composition of Sustainability Victoria’s (SV) Board and providing for SV to be the lead agency for facilitating resource recovery market development and education.    


Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2014

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2014 (VCAT Bill) passed the Legislative Assembly on 13 March 2014 and is now being considered by the Legislative Council.  Once the Bill is passed, the amendments made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 by the VCAT Bill will apply in relation to all proceedings in VCAT, whether they were commenced before or after the amendments take effect.  Amongst other things, the VCAT Bill provides VCAT with new powers to:

  • ask planning decision-makers to re-consider their decisions during a VCAT proceeding and for any varied or substituted decision to form the basis of the review proceeding,

  • give directions to expert witnesses in a proceeding for the purpose of better managing the use of expert evidence in VCAT proceedings, and

  • make orders relating to the parties to a VCAT proceeding and the reimbursement of fees.


In the courts


Second challenge to Abbott Point dredging project

The Mackay Conservation Group recently filed an application in the Federal Court challenging Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt's approval of the the dumping of 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area (known as the Abbott Point dredging project). This is the second challenge to this approval, the first is an application by the North Queensland Conservation Council which was lodged in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal a few weeks ago.


Supertrawler ban

Seafish Tasmania has filed an appeal against the recent Federal Court judgment upholding the decision to impose the current ban on the operation of supertrawlers. Further information will be made available when it comes to hand, but see the note on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bill 2014 (Cth) above.


Western Australia

Sea Shepherd Australia Ltd v The State of Western Australia [2014] WASC 66

The Supreme Court of Western Australia has ruled against Sea Shepherd Australia and Ms Burden who sought judicial review of the State Government’s decision in relation to a policy described as the 'Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy'. Part of that strategy involves setting baited drum lines in the Metropolitan Coastal Area and the South West Coastal Area of Western Australia to target three species of shark all of which are 'totally protected fish' under the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 (WA).

Sea Shepherd Australia claimed that exemption instruments made by the Minister under the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 that allowed for the baiting program to commence, should have been published in the Government Gazette. Furthermore, Sea Shepherd Australia sought an immediate injunction to have the baits removed.

In his decision, Justice Edelam concluded that an exemption instrument is not subsidiary legislation and therefore publication in the Gazette is not required.


News and policy developments


Report of Senate Inquiry into Direct Action

The Senate Inquiry into the Government’s Direct Action Plan has recommended that the Plan be scrapped, saying (among other things) that it would be more expensive and less effective at cutting emissions than carbon pricing.

The full report is available here.


New national threatened species commissioner

The Federal Environment Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, has announced that a new national threatened species commissioner will be responsible for prioritising endangered species most likely to be a conservation success.

The terms of reference for the advisory, non-statutory role have been released, and indicate that the commissioner would not override or duplicate the independent Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), but would "champion" the development and implementation of "practical conservation actions".

See also the opportunity for comment below.


Australian Capital Territory

Report shows action on climate change in the ACT

The annual report of the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development , Simon Corbell MLA, to the ACT Legislative Assembly on the implementation of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010 highlights significant progress on critical projects that achieve the ACT’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.

For more detail, including a copy of the report, click here.


New South Wales

BioBanking Review update and draft NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects

BioBanking is a scheme that developers can choose to use as an alternative to biodiversity assessment processes under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The NSW Government has been conducting a review of the scheme since 2012, and recently released a report presenting a summary and brief analysis of the issues raised in submissions received following public consultation on the review.

A draft NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects has also been released and is currently open for comment (see that section in this Bulletin, below). This policy will be finalized in tandem with the review.

A final BioBanking Review Report will set out the recommended changes to the scheme, and will be tabled in the NSW Parliament by the Environment Minister and publicly released once it has been finalised.


Northern Territory

Inquiry into fracking

The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory has announced that Dr Allan Hawke AC will lead the Territory Inquiry into hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The Chief Minister has stated that “The aim [of the inquiry] is to separate the proven evidence about environmental risk from the myths and to give an accurate picture based on science… The Inquiry will result in recommendations on whether steps should be taken to mitigate any potential impacts from fracking.”

The Inquiry will commence in April, call for public submissions and make recommendations to the Government by the end of 2014.



Reform of Water Act 2000(Qld) announced

The Queensland Government has announced a plan to reform the Water Act 2000(Qld). The reforms will be directed at:

  • achieving consistency with the National Water Reform commitments,

  • increasing certainty and security for users,

  • reducing regulatory burdens and simplifying requirements, streamlining planning processes and accelerating the release of unallocated reserves,

  • establishing new markets, and

  • managing the impact of the resource sector on groundwater.

 A call for public consultation will be released in the first half of 2014.



New government continues with plans to “rip up” Tasmanian Forests Agreement

Following its decisive victory in the Tasmanian election, the incoming Liberal government has affirmed its election promise to overturn the Tasmanian Forests Agreement (TFA). The TFA, brokered between industry representatives, unions and conservation groups, was given effect (in part) by the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Act 2013. The agreement had been criticised by a range of stakeholders, including specialty timber producers, farmers and some environmental groups.

In the lead up to the election, all signatories to the TFA had affirmed their commitment to the agreement and urged the Liberal party to reconsider its policy. However, following a meeting with incoming government members and the peak farming body, forest industry representatives stated that the TFA is now “irrelevant” and the industry will work with the government on a new plan.

Conservation groups and union representatives, who have not been invited to meet with the new government, remain critical of the plan to scrap the TFA.

Premier-elect, Will Hodgman, has stated that his government has a “mandate to deliver on our election promise” and will “elevate the forest sector back to its former glory”.  Details of any industry plan to replace the TFA have yet to be released.


Liberal Government’s 100 day plan

The incoming Liberal Government has yet to announce the allocation of Ministerial portfolios and has indicated that the budget would be delayed for some months.  However, the Government remains committed to delivering on its ‘First 100 day implementation plan’. Significant implementation promises (in addition to the TFA changes outlined above) include:

  • appointing a Planning Reform Taskforce to commence work on establishing a single state-wide planning scheme,

  • introducing legislation to increase penalties and create new offences in relation to protest activities on forestry and mining work sites,

  • conducting an audit of ‘red and green tape’ (to deliver on their promise to cut red and green tape by 20%) and

  • calling for expressions of interest for development projects in Tasmania’s National Parks.


Western Australia

EPA determines not to assess shark drum-line proposal

The EPA has determined that a formal environmental impact assessment of the Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) is not required.  The EPA Chairman, Dr Paul Vogel, stated that the proposal poses a negligible risk on target and non-target species of sharks and the broader marine ecosystem.

In his statement to the media, Dr Vogel said the determination was not a carte blanche endorsement for any extended program beyond 30 April 2014 and stressed the need for further research into shark behaviour.

The full media statement and public advice can be found here.



UN climate talks on 2015 deal begin ramping up

This year’s UN climate negotiations began in mid-March in Bonn, Germany. Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have targeted the December 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP) due to be held in Paris, France as the deadline for agreeing to the terms of a new global climate change treaty and so delegates at the Bonn meetings focused on accelerating formal negotiations under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action towards a successful conclusion in Paris.
More information about the meetings and their outcomes is available here.


EU to re-visit national GMO ban issue

EU environment ministers agreed in March to re-open discussions on a legislative proposal that would allow member states to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in all or part of their territory, even after they have been authorised at the EU level.
More information is available here.


Domestic climate initiatives on the rise, report says

Countries are increasingly passing domestic laws aimed at tackling climate change, according to a new report launched earlier this month by GLOBE International, a London-based legislator body. The authors warned, however, that more work must be done to meet the internationally-agreed goal of limiting the global temperature rise to two percent.

More information is available here.


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News and events from NELA’s partners

Events offered by NELA’s partners often provide substantial savings for NELA members - so check them out and make the most of your NELA membership!

(Melbourne) State Planning Policy Framework Review Seminar

VPELA and PIA present this State Planning Policy Framework Review Seminar, at which you can hear an outline of the changes from the Advisory Committee, followed by an industry panel discussion. 

When: 5.30 – 7pm, Tuesday 8 April 2014
Where: Spring Street Conference Centre, Melbourne

For more information or to register click here.


(Sydney) Sustainable Business Australia presents Crime and Corporate Punishment

Does the big end of town need tougher penalties?

For millennia, society has wrestled with the challenge of how we best deter harmful behaviour. A typical response to human wrongdoing is to dial up the breadth and severity of punishment. But how should we respond to the damaging conduct of corporations? Is the big end of town getting an easy ride or are tougher penalties needed to curb white collar crime?

Join three of Australia's principal regulators (Greg Medcraft, Chair, Australian Securities and Investments Commission; Dr John Laker AO, Chair, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; and Rod Sims, Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) in conversation with Dr Simon Longstaff, as they discuss what place should be given to punishment in the regulator's toolkit. 

When: 6pm (for 6.15pm start) to 8pm, Tuesday 8 April 2014
Where: Level 1, Legion House, 161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Cost: $150 plus booking fee

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information or to register, call (02) 8267 5782 or visit the website.


(Melbourne) VPELA 25th Birthday Silver Screen Gala Dinner

Over 400 VPELA members and colleagues have already registered for this fabulous event. Book early to make sure you don't miss out!

When: Friday 2nd May 2014
Where: Crown Palladium, Melbourne


(Canada) 2014 Annual Canadian Bar Association Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

Leading experts from across Canada will discuss:

  • emerging legal regimes and challenges to address air quality and climate change in Canada;

  • complexities associated with Canada's clean air regulatory agenda;

  • the status of international negotiations for a new climate change agreement;

  • how Canada intends to meet its 2020 GHG target and build a low-carbon economy;

  • how this burgeoning area is unfolding on international, national and local levels; and

  • regional hot topics and recent developments in environmental, energy and resources law.

When: May 29 and 30, 2014
Where: Ottawa Convention Centre, Ottawa, Canada

For more information click here.


(Brisbane) ACIUCN’s Science Informing Policy Symposium Series 

From the sublime to the bottom line – ecosystem services and protected areas: Australian and regional perspectives

This symposium will look at ecosystem services - the rich benefits we gain from intact nature. We hope to gather experts from across Australia but also international colleagues from the Pacific, New Zealand and Canada. It will highlight the role of protected areas as one of the most effective mechanisms developed over centuries to maintain the integrity of ecosystems, critical to human well-being and survival. It is a lead in event to the World Parks Congress where we hope to launch a useful summary of papers and a clear policy direction statement.

When: 21 – 22 July 2014
Where: The Shore Function Centre, South Bank, Brisbane

Register here for information and updates.


(New Zealand) Resource Management Law Association (RMLA) Conference 2014

Through the looking glass (if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there)

When: Thursday, 25 September 2014
Where: The Dunedin Centre

For more information, click here


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Other events

(UK) University College London / King’s College London Postgraduate Environmental Law Symposium

If you should happen to be in the UK in early May, you are invited to attend this postgraduate environmental law symposium. The symposium aims to provide environmental law and governance research students the opportunity to meet, present and discuss their work in a supportive environment.  The sessions will be chaired by academics from UCL, KCL and beyond, all of whom are experts in the area and have already expressed their wish to be on-hand at points during the day to continue discussions outside of sessions. The Symposium is made possible by generous funding from the Dickson Poon School of Law, UCL Energy Institute, UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL Centre for Law and the Environment

When: 10am to 7pm, 1 May 2014
Where: Dickson Poon School of Law

For more information or to register, click here.

Whether you are or are not able to make the symposium, the organisers have set up a Facebook group for environmental law research students which you are welcome to join.


(Australia – various locations) Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) events

AELA’s mission is to promote the understanding and practical implementation of earth jurisprudence and ‘wild law’ in Australia.  Earth jurisprudence is a new legal theory and growing social movement.  It proposes that we rethink our legal, political, economic and governance systems so that they support, rather than undermine, the integrity and health of the Earth. To learn more, join us at one of our upcoming events:

  • 1 Day Environmental Justice Symposium – Friday, 4 April 2014 – hosted by AELA and Griffith University’s Urban Research Program, at Griffith University’s EcoCentre in Brisbane

  • “Exploring Intersections and Differences between Animal Law, Environmental Law and Earth Jurisprudence” - joint half day seminars hosted by AELA and Voiceless:

    • Sydney – Friday, 2 May 2014 – to be held at Sydney University

    • Perth – Friday, 8 May 2014 – to be held at Murdoch University

    • Brisbane – Monday 12 May 2014 – to be held at Griffith University

  • Ecospirituality seminars – Brisbane and Perth – July 2014 (more details soon)

For more information about each event, or to RSVP, click here.


(Gold Coast) Queensland Environmental Law Association (QELA) 2014 Conference

A Game of Tomes

QELA's 2014 conference is just over a month away and registrations are now being taken.
The program will cover eight sessions over three days and includes the usual welcome BBQ on Wednesday evening (sponsored by Holding Redlich) and the Groundwork Plus cocktail dinner on Thursday evening. The conference program includes topics such as the Queensland, planning system, planning schemes, linear infrastructure, water resources, environment and heritage, managing growth and infrastructure.

When: 28 – 30 May 2014
Where: Sheraton Gold Coast Resort and Spa

Detailed conference information, the program and registration forms are available on QELA's website. For more information please call QELA's office on (07) 3832 4865 or email info@qela.com.au.


(Sydney) 2014 Government Sustainability Conference

Call for speakers now open

The 2014 Government Sustainability Conference will again provide delegates from local, state and federal government and the wider public sector with comprehensive analysis and advice on how to address crucial environment issues and embed sustainability within their organisations.
Presentation topics will include:

  • The future of carbon regulation and how government organisations should be responding: an analysis of the current carbon regulatory landscape for local government and public sector authorities

  • Effective sustainability strategies for government organisations

  • Climate adaptation strategies for government organisations and their communities

  • Public sector sustainability reporting

  • Community engagement on sustainability issues

  • Sustainable resource management: waste, water, energy

When: 12 and 13 August 2014
Where: Doltone House, Sydney

For more information about the event and to register, click here.


(Sydney) IUCN World Parks Congress 2014

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme "Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions", it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.

When: 12 – 19 November 2014
Where: Sydney, Australia

Registration for this event is now open. For more information, and to register, click here


(Australia – various locations) Legalwise Seminars

Legalwise Seminars runs over 400 legal seminars per year with the most up-to-date content, expert speakers and interactive opportunities to learn. All seminars are CPD accredited and NELA members receive a 10% discount.

Check their website for their regularly updated program.


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Opportunities for comment



House Environment Committee to examine ‘green tape’

The House of Representatives Environment Committee will conduct an inquiry into streamlining environmental regulation, ‘green tape’, and one stop shops for environmental assessments and approvals.

The terms of reference provide for the committee to inquire into and report on the impact of ‘green tape’ and issues relating to environmental regulation and deregulation. The inquiry will have particular regard to:

  • jurisdictional arrangements, regulatory requirements and the potential for deregulation;

  • the balance between regulatory burdens and environmental benefits;

  • areas for improved efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory framework; and

  • legislation governing environmental regulation, and the potential for deregulation.

The committee will accept submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference until Friday, 11 April 2014.

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


Inquiry into streamlining environmental regulation, 'green tape', and one stop shops

The Australian Parliament House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment will conduct an inquiry into streamlining environmental regulation, ‘green tape’, and one stop shops for environmental assessments and approvals. The inquiry will have particular regard to:

  • jurisdictional arrangements, regulatory requirements and the potential for deregulation,

  • the balance between regulatory burdens and environmental benefits,

  • areas for improved efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory framework, and

  • legislation governing environmental regulation, and the potential for deregulation.

Submissions are invited until Friday 11 April 2014.

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


New national threatened species commissioner

As noted above, the Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, has announced that a new national threatened species commissioner will be responsible for prioritising endangered species most likely to be a conservation success.

The draft terms of reference for the advisory, non-statutory role have been released and are currently open for comment.

Submissions on the draft terms of reference close on 18 April 2014.

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


New South Wales

Consultation on the remake of the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals

The NSW Government is calling for feedback on proposed changes to the environmental regulatory framework for forestry operations conducted on public land in coastal NSW.

The proposed changes apply to Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) for the Eden, Southern, Lower North East and Upper North East (coastal) regions of NSW. The IFOA remake is being undertaken jointly by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) and Department of Primary Industries – NSW Fisheries (DPI).

The objectives of the IFOA remake are to improve the IFOAs’ clarity and enforceability and reduce the costs associated with implementation and compliance.

The Government has released a discussion paper on the proposed changes for consultation.

Submissions are invited until Sunday 6 April 2014.

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


Changes to recreational fishing rules for endangered Southern Bluefin Tuna

The Minister for Primary Industries is proposing to make an Order to authorise fishing for Southern Bluefin Tuna, which is listed as an endangered species under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, in accordance with the following daily bag and boat limits:

  • Daily bag limit: 1 Southern Bluefin Tuna

  • Daily boat limit: 2 Southern Bluefin Tuna

  • Charter boat limit: 6 Southern Bluefin Tuna

A Species Impact Statement assessing the impact of the activities has been prepared. The Department of Primary Industries invites written submissions on the proposed Order.
Submissions are invited until Wednesday 16 April 2014.

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


Draft NSW biodiversity offsets policy for major projects

The NSW Government has released a draft NSW biodiversity offsets policy for major projects. The policy will apply to State significant development and State significant infrastructure under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including projects such as highways, mines and hospitals. This draft has been informed by submissions received as part of the NSW Government’s Review of the BioBanking Scheme.

Submissions on the draft policy are invited until Friday 9 May 2014.

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


Marine estate community survey

The NSW Government has commissioned a private company to survey community views about the NSW marine estate and its future management. The NSW marine estate includes marine waters, the coast and estuaries, including the NSW marine parks, mangrove systems, islands, wetlands and lakes that are intermittently connected to the sea and rivers under a detectable tidal influence.
The survey will target stakeholder and focus groups, as well as randomised samples of NSW community residents for their views. Community members will be contacted directly by the company to complete the survey questionnaire.

Other members of the public may submit their views of future management of the marine estate by email to contact.us@marine.nsw.gov.au. These views will not be included in the survey results, however, they may inform new marine estate projects.

For more information, click here.


Western Australia

Appeals against EPA (WA) determination not to assess shark drum-line proposal

The EPA (WA) has determined that a formal environmental impact assessment of the Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) is not required. The full media statement and public advice can be found here.

Any appeals received against the EPA’s decision are investigated by the Appeals Convenor and determined by the Minister for Environment.

Appeals close 26 March 2014 and can be made here.


(Sydney) Lecturer / Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor in Environmental Law
Two full-time continuing positions (remuneration package: $107K - $174K pa, including leave loading and up to 17% super) are available at the progressive and globally focused Sydney Law School.
Applications close 6 April 2014; for more information and to apply, click here.


(UK) Write for a leading authority on climate change adaptation and business

Acclimatise is a specialist advisory company providing world-class expertise in climate change adaptation and risk management looking to build its growing global contributors network. If you have an article, interview, video or podcast on any aspect of climate change adaptation then Acclimatise would like to hear from you.

For more information about the Acclimatise Network and the benefits of contributing, click here.

Alternatively, send your stories of 400-800 words, along with a short bio and photo (optional), to Will Bugler at w.bugler@acclimatise.uk.com



University of Tasmania intensive: Current Issues in Environmental Law and Policy

The University of Tasmania will once again be holding its intensive course, Current Issues in Environmental Law and Policy, this winter.

This course explores the legal and policy context in which some of Australia's most challenging environmental controversies arise. It introduces students to the framework for national and international environmental regulation using a range of topical issues and case studies. These include the Gunns pulp mill dispute, coal seam gas expansion, international climate change negotiations, adapting to the impacts of climate change, and water rights in a drying world.

The course runs from 23 June to 13 July and is open to anyone with an interest in environmental law and policy.

For more information, click here.


(New York) Summer International Environmental Law Institute

Pace University’s law school, a top-ranked environmental law school located in New York, has just established its Summer International Environmental Law Institute. The Institute is now welcoming registrations from law students, lawyers, and other professionals from around the world who might be interested in attending environmental law classes in New York City in June and July 2014.

For more information, click here.



Nominations now open for United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) World Environment Day Awards 2014

These national awards recognise those from all Australian sectors who display innovation and dedication in their work to protect, manage or restore the environment. This year, the World Environment Day Awards will showcase some of the most important and exciting environmental projects in Australia. The Awards encourage environmental leadership, and promote awareness of environmental issues on a global scale.

Nominations close at 5pm, Thursday 17 April 2014.

For more information about the awards, including categories, and how to nominate, click here.


Call for support to develop an international law for ecosystems

The Saltus Forum is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that is initiating a new discussion among leading companies, organizations and experts about the real possibility of an international law for ecosystems.

The Saltus Forum is currently seeking partners and supporting organizations to professionally evaluate and potentially develop such a law.

If you or your organization are interested in learning more, visit http://www.saltusforum.org/ or email Steve Venton at steve.venton@saltusforum.org.



(Vic) EPA releases new guidance documents

EPA Victoria has released several new guidance documents in February 2014, including:


Papers from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

Linking emissions trading schemes: considerations and recommendations for a joint EU-Korean Carbon Market

As emissions trading schemes (ETS) continue to emerge around the world, governments are starting to consider and implement linkages between their domestic schemes. This paper analyses the case for a link between the EU ETS and the upcoming South Korean ETS. The authors assess key features of the planned South Korean ETS to determine elements that have the potential to facilitate or prevent linkage. The paper draws on lessons from previous linkage examples and makes concrete policy recommendations for the South Korean case. The linkage debate is placed in the larger context of international cooperation on climate change.


The Shale Gas Revolution: Implications for sustainable development and international trade

As shale gas exploration and extraction ramps up in many parts of the world, its contribution to global climate change and effect on international trade are becoming increasingly complicated and indeterminate. Undoubtedly, shale gas is transforming energy prices, industrial competitiveness, and geopolitics in a number of countries. Further investigation and safeguards are therefore needed to ensure that the shale gas “revolution” fosters, rather than hinders, sustainable development.

This paper, authored by Thomas L. Brewer, a senior fellow of ICTSD, sheds light on these complex issues and calls on governments, industry and international agencies to evaluate the full effects of shale gas on the environment and climate change to determine how it can best fit into a sustainable development agenda.


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Thanks to this month's contributors