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May 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 AEST on the preceding Friday.


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This Month


NELA news and events
01. Recent NELA submissions
02. NELA congratulates new NSW Minister for the Environmment

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

News and events from NELA’s partners
05. (Melbourne) VPELA presents The New Development Contributions
06. (Melbourne) Planning Law Update breakfast
07. (Sydney) Inaugural Fiona Wain Oration and Lunch
08. (Canada) 2014 Annual Canadian Bar Association Environmental, Energy and Resources
      Law Summit

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

Other events
11. (Australia – various locations) Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) events
12. (Sydney) A presentation by Harvey Locke: Australia's role in the world of large landscape
      conservation: from the Great Eastern Ranges and beyond

13. (Gold Coast) Queensland Environmental Law Association (QELA) 2014 Conference
14. ((Darwin) Environmental Defenders Office Northern Territory Inaugural Environmental
      Law Conference 2014

15. (Canberra) ACT Conservation Council’s World Environment Day Dinner
16. (Tarragona, Spain) 12th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law
17. (Sydney) 2014 Government Sustainability Conference
18. (Brussels, Belgium) European Environmental Law Forum
19. (Sydney) IUCN World Parks Congress 2014
20. (Australia – various locations) Legalwise Seminars

Opportunities
21. Opportunities for comment
22. Roles
23. Tenders
24. Study
25. Other

Resources
26. Book: Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia 6e
27. Facebook group for environmental law research students

Thanks to this month's contributors

 

A note from the editor

Dear readers,

I wanted to personally apologise to you all for the late publication of this month’s issue of the Bulletin. A family member passed away unexpectedly the weekend before it was due to be published and so I was unable to prepare it as usual.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend special thanks to my fellow members of the NELA executive for their support, in particular Jess Feehely, Danyelle Kelson, Sarah Waddell and Hanna Jaireth, who so kindly volunteered to help me prepare this issue.

Kind regards,

Ellen Geraghty
Editor, NELA Bulletin

NELA news and events

Recent NELA submissions

The need to prepare submissions continues in step with ongoing proposed changes to environmental legislation such as the EPBC Act.

NELA made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Environmental Offsets on 4 April. Our submission supported the Australian Government commissioning an independent review of offset policies and practices, and leading the development of national biodiversity offset standards for both land and marine environments.  NELA recommended that any offset standards include a clear methodology, provide guidance regarding the application of the mitigation hierarchy and additionality requirements, and ensure that offsets are permanently secured prior to an activity commencing.

NELA also cautioned against wide use of indirect offsets and recommended that strategic plans identify no-go areas where values are so significant that offsetting is not appropriate.

You can read a copy of our submission here.

On 30 April, NELA made a submission to the House Standing Committee on the Environment Inquiry into the impact of ‘green tape’ and issues related to environmental regulation and deregulation arguing, among other things, that the Commonwealth should retain its power to review assessments carried out by the States in relation to matters of national environmental significance and that stepping away from its national responsibilities will be both detrimental to the environment and less efficient. Click here to read more.

 

NELA congratulates new NSW Minister for the Environmment

NELA has congratulated Rob Stokes MP on his recent appointment as Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage and Assistant Minister for Planning in NSW.  NELA noted that his strong background in environmental law and renewable energy means Mr Stokes brings significant experience and insight to the role.

In the letter to the new Minister, NELA President, Amanda Cornwall, urged Minister Stokes to take action in a number of areas that have been reviewed but not actioned over the past decade, such as native vegetation clearing controls and biobanking, long term strategic planning, effective urban design and infrastructure, and harmonising the development consent and environment protection licensing procedures.


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Law and policy developments

In the courts

New South Wales

Warkworth Mining Limited v Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association

The NSW Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed, with costs, an appeal by Warkworth Mining Ltd (owned by Rio Tinto) and the NSW Government against a NSW Land and Environment Court decision last year that refused the expansion of an open cut coal mine near the village of Bulga in the Hunter Valley.

The Court of Appeal found no fault with the Land and Environment Court decision that the economic benefits of the coal mine did not outweigh the significant impacts on Bulga residents, represented by EDO NSW in the case, and the destruction of rare forests containing endangered plant and animal species.

The Bulga residents had lodged a merits appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court against the original approval of the mine expansion by the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission.
Rio Tinto was seeking to open cut mine a biodiversity offset area, containing an endangered ecological community, the Warkworth Sands Woodland, and threatened animal species including the squirrel glider and the speckled warbler. This woodland is unique to the area and only 13 per cent of the original forest remains.

 

Queensland

Hancock Coal v Kelly & Ors

The Queensland Land Court recently handed down its decision in Hancock Coal Pty Ltd v Kelly & Ors and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (No. 4) [2014] QLC 12. This decision addressed the objections to the proposed Alpha Coal project in the Galilee Basin, which were raised by local landholders, as well as the Coast and Country Association of Queensland and the Mackay Conservation Group.

The objections to the mine fell into six broad categories: groundwater, climate change, economics, ecology, surface water and other objections. The latter five concerns were dispensed with relatively briefly, with the Land Court only expressing concern as to the groundwater arguments. Regarding these arguments, the presiding member concluded that while he relatively confident that the impacts could be managed within the mining lease area, he was less confident they could be managed outside the area.

The role of the Land Court in an objections decision is to make a recommendation to the State government. The presiding member came to the somewhat unusual conclusion of making two alternative recommendations, leaving the ultimate decision regarding the future of the Alpha Coal Mine with the Queensland government.

 

News and policy developments

Commonwealth

Government releases White paper on Emissions Reduction Fund

Following consultation on the Green Paper (see NELA Bulletin – April 2014), the Australian Government has released its White Paper on the final design for the Emissions Reduction Fund, to be administered by the Clean Energy Regulator.   The Fund is intended to provide incentives for lowest cost emissions reduction activities across the Australian economy and aims to help meet Australia’s target to reduce emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.

The government received more than 340 public submissions in response to its Green Paper. The Government will shortly release exposure draft legislation to implement the Fund, expected to amend Carbon Farming Initiative legislation to enable crediting of emissions reductions across the economy.  The amended legislation is expected to commence following the repeal of the carbon tax

For further information about the Emissions Reduction Fund visit the Department of Environment website.  You can read NELA’s submission on the Green Paper here.

 

Release of Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts

Australia’s most recent National Greenhouse Accounts were released on 15 April 2014.  The Accounts include:

Australia’s National Inventory Report 2012 (submitted to the UNFCCC as part of Australia's international reporting commitments).

 

Commission of Audit Report

On 1 May 2014, the Australian Government released the Reports of the National Commission of Audit – Towards Responsible Government. The Commission was established by the Coalition Government as an independent body to review and report on the performance, functions and roles of the Commonwealth government, with the aim of bringing the national budget back to surplus.
The Reports make a number of recommendations regarding cuts to government funding.  Those relating to the environment include:

  • reducing funding for Landcare and for rural research and development;

  • consolidation of the agencies responsible for water policy, reform and recovery in the Murray-Darling Basin;

  • abolishing the National Water Commission, Climate Change Authority, Low Carbon Australia and National Marine Mammal Advisory Committee;

  • abolishing the Australian climate change science program (which provides funding to CSIRO, Australian Antarctic Division and others) and merging the ARENA clean technology programme into the Department of Industry;

  • abolishing the Voluntary Environment, Sustainability and Heritage Organisations grant programme, and amalgamating several Commonwealth environment grants programmes, including the National Environmental Research Programme.

For more information about the Commission of Audit recommendations, visit the Commission’s website.

 

Environmental Justice Australia launched

The Environment Defenders Office has recently been relaunched as Environmental Justice Australia, which will continue to be a powerful legal force for change, building upon and extending the legacy of the Environment Defenders Office in working with the community for over 20 years.

More information is available from their website where you are also able to sign up for their e-Bulletin.

Each of the independent organisations in the EDO network is responding to the recent cuts to their funding by the Federal government in a different way. To learn more, including to find out how you can support your local EDO, please click here.

 

New South Wales

New environmental appointments in the Baird Ministry

The Liberal MP for Pittwater, Rob Stokes, has been allocated the Environment portfolio in the first ministry of New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird.
Mr Stokes has been in Parliament since 2007 and he succeeds Robyn Parker as Environment Minister. He was Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy in the previous O’Farrell Government.
Before entering Parliament, Mr Stokes was a practising solicitor and Senior Lecturer with the Division of Law at Macquarie University.

Other environmental appointments by Mr Baird are Anthony Roberts as Minister for Resources and Energy and Kevin Humphries as Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water.

 

New department merges environment and development assessments

Until the O’Farrell government, the Department of Environment was amalgamated into the Department of Premier and Cabinet.  New Premier, Mike Baird, has announced the creation of the Department of Planning and Environment, combining the departments of planning, local government and environment.

New Environment Minister, Rob Stokes, has said this arrangement would ensure environmental concerns were no longer considered an afterthought in coastal development proposals and is considering the reintroduction of a coastal council – first introduced by the Greiner government and later abolished by Labor – to establish an independent panel of experts who would assess the ecological impact of developments in sensitive coastal areas.

Mr Stokes, who accepts the science behind human-induced climate change, also supports greater use of solar energy and faces opposition within the cabinet to wind farms but said that uncertainty at federal level meant he was unable to discuss NSW’s renewable energy plans.

He also hopes to introduce legal protections for councils that face the threat of being sued by developers whose plans are blocked or restricted.

 

Tasmania

Company purchases Gunns’ plantation assets, but rejects pulp mill permit

New Forests, a Sydney-based forestry investment company, has purchased the land and plantation assets of collapsed Tasmanian timber company, Gunns Limited. However, the company has not purchased the permits authorizing construction and operation of the controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill project, New Forests’ CEO has expressed doubt that the mill will ever proceed.
 
Amendments to the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 passed in January extended the period within which the mill must be commenced to 2017, a move which was intended to provide greater certainty to any purchasers interested in the mill permits.  

 

Macquarie Island pest eradication success celebrated

The Tasmanian government’s pest eradication programme on Macquarie Island has been proclaimed a success, after two years of intensive eradication efforts.  The recent final eradication sweep found no pest species (including rats and rabbits) present on the island.

Read more about the eradication project on the Parks and Wildlife website.

 

International


IPCC Working Group II reports effects of climate change already occurring on all continents and across oceans.

The Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report considers the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. The chapters of the report assess risks and opportunities for societies, economies, and ecosystems around the world.

The report can be accessed here.

 

IPCC Working Group III Report: Mitigation of Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Fifth Assessment Report was released on 13 April 2014.  The report evaluates 900 mitigation scenarios and concludes that large-scale changes in energy systems are essential to restrain global warming to 2 degrees and avoid the harshest impacts of climate change. The report examines cost-effective measures to ‘decarbonise’ the economy, recommending 80% of all electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2050 and advocating a range of bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, afforestation and land use planning approaches to mitigate emissions.

The IPCC emphasised that tough action is required immediately, but concluded that well-implemented actions will be affordable and effective. Read the full report or the summary for policy makers, on the IPCC website.

 

International Court of Justice orders Japan to immediately stop whaling in Antarctic

The ICJ's 16-judge panel ruled 12 votes to four in favour of Australia's argument that Japan's whaling program was not in fact designed and carried out for scientific purposes.

The court ruled that Japan must revoke current whaling permits and refrain from issuing any more.
Japan has used the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which permits killing for research, to justify killing whales in the Antarctic.

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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) VPELA presents The New Development Contributions: The What, the How and the Questions

The State Government has announced a new regime of development contributions to operate in growth areas and over “Strategic Development Areas” from 1 July 2015. The new system will operate via “Infrastructure Contributions Plans”, with set $ limits and limitations on what infrastructure can be included. The reforms are designed to address the challenges of affordability, “cost creep”, what infrastructure should be covered, what infrastructure is essential, and the lengthy time, costs and problems with the current process.

So: What’s in? What’s out? How much for where, what category and any extras? How is “land” to be treated? Is the GAIC affected? What happens to current dcps? What is a Strategic Development Area and how will infrastructure contributions work for these? What will it mean for local governments faced with the tasks of providing local infrastructures? Is it good for developers, or are there hidden surprises?

When: 5.30pm, Wednesday 14 May 2014
Where: Treasury Theatre, Melbourne

For more information, contact VPELA on (03) 9813 2801 or email admin@vpela.org.au.

 

(Melbourne) Planning Law Update breakfast

CommBar and VPELA are holding a joint breakfast seminar, Planning Law Update.

When: 7.45 am for 8am start (finish by 9am) on Tuesday 20 May 2014
Where: Owen Dixon Chambers.

Light refreshments will be provided. Limited to 50 places.

For more information, or to book your place, contact VPELA on (03) 9813 2801 or email admin@vpela.org.au.

 

(Sydney) Inaugural Fiona Wain Oration and Lunch

Sustainable Business Australia has announced the Inaugural Fiona Wain Oration and Lunch in honour of the late CEO Fiona Wain.

Fiona Wain was CEO 2001–10 of the then Environment Business Australia. She strived to raise the business debate about the role and scope for smart policies, investment, technology and trade opportunities towards achieving a sustainable and just world.

Greg Bourne, chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will deliver the Oration on the topic: "Making our own luck: What will it take to build an inclusive, resilient and prosperous Australia?" Greg Bourne was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the environment and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Western Australia for services to international business. Following a long career with BP, including a stint at the Prime Minister's Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street where he was the Special Adviser on Energy and Transport, Bourne more recent roles include CEO of WWF-Australia, non-executive director of Carnegie Wave Energy and currently the chair of ARENA.

When: 27 May 2014
Where: Customs House, Sydney.

To register, click here.

 

(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

(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:

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

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

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

  • (WA) Right of Nature workshops – June 2014 (more details soon)

  • Ecospirituality 1 day seminars – Brisbane, Sydney and Perth – July 2014 (more details soon)

  • Ecocentrism and the Law – 1 day workshop – 12 September 2014 – keynote speaker: Judge Preston, Chief Justice of the Land and Environment Court

  • Wild Law Judgment Project (workshop) – November 2014 (more details soon)

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

 

(Sydney) A presentation by Harvey Locke: Australia's role in the world of large landscape conservation: from the Great Eastern Ranges and beyond

You are invited to join the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative at a morning tea presentation by Harvey Locke. Mr Locke is known all over the world for his pioneering work on large landscape conservation. He has worked with conservation groups, first nations, industry and government and successfully led efforts to create national parks and protect private lands ranging from 30 hectares to 30,000 sq km.

His writing and photography have been published in ten countries and three languages. He has spoken on five continents and has appeared in many films.

In 2013 he received the J B Harkin Medal for Conservation and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifetime work on conservation in Canada.

He is currently working on the planning for the focus on mountains at the IUCN World Parks Congress.

When: 10am to 12pm, Saturday 10 May 2014
Where: The Maiden Theatre, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Please RSVP to Rob Dunn, CEO of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative, as soon as possible on mobile 0438 250 600 or email rob@greateasternranges.org.au.

 

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

A Game of Tomes

QELA's 2014 conference is taking place at the end of this month – if you haven’t already, register now to ensure your place.

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.

 

(Darwin) Environmental Defenders Office Northern Territory Inaugural Environmental Law Conference 2014

The Environmental Defenders Office Northern Territory will hold an inaugural environmental law conference in May. High profile speakers from across Australia will examine some of Australia's most pressing environmental issues, including water and mining regulation, Indigenous rights to resources and access to justice in environmental matters. Confimed speakers include the Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley AO, President, NSW Court of Appeal; Julian Burnside QC, Barrister, Victorian Bar; Michael O'Donnell, Northern Territory Bar; Dr Sean Kerins, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU; and Jacky Green, Garawa Man, artist and environmental advocate. 

When: Friday 30 May 2014
Where: Novotel Hotel Darwin Atrium

Registration is now open. For more information click here.

 

(Canberra) ACT Conservation Council’s World Environment Day Dinner

When: 7pm, Saturday 31 May
Where: The National Arboretum
Cost: $95.00 per person

Registrations may be made here.

 

(Tarragona, Spain) 12th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law

The 12th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law will be hosted by Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain.

When: 30 June to 5 July 2014

Please save the dates. Further information will be made available here in due course.

 

(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.

 

(Brussels, Belgium) European Environmental Law Forum

The theme for this year’s European Environmental Law Forum conference will be “Environmental and planning law aspects of large scale projects”.

When: 10–12 September 2014
Where: Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUBrussel), Belgium

More information can be found 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; early bird registration closes on 30 June 2014. 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

Opportunities for comment

 

Commonwealth

Reef Trust

The Federal Government is currently looking at ways to develop and implement a Reef Trust, to be jointly coordinated by the Federal and Queensland Governments, with advice from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Institute of Marine Science and other stakeholders.

The Reef Trust is intended to be a key mechanism for delivering the Reef 2050: Long Term Sustainability Plan, which focusses on long-term improvement in water quality and coastal habitats in the catchments areas affecting the Great Barrier Reef and greater protection of dugongs and turtles.

The Reef Trust Discussion Paper outlines proposed structures, priorities and commitments for the Reef Trust. Public comments on the discussion paper can be made until 21 May 2014.  For more information, click here.

 

Senate Inquiry into Great Barrier Reef

The Senate made a referral to the Environment and Communications Committee to report on the adequacy of the Australian and Queensland Governments’ efforts to stop the decline of the Great Barrier Reef.

Submissions to the inquiry can be made by 2 June 2014. For more information, click here.

 

Australian Heritage Strategy

The draft Australian Heritage Strategy is now available for public comment. The document sets out commitments and priority actions against the following themes:  national leadership, partnerships and community engagement. The draft Strategy also notes that the Australian government should “contribute to international heritage standard setting and guidance” and promote Australia’s standing as a “world leader in heritage management.” 

Feedback on the themes, priorities and actions documented in the draft Strategy can be made until Monday, 9 June 2014.  For more information, click here.

 

Senate Inquiry into Southern Ocean

The Senate made a referral to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee to report on Australia’s future activities and responsibilities in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters.  The inquiry will consider Australia’s management and monitoring of the Southern Ocean in relation to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, cooperation with international partners under treaties and agreements, and appropriate resourcing in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic territory for research and governance.

Submissions to the inquiry can be made until 1 July 2014. For more information, click here.

 

New South Wales

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 theEnvironmental 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.

 

Commercial fishing reform

The Department of Primary Industries is reviewing the management practices in a range of fisheries, including reforms in relation to netting, trapping, hand gathering, ocean trawl, ocean trap and line, and ocean haul fishing, crab and estuary prawn trawling. Technical papers in relation to each affected fishery have been released for public comment.
 
Submissions are invited until Monday, 19 May 2014. To find out more, 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.

 

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Inquiry into Fracking

Dr Allan Hawke AC has begun the Inquiry into hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Northern Territory. Submissions are invited until 31 May 2014.

The Terms of Reference are now available. For more information click here.

 

Northern Territory Assessment Bilateral Agreement

The proposed new assessment bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory pursuant to Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) is now open for comment. Click here for more information.

The EDO (ACT)’s comment on the proposed assessment bilateral agreement for the Australian Capital Territory can be viewed here.

 

Roles
 
(Sydney) Chief Executive Officer, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, $95-105k

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (the NCC) is looking for a Chief Executive Officer.

The NCC is NSW’s peak environment organisation seeking to protect and conserve NSW’s wildlife, landscapes and natural resources through advocacy, education, research and community empowerment.  It represents more than 120 community environment groups across the State.
The CEO position is a full time three year contract based in Newtown, Sydney.  The successful applicant will be responsible for driving the overall strategy and operations of the NCC’s programs, community and  media engagement activities and organisational progress in accordance with its purpose, vision and goals.

Further information about the role and the application criteria can be found here.

 

(US) Visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental Law

Pace Law School is seeking applications for a new Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) in Environmental Law. The appointment is for one year, renewable for a second one-year term.
The appointment will provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to be receive mentoring and training as a future environmental law professor.

The VAP will have a reduced teaching load of one course per semester, the opportunity to focus on scholarly research and writing, and the expectation of entry into the law school teaching market.
Further details of entitlements and suitability criteria can be found 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.

 

Tenders

Consultants for Environment Quality Panel

The Federal Environment Department is seeking a range of consultants to form a new Environment Quality Panel to advise on various environmental matters, including chemicals, waste, synthetic greenhouse gases and genetically modified organisms.  Consultants with expertise in cost-benefit analysis, environmental risk assessment and stakeholder engagement are invited to tender for appointment to the Panel.

Successful applicants will be appointed to the Panel for three years, with a possible two-year extension. 

Tenders must be received by close of business on Monday, 26 May 2014. Click here for more information.

 

Study

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.

 

Other

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.

 

Resources

Book: Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia 6e

Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia 6th edition (Federation Press, 2014) fully revises its evaluation of EIA practice around Australia and updates case studies throughout to complement the theory.

A key text on the topic of environmental impact assessment, the book emphasises practical application and evolving practices in various jurisdictions, effective stakeholder consultation, how good assessments can lead to better decisions and how politics plays an integral role in EIA.
Recommended retail price for the publication is $64.95.  NELA members can buy a copy for the special price of $50.00 (+ $11.00 freight) by doing the following:

  1. Log onto the Federation Press website.

  2. Enter the title of the book and add it to your cart.

  3. At the ‘checkout, quote Federation Press Promotion Code EP1426.

  4. Pay with credit card as usual.

Federation Press will despatch your order within 24 hours. Offer valid to 30 June 2014.

 

Facebook group for environmental law research students

Postgraduate students at University College London and King’s College London have set up a fantastic Facebook group for environmental law research students around the world. If you are such a student (or even if you’re not), this is a great way to keep in touch with like-minded individuals.
Search Environmental Law Research Student Network in Facebook.

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Thanks to this month's contributors