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September 2016

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The NELA Bulletin is published on the first Thursday of each month except January.

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This month

NELA news and events
01. NELA National Conference
02. WA State Conference
03. Membership
04. Australian Environmental Law Digest
05. Student Essay Competition

Law and policy developments
06. In the Legislature
07. In the courts
08. Policy developments and other news
09. Open for comment
10. Other

11. (Nelson) Outstanding! RMLA Conference 2016
12. (Brisbane) Life of Mine 2016
13. (Melbourne) Groundwater Distinguished Lecture
14. (Brisbane) The future of Australian Environmental Law: Politics, Reform and Community Activism
15. (Brisbane) Rights of Nature Tribunal hearing
16. (Perth) 2016 NELA WA State Conference
17. (Melbourne) 2016 NELA National Conference
18. (Monteal) Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change


NELA news and events


NELA National Conference – 18 November 2016

This year, NELA’s national conference brings together some of Australia’s leading experts to discuss persistent challenges in environmental management and cultural heritage practices.

Commencing with a thought-provoking address by Professor Tim Flannery, the conference is an unmissable opportunity to network with judges, regulators, practitioners, consultants and policy makers to discuss opportunities to improve our laws, and the ways that we implement them.

NELA thanks our conference partners, King & Wood Mallesons. For the full programme and registration details, click here.


WA State Conference – 27 October 2016

WA members can look forward to a great State conference, Environmental Law: Where are we now, and where are we going? The conference will feature Rob Fowler and David Hochschild (California Energy Commission), as well as the Hon Dr Mike Nahan and Bill Johnston discussing energy policy.

For the full programme and registration details, click here.



NELA is a member-based organisation, and relies on memberships to sustain our activities (both through fees and participation). Members receive our various publications, opportunities to be involved in policy work and discounts on NELA and partner events.

If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2016-2017 yet, please click here to do so.


Australian Environmental Law Digest

The latest edition of the Australian Environmental Law Digest is now available here. Contributions for the next edition are invited by 30 September 2016 – if you’d like a wider audience for any articles your firm has written on an environmental law topic this quarter, send it through to review@nela.org.au.


Student Essay Competition

The National Environmental Law Association’s Student Essay Competition is now open. NELA invites any under-graduate or post-graduate student from an Australian university to submit high quality essays on any environmental or climate law topic. Winners receive $1,000 and a NELA membership.

Essays must be submitted by 2 December 2016. For more information, click here.


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Law and policy development

In the Legislature



New Bill seeks to strengthen landholder rights against gas and coal mining activities

Greens Senator Larissa Waters has again introduced the Landholders’ Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2015 as a Private Member’s Bill. The Bill seeks to provide Australian landholders with the right to refuse to allow gas and coal mining activities on their land, and to ban hydraulic fracturing for coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas.

To read the Bill, which was first introduced in March 2015, click here.

Move to ban the import of live primates for research purposes

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has re-introduced her Private Member’s Bill, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Prohibition of Live Imports of Primates for Research) Bill 2015 after it lapsed at the dissolution of the previous government.

The Bill seeks to amend Part 13A of the EPBC Act to ban live imports of primates into Australia for research or experimentation. The Bill does not propose a blanket ban on the importation for other purposes, such as zoos or conservation programmes.

To read the Bill, click here.


Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016

On 1 September 2016, the Senate referred the provisions of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016, which includes measures to cut funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, to the Economics Legislation Committee. The Committee will report back to the Senate on 13 September 2016.

To read the Bill, click here. To read ARENA’s submission to the Committee, click here.



Vegetation management laws fail to pass

In March 2016, the Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 was introduced to Parliament to give effect to the government’s election commitment to reinstate stringent restrictions on vegetation clearing in Queensland. The Bill had a particular focus on clearing in Great Barrier Reef catchments. In July 2016, a parliamentary inquiry did not support the Bill, raising concerns from landowners regarding the restrictions.

On 18 August 2016, the Bill was defeated 44:42 in a parliamentary vote. Despite the defeat, the Queensland and Commonwealth governments will maintain efforts to avoid an “in danger” listing for the Great Barrier Reef.


South Australia

National Parks and Wildlife (National Parks) Regulations 2016

On 1 September 2016, the new regulations replaced the National Parks and Wildlife (National Parks) Regulations 2001. Changes include amendments to the definition of ‘warden’, inclusion of regulations for the use of drones, and significant renumbering.

To read the new regulations, click here.


New South Wales

Improving environmental regulation and enforcement

The Environment Protection Authority NSW has announced a proposal to amend a suite of environmental legislation to improve management and enforcement options. Proposed changes include penalties for failing to comply with new contaminated sites management agreements and authorising the use of drones to collect evidence for prosecutions under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

No draft Bill has been released to date. For more information regarding the proposed changes, see Maddocks’ summary.



Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations

New environmental noise regulations commenced on 17 August 2016, introducing clearer mechanisms to regulate noise by setting out acceptable hours of operation for key sources of noise in residential areas.

To find out more about the new regulations, click here.


Marine Farming Planning Act amended

On 9 September 2016, amendments to the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 took effect which increase maximum penalties for breaching licence conditions and reintroduce demerit points for infringement notices.

The Tasmanian government flagged earlier this year that further changes would be made to transfer responsibility for assessment of the environmental impacts of marine farming and enforcement activities from the Marine Farming Branch to the EPA. To date, no legislation has been introduced to give effect to that commitment, though some enforcement responsibilities were delegated to the Director of the EPA from 1 July 2016.

For details of the reform proposals, click here.



Traditional Owner Settlement Amendment Bill 2016

The Traditional Owners Settlement Amendment Bill 2016 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly by Martin Pakula MP on 30 August 2016.

The Bill seeks to ‘streamline the process for authorising traditional owners to access and use natural resources’, give VCAT greater powers to resolve disputes, and to ensure that ‘all existing leases, licences and other interests on Crown land are preserved after a grant of Aboriginal title is made’.

For information about the Bill, click here.


Greater Bendigo National Park expanded and Assessment Council given additional powers

The National Parks Act and Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Acts Amendment Bill 2016 was passed on 23 August 2016.

The Bill amends the National Parks Act 1975 to add approximately 245 hectares to the Greater Bendigo National Park, land donated by Villawood Investments as part of native vegetation offsets, and allows the Government to grant Aboriginal title over the park under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.

The Bill also amends the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001 by expanding the powers of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council to conduct assessments and provide advice, in addition to its existing investigation powers. The new processes are intended for limited matters that, in the opinion of the Minister, do not require an investigation.

To read the Bill, click here.


Plastics Bill referred to Committee

The Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Plastic Bags, Packaging and Microbeads) Bill 2016 has been referred to the Environment and Planning Committee for review. The Committee is required to present its final report to the Legislative Council by 14 February 2017.

For details of the Committee review, click here.


Container Deposit Scheme proposed for Victoria

A Private Member’s Bill, introduced by Nina Springle MP to introduce a container deposit scheme in Victoria, has been referred to the Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee. The Bill proposes a scheme similar to those being considered in NSW, WA and Qld.

The Committee will report back by 8 November 2016. To read the Bill, click here.


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In the Courts


ACF loses Federal Court challenge against Adani coal mine

In November 2015, the Australian Conservation Foundation lodged an application in the Federal Court for judicial review of the then Environment Minister’s decision to approve the Adani coal mine. ACF claimed the impact of burning coal and the associated climate pollution from the approval of the mine was inconsistent with Australia’s obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef under international obligations. In particular, ACF claim that the decision:

  • did not comply with s 137 of the EPBC Act because it did not take into account the effect of the associated greenhouse gas emissions on the Great Barrier Reef; and
  • it did not take into account the precautionary principle, as required by ss 136(2)(a) and 391 of the EPBC Act.

On 29 August 2016, the Federal Court dismissed the application. Justice Griffiths was satisfied that the Minister had taken the emissions into account, but determined that it was not possible to draw sufficiently firm conclusions regarding the likely contribution of the Adani mine to a specific increase in global temperature. His Honour held that it was open for the Minister to find that the “necessary relationship between the taking of the action [mining the coal] and any possible impacts on… the Reef” was not established.

To read the full judgment, click here.


Federal court dismisses challenge from traditional owners over Adani coal mine

Senior traditional owner for the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners, Adrian Burragubba, applied for judicial review of a determination made by the Native Title Tribunal in relation to the Adani mining lease in April 2015. Mr Burragubba argued that the determination made by the Native Title Tribunal was made incorrectly, and that the approval of mining leases associated with the Adani coal mine would remove native title over parts of the group’s lands. Mr Burragubba argued that Adani had acted fraudulently by providing misleading information in the project’s Environmental Impact Statement.

On 19 August 2016, the Federal Court found that Mr Burragubba’s grounds of review did not have merit and dismissed the application.

To read the judgment, click here.


ACCC commences proceedings against Volkswagen

The ACCC has commenced Federal Court proceedings against Volkswagen and its Australian subsidiary alleging that the companies engaged in misleading conduct between 2011 and 2015 in promoting their vehicles as “environmentally friendly, clean burning, low emission and compliant with stringent European standards”.

For information regarding the proceedings, click here.



Judicial review of Environmental Protection Order issued to former Linc Energy CEO

Following the introduction of the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016, the Qld Department of Environment and Heritage Protection issued an Environmental Protection Order to Peter Bond, the former CEO of Linc Energy, a company now in liquidation. Mr Bond sought judicial review of this decision.

On 30 August 2016, the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland upheld the decision of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to issue the order.

To read the decision, click here.



Full Court confirms Tarkine National Coalition entitled to reasons for mining decisions

On 26 August 2016, the Full Court of the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the Tasmanian Government’s appeal against an earlier decision finding that the Tarkine National Coalition was entitled to a statement of reasons for decision to grant mining leases for Venture Minerals’ Mt Lindsay and Livingstone projects.

The Full Court found that there was no merit in the Government’s appeal, and Justice Wood’s earlier decision that the Tarkine National Coalition was a “person aggrieved” by the mining lease decisions was upheld in full.

To read the judgment, click here.


Western Australia

Supreme Court confirms re-advertising of works approval not required

The Supreme Court has refused to set aside a works approval granted by the CEO of the Department of Environment Regulation regarding a proposed landfill site. Opal Vale had applied to the CEO for the works approval, and subsequently lodged additional documents supporting the application.

A third party, Manning, sought to have the works approval set aside on the basis that the CEO failed to advertise or seek public comments on those additional documents. The Supreme Court considered the relevant provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) and found that the CEO’s obligation to advertise a works approval application and seek submissions on it arises when the application is made. There is no requirement for the CEO to seek comments or to advertise at any later stage in the process.

To read the decision, click here.


Aboriginal sites ruling – Roe 8 development

The Supreme Court of Western Australia has dismissed an application for judicial review of a decision of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC) that two sites were not Aboriginal sites for the purposes of the Aboriginal Heritage Act and subsequent recommendation to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs that he consent to construction of the Perth Freight Link “Roe 8” Highway extension, which would impact on Aboriginal site DAA 3709 (Bibra Lake). Ms Abraham, a member of the Cockburn Aboriginal Advisory Committee (CAAC), applied for review on the basis that the decision was made without affording her procedural fairness.

The Supreme Court held that Ms Abraham had failed to establish that the ACMC owed her a duty to afford procedural fairness, or to establish a breach of any requirement to afford procedural fairness to the chairman of the CAAC.

To read the judgment, click here.


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Policy developments and other news


US and China ratify Paris Agreement

On 4 September 2016, the US and China submitted documents to UN Chief Ban Ki-moon confirming their ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Agreement will take effect in 2020 if 55 nations representing at least 55% of global emissions ratify the agreement. Collectively, China and the US represent 40% of emissions, making their ratification a significant step towards implementation of the agreement.



Australia one step closer to ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

On 31 August 2016, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, tabled the Paris Agreement and confirmed that Australia intends to ratify the Agreement (committing to a national reduction target of 26-28%) by the end of 2016.


Climate Change Authority "policy toolkit" criticised by key Authority members

The Climate Change Authority has released the final report in its Special Review of Australia’s climate goals and policies (as requested by the former Minister for the Environment). The final report, Towards a policy toolkit, outlines a range of policies Australia should adopt to meet its Paris Agreement commitments but does not specifically address the adequacy of that commitment. The report “recognises the recent history of climate policy in Australia” and recommends:

  • building on current tools, such as the Emissions Reduction Fund
  • strengthening the safeguard mechanism
  • strengthening energy efficiency standards
  • voluntary offsets for land clearing

Two members of the Climate Change Authority, David Karoly and Clive Hamilton, refused to sign the report and instead released a minority report. Their report criticises the Authority's report for failing to discuss the climate budget, endorsing Australia’s inadequate targets and for failing to recommend statutory restrictions on vegetation clearing.

To read the minority report, click here.


COAG Energy Ministers meet to discuss energy reform

On 19 August 2016, energy and resources Ministers from Australia’s States and Territories met for the fifth COAG Energy Council meeting. Ministers discussed a range of issues relating to Australia’s transition to low-carbon emissions, including gas prices and supply, the Limited Merits Review, energy market and consumers, a review of governance arrangements for Australian Energy Markets, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and development of a Matt Zema scholarship.

To read the communiqué released at the conclusion of the meeting, click here.


Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review reports finally released

Reports from the Bioregional Advisory Panel and the Expert Scientific Panel conducting the review of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves system, which had been delivered to the Minister in late 2015, were publicly released on 5 September 2016.

The Director of Parks subsequently gave notice of her intent to prepare draft management plans for the five Commonwealth Marine Reserve networks for which management plans were suspended in 2013 (the management plan for the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network remained in force and is not subject to this review).

The Commonwealth intends to finalise management plans for the balance of these reserves by mid-2017. Public comment is being sought on the preparation of those plans until 11 October 2016 (see ‘Open for Comment’ below).

For information regarding the Marine Reserves Review, click here.


CoastAdapt tool launched to assist coastal councils and communities adapt to climate change

Funded by the Australian Government, CoastAdapt is an online coastal climate risk management framework developed by the National Climate Change AdaptationResearch Facility to support adaptation to coastal climate change and sea-level rise. It has been released as a beta trial version so that potential users may provide feedback on its usefulness.

CoastAdapt includes tools and information on the science of climate change, risks, effective response options, and likely costs of action. It makes use of national data sets and research outputs developed over the past 5 years by Australian scientific organisations and includes clear guidance on good practice and links to case studies.

To access the trial version of CoastAdapt, click here.


Report reveals economic importance of Great Artesian Basin

The Australian Government has released a report examining the significant economic value generated by Great Artesian Basin water resources.

The report looked at the economic activity of industries reliant on Great Artesian Basin water resources. The report estimated that water from the Basin underpins at least $12.8 billion in economic activity annually. This includes $4.7 billion in value generated from livestock production, with over 14 million beef cattle for meat production and over 11 million sheep and lambs in GAB regions. In addition, the value of irrigated agriculture that uses Basin water is estimated to be greater than $60 million.

To read the report, click here.


New Guide for managing underground fuel tanks

The EPA has released a best practice guide for environmental incident prevention and management for Underground Petroleum Storage Systems.

To read the Guide, click here.


Northern Territory

EPA recommends range of reforms

Following the recent election of the Labor Government in the Northern Territory, the NT EPA has released a draft response to the 2015 Hawke review of the NT’s environmental assessment processes and outlined 89 recommendations for the new government to improve environmental legislation, decision-making and implementation.

Key recommendations include reducing conflicts of interest by removing powers for industry-specific Ministers to grant environmental approvals, comprehensive review of the Environmental Assessment Act and retention of waste and pollution management within the EPA.

To read the draft response, click here. The draft is available for comment until 30 September 2016 (see ‘Open for Comment’ below).



Government response to Water Legislation Amendment Bill inquiry report

In March 2016, the parliamentary Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee delivered its report on the Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The Bill proposed to reverse changes to the Water Act 2000 by reinstating ecologically sustainable development principles, removing ‘water development options’ exempting large scale projects, and removing provisions to declare designated watercourses from which water could be drawn without a licence. The Committee was divided and could not provide support for the Bill.

In August 2016, the Queensland Government responded to the report. To read the Government response, click here.



Review of State Planning Provisions extended

The Minister for Planning and Local Government, Hon Peter Gutwein MP, has extended the timeframe for the Tasmanian Planning Commission to report on the Statewide Planning Provisions until 9 December 2016.

To find out more about the progress of planning reforms, click here.



Fracking to be banned

On 30 August 2016, the Andrews Government announced it would introduce a permanent ban on the exploration and development of onshore conventional gas, including coal seam gas and hydraulic fracturing. The announcement followed the Parliamentary inquiry into onshore unconventional gas, which concluded in December 2015.

The Government has indicated that it will introduce legislation into Parliament later this year.


Interim Guidance on PFOS and PFOA

EPA Victoria has released interim guidelines for the application of new draft standards for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), particularly relating to contamination of waterways. The draft standards, developed as part of the recent review of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, are not expected to be legislated in Victoria until 2018, but the EPA is encouraging their earlier application by consultants.

To read the Guidance document, click here.


Western Australia

State Government pledges to create Abrolhos Islands National Park

The Western Australian Government has pledged to create the Abrolhos Islands National Park to promote tourism in the region. The proposed Park will comprise the unoccupied, territorial islands within the island group, but not surrounding waters, and will be managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Declaration of the National Park is not expected to impact on arrangements for commercial and recreational fishers who currently use the area.


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Open for comment


Marine Reserves Review

The Commonwealth Director of National Parks has called for public submissions regarding a proposal to prepare draft management plans for the following Commonwealth Marine Reserve Networks:

  • South-west Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
  • North-west Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
  • North Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
  • Temperate East Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network
  • Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve

The management plans will be prepared having regard to recently released reports as part of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review.

Comments on the management plan reviews can be made until 11 October 2016. For more information, click here.


Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture draft report

The Productivity Commission is inviting comments on a draft report on it inquiry into Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture. The draft report makes a number of recommendations regarding improved fisheries regulations, including licensing all marine recreational fishers, setting mortality limits for fisheries with a high risk of interaction with threatened species and clearer conflict of interest policies for fisheries advisory bodies.

The final report is expected to be delivered to the Australian Government by December 2016.

Comments on the draft report can be made until 14 October 2016. For more information, click here


NOPSEMA Compliance Strategy

NOPSEMA is developing a Compliance Strategy to guide how compliance and enforcement activities are undertaken by the agency responsible for offshore petroleum activities.

Comments on the Compliance Strategy can be made until 16 October 2016. For more information, click here.


New South Wales

Draft Wind Energy Planning Framework

The NSW Government is developing a new wind energy planning framework to balance investment with best practice regulation. For a good summary of the proposed changes, check out the latest edition of the Australian Environmental Law Digest.

Comments on the draft Framework can be made until 16 September 2016. For more information, click here.


Container Deposit scheme proposal

On 23 August 2016 the NSW Government released the draft Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit Scheme) Bill 2016 and supporting discussion paper. The Bill proposes amendments to establish a container deposit scheme, expected to be operational by July 2017. The NSW Government has also proposed that the scheme be administered jointly with the Queensland government.

Comments on the draft scheme, including how it will be co-ordinated, the network of collection points, and how refunds will work can be made until 21 September 2016. For more information, click here.


Northern Territory

Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal

EDO NT is conducting a review of the operation of the NT Civil and administrative Tribunal in relation to environment and planning disputes. Anyone who has experience with the tribunal, and recommendations on what environmental and planning law matters should be able to be taken to the NTCAT, is invited to contribute to the review by completing the survey.

There is no cut-off date for submissions. For more information, click here.


Review of the NT Environmental Assessment and Approval processes

The Northern Territory EPA is seeking comments and feedback on their Draft advice: response to Dr Hawke’s review (see ‘Policy Updates’ above), including recommendations for a law reform agenda for the new government.

Comments on the Green Paper can be made until 30 September 2016. For more information, click here.



Fisheries Management Reform Paper

The Qld Government has released its Green Paper on Fisheries Management Reform for consultation with industry, recreational fishers and the community.

Comments on the Green Paper can be made until 30 September 2016. For more information, click here.


South Australia

Update to the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide

The Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure has released a draft update to the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide. The Plan, which forms part of the Planning Strategy under the Development Act 1993 and influences the way in which individual Development Plans may be amended in future, has been drafted such that it can transition into the new planning system created by the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

Feedback on the draft Plan can be provided until 21 October 2016. For more information, click here.



Okehampton Bay salmon farming review

The Minister for Primary Industries has released the terms of reference and details for the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel’s review of Tassal’s Okehampton Bay expansion proposal. The terms address:

  • The environmental science supporting the proposed environmental monitoring and management of the salmon farm;
  • The adequacy of the environmental baseline data and surveys to allow the EPA to establish a contemporary environmental management regime; and
  • The adequacy of the Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passage Marine Farming Development Plan to allow for the implementation of a contemporary environmental management regime.

Submissions can be made to the Panel until 26 September 2016. For more information, click here.



Better Apartments Draft Design Standards

The Victorian Government has released Better Apartment Draft Design Standards, intended to ensure that:

  • The effects of climate change are mitigated and environmental impacts are minimised; and
  • Design standards address a range of matters relevant to improved environmental outcomes, including:
    • energy efficiency and sustainability;
    • efficient waste management; and
    • efficient water management.

Comments on the Draft Standards can be made until 19 September 2016. For more information, click here.


Public land assessment

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council is undertaking a Statewide Assessment of Public Land, looking at the classification of land, current reservation status of the public estate and the values of public land. VEAC has released a Discussion Paper and Draft Proposal Paper addressing these issues.

Submissions regarding the Assessment can be made until 9 November 2016. For more information, click here.


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The SA Department of State Development has invited energy service companies to join a list of energy performance contracting service providers for the Government Building Energy Efficiency Investment program.

For more information, click here. Tenders can be submitted until 30 November 2016.


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


Leaf(Nelson) Outstanding! RMLA Conference 2016

New Zealand’s Resource Management Law Association is hosting a great 2 day conference featuring high calibre international speakers examining resource management policies, sustainable planning, scientific challenges to environmental policy development and whether New Zealand’s resource management legislation is protecting heritage.

When: 22-24 September 2016
Where: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson, New Zealand

For more information, click here.


(Brisbane) Life of Mine 2016

The Minerals Institute and Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation are hosting this key event discussing life-of-mine issues, rehabilitation challenges and regulatory trends.

When: 28-30 September 2016
Where: Pullman Hotel, Brisbane

For more information, click here.


(Melbourne) Groundwater Distinguished Lecture

The National Centre for Groundwater Training and Research presents a lecture by Dr Rebecca Nelson on “Regulating the cumulative impacts of groundwater withdrawals: Australia and further afield”.

When: 18 October 2016
Where: Jacobs (Level 16), 452 Flinders Street

For more information, click here.


Leaf(Brisbane) The future of Australian Environmental Law: Politics, Reform and Community Activism

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance is hosting a conference on environmental law and governance, featuring keynote presentations from Chief Justice of the NSW Land and Environment Court, Judge Brian Preston; CEO of Greenpeace Australia, David Ritter; Professor Rob Fowler and Professor Brendan Mackey.

When: 20-21 October 2016
Where: EcoCentre, Griffith University, Nathan campus

For more information, click here.


Leaf(Brisbane) Rights of Nature Tribunal hearing

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance will be holding the first Australian hearing of the Tribunal for the Rights of Nature on the day following its conference. The Tribunal will hear cases concerning the destruction of ecosystems, presented by citizens and environmental lawyers.

When: 22 October 2016
Where: Banco Court, QEII Courts of Law Complex, 415 George St, Brisbane

For more information, click here.


Leaf(Perth) 2016 NELA WA State Conference

The 2016 WA State conference will address the theme Environmental Law: Where are we now, and where are we going?. Featuring presentations from Rob Fowler, David Hochschild (California Energy Commission) and the Hon Dr Mike Nahan and Bill Johnston discussing energy policy.

When: 27 October 2016, 8:30am – 5:00pm
Where: Parmelia Hilton, 14 Mill St, Perth

For programme and registration details, click here.


Leaf(Melbourne) 2016 NELA National Conference

Join NELA and a range of experts across many practice areas for an engaging discussion of the topic Environmental Law: What Could We Do Better?  

When: 18 November 2016, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: King & Wood Mallesons, Level 50, 600 Bourke St, Melbourne.

For programme and registration details, click here.


(Montreal) Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change

The International Association for Impact Assessment is hosting a global conference to share information, best practices, success stories, innovations, and lessons learned about the way impact assessment can address climate change issues.

When: 4-7 April 2017
Where: Le Centre Sheraton, Montréal

For more information, click here.


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Thanks to the NELA Bulletin team

The NELA Bulletin is researched and written entirely by volunteers. This month, we thank the following people for their contributions:


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