Tasmanian RFA extension – comments invited

The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is due to expire in November 2017.  The Federal and Tasmanian governments are committed to establishing a “rolling 20-year extension” of the RFA, with some minor amendments to the monitoring, communication, review and dispute resolution clauses.

Feedback on the proposed extension and amendments is invited by 12:30pm on 23 December 2016.  Read more and have your say.

Drop-in sessions to discuss the proposed extension are being held by the Department of State Growth:

  • 5 December 2016, 4.00–7.30pm at Peach & Plum Rooms – Huon LINC, 1 Skinner Drive, Huonville
  • 7 December 2016, 4.00–7.30pm at Wellers Inn, 36 Queen Street, Burnie
  • 8 December 2016, 4.00–7.30pm at The LINC, 51 King Street, Scottsdale

For those unable to attend these sessions, an online questionnaire is available to assist in making comments.

You can read EDO Tasmania’s critique of the current RFA system in our report, State Forests, National Interests, or in our submission to the third five-year review.

Point to Pinnacle – Go for EDO!

Our team is a hardy bunch!  On 13 November they fronted up at the Casino to take on a modified “Point to Pinnacle”  half-marathon up to Fern Tree and back.
There’s still time to show them that the cold and wet was all worthwhile – donations can be made up until 30 November.

See some more photos in our Facebook album.

Thanks to all our generous supporters, the P2P campaign has already raised over $22,000!

EDO Quiz Night – thanks!

EDO Tasmania extends our sincere thanks to all who helped to make this year’s quiz night a success – our generous sponsors, tireless volunteers and enthusiastic competitors.

Look forward to seeing you all next year!

sponsors

EDO Bulletin 19/2016

waterfall-tarkine-tasmania-by-arwen-dyerAre you having trouble staying up-to-date on the latest developments in environmental law? Do you want to find out what the Federal Court ordered in the 4WD tracks case, or in the NT Port Melville case? Perhaps you are interested in finding out about some great events to get you out and about in this lovely Spring weather? Well, read our Bulletin for the the latest on these issues and more!

To subscribe to our Bulletin, click here.

Govt to refer 4WD tracks proposal following Full Court decision

Ordinance Point_Whish-Wilson - Tarkine 4WD -7008_Today the Chief Justice of the Federal Court handed down final orders in the Tasmanian Government’s appeal against a Federal Court decision that prevented the re-opening of 4WD tracks in the National Heritage-listed Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape (WTACL).

The Full Court, which had earlier found that works required to open the tracks were “actions” within the meaning of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, ordered that the case be remitted to Justice Mortimer for further consideration of the impacts of the actions on Aboriginal heritage values.

The Full Court recognised the important questions raised by the case and TAC’s success in its central contention. The Tasmanian Government will pay the TAC’s costs of the original hearing, and will bear their own costs of the appeal.

In a media release today, the Tasmanian Government has committed to consulting with the Aboriginal community and 4WD track users regarding planned works, and to referring the proposal to the Federal Minister.  Doing so could remove the need for a further hearing.

EDO Tasmania’s litigation lawyer, Claire Bookless, said:

The Full Court has confirmed the TAC’s central argument – that the works needed to open the 4WD tracks are “actions” and that such actions trigger the cultural heritage protections of the EPBC Act.  We welcome the Government’s commitment to referring the proposal, something that should have happened before the re-opening announcement was made in 2014.

TAC will continue to urge the Tasmanian government to abandon the proposal, particularly given the Government’s recent commitments to “resetting the relationship” with Tasmania’s Aboriginal community and to recognising the ongoing role of the community in the State’s Constitution.   Ms Bookless noted:

Consultation with the Aboriginal community, heritage experts and off-road drivers led to the closure of the tracks in 2012, and the Aboriginal heritage values of the area have since been formally protected by the WTACL national heritage listing. We hope that when Minister Groom rigorously assesses the impacts of any proposed works on the natural and cultural values of takayna, he recognises that the risks to these nationally significant values are simply too great to proceed with re-opening the tracks.

Media release 

EDO Tasmania would like to thank our legal team for achieving this outcome – Brian Walters QC, Tiphanie Acreman, Adam Beeson (for the original hearing) and Claire Bookless (for the appeal).

EDO Bulletin 18/2016

sunrise-tarkine-tasmania-by-arwen-dyerWondering what to do with all that extra daylight now the clocks have been wound forward?  Read our latest Bulletin to catch up on all things environmental law, and check out the many wonderful events coming up over the next few weeks.

To subscribe to the fortnightly Bulletin, click here.

Summer internships with EDO Tasmania

The Devil Lawyer_300114-1 copyEDO Tasmania invites law, planning, geography and politics students with a genuine interest in resource management issues, social justice and environmental law to apply for our 2016-2017 summer internship programme.  Internships are available during the following periods:

  • 5 – 16 December 2016
  • 9 – 20 January 2017
  • 6 – 17 February 2017

Internships provide opportunities to:

  • Develop an understanding of the Resource Management and Planning System;
  • Gain practical research and drafting experience;
  • Provide paralegal support in environmental court cases;
  • Contribute to policy and law reform projects in areas such as marine farming, environmental assessment, cultural heritage, mining and planning;
  • Learn more about the roles of different government agencies;
  • Assist in the preparation of environmental law resources;
  • Get an insight into working at a community legal centre;
  • Establish network contacts with planning and environmental law practitioners.

Preference will be given to students who have completed 4 – 5 years of their degree.

Click here for the 2016 Internship information pack (and application form).  Applications are due by 7 November 2016.

Okehampton Bay Salmon Farm submission

?????????????????????????????????Submissions to the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel’s review Tassal’s proposed salmon farming operations at Okehampton Bay closed today.

There is good reason for the Review Panel to look at the science underpinning the Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passage Marine Farming Development Plan (the Plan). However, EDO Tasmania’s submission raised the following concerns about the efficacy of the review process:

  • despite the terms of reference focusing on the adequacy of the scientific information, much of that information has not been released to the public;
  • the terms of reference assume that Okehampton Bay is an appropriate location for salmon farming, rather than assessing whether this is the case;
  • Tassal already has the necessary authorities to proceed with salmon farming at Okehampton Bay, regardless of the outcome of the review process; and
  • the Tasmanian government is yet to release details of proposed changes to shift monitoring and enforcement responsibilities for salmon farming to the EPA.

EDO Tasmania’s submission highlights a number of changes that should be made to the Plan to improve the way that salmon farming activities at Okehampton Bay will be regulated.

To read EDO Tasmania’s submission, click here. For more information about the Review, click here.