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.

Office stuff – free to a good home!

Following our recent office clean-out, we have a few bits and pieces that are surplus to requirements.  They’re free to a good home, so sing out if you’re interested in any of the following:

  • Large office desk with built-in drawers (black top, timber and metal frame)
  • Large grey laminate office desk without drawers
  • Large metal cupboard (1.2m high x 1.6m wide)
  • Smallish shredder (about the size of a wastepaper bin)
  • Four-drawer filing cabinet – old, but sturdy
  • Large white board
  • Black board
  • Loads of magazine boxes, ring-binders and stackable filing trays
  • Ream of A3 paper

Annual Report: highlights of a good year for EDO Tas

edo-annual-reportAt our recent AGM, Roland Browne, who has been the President of our Management Committee since we began, stepped down. Roland’s commitment and energy has been key to our survival and success over two decades, and we’re incredibly grateful to have had the benefit of his leadership.

Dr Tom Baxter has stepped into Roland’s big shoes, supported by an excellent, diverse committee.  To find out more about the committee, click here.

Read our Annual Report to find out what we’ve been up to in 2015-2016.  It’s been a good year, and we’re looking forward to the next one!

EDO Bulletin 17/2016

TassalWondering what the Federal Court decision in the takayna tracks case means?  Or whether the Director of National Parks has recommended changes to the Narawntapu Management Plan?  Or how you can make comments to the Okehampton Bay review?  Or when we’re finally going to hold the EDO quiz night?

Wonder no longer – check out the latest EDO Bulletin for all this and more.

Full Federal Court hands down decision in takayna tracks case

Ordinance Point_Whish-Wilson - Tarkine 4WD -7008_On 16 September 2016, the Full Federal Court handed down a unanimous decision in the Tasmanian Government’s appeal against Justice Mortimer’s earlier decision that the proposed re-opening of 4WD tracks in the Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape (WTACL) was an action that was likely to have a significant impact on indigenous heritage values.  Justice Mortimer’s ruling meant that the action could not proceed without approval from the Federal Environment Minister under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). 

The Full Court upheld the appeal, in that they found that Justice Mortimer had interpreted both “action” and the indigenous heritage values protected by the listing of the WTACL too broadly.  However, the Full Court also found that the approach advocated by the State Government was far too narrow.  The Full Court considered that, while declaration of the tracks was not an action under the EPBC Act, the works needed to open the tracks (including remediation works, re-routing tracks and installing culverts) would be actions.  The Full Court held that the values protected were limited to those values described in the listing documents, but acknowledged that other material could be referred to to give context to those values.

The Full Court directed the parties (the State Government, the Commonwealth Government (as intervener) and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre) to try to reach agreement on orders to give effect to its findings. The Full Court noted that nothing in its judgment should discourage the State Government from pro-actively referring the proposal to the Federal Minister for assessment under the EPBC Act.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc has consistently argued that the proposed works should be referred to the Federal Minister prior to any activity to re-open the tracks, and has urged the State government to take that course.

We will provide an update on the terms of any agreement reached by the end of the week. For a media statement about the decision, click here.  To read the full decision, click here.

EDO Tasmania thanks our wonderful legal team in this matter – Brian Walters QC, Tiphanie Acreman and Claire Bookless.

Threatened Species Day

This #ThreatenedSpeciesDay marks the 80th anniversary of the death of the last captive Tasmanian Tiger. In a judgment earlier this year (involving our colleagues at EDO NSW), Justice Pepper of the Land & Environment Court said:

The permanent exhibition dedicated to the Tasmanian Tiger at the Tasmanian Museum is a poignant memorial to, and a powerful reminder of, how easily and quickly a species can, through human intervention, vanish forever.

swiftiesOur report for the Bob Brown Foundation, “Critically Endangered, Under-Protected“, outlines a range of practical law reforms aimed at preventing this fate for the Swift Parrot and other critically endangered species. Now we just need the Government to act!

Image by First Dog on the Moon, courtesy BBF

EDO Bulletin 16/2016

inside-bluefin-tuna-cage.-credit-Marco-Care_Marine-PhotobankIt’s been a big fortnight in environmental law!  Climate Change Authority members rebelled, the Federal Court dismissed ACF’s Adani challenge, the Okehampton Bay fish farm inquiry kicked off, the Productivity Commission recommended tighter licensing of recreational fishing and the Supreme Court confirmed Save the Tarkine is entitled to reasons for mining decisions.

Get up to speed with all that and more in the latest edition of the EDO Bulletin.

Working Near Waterways Guide: understanding your legal obligations

Cover pageMany routine activities on farms and rural properties involve working in or near waterways:  moving woody debris after a flood, building a stream crossing for a driveway, revegetating eroding riverbanks or digging drainage channels.  Many laws are in place to manage the impacts of these activities.

It is important to understand your legal responsibilities when planning any activity in or near a waterway, but the laws aren’t always easy to navigate.

Working Near Waterways is designed to help you work out what legal obligations may apply to your proposed activities, how you can meet those obligations, and where you can find out more information.

To download a PDF copy of the Guide, click here.

To download the Guide as an e-book (for iPads and Kindles), click here  (you may also need to download the e-book reader software)

 

Working in Waterways has been published with support from NRM South, NRM North and Cradle Coast NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. If you’d like a hard copy of the Guide, contact EDO Tasmania or your local NRM.

NRM South logo      Cradle Coast     NRM_North_LOGO_lowres

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Court dismisses Govt appeal, confirms Tarkine National Coalition has standing

BREAKING: The Full Court of the Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the Minister for Resources’ appeal against Justice Wood’s earlier decision that the Tarkine National Coalition (TNC) was entitled to a statement of reasons for the decision to grant mining leases for the Venture Minerals’ Mt Lindsay and Livingstone projects.

Handing down its judgment only one week after the appeal was heard, the Full Court found that the Minister’s appeal had no merit and upheld Justice Wood’s original finding that TNC was a “person aggrieved” by decisions to grant mining leases within the Tarkine.

The judgment confirms that environmental groups, such as the TNC, can have the right to scrutinise the Minister’s decisions to grant mining leases.

EDO Tasmania would like to thank our legal team – barristers  Jim Delany QC and Juliet Forsyth, litigation lawyer, Claire Bookless, and our former litigation lawyer, Adam Beeson – and the tireless Scott Jordan of the Tarkine National Coalition.

To read more about the decision, click here. For background information about this case, click here.

To read the full judgment, click here.

Tarkine barristers

 

EDO Tasmania, Standing up for takayna / Tarkine

Over the next week, EDO Tasmania will be in the courts fighting to protect the precious takayna / Tarkine from unsustainable and disrespectful development.

Statements of reasons appeal – Full Court of the Supreme Court

On Friday 19 August 2016, we will be representing the Tarkine National Coalition (TNC) in an appeal in the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

In this appeal, the Tasmanian Minister for Mining is seeking to overturn a decision that recognised that the TNC has standing to apply for the judicial review of decisions to grant mining leases in takayna /the Tarkine.

Despite the TNC’s tireless advocacy to have the area recognised for its World Heritage significance and listed as a National Park, the Minister is arguing that the TNC should not be entitled to a copy of the Minister’s reasons for the decision to grant the mining leases.

EDO Tasmania will be defending the Trial Judge’s finding that the TNC has the right to hold the Minister to account for decisions to approve mines in the heart of takayna / the Tarkine.

Click here to find out more about this case.

Ordinance Point_Whish-Wilson - Tarkine 4WD -7008_4WD tracks appeal – Full Court of the Federal Court

On Monday 22 August 2016, we will before Full Court of the Federal Court on behalf of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) seeking to uphold the decision by Justice Mortimer that stopped the re-opening of three 4WD tracks through the Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape (WTACL).

Both the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments have challenged Justice Mortimer’s earlier decision, arguing that the 4WD tracks do not require approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). They will also be asking the Full Federal Court to find that Justice Mortimer’s interpretation of “indigenous heritage values” was too broad and, when properly confined, the impact of tracks on the indigenous heritage values of the WTACL will not be significant.

EDO Tasmania will be arguing that opening the 4WD tracks is an action that will have a significant impact on the indigenous heritage values of the takayna / Tarkine coast and must not proceed without Federal approval.

Click here for a more detailed briefing document about this case.

Click here to sign up to our Bulletin so you can stay up to date with latest developments in these cases.