Across the globe, various legal options are being explored to address the growing threat of climate change.

Due to our legal frameworks, cases in Australia have tended to challenge high-emission developments, rather than core policy decisions.  Over the past ten years, courts around Australia have shown an incremental acceptance of the science of climate change and its relevance to assessments under existing environmental impact assessment legislation.

EDO Qld lawyerSean Ryan, Principal Solicitor with EDO Qld, has been involved in climate litigation from the Land Court to the High Court, most recently in relation to the proposed Adani Carmichael mine.  Join Sean for a discussion of those cases, the arguments that have succeeded and the arguments that haven’t.

Dr Jeff McGee will also join Sean to discuss international action and the extent to which litigation is shaping policy responses around the world.

Date:  27 April 2017
Time:  6:00 – 7:00pm
Venue:  Aurora Theatre, IMAS Building

For more information, click here or email jess.feehely[at]

EDO Supporter Survey

The Devil Lawyer_300114-1 copyEDO Tasmania is keen to get some feedback on our work priorities, accessibility, strategic plans and what we can do better.

We’d value your input, and invite you to complete our survey.  All responses are confidential and anonymous (unless you choose to provide your details).


Thank you – your comments will help us to deliver the best service for Tasmania’s environment.

Draft Tasmanian Planning Policies released


The Planning Reform Unit has released a draft Bill to amend the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 to include a process for making and amending a new type of planning instrument, to be known as Tasmanian Planning Policies.

These Policies are designed to provide strategic guidance on statewide planning issues, to inform the 5-year reviews of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, and to assist in the development of regional transport, infrastructure and settlement policies.   A draft suite of Tasmanian Planning Policies has also been released.

Comments on the Bill and the draft Policies can be made until 15 May 2017.  Email your submission to (subject line:  Tasmanian Planning Policies) or write to:

Planning Policy Unit
Department of Justice
GPO Box 825
Hobart  TAS  7001

Regulating Salmon Farming: proposed changes

SalmonPlease note:  This event has been cancelled as the introduction of new laws has been deferred. A new event will be advertised later in the year. 

The National Environmental Law Association is hosting a morning seminar to hear from EPA Director, Wes Ford, regarding proposed amendments to the regulatory framework for salmon farming in Tasmania.  The event includes a light breakfast.

When: 28 April 2017, 7:30am – 9:00am
Where: Law Society of Tasmania, 28 Murray Street, Hobart

To register, click here or email

EDO Bulletin 4/2017

Thank you devilHooray, it’s Friday!

If you’re looking for something to do over the weekend, catch up on the latest edition of the EDO Bulletin.  This edition features updates on the re-opening of forest reserves, changes to the Aboriginal Relics Act, new rules to deal with disputes over backyard trees, salmon farming around Tasmania and volunteering with EDO Tasmania.

Forestry Bill passes Lower House

Styx Valley - Rob BlakersThe Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill 2017 was passed by the lower house late last night and will now go to the Legislative Council for debate.   For an overview of the key changes proposed by the Bill, you can read our summary.

The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania has criticised the legislation, challenging the rationale for making reserved forests available and the methodology used by Forestry Tasmania to determine access.  Read more on FIAT’s views here.

For a critique of the impacts of the proposal to open up FPPF Land on Forestry Tasmania’s bid for Forest Stewardship Council certification, click here.

The Bill, second reading speech and clause notes are available here.

Summer @ Shambles



Don’t miss out on this family-friendly event – hear great music, eat delicious food, browse market stalls, get your face painted, sample a selection of ales… all while supporting EDO Tas.

1:15pm – DJ Beezy

2:00pmThe Scary Family Band

3:00pm – Emma Anglesey

4:00pm – Mocane

Facepainting from 1 – 3pm, food by Orlando Plenty from 2pm.

Get your tickets at Eventbrite, contact EDO Tas or take a chance and buy them at the door.



Based in Tasmania, Emma Anglesey’s haunting and catchy debut single Bike saw her become a Triple J Unearthed Spotlight Artist. Emma’s second single Mary-Anne premiered in Tone Deaf in November 2016 and has received rave reviews. Triple J Unearthed music director Dave Ruby Howe gave the track “4 STARS” and Rolling Stone Australia said “Mary-Anne is a song that flourishes in its delicacy but is punctured with grit.”
Emma’s music combines dark pop and folk. Both Mary-Anne and Bike are from Emma’s forthcoming record which was produced and mixed by Nashville-based Australian music producer Josh Barber (Gotye, Archie Roach) along with Nicholas Lam who co-mixed. Of working with Emma, Joshua said,
I met Emma at a small folk festival in Tasmania and she was one of the stand-out writers I heard there so I told her I’d love to work with her. Emma’s songs are thematically articulate, with visual and almost tactile lyrics that I really enjoyed working to and selecting sounds that build towards these emotional environments.”
Twitter: @Emma_Anglesey
Film clips:
Australian singer/songwriter and producer Topher Morrey made the deliberate move from ‘big city’ Melbourne to wild Tasmania to slow the pace and ground his Soul/Groove sound into something more gritty.
Joining up with good friends and fellow Tasmanians Greg Heart, Matt Deakin and Justin Orr they’ve found their soulful funk flow, peppered it with a hint of melancholy Blues, and packed it full of heart felt flavour … meet Mocane.


The Scary Family Band spans ages 7 to 56 and plays hillbilly, old-time, jug, early jazz, Istrian folk, and blues music with occasional sci-fi overtones. They have wrangled saws, ukes, mandolins, banjos, harmonicas, dancing jig dolls, double bass and slide whistles everywhere from Killiecrankie (Flinders Island) to Koper (Slovenia)!

EDO Bulletin 3/2017

marineRead the latest EDO Tas Bulletin to catch up on a busy few weeks of planning and environmental law news – cable car, salmon farms, production forests, planning schemes and more!


State Planning Provisions declared


The Planning Minister has declared the final State Planning Provisions (SPPs), which will take effect on 2 March 2017.

You can read the Tasmanian Planning Commission’s report, the final SPPs and the Minister’s Statement of Reasons.

Key environmental issues arising from the SPPs include:

  • The SPPs are still not supported by a comprehensive suite of State Policies to guide planning outcomes. The Planning Commission acknowledges, in particular, the need to review the State Coastal Policy as a matter of urgency.  Other areas without a strategic policy basis include integrated transport, population and settlements, biodiversity management, tourism and climate change.
  • The Minister rejected the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the Natural Assets Code be scrapped in its entirety.  The Commission recommended that a new Code be developed after proper consideration of the biodiversity implications of proposed exemptions, and the production of adequate, Statewide vegetation mapping.
  • The Natural Assets Code in the final SPPs does include a number of amendments (e.g. expanding protection to native vegetation of local importance, even if not listed as threatened, and no longer allowing clearing up to 3,000m2 to be permitted in the Rural Living Zone).  However, many of the fundamental weaknesses remain:
    • the Code does not prevent native vegetation clearing in the Agriculture Zone
    • the Code does not protect drinking water catchments
    • the Code does not prevent clearing in national parks and reserves or on pasture or orchard land
    • mapping of priority vegetation is left to local Councils, supported only by TasVeg and Natural Values Atlas tools that are acknowledged to be incomplete.
  • Despite an acknowledgement from the Minister that the Reserve Activity Assessment process “needs review”, developments in national parks approved under that process will continue to avoid public scrutiny.
  • New provisions have been inserted to allow Councils to “call-in” developments they consider risky in terms of coastal erosion or inundation , even if the development site is not currently mapped as a risk area.
  • Local councils will be required to maintain their local heritage registers.
  • The Planning Commission acknowledges that the SPPs are designed to limit local variation, but queries whether a “one-size fits all” model will deliver certainty:

If local character is a point of difference and an attribute of all Tasmanian places, unintended consequences may flow from denying local differences. The ‘one size fits all’ approach is likely to result in planning authorities seeking more exceptions through the inclusion of particular purpose zones, specific area plans and site-specific qualifications…

  • The Planning Commission also recommends a review of development standards in the General Residential and Inner Residential Zones to assess whether the provisions deliver greater housing choice, encourage infill development, or unreasonably impact on residential character and amenity.
  • No new Codes have been developed to address stormwater and on-site waste disposal, acid sulfate soils or Aboriginal heritage.

Local Councils are now required to develop Local Provisions Schedules for their municipality, with draft LPS expected to be released for public consultation later in 2017.

For an overview of the process for developing Local Provisions Schedules, click here.

Planning continues to be a major work area for EDO Tasmania – helping the community to understand the changes, and advocating for better planning outcomes.  To help support this work, donate to our legal fund.