Federal Court dismisses Macquarie Harbour challenge

On 6 July 2018, the Federal Court dismissed Huon Aquaculture’s application for a declaration that the Commonwealth Minister’s decision authorising the expansion of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour was invalid.

The Court did not decide on the merits of Huon’s claim.  Instead, the Court considered a range of factors to decide whether, even if Huon was correct, it should exercise its discretion to invalidate the Minister’s decision.  Despite accepting that Huon had genuine concerns regarding the impacts of declining dissolved oxygen levels, and finding it was “more likely than not” that a Minister reconsidering the expansion today would find that it was a controlled action, the Court held:

Even on [the assumption that Huon succeeded in establishing its grounds], the cumulative weight of the factors… in favour of refusing relief, in the specific facts of this case, significantly outweigh the reasons to the contrary. They collectively justify the Court exercising its discretion to refuse Huon the relief it seeks.

To read more, go to EDO’s blog.  To read the whole judgment, click here.

For an updated timeline of events in Macquarie Harbour, click here.

EDO Bulletin 10/2018

Picture1Cable car hurdles, gloomy octopuses, an ASC review of the Okehampton leases, your last chance to have a say on new environmental regulations for salmon, and what we promise is our very last pitch for your EOFY cash.

All that and more in the latest edition of the EDO Tas Bulletin.

EDO Bulletin 9/2018

EOFY pictureBudget funding for rangers, Landcarers and weed officers, leaked UN climate report, pumped hydro and the draft Freycinet Master Plan.  Get all the latest environmental and planning news with the EDO Tas Bulletin.

And don’t forget, a tax-deductible gift to EDO Tas this end of financial year will help us to stand up against inappropriate development in our national parks and reserves.

Valuing kunanyi: approaches to valuing nature

kunanyi 3

Thank you to everyone who attended “Valuing kunanyi” last week.  The presentations from the event are available below:

The full audio recording is available here (the event starts with two songs sung in palawa kani, and an introduction from EDO Tasmania – the presentations begin at 10.30 min)

For a range of articles, papers and case law on these issues, visit our Valuing Nature page.

New biomass limits set for Mac Harbour

8250460-3x2-940x627The EPA has set the 2018-2020 biomass limit for salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour at 9,500t.

In setting the new limit, the EPA acknowledged that the health of Macquarie Harbour is continuing to decline. The EPA Director also confirmed today that 1.35 million salmon had died over summer due to the outbreak of disease in the Harbour.

While the new biomass limit represents a 20% reduction from the previous limit of 12,000t, Huon Aquaculture has previously noted that a limit of 9,000t would simply reflect the number of fish left in the Harbour following the summer mortality events.

To read the EPA Director’s statement of reasons for the biomass decision, click here.

To read a timeline of the events leading up to the latest biomass decision, click here.

Helicopters, huts and having your say


A range of development proposals are being considered in Tasmania’s national parks – mountain bike and horse-riding trails, helicopter tours, fly-in accommodation, commercial huts and more.

Join EDO Tasmania for a free information session about development in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area:

  • how will the assessment process work?
  • who makes the decisions?
  • what criteria will apply?
  • how can you get involved and have your say?

For details, go to the event page.

EDO Bulletin 8/2018

KnockloftyAll the latest environmental and planning law news is in the new EDO Tas Bulletin – updates on the Dover woodchip export facility and kunanyi cable car, proposed new regulations for salmon farming licence and changes to compulsory acquisition rules, amendments to regional land use strategies, heaps of events and lots to ponder in our “Good Reads” section.

EDO Bulletin 5/2018

Walls 10Check out the latest EDO Bulletin for updates on Macquarie Harbour, marine reserves, Ministers and other matters.

This edition also includes a new section featuring our favourite articles from the past fortnight.  If you’ve read (or written) something you think we’d like, send it through to edotas@edotas.org.au