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EDO Tasmania

The EDO Tasmania Bulletin is a free fortnightly bulletin providing information on policy updates, events and opportunities for public comment. 
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EDO BULLETIN                     
21 April 2017  

EDO Tasmania is a non-profit community legal centre advising on environmental and planning law. Our aim is to increase public awareness of environmental laws and remedies, and help the community to secure a healthy, sustainable Tasmania.  Our fortnightly(ish) Bulletin contains news about current developments in planning and environment law, upcoming events and opportunities for public comment.

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Alpha Coal Mine – special leave application to High Court refused

On 7 April 2017, the High Court refused the application by Coast and Country Association Inc for Special Leave to Appeal.  Coast and Country (represented by EDO Qld) sought to challenge a decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal that the Land Court could not have regard to environmental harm resulting from emissions from transporting and burning coal from the Hancock Alpha Coal mine, because similar emissions would be released from other mines if the Alpha mine did not proceed.

While not endorsing the Land Court's reasoning, the High Court "[did] not consider that this matter is a suitable vehicle to resolve the issues which the applicant seeks to agitate."

To find out more about the case, click here.  You can also hear more from EDO Qld Principal Solicitor, Sean Ryan, at our climate litigation seminar on 27 April 2017 – see “Events” below.


Basslink Feasibility Study released

On 13 April 2017, the Tasmanian and Commonwealth government released the final study into the feasibility of a second Tasmanian interconnector, conducted by Dr John Tamblyn.

The study concludes that “…under currently anticipated future energy market conditions there is remaining uncertainty as to whether a [second interconnector] would be an economically feasible investment that would serve the long-term interests of electricity consumers."

While a second interconnector would generate material benefits for the National Electricity Market, the study found that those benefits would only outweigh costs in some scenarios.  On that basis, Dr Tamblyn concluded that lack of policy direction made "the long-term investment climate for network infrastructure projects such as a second interconnector very uncertain at this time.”

To read the report, click here.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced during a visit to Tasmania on 20 April 2017 that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) would invest $2.5 million towards further feasibility studies for projects to boost Hydro Tasmania’s energy output, primarily by replacing the 80-year-old Tarraleah power station, and examining 13 potential sites for new pumped hydro generators. The projects aims to strengthen Tasmania's energy system and improve the future case for a second interconnector. 


Law and Policy Updates


Forestry Bill shelved for now

The Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill 2017 was scheduled for debate in the Legislative Council last week, and all Legislative Councillors had received a series of briefings from government and stakeholders regarding the Bill.  Prior to its second reading, the Bill was removed from the list.  It is not know when the Bill will be re-introduced for debate.

For information about the Bill, click here.

Protest laws challenge in High Court

Former Greens Senator Bob Brown’s challenge to the constitutional validity of the Workplace (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 is set down for hearing in the High Court on 2 May 2017. Attorneys-General from the Commonwealth, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are intervening in the matter.

To read the submissions from the parties, click here.


Opportunities to Comment


For tips on how to have your say, visit our website 


Closing soon

Climate Change Review

The Federal Government has released a discussion paper as part of the 2017 review of climate change policies. The discussion paper follows the Government’s commitment to review its climate change policies when it set Australia’s target to reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Comments on the Discussion Paper can be made until 5 May 2017Read more and have your say.


Local Government Act review

A draft Bill to amend the Local Government Act 1993 has been released for public comment.  The review proposes changes to the functions of mayors, councillors, general managers and the Director of Local Government, introduces new procedures for the Local Government Board and Board of Inquiry, and clarifies election requirements.

Comments on the draft Bill can be made until 5 May 2017Read more and have your say

Closing later


Tasmanian Planning Policies

The Planning Reform Unit has released a draft Bill to introduce a new 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 strategies.

A draft suite of Tasmanian Planning Policies has also been released, including Economic Development, Settlement & Liveable Communities, Cultural & Natural Heritage, Hazards & Risks, and Transport & Infrastructure policies.

Comments on the Bill and the draft Policies can be made until 15 May 2017Read more and have your say.


Draft Biosecurity Bill 2017

DPIPWE has released a draft Biosecurity Bill 2017 for public consultation.  The Bill seeks to bring replace a range of existing laws affecting biosecurity with a single piece of framework legislation dealing with pests, weeds, disease and other biosecurity threats.

Comments on the draft Bill can be made until 2 June 2017. Read more and have your say.



Got an event you'd like us to promote?  Contact us at


Tarkine in Motion 

Check out the stunning gallery of art produced through last year's Tarkine in Motion project.

When:  21 April 2017 - 1 May 2017  (opening tonight at 6pm)
Where:  Long Gallery, Hobart

For more information, click here.


Nayri Niari Good Spirit Festival

The Nayri Niara good spirit Festival is a three-day gathering of music, ceremony, knowledge sharing and arts, held in a stunning cultural landscape that is lunawunna alonnah, Bruny Island.  Get amongst it!

When:  21 – 23 April 2017
Where:  1771 Bruny Island Main Rd, Great Bay

For more information, click here.


March for Science 

The March for Science is a global event bringing together people who believe we need more evidence and reason in our political process, and to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.

Hobart: 22 April 2017 from 1- 3 pm,
Parliament Lawns
Launceston: 22 April 2017 from 10:30am, School of Architecture & Design, UTAS


Recent developments in climate litigation

Hear from EDO Qld lawyer, Sean Ryan, about legal actions being undertaken around Australia to challenge mining projects on the basis of climate implications.  Dr Jeff McGee will join Sean to discuss international legal actions challenging government climate policies and similar opportunities to push for reforms locally.

When: 27 April 2017, 6pm
Where: Aurora Theatre, IMAS, Castray Esplanade

This event is co-hosted by EDO Tasmania, IMAS and UTAS Law School.  For more details, click here.


Water and Sewerage Reform: Debunking Myths

The Economic Society of Tasmania is hosting a forum with Chair of the Taswater Board, Miles Hampton, unpacking the debate around reform of water and sewerage services in Tasmania.

When:  27 April 2017, 6:00 pm
Where:  Law Lecture Theatre 2, UTAS

To register, click here.


Regulating Salmon Farming: proposed changes

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


Sustainable Winter:  A year of Greens

Tamar NRM's Sustainable Living Working Group has organised a short forum on how to get the most out of your vegetable garden over winter. Hear from Ross Flint and Sue Woinarski and bring a container to collect free winter vege seeds.

When:  29 April 2017, 10am
Where:  Max Fry Hall, Trevallyn

For information, contact Gill Basnett on 6323 3310 or 

What's Happening at EDO Tas?


Supporter survey

EDO 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!

To participate in the survey, click here


There's no other organisation in Tasmania providing a service like ours.  Make a one-off tax deductible donation today
or become a regular donor so EDO Tas can keep using the law to protect the environment.

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