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.
If you know someone who would
like to receive this bulletin, please invite them to subscribe.
Alpha Coal Mine –
special leave application to High Court refused
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
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
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.”
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
and Policy Updates
Bill shelved for now
(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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
21 – 23 April 2017 Where:
1771 Bruny Island Main Rd, Great Bay
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.
April 2017 from 1- 3 pm, Parliament Lawns Launceston:
22 April 2017 from 10:30am, School of Architecture & Design,
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
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.
28 April 2017, 7:30am - 9:00am Where: Law
Society of Tasmania, 28 Murray Street, Hobart
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.
29 April 2017, 10am Where:
Max Fry Hall, Trevallyn