Showing posts with label mining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mining. Show all posts

Friday, 8 November 2019

Clarence Catchment Alliance is hosting a petition opposing water diversion from Clarence River catchment & mining in the upper river


The Daily Examiner, 31 October 2019, p. 9:

In 2017 I solo kayaked the Clarence River from its source near Stanthorpe in the Great Dividing Range to where it empties into the sea of my lifelong home at Yamba. A couple of months ago I tried to do it again, and I couldn’t. It won’t surprise you to hear, that there’s just no water in the river.
Around the same time I learned there were 18 exploratory mining licences active in our headwaters and that drilling quietly begun some 18 months ago.
I also learned that there was at least one serious environmental breach of one of these licences, resulting in a stop work order and a $300,000 fine.
I also learned that talks of damming our headwaters had been revived by western municipalities. When I heard these things, I wanted to find out more.
I caught up with my childhood friend and lifelong valley local, ex world championship tour surfer turned high-performance coach and Patagonia ambassador Daniel Ross, and together we set out to learn more about these potential threats to our home.
We went on a journey upriver to the source of the Clarence, all around the proposed mining areas, speaking to indigenous Elders and locals all along the river, to see these issues through their eyes.
We learned of the fish kills associated with mining from the old copper mine at Cangai, how the Eastern Cod (which only exists in two places in the world - the Clarence and Richmond River catchments) was nearly completely wiped out by these practices. We learned how it was nursed back from the brink to enjoying a thriving population today, and we struggled to understand why consideration would be given to returning to these practices on an even broader scale. We perceived first-hand the proximity of these sites, on these incredibly steep ridge lines, angling down to the river and its tributaries, and failed to comprehend how mining could possibly be achieved safely.
The more we learn, the keener we are to understand the future plans for our valley, and the safest and best solutions for its strategic management so its splendours can be enjoyed for generations to come.
We are strongly of the heart that the risks from mining along the Clarence, the lifeblood of our valley, are too impossibly high to take, and that these risks cannot fit the profile of a healthy future.
If you agree, the Clarence Catchment Alliance is hosting a petition that our State MP Chris Gulaptis has said he will table in parliament if 10,000 signatures are garnered. The petition is available to sign in local businesses all across the Valley, or available online to download, print, sign, and return to the address on the petition.
Dan Ross and Hayley Talbot
Image: Clarence Valley Independent

Clarence Independent
, 25 September 2019:
Dan Ross and Hayley Talbot are amid producing a documentary about the Clarence River – towards that end they have already interviewed Toowoomba’s mayor, Paul Antonio, who is also the chair of the Darling Downs South West Queensland Council of Mayors, which has applied to Infrastructure Australia to pipe water from the Clarence River “to Tenterfield Shire Council and Southern Downs, Western Downs and Toowoomba Regional councils”. Mr Ross and Ms Talbot gave a talk about the significance of Clarence River, maintaining its health and “how it affects all of us from the headwaters to the mouth”. “It’s not a ‘green’ thing, it’s commonsense,” Ms Talbot told those gathered at the Valley Watch tent at the Yamba River Market on Sunday, “sharing knowledge and getting the message out there.” 
Clarence Catchment Alliance’s Facebook page at  

Sunday, 27 October 2019

This is the Singleton Argus article that either the NSW Deputy-Premier or his office alleges is "seditious"


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'the offence [sedition] is one if the person urges by force or violence the overthrowing of a government, or interfering with an election, or encouraging other people to use – or groups of people – to use force or violence against other groups' [The Attorney-General, Hon Philip Ruddock MP, Alan Jones Radio Programme, 14 November 2005, quoted in Australian Parliamentary Library, "In Good Faith:Sedition Law in Australia", 23 August 2010]
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It appears that NSW Deputy-Premier, Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade & Liberal MP for Monaro, John Barilaro, is unhappy with journalists having an opinion about the mining industry, state government agencies or the region in which they live and work......



There were two articles published online by The Singleton Argus on 22 October 2019 which dealt with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption's current review of lobbying activities, access and influence in this state.

The first was a local news article and the second an opinion piece by the same journalist on the same subject.

It was this second piece which is the allegedly "seditious" item that either the Deputy-Premier or his staff apparently decided included content intended to incite violence, public disorder or a public offence:
"Here we go again - the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is hearing evidence about mining approvals - what, haven't we learnt our lessons from the Doyles Creek and Mt Penny inquiries all those years ago?
This time ICAC's Operation Eclipse is not investigating actual corrupt conduct by individuals but rather it is seeking' to examine particular aspects of lobbying activities and the corruption risks involved in the lobbying of public authorities and officials.'
At the same time as ICAC is seeking information about the influence of lobbying on government decision making Planning Minister Rob Stokes announced the terms of reference for the review into the operations of the Independent Planning Commission.
Included in the terms of reference is a question about whether the IPC should exist at all.
Scary when one considers that the former ICAC commissioner David Ipp, QC was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald saying such a move was 'a recipe for corruption'.
The more things change the more they stay the same it would appear when it comes to planning state significant mining projects in NSW.
As an invited witness to this week's Operation Eclipse hearings NSW Minerals Council, chief executive officer Stephen Galilee voiced his strong opinions about the current state of mine approvals in NSW.
He is not happy that Bylong Coal Project was refused, that Dartbrook Underground was only half approved and that United Wambo and Rix's Creek were approved but it took too long so he was still very unhappy.
Mr Galilee is welcome is hold these opinions he works to promote mineral extraction in NSW but his opinions should not over ride due process.
We have seen what happens when mining licences are granted behind closed doors, people made millions often corruptly and the community is treated poorly or not considered at all.
No way should we go back to the bad old days in mine approvals.
We should be planning for our future where we have clean air to breath and new industries for our current mining workforce.
Instead of wasting time and money on the IPC review lets get started with planning for a just transition for our region.
The longer we put off the inevitable transition the harder it will hit our region - want to be part of that Mr Galilee?"

For the life of me I cannot see this as a journalistic call for citizens to man the barricades armed to the teeth and ready to do violence.

Perhaps in the future whichever of the Deputy-Premier's minions crafted that particular email should pause, open a dictionary and a copy of the Crimes Act before choosing his adjectives.

Then when he next rushes to the defence of his minister's 'mates' he won't rashly accuse a journalist of a grave unlawful act.

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'as long as the various sedition offences remain, governments will inevitably be tempted to use them improperly, especially when highly unpopular opinions are expressed' [Sydney Law Review,  (1992) Maher, L.W.,"The Use and Abuse of Sedition"]
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Thursday, 24 October 2019

NSW Liberal-Nationals Government to forbid planning agencies to consider potential impacts of climate change


Nature Conservation Council of NSW, media release, 22 October 2019: 

Planning changes deny our biggest challenge – climate change
The Nature Conservation Council condemns the NSW Government’s plans to forbid planning authorities considering the full climate impacts of coal mines and gas projects.
“The government is effectively banning planning bodies from considering the biggest environmental challenge of our age,” NCC Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 
“The state government has cravenly capitulated to pressure from the Minerals Council, raising serious questions about who controls planning policy in NSW.
“Minister Rob Stokes announced a review into the Independent Planning Commission just days ago and has already undermined it with proposed legislation.
“For the past 12 years NSW has had a planning policy to consider the climate damage of coal produced in this state. 
“It is reckless and irresponsible to gut this policy when dangerous climate change is on our doorstep with fish kills and more extreme heatwaves and bushfires every summer.
“Courts and planning authorities have been trying to deal with climate change because the government has utterly failed. 
“Now the government is tying planning authorities’ hands and undermine the science-based, responsible decision making the people of NSW want.
“No wonder people are marching in the streets for urgent action on climate.” [my yellow highlighting]

Lock the Gate Alliance, 22 October 2019:

Berejiklian back down: NSW Government capitulates to coal lobby
A NSW Government proposal to prevent the Independent Planning Commission from considering downstream climate emissions when assessing mining projects is a terrible mistake that will be remembered by future generations, according to Lock the Gate Alliance. 

It is being reported the government will move to restrict the IPC from considering the effects of "scope 3" greenhouse gas pollution when considering coal mining projects, with new laws to be introduced to parliament this week.

Scope 3 emissions are the greenhouse emissions produced when coal is burned at its final destination. 

Lock the Gate NSW spokesperson Georgina Woods said the legislation would be remembered by future generations as a shameless capitulation to the coal lobby that would harm communities in NSW.

“The government is capitulating to mining industry pressure and winding back laws to address the most important strategic, economic and environmental challenge of our century," she said.

“This is a regressive and fatal mistake that will be remembered for generations.

"New South Wales is right now experiencing a severe and unprecedented bushfire season and one of the worst droughts on record due to climate change. There is so little time left to prevent the problem escalating beyond our control. 

“The public expects all responsible agencies to use the powers available to them to act to avoid harm to our communities and our environment. 

"This is absolutely the wrong move at the wrong time for the Berejiklian Government. A petty political act of vandalism against the urgent needs of their constituents, particularly those on the frontline of global heating in rural Australia.

"Instead of pretending we have no stake in global action on climate change, we need a plan that recognises that the Hunter region will need to adjust to declining coal use worldwide and to prepare our communities for the severe weather extremes that are bearing down on us."
BACKGROUND

The Guardian, 22 October 2019:

The New South Wales government has announced it will introduce legislation to try to stop planning authorities from blocking mine developments based on emissions from coal once it is burned.
The push is a response to the historic Rocky Hill verdict delivered by the NSW Land and Environment court earlier this year and comes just days after the government launched a review of the state’s Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

Environment groups and the legal firm that represented Groundswell Gloucester have described it as a capitulation to the mining industry, which has waged a campaign over recent planning decisions that either rejected mining projects outright or imposed conditions on them related to their impact on the climate.
The NSW deputy premier and resources minister, John Barilaro, said the government would introduce legislation to parliament in the next week to prevent “the regulation of overseas, or scope-three, greenhouse gas emissions” in mining approvals.....
“The government has a very clear policy when it comes to the consideration of scope-three emissions and this will now be enshrined in legislation and through changes to the Mining SEPP (state environmental planning policy),” Barilaro said on Tuesday.
The changes the government is proposing include amending the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) to remove the requirement to consider downstream emissions (emissions after coal or gas is sold and burned).
It also plans to amend the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act so that planning authorities are prohibited from imposing conditions on developers related to downstream emissions.
“These changes will help restore NSW law and policy to the situation that existed prior to the Rocky Hill decision and will provide the mining sector with greater certainty,” Barilaro said.
The proposal is not unexpected and was foreshadowed by the government earlier this month following a campaign by the NSW Minerals Council, which has attacked a number of recent decisions by planning authorities in NSW.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 2019:
The NSW government prepared sweeping climate change policies to decarbonise the state's economy only to have the plans shelved when Gladys Berejiklian became Premier, documents obtained by the Herald show.
The program included a proposal to "embed climate change consideration into government decision making", and was developed with the advice of the government-appointed expert panel, the Climate Change Council.
Mark Speakman, then environment minister, led the work on two sets of policies that were to give substance to the government's aim to make NSW carbon neutral by 2050. The net-zero carbon goal was announced in November 2016 when Mike Baird was premier.....
Echo NetDaily, 4 April 2019:

Less than a week after being returned to office, the Liberal-National Party moved quickly to weaken environmental protections and local government powers by transferring them to the planning department and the premier, Gladys Berejiklian.

Under the Administration of Acts Order and associated changes made on Tuesday this week, the Coalition government have moved many key ministerial responsibilities, effectively disempowering the ministers and their departments.

Of major concern, say NSW Labor and the Greens, is the scrapping of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), a department tasked with the oversight of environmental protection across the state. Premier Berejiklian told Fairfax’s SMH that ‘heritage would be shifted to the Arts portfolio headed by Don Harwin as minister’.

SMH reporter Peter Hannam also wrote, ‘As part of the changes, the Office of Local Government will also cease to exist as a separate entity, while the Planning & Environment cluster will end its operations as of July 1 this year’.

According to Administration of Acts Order, the re-appointed Planning Minister Rob Stokes will now exercise all the powers under the Local Government Act 1993....

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Tweet of the Week


Thursday, 29 August 2019

Castillo Copper pays out $96k in enforceable undertaking after allegedly contravening NSW Mining Act during activity on its Clarence Valley exploration lease


The Daily Examiner, 28 August 2019, p.3: 

The companies behind mining exploration at Cangai have had to pay more than $90,000 after breaching their license. 

Total Minerals Pty. Ltd. and Total Iron Pty Ltd. put forward a $91,000 Mining Act enforceable undertaking which was accepted by the NSW Resources Regulator on Monday in relation to series of serious compliance issues back in November 2018. 

The alleged breaches included unauthorised drilling, not disposing of drilling waste properly and failing to prevent erosion and chemical or fuel spillages, resulted in both companies being issued suspension notices..... 

Resources Regulator Acting Director of Compliance Steve Orr said mining authorisations carried strict compliance responsibilities. “The community expects companies like Total Minerals and Total Iron to be aware of their legal and environmental obligations and have appropriate systems in place to ensure compliance,” Mr Orr said..... 

It was also noted that both companies which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Castillo Copper Ltd. had taken steps to rehabilitate the affected sites at a cost of “about $300,000”

An enforceable undertaking once agreed to avoids any potential prosecution for allegedly identified breaches of the conditions of a mining exploration licence.

A total of 16 offences were alleged by the Resources Regulator who included this notice to be published by the mining company as part of the enforceable undertaking accepted on 21 August 2019: 


Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Tweed Shire Council abandons its principled stand on foreign multinational Adani's proposed Galilee Basin coal mine


In which Tweed Shire Council decides Australia doesn't need the Great Barrier Reef or the Black-throated Finch......

Echo NetDaily, 19 August 2019: 

The Tweed Shire Council has performed a political back-flip on a 2017 promise to avoid hiring building companies contracted to Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in central Queensland. 

Councillors voted for the ban two years ago, with Tweed Shire Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) saying they ‘wished to represent the views of the community’. Cr Cherry said Adani didn’t have any approvals to mine in Carmichael at the time but people on the Tweed were concerned about potential environmental impacts of the project on the Great Barrier Reef. 

Labor councillor flips anti-Adani ban in favour of jobs 

Last week, Cr James Owen (Liberals) tabled a rescission on the 2017 vote and won majority support, meaning the ban no longer applies. 

Cr Ron Cooper (Independent) was absent from the meeting and had originally supported an anti-Adani stance. 

But a change of heart from Cr Reece Brynes (Labor) was enough to change council policy as he joined forces with Councillors Owen, Pryce Allsop (Independent) and Warren Polglase (Nationals). 

Cr Byrnes told Echonetdaily although he initially voted for the ban and continues to share environmental impact concerns, state and federal government approvals of the Carmichael project mean the council has to ‘accept realities’. 

‘My priority and Labor’s priority is always about creating more local jobs in the Tweed,’ he wrote in an email, ‘I make no apologies that Labor’s priority is always about creating jobs’. 

The council had to ‘move away from a position of protest’ to one that wouldn’t ‘prohibit or hamper future projects and jobs for people in the tweed’, Cr Byrnes wrote.....


BRIEF BACKGROUND

Environmental Defenders Office Qld, Case Explainer: Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme - Federal Judicial Review

Australian Conservation Foundation, Stop Adani's polluting coal mine

Lock the Gate, Coal Mining: Water Impacts of the Adani Coal Mine

Climate Council, Adani Mine Must Be Stopped

ABC News, What we know about Adani's Carmichael coal mine project

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Adani Group's problems continue to make news in 2019


“The commerciality of Adani’s Carmichael mine remains challenging given the significant capital spend and low-quality thermal coal product expected from the mine,” said Brent Spalding, a principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie." [Financial Review, 9 July 2019]

"Adani allowed stormwater discharges from the port in March 2017 (to the marine environment and to the Caley Valley Wetlands) and again in February 2019 (to the wetlands) in excess of licence limits.....In February 2019, Adani announced it had again discharged stormwater into the Caley Valley Wetlands in excess of its EA limit. Government investigations also confirmed the exceedance, and Adani paid an infringement fine of $13,055 for the breach." [Environmental Defenders Office Qld, 23 May 2019]

"....Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd, an Adani subsidiary, for a substantial exceedance of a license to pollute the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area with coal dust when Cyclone Debbie made landfall in 2017, even though the license was granted specifically to account for possibly increased emissions resulting from the cyclone. During the course of this prosecution, the DEHP discovered that Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd may have submitted an altered laboratory report showing reduced levels of pollution." [Environmental Justice Australia, March 2019]

ABC News, 13 August 2019: 

The announcement by Suncorp that it will no longer insure new thermal coal projects, along with a similar announcement by QBE Insurance a few months earlier, brings Australia into line with Europe where most major insurers have broken with coal.


US firms have been a little slower to move, but Chubb announced a divestment policy in July, and Liberty has confirmed it will not insure Australia's Adani project.


Other big firms such as America's AIG are coming under increasing pressure.


Even more than divestment of coal shares by banks and managed funds, the withdrawal of insurance has the potential to make coal mining and coal-fired power generation businesses unsustainable.


As the chairman and founder of Adani Group, Gautam Adani, has shown in Queensland's Galilee Basin, a sufficiently rich developer can use its own resources to finance a coal mine that banks won't touch.


But without insurance, mines can't operate. 


(Adani claims to have insurers for the Carmichael project, but has declined to reveal their names.) 


By the nature of their business, insurers cannot afford to indulge the denialist fantasies still popular in some sectors of industry. 

Damage caused by climate disasters is one of their biggest expenses, and insurers are fully aware that damage is set to rise over time......

Friday, 2 August 2019

Sydney Uni Business School Professor Sandra van der Laan: Adani Group's Australia operations effectively insolvent


Image: BBC, 29.11.18

The Adani Carmichael coal mine set to be built in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has courted controversy like no other project in recent memory. 

Central and northern Queenslanders and MPs alike have lauded the jobs and economic stimulus the project promises to provide. Elsewhere, others scratched their heads as to why the country needed to build a brand new coal mine right next to the iconic Great Barrier Reef. At the same time that Australia tries to meet its Paris climate targets, no less.


KEY POINTS
Adani’s Australian operations could be on the brink of collapse before its Carmichael coalmine is ever built, a forensic accountant has claimed to the ABC.
Professor Sandra van der Laan examined the limited publicly-available financial statements from the private company and concluded that the company was in “a very fragile, even perilous, financial position”.
Adani was quick to reject the claims, slamming them as “false and misleading” and the latest in a series of attacks aimed to destroy the Australian project.

The Adani Carmichael coal mine set to be built in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has courted controversy like no other project in recent memory.

Despite battling for eight years to be approved, receiving the final environmental green light last month, the project finally looked to be going ahead. 

But now, a forensic accountant has warned that the divisive Adani Carmichael coal mine could be on the brink of collapse before it even begins operation. 


University of Sydney Professor Sandra van der Laan has sounded the alarm on the project after analysing Adani’s financial standing.


“It looks to me like a corporate collapse waiting to happen,” she told the ABC. “It has all the hallmarks of the big corporate failures we’ve seen over the last 20 to 30 years.” 

She should know — van der Laan has a track record of picking corporate collapses. It was she and colleague Sue Newberry who warned in 2007 that ABC Learning, Australia’s biggest private childcare provider at the time and the world’s largest publically listed childcare company, was heading for disaster.....


“Adani Mining is in a very fragile, even perilous, financial position,” van der Laan told the ABC. “The gap between the current assets and liabilities is what’s really concerning.” 


According to Adani’s most recent financial statements, provided to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in March this year, that gap is enormous. The ABC reports that the business’ liabilities exceed its assets by more than half a billion dollars. 


Moreover, the ABC reports that the company will have $1.8 billion in liabilities come due over the next 12 months, compared with just $30 million in assets. Those liabilities are largely made up by an internal loan from parent company Adani Global on which the van der Laan says the Australian operation is reliant. That’s because the Australian mine was forced to self-fund after banks and wealth funds turned their back on it


“Effectively on paper, they are insolvent,” van der Laan said. "I wouldn’t be trading with them, as simple as that. I wouldn’t have anything to do with them."....


Sunday, 21 July 2019

Once more the Adani Group demonstrates that it acts in bad faith and cannot be trusted



ABC News, 16 July 2019:

The Queensland Government is prosecuting mining giant Adani for allegedly providing false and misleading information to the Environment Department over land clearing at the site of its proposed Carmichael mine.

The ABC understands the charge under the Environmental Protection Act carries a fine that runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"The prosecution relates to information contained in Adani's 2017/2018 annual return for its Carmichael mine," the department said in a statement to the ABC.
"The annual return requires information about planned and actual disturbance of land at the mine.
"The department alleges that Adani's annual return contained false and misleading information about the disturbance already undertaken at the mine during the annual return period."

Last September, Adani notified the Department of "an administrative paperwork error" in its annual return for the Carmichael mine.

The company admitted that areas "that were disturbed during the final three-and-a-half weeks of the annual return period should have been included".

The prosecution against Adani is listed for mention at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 16......

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

News Corp, Morrison Government & mining lobby groups in concerted attack on environmental lawyers



The Attack.....

The Australian, 22 June 2019:

A taxpayer-funded network of environmental lawyers has been handed more than $2.5 million by state governments, helping the group to clog up courts and launch dozens of cases against gas and mining projects, including Adani’s Carmichael mine.
Environmental Defenders ­Offices in NSW and Queensland were awarded more than $1m from the Berejiklian government and almost $400,000 from the Palaszczuk government in 2017-18….

Resources Minister Matt Canavan yesterday called on the states to deprive the green lawyers’ groups of any more taxpayer funds.

“These EDOs are not defending the public interest but pursuing a political agenda,” he said.

“As such, they should not be receiving taxpayer support to ­destroy people’s jobs.”….

Leading business groups ­accused the EDOs of engaging in “vexatious litigation” which is ­delaying projects for years, damaging job-creation efforts and hindering the flow of ­royalties to states and territories.

“Frivolous and vexatious legal challenges to environmental ­approvals delay projects and threaten jobs in regional Australia,” Minerals Council chief executive Tania Constable said.

An Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association spokesman said the EDOs’ advocacy on climate change was out of step with their apparent role as a community legal centre for environmental cases.

“We have for some time questioned the role of the EDO and its public funding,” he said.

The Response.....

NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO NSW), 22 June 2019:

EDOs stand firm against attacks

We are a community legal centre of expert lawyers, proudly and unapologetically helping the NSW community to use the law to protect wildlife, people and our planet.


Environmental laws should not be for the few. They affect us all. Yet once again we are forced to defend the community's access to justice against attacks by a fossil fuel lobby aggrieved by the power our work provides to communities who seek to challenge the lawfulness and merit of their major projects.

EDO NSW's litigation work on behalf of our clients plays an important role, ensuring that people have access to justice and are able to exercise their rights under Australian law. People have a right to use the law to protect their family, homes and environment. To be clear, as public interest community legal centres, EDOs do not litigate on our own behalf, but represent clients (community groups, Aboriginal groups and individuals) who may otherwise be unable to have access to the justice system.

It’s disappointing to see, yet again, the Minerals Council and Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association demonstrating their lack of understanding of, and respect for, the rule of law. At their heart, these claims are an attack on our democracy and  we should all be very concerned.

The fossil fuel lobby has a track record of making the unsubstantiated claim that EDOs engage in vexatious litigation, and frankly it’s getting tired. Despite being over-utilised, this claim remains a troubling proposition. EDO NSW lawyers, who include some of the best in our field, take our professional responsibilities extremely seriously. Our 30 year track record is evidence of that. Not once in our history have our clients’ cases been found to be ‘frivolous or vexatious’.

Underpinning most of our litigation work is a question about whether the law has been complied with. That decision-makers apply the law is a fundamental feature of our democracy. Ensuring the law is complied with should be uncontroversial.


In other instances, our work interrogates whether approving a project is – considering all the circumstances – the correct or preferable decision. These are not simple questions. The answer lies in the weighting of a range of different factors. Our important work ensures that evidence proffered in support of a project is thoroughly tested. 

In a number of instances, including in the recent case concerning the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine, the economic benefits of the mine put forward by the mining company were found to be overstated, based on the evidence put forward by both the Government’s expert and our client’s.  Equally the economic negatives of that project - including social impacts and impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage - were found to have been understated by the mining company.

Litigation is a small component of the work this office does on behalf of clients. When we do so, it is only after application of our casework guidelines and detailed analysis from senior legal experts to ensure there are merits in bringing a case.
EDO NSW also provides the community with free legal advice and education - work that does see us receive some State government grants. Our office operates a daily advice line providing free advice on matters of environmental and planning law.

The NSW Government has provided EDO NSW with funding for decades, irrespective of which party is in Government. This demonstrates a bipartisan understanding of our role and corresponding support for the provision of access to justice in this space - that is, allowing members of the community to understand and seek advice about NSW environmental and planning laws. 

Our work relates to ensuring that laws are applied correctly, and ensuring that evidence put forward by project proponents is tested in an appropriate and independent forum. Any changes to the law that erode community opportunities to participate in environmental decision-making would be very concerning. This could easily be seen as a blatant attempt to further prioritise the rights of coal mining companies over the rights of communities, including farmers, eco-tourism operators and others.


David Morris
CEO - Solicitor