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Funding cuts undermine community rights and environmental protection

The federal government’s decision to end funding for the Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) network without notice will reduce the community’s ability to obtain timely, affordable assistance with public interest environmental law matters, according to the Nature Conservation Council.  [1]

“For nearly 30 years, the EDO has provided essential access to expert advice on environmental law, assisting local communities to protect their local environment and way of life,” said NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke.

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Documentary highlights campaign to save The Drip

The battle to save The Drip on the Goulburn River near Mudgee is one of six campaigns featured in a new documentary that highlights the devastating impact that coal mines and coal seam gas projects are having on local communities and iconic landscapes across NSW.

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Government appeases powerful mining interests over Maules Creek

In a move that appears designed to appease powerful mining interests, the federal Labor and Liberal parties have weakened national threatened species protections.

The Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (Fed) that was passed by the House of Representatives last night will, if passed by the Senate, empower the Federal Environment Minister to disregard expert advice on threatened species impacts when assessing development applications for major projects such as coal mines and gas fields.

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Conflict of interest compromises management of Sydney’s drinking water

A company with business links to a major polluter in Sydney’s water catchment has been appointed to develop a strategic plan of management for the catchment’s most sensitive environmental areas, the Schedule 1 Special Areas.

These areas act as the final protective barrier for the storage reservoirs that supply drinking water to Greater Sydney and the Illawarra, a resource for more than 4.5 million people.

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Struggle for a fair and balanced planning system continues

Despite substantial amendments made in the NSW Parliament’s Upper House, the Planning Bill remains a deeply flawed piece of legislation that puts communities and the environment at risk, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.   

“These proposed laws are unfair and unbalanced because they put the interests of developers before the needs of the broader community and the protection of the natural environment,” NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said.

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Divisive planning laws create conflict in parliament and the community

The NSW Government’s proposed new planning laws have created unnecessary conflict by placing the interests of developers and the mining industry before the interests of the broader community, according to the state’s peak environment organisation.

The Planning Bill 2013 and Planning Administration Bill 2013 were debated in the NSW Legislation Council last night. The debate ran into the night and will continue today.

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Report showcases unique NSW marine life threatened by looming decision

A new report released today documents the unique and endangered marine life that is at risk from a NSW Government decision to wind back important protections along the state’s coast.

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Revocation of mining exploration licences is a step in the right direction

Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Public Interest) Act which empowers the government to cancel or refuse mining and petroleum licences on public interest grounds, and enable the revocation of mining exploration licences found by ICAC to have been issued corruptly.

“This is a welcome move,” NCC Campaigns Director Kate Smolski said. “Licences to explore the Doyles Creek and Mt Penny coal leases were granted under corrupt terms and should be revoked.

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T4 poses unacceptable environmental and health risks

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has recommended to a planning authority that the proposed T4 Coal Terminalat Newcastle Port be rejected because it would have unacceptable environmental and human health impacts.

The state’s peak environment body today lodged its submission to the Planning Assessment Commission’s inquiry into the Port Waratah Coal Services’ (PWCS) proposal to build a fourth coal terminal.

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Government rules out logging in national parks

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed the state government’s long-awaited response [1] to the Upper House inquiry into the management of public lands. [2]

The inquiry, chaired by the Shooters and Fishers Party, recommended placing a moratorium on the creation of new national parks, opening up existing national parks to logging and carrying out large scale thinning operations in the River Red Gums national parks.   

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