EDO ACT wish our supporters and members a happy holiday and New Year. We are looking forward to returning in 2018 with renewed energy to assist the ACT community in using the law to protect the environment. In this edition of the EDO ACT Newsletter, find out about the new Container Deposit Scheme; the Fisheries Act review; the potential inclusion of the Eastern Bettong to the ACT Threatened Native Species List; and much more!
The Environmental Defenders’ Office (ACT) remains open due to recent ACT government funding. After operating under a very tight budget, it is now in the welcomed position to recruit a new staff member (details are in the attached newsletter). In other news, the ACT Minister for Planning has recently approved the development application for the first stage of West Belconnen's Ginninderry development and the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability has announced a new grants program to help the ACT community to transition to zero emissions and reduce our contribution to global warming. See our Spring Newsletter for more information.
The Environmental Defenders’ Office (ACT) came close to closing its doors for good this year. Since the Federal government terminated funding to all EDOs across Australia in 2013, the EDO ACT has managed to provide its essential services in a tight fiscal environment. In other news, the EDO has been involved in the Ginninderra Falls development and the Hume Waste Plastics to Fuel proposal. The ACT Government has released a draft plan for the management of Eastern Grey Kangaroos and announced the ACT Healthy Waterways Project. See the Newsletter for more information.
This newsletter highlights the EDO's recent efforts to oppose the ACT Government's Environmental Offsets Policy and the Commonwealth/ACT Approval Bilateral Agreement for the "one-stop-shop" for environmental approvals. The EDO opposes offsets and has provided a submission to the ACT Government advising the best way to move forward whilst protecting the interests of the environment. The EDO also opposes the Bilateral Agreement because it may promote high risk or unsustainable development. See the law reform section of this newsletter for more information.
Much has happened in the environmental law space since the autumn update. The repeal of the carbon price has dominated recent changes to environmental policy at a Federal level. The impacts of this move have repercussions on both domestic and international policies, at a time when a new global treaty on climate change action is being negotiated.
This newsletter also comes on the heels of the release by the Climate Change Authority of its final report and recommendations. The report found that Australia’s current emission reduction target is inadequate.
The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s department has notified each Environmental Defenders’ Office across the country that their funding has been cut, effective immediately, with no claims on the private profession to step up for the environment, and pre-empting the Productivity Commission’s report on access to justice.