Posted 24/12/11

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EDO Victoria eBulletin

No. 24 of 2011, 1 December 2011


In This Bulletin:


News & Commentary



To make a donation in support of our work as the environment’s legal team, please visit




Felicity Millner named “Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year” by Law Council of Australia


EDO Principal Solicitor Felicity Millner has been named as the 2011 Young Australian Environmental Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia. This award goes to a practising barrister, solicitor, or university employee under the age of 35 who has made a significant contribution to environmental law. Each recipient has carried out extra work giving back to the legal community as well as to the community at large.


We are delighted to see Felicity's hard work, expertise and passion recognised within the wider professional community.


Murray Darling Basin Plan — draft released for public consultation


The draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan has finally been released for public consultation. The Plan recommends 2750GL be returned to the system from consumptive use. The Plan will be open for 20 weeks’ consultation until 16 April 2012.


Copies of the Plan and a plain English summary are on the MDBA website. The EDO will be release a briefing paper summarising the legal issues with the Plan and will also release an early draft submission.


Changes to Forestry Code — EDO briefing paper now available


The Victorian Government has announced a proposed variation to the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007, which promises to undermine legal protection for threatened species.


The proposed variation would allow the Secretary of DSE to exempt logging operations from the requirements of a Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement — requirements that provide valuable protection for threatened species, and make cases like Brown Mountain possible.


The EDO has prepared a briefing paper on the changes, outlining why we think they are a bad idea. You can view it on our website. To view the proposed changes, see the DSE website. Submissions are due 1 February 2012.


EDO’s Climate Change Act submission


The State Government is about to decide what climate change policies they should adopt in light of the national carbon price.


The review of the Climate Change Act 2010 (Vic) asks whether the Act still has a role to play, and what other policies Victoria should adopt to achieve its climate policy goals. Submissions closed on Monday.


We’ve made a detailed submission to the review, arguing that the State has a responsibility to do its part to reduce emissions. We argue for the Climate Change Act and the 20% target to be retained and used to its full potential. Our submission is available in the law reform section of our website.


Be part of the EDO's future — set up a regular donation today


2011 is our 20th anniversary year and we've been celebrating. It is a critical point in our history - we are currently vibrant and strong and able to take on those important environmental cases that no one else can. However, we cannot take this for granted.


Help us maintain this momentum by making a regular monthly donation to the EDO.


Regular donations from supporters like you enable the EDO to build a secure and sustainable income on which to plan for the future — and allow our legal team to tackle the threats to our environment that might otherwise go unchallenged.


As reported last bulletin, at the recent 20th anniversary celebration we were delighted to acknowledge the support of the lawyers involved in the current case EDO is pursuing against a new brown coal–fired power station in the Latrobe Valley. Read more about the significance of this case and EDO’s role in it.


This case is just one of a number we are working on. All are important. Litigation is the pointy end of what we do; the issues involved can be controversial and therefore this area of our work is more challenging to secure funding for from our usual sources.


With your support we can use our expertise as the environment’s legal team to make the next 20 years just as worthy of celebrating — please set up a regular donation today.


Victorian Government considering recommendations on environmental impact assessment reform


The Victorian Government is currently considering a substantial set of recommendations for reform of Victoria’s environmental impact assessment process (known as the EES process) from the Environment and Natural Resources Committee (a Victorian Parliamentary Committee). The Government has until March 2012 to respond.


We think that reform in this area is well overdue. To help you better understand the ENRC recommendations, we’ve prepared a briefing paper, which is available on our website.




Solicitor, EDO North Queensland (Cairns) — closing 14 December 2011


EDO NQ has an opening for an environmental lawyer with a passion for the environment who is keen to defend Northern Queensland’s unique natural environment. The position is based in Cairns on a 6-month contract with possible extension and may be offered as a full- or part-time role.


For a copy of the position description and selection criteria see the EDO NQ website or call 07 4031 4766.