30 May 2017

City of Hobart - Bandicoot Times

Welcome to the City of Hobart Bushcare Winter News Update
This season there is a lot happening in Hobart's bush. We will be planting natives to help restore the Derwent foreshore, undertaking track maintenance on the North-South Track and working on eradicating daphne laurel at Fern Tree.
We hope to see you at one of these activities this Winter!

23 May 2017

EDO Tasmamia

The EDO Tasmania Bulletin is a free fortnightly bulletin providing information on policy updates, events and opportunities for public comment. 
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EDO BULLETIN                     
23 May 2017  

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.





ASC report on Tassal's Macquarie Harbour leases

The draft Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) audit report into Tassal’s Macquarie Harbour operations was released last week. The report identified 19 non-compliances with ASC standards across the company's Middle Harbour and Gordon leases.  Four of the non-compliances were considered 'major':
  • Extensive Beggiatoa mats in six fallowed pen bays, contrary to visual impact conditions of Marine Farming licences
  • Impacts observed beyond 35 m from the lease boundaries, contrary to licence conditions
  • Inadequacy of complaint handling procedures
  • Limited progress in improving water quality downstream of effluent discharge points at the Florentine and Wayatinah hatcheries
ASC certification for the leases expired earlier this year.  The draft audit report recommends that the leases can be re-certified if the major non-compliances are addressed within 90 days.

To read the EPA's response to the draft report, click here. Notably, the report did not assess the Franklin lease, which the EPA Director ordered be de-stocked to allow recovery. Re-certification of that lease is not currently proposed.

The draft report is available here. Comments on the report's findings and recommendations can be made until 7 June 2017 (see 'Opportunities to Comment').


Tassal reapplies for Okehampton Bay facilities

In March 2017, the Tasmanian Planning Commission found that proposed amendments to the Glamorgan Spring Bay Planning Scheme to allow construction of a wharf and on-shore processing facilities to support Tassal's Okehampton Bay expansion were not properly advertised and could not be approved.

A fresh application has now been lodged with the Council and will be considered at its meeting on 23 May 2017.  The revised application seeks to rezone the foreshore area to Light Industrial Zone and insert a Specific Area Plan permitting Resource Development and Resource Processing uses for fish processing activities. A related planning permit seeks approval for a jetty and wharf, storage sheds, carpark, office and water tanks to support the onshore operations.

For a copy of the application, click here (from p25).  If Council agrees to progress the amendment, the application will be referred to the Commission and released for public comment before any amendments are made or permits granted.


Redistribution of Legislative Council boundaries

Following a statutory review under the Legislative Council Electoral Boundaries Act 1995, a final determination of Legislative Council division boundaries has been released.  The Redistribution Tribunal will now consider transition arrangements for implementing the new boundaries (see "Opportunities to Comment")

For more information, click here.


EPA Board seeking new Chair and members

The EPA has advertised for expressions of interest for appointment to the Board of the EPA in the following roles:
  • Chair
  • one Member
  • three Deputy members
The EPA Board is an independent statutory body whose main function is undertaking environmental impact assessment of development proposals for Level 2 activities (large industry activities, expected to include salmon farming from late 2017). The Board may also provide advice to the Minister on environmental management issues.
For more information about the roles, click here.  Expressions of interest must be received by 7 June 2017

CoastAdapt tool updated

The final release of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility's wonderful CoastAdapt tool was launched on 17 May 2017. The comprehensive tool, designed to support decision-makers dealing with climate change-related risks on the Australian coast, includes mapping, information manuals, infographics, case studies and risk assessment templates. 

To check out this great resource, click here.

New database maps climate laws and litigation activity around the world

The Grantham Research Institute and the Sabin Centre have released two databases:
  • Climate Change Laws of the World, covering national-level climate change legislation and policies in 164 countries
  • Climate Change Litigation of the World, featuring climate litigation cases from 25 countries. The dataset does not include the United States, but a separate collation of US based data is available here.  
For a report on trends in litigation and legislation in 2017, click here.  The report notes that approximately two thirds of climate litigation has achieved some degree of success.

Federal Budget 2017-2018

The Federal Budget released on 9 May 2017 made only limited reference to environmental matters. Key impacts include:
  • Reduced budget allocation to the Climate Change Authority, and commitment to wind up the agency “within the life of the current Parliament”
  • Increased budget allocation for emissions abatement purchases
  • $86.3M to accelerate onshore gas production, including EIAs for impacts of proposed unconventional gas fields on groundwater and feasibility studies for pipelines
  • Continued discussion of Federal take-over of Snowy Hydro scheme to progress pumped hydro capacity
  • $110M investment in solar thermal project in Port Augusta
  • $12.5M for a national research program to study the health effects of PFAS chemicals
  • Funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility to end in 2018-2019
  • $13.4M to CSIRO to complete an online energy-use data model for regulators and industry
To view the full Environment Portfolio budget papers, click here.  The Tasmanian Budget will be released on 25 May 2017.


New Ocean Climate centre to be based in Hobart

The CSIRO has announced a new Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research (CSHOR), a joint venture with Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, UNSW and UTAS, will begin operating in June.  The centre will examine how the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans interact and drive global climate.

For more information, click here.


Farmers for Climate Action

An alliance of farmers from around the country have formed Farmers for Climate Action, dedicated to working to strengthen Australia’s response to climate change. The aims of the FCA focus on renewable energy, paddock-to-plate and buying local initiatives, and supporting farmers who adopt mitigation measures, regenerate soils and sequester carbon.

The formation of the group follows a survey of 1,300 farmers which found that eight out of ten farmers wanted the agricultural sector to advocate for stronger action on climate change.

For more information about the group, click here.


Climate Council Report on Adani Mine

The Climate Council last week released its latest report, Risky Business: Health, Climate and Economic Risks of the Carmichael Coalmine. The report highlights the financial risk associated with investing in coal in the face of changing energy markets and investors committing to divest from fossil fuels.

Given Australia's huge potential for renewable energy investment, the Council suggests that fighting the global trend of transitioning away from fossil fuels would be economically, environmentally and socially unwise.

To read the report, click here.


Dr Edward Hall Environment grants

Hobart City Council's Dr Edward Hall Grants provide up to $5,000 for innovative environmental projects run by schools, community organisations and businesses.  To be eligible, projects should focus on energy efficiency, waste reduction, air and water quality, food gardens, climate change, sustainable transport or local biodiversity in Hobart.

Applications are due by 13 June 2017.  For more information click here


Planning Excellence Awards - call for nominations

Know a great planner?  Been involved in a successful planning project?  Nominations for the 2017 PIA Awards for Planning Excellence are open until 7 August 2017.  For more information, click here.

Funding available for threatened species protection

Applications are open for grants from the Threatened Species Recovery Fund for community projects to protect threatened species. The competitive funding round provides grants between $20,000 and $250,000. Applications close on 15 June 2017.

For more information, click here.


Australian Academy of Law Essay Prize

The topic for this year’s essay is: How well do Australian legal institutions respond to climate change? How could that response be improved?  Any judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal academics and law students are eligible to submit an essay addressing the topic, and be in the running for a $10,000 prize.

If you intend to submit an essay, you will need to submit an expression of interest by 30 June 2017.  Final essays must then be submitted by 31 August 2017.  To find out more about the prize, click here.


Law and Policy Updates

Forestry Bill to be debated

The Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill 2017 is likely to be debated by the Legislative Council this week. The Bill was withdrawn from Notices at the last sitting session before recent Legislative Council elections.

Forests Minister, Guy Barnett, has urged Councillors to support the legislation, while many industry stakeholders remain opposed to the Bill.

To watch the debate, click here.


Push for Human Rights Act

10 years ago, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute recommended that Tasmania establish a Charter of Rights, including a right to a healthy environment. In the lead up to the next State election, a petition is being circulated to generate support for a Tasmanian Human Rights Act to give effect to the TLRI recommendations.

To find out more about the proposal, click here.

Opportunities to Comment


For tips on how to have your say, visit our website 


Closing soon

Future of Australian Environmental Laws - technical reports released

The Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law has drafted eight papers recommending a series of reforms to ensure Australia's suite of environmental laws are as transparent, efficient, effective and participatory as possible.

Comments on the papers are invited until 2 June 2017.  Read more and have your say

Draft Biosecurity Bill 2017

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.

Comments on the draft Bill can be made until 2 June 2017. Read more and have your say.

A number of farmers have raised concerns about the scope of seize and destroy powers under the Bill.  The Minister has announced that an additional $2M will be allocated to biosecurity measures in the upcoming budget.  

Growing Tasmanian Agriculture - Research, Development and Extension for 2050

The Tasmanian Government has released a Green Paper, "Growing Tasmanian Agriculture – Research, Development and Extension for 2050", and is seeking comments to guide future Government investment, industry partnerships and legislative amendments to facilitate productivity improvements.
Comments on the Green Paper can be made until 2 June 2017.  Read more and have your say

Transitional Arrangements for new Leg Co boundaries

The Redistribution Tribunal is holding an inquiry into transition arrangements to implement the new Legislative Council boundaries. The Inquiry will be held in the following venues:
  • Hobart - 9.30am, 8 June 2017, Taswater Building, 169 Main Rd, Moonah
  • Launceston - 9.30am, 9 June 2017, Tramsheds Function Centre.
Any person or organisation is invited to appear at the hearing and/or lodge a written submission relating to the transition arrangements. Written submissions will be accepted until 6 June 2017Read more and have your say.


ASC draft audit report - Tassal Macquarie Harbour leases

As reported in "News" above, the draft Aquaculture Stewardship Council audit report into Tassal’s Macquarie Harbour operations is available for public comment.

Comments on the report's findings and recommendations can be made until 7 June 2017 by emailing sleporati@scsglobalservices.com



Got an event you'd like us to promote?  Contact us at edotas@edotas.org.au

Macquarie Harbour IMAS Presentation

The West Coast Community Representatives Advisory Forum is hosting a presentation and Q&A session with IMAS Scientists, Associate Professor Catriona Macleod and Dr Jeff Ross, to discuss key findings of ongoing research into the health of Macquarie Harbour.  The presentation will address dissolved oxygen, management of fish waste, impacts on Maugean Skate, future research programmes and how to access IMAS reports.

When:  31 May 2017, 7:00pm
Where:  Strahan Primary School

No RSVPs necessary.  For more information, contact leigh.styles@gmail.com


The Future of Humanity

At the Royal Society of Tasmania's June lecture, Prof Barry Brook will consider forecasts of existential environmental threats facing humanity, and speculate on the possible long-term future of humanity if it reaches beyond this zone of immediate global risk.

When:  6 June 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Royal Society Room, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

For more information, click here



The Permaculture Orchard, beyond organic - film screening

Filmtroter and Okine Community House present 'The Permaculture Orchard, beyond organic', a documentary about the largest permaculture orchard in North America and on the future of fruit growing.

When: 8 June 2017, 6:00pm
Where: Okines Community House, Dodges Ferry

For more information, click here


What's Happening at EDO Tas?



You can read any of our recent law reform submissions on our website:

EDO NT Art Auction 

Our colleagues at EDO NT are hosting an online auction of fabulous Aboriginal artwork to raise funds for their legal work.  Check out the amazing pieces and bid before 22 June 2017.

Supporter survey

EDO Tasmania is keen to get feedback from supporters on our work priorities, accessibility, strategic plans and what we can do better.  The survey will close on 2 June 2017, to allow time to consider responses before finalising our work plan for 2017-2018.

To participate in the confidential survey (which takes about 10 min), click here


There's no other organisation in Tasmania providing a service like ours.  Make a one-off tax deductible donation today
or become a regular donor so EDO Tas can keep using the law to protect the environment.

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Our mailing address is:
131 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000