About the scientific advisory service
EDO NSW believes that science plays an important role in the implementation of environmental law and the development of good environmental policy. In recognition of this, in 2003 we established a scientific advisory service, with the role of providing objective scientific and technical advice to EDO NSW and our clients on public interest environmental matters.
A key aim of the scientific advisory service is to increase the public's capacity to participate effectively in the environmental planning and development assessment process. Historically, this capacity has been limited by a lack of access to scientific advice. A further aim is to improve EDO NSW 's capacity to use sound scientific advice in our policy and law reform work.
The scientific advisory service comprises:
The work of the scientific advisory service
The work of the scientific advisory service can be categorized as follows:
When do I need scientific advice?
Scientific and technical information plays a significant part in the implementation of environmental law. For example, environmental planning relies on scientific information to determine where to best place development and where to best protect land, while environmental impact assessment relies on consultants and other technical specialists to predict and minimize the impacts of developments.
Examples of when scientific advice could assist you include:
Using the scientific advisory service
If you require scientific advice, you should first contact the duty solicitor on the environmental law advice line. The duty solicitor will then liaise with the in-house environmental scientists to see if we can assist you.
The in-house environmental scientists will discuss your issue with you, review relevant documents if necessary, and then make a decision on whether to obtain independent objective scientific advice from the Expert Register.
It is very important to come to EDO NSW as early as possible with your matter. The in-house environmental scientists need time to get up to speed with a matter and it may take some time to work through key issues. If you do not provide us with adequate time, we may not be able to assist you.
You should note that extensive scientific assistance, including obtaining advice from the Expert Register, will only be available for matters that meet our advice or casework guidelines, among other considerations. The matter must be a public interest environmental issue involving a real threat to the environment.
You should also note that the expertise you require may not always be covered by the Expert Register, and that members of the register provide their time free of charge and may not always be available to assist. For this reason, we cannot guarantee pro-bono advice even if your matter meets our guidelines.
For more information on the scientific advisory service, please contact Megan Kessler, Scientific Director, on (61 2) 9262 6989 or at