By EDO NSW Law Reform and Policy Director Rachel Walmsley
The Federal Government’s handover of environmental approval powers to the States for development projects will wind back 30 years of legal protection for the environment and put at risk Australia’s World Heritage Areas such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests.
At the same time, State governments are seeking to ‘fast track’ major developments, such as coal mine and coal seam gas projects, reducing public participation and removing legal rights of local communities to mount legal challenges.
By Jemilah Hallinan, EDO NSW Outreach Director, and Millicent McCreath, Practical Legal Trainee
Over the past year, the status of two of Australia’s most iconic World Heritage Areas has come under attack from actions by the Federal Government.