Despite the many challenges of 2020, we made great strides using the law to protect our climate, communities and nature in Australia and the Pacific. 

To kick off 2021, here are some of the positive achievements from the past twelve months.  

We launched Australia’s first ever human rights coal mine challenge. 

We’ll head to court on behalf of young Australians and local landholders to challenge Clive Palmer’s proposed Galilee Coal Project on human rights and climate grounds. 

We filed a Supreme Court challenge over Australia’s largest fossil fuel project

Our legal experts will be heading to the Supreme Court of Western Australia over Woodside’s massive Burrup Hub Gas Project, on behalf of our clients, the Conservation Council of WA. 

We launched a crucial court challenge over the approval of Santos’ controversial Narrabri Gas Project.

The project involves hundreds of CSG wells over a 95,000-hectare area near Narrabri in north west NSW, and was granted staged approval in September. We’ll be challenge the Project’s approval in court on behalf of the community group, Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord (MGPA). 

Win for the Bylong Valley community and the climate! 

In a historic win, we successfully defended the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) refusal to approve a brand new coal mine on prime agricultural land in the Bylong Valley, NSW.  

Win for local wildlife and the community of Manyana!  

On behalf of the local community, EDO successfully secured a voluntary undertaking from developer OzyHomes in the Federal Court to halt land-clearing in ecologically-sensitive bushland in Manyana, NSW.  

Win for marine life and the community in WA!  

Norwegian company Subsea 7 abandoned its controversial plans to construct 10km-long pipelines and drag them through Ningaloo Marine Park for use at offshore oil rigs, after an extended community campaign with legal support from EDO. 

Win for the Great Barrier Reef!  

After our successful Federal Court challenge in 2018, the Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley refused approval for an application to clear approximately 2,000 hectares of native vegetation at Kingvale Station in far north Queensland. The proposed clearing would have occurred in a catchment area flowing into the Great Barrier Reef. 

Win for the Solomon Islands!  

The peoples of Wagina in Solomon Islands won a historic battle against a proposed bauxite mine development, which would have taken up 60% of their island home and created unacceptable and irreversible environmental impacts, threatening around 2000 residents who rely on the sea and land for their livelihood. 

A new, national EDO team.  

We now bring together scientific and legal experts across the country to provide best-in-class legal services to our clients in Australia and the Pacific. Our new, national team enhances our capability to tackle our greatest environmental challenges.  

These are just a few of the many incredible wins from the EDO team last year, with fantastic outcomes for clients and the environment achieved across litigation, law reform, legal education and outreach, and our Citizen Representation Program.

This year will be monumental as we take on some of the biggest oil and gas projects in Australia that threaten our future, including Santos’ controversial 800-well Narrabri Gas Project. 

For 10 years, the community of Narrabri has been fighting energy giant Santos’ plans to drill for gas near the town in Northwestern NSW. 

And we’ve been with them every step of the way, taking legal action to protect groundwater, communities and wildlife from toxic pollution.  

In 2021 we will be standing with the community once more, challenging the approval of this controversial project in the NSW Land & Environment Court on behalf of our client the Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord. 

But Santos’ gas project in Narrabri is just the tip of the iceberg. Across Australia, energy giants are racing to push through massive gas projects that threaten our groundwater, ecosystems and local communities.   

Our lawyers will be with them every step of the way. 

We look forward to providing legal solutions for people, nature and our climate again in 2021.

Share these crucial wins with your friends, family and professional networks!