National Environmental Standards – Part 1 – Models and data

The ‘centrepiece’ of new Environmental Law recommendations is a set of National Environmental Standards. See the interim report. Interim Report Highlights This wide ranging report has a whole lot of recommendations that seem to be reflective of how we transmit information between ourselves now, in the twenty-first century, and so have a kind of odd… Continue reading National Environmental Standards – Part 1 – Models and data

National Environmental Standards – Part 2 – Offsets

Let’s talk about offsets. On the bright side, the interim report does contain some wisdom, albeit in the form of some belated observations about the bleeding obvious. The Reviewers interim conclusion confirms what we already know, namely: Offsets do not currently offset the impact of development. Proponents are allowed to clear or otherwise impact habitat… Continue reading National Environmental Standards – Part 2 – Offsets

National Environmental Standards – Part 3 – Farming

Any reform that focusses on the possibility of ecosystem and biodiversity improvement in regional Australia has to accept that the primary agents of environmental degradation, in rural areas, may be the farmers themselves. And complicating that matter is that the discussion is already concerned with a heavily degraded environment in which many species are already… Continue reading National Environmental Standards – Part 3 – Farming

Background to EPBC Act Review

The Discussion Paper The direct link to the Review’s Discussion Paper is here. The review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (Cth) is supposed to occur at least once every ten years. This is taken literally, since the last review was done in 2009. A slight shift is the move for more universal standards,… Continue reading Background to EPBC Act Review

The Precautionary Principle in Australian law

The Precautionary Principle is an evolving concept: first arising in German law, migrating to international environmental declarations, and then becoming part of national legislative interventions for the purposes of environmental protection. Australia enthusiastically adopted the term ‘precautionary principle’ in legislation in the 1990’s, but it missed a significant point – it’s a guideline in aid… Continue reading The Precautionary Principle in Australian law

Native Forest Logging (Victoria) and Auditable Legislation

This ABC article about allegedly illegal logging in Victorian native forests highlighted the surprising reliance on low-resolution diagrams to define and administer logging activities in State forests in Victoria. In this case, it is a State-government controlled organisation which is largely trusted to self-regulate its own economic activities.   The issues raised in the ABC article… Continue reading Native Forest Logging (Victoria) and Auditable Legislation

The need for clear information for NSW Land Rights and Native Title Claims

A recent news report [1] highlighted the potential for conflict and administration work in NSW indigenous land areas.  The work required is to determine the extent of overlap between native title claims and historical dispossession in NSW indigenous land areas, the latter being a possible basis for compensation. The Land Rights regime created by the… Continue reading The need for clear information for NSW Land Rights and Native Title Claims

Prosecutor’s Fallacies and Relative Probabilities

In the United Kingdom some years ago a mother of two deceased children was convicted, in part, because evidence was given that the probability of her two children dying through natural means or cot death (her defence) was very low – as low as 1 in 73 million. The woman was Sally Clark, a solicitor… Continue reading Prosecutor’s Fallacies and Relative Probabilities