Urban Growth Boundary
We are providing detailed advice to a range of environment groups such as the Green Wedges Coaltion and the Victorian National Parks Association about one of the most wide-ranging environment approval processes in Victoria's history: the Federal government's assessment of the swathe of proposed new development within Melbourne's new urban growth boundary.
The assessment process is unprecedented in complexity, and in its potential ramifications on Victoria's environment. We are helping groups understand the process, and to ensure that their obvious expertise on local environmental issues is heard in the process.
We also assisted groups in making submissions to the Federal Environment Minister who has the last say on whether the expanded urban growth boundary gets the go ahead, to make the approval better protect important threatened species habitat and ensure that the Victorian Government is held to its promises - see this media release.
Wombat Forest: Gold Mine
We took proceedings in VCAT for a local environment group, Wombat Forestcare, to help them protect sections of the Wombat State Forest from being destroyed by a proposed gold mine. The case tested how Victoria's planning laws apply to certain mining activities. The outcome of this case confirms that no further mining or exploration can go ahead under this mining licence without a planning permit process which will give the community an opportunity to put forward their important concerns about the impacts of this development on the environment and object to the granting of a permit. Wombat Forestcare works hard to protect the forest and the species that inhabit it, so we think they deserve a say in what happens.
For more information, see our media release.
Leadbeaters possum case: MyEnvironment
We acted as the lawyers for MyEnvironment in their appeal against the Supreme Court decision that logging in potential leadbeater's possum habitat in the Central Highlands was allowed under Victoria's forestry laws.
The matter was heard in late June 2013 and we received the judgment on 10 December 2013. Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in the appeal, which means the coupe MyEnvironment was trying to protect can now be logged. We are now working with MyEnvironment and other groups to improve threatened species laws and protections for the possum.