Using the law for a radically better world

2023: Our impact

Thank you!

With you by our side, a radically better world is possible.

The law is a powerful tool and together, over the past year we've made an incredible impact.

Together we've held governments accountable, made industries act responsibly, and fought together with communities at the frontlines.

As a proudly a not-for-profit, community-funded legal organisation, we simply couldn't do it without you – the EJA community, our courageous clients, the people who power our campaigns, our donors and members.

EJA Co-CEOs, (from left to right) Elizabeth McKinnon and Nicola Rivers

You brought an end to (most) native forest logging in Victoria

You stood up for our living wonders

EJA laywers representing a courageous volunteer group, the Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ), took our federal Environment Minister and two big coal companies to court to protect our living wonders from climate harm.

These are the first court challenges to a coal or gas decision made by Australia’s current Environment Minister.

In October 2023, a single Federal Court judge dismissed the Living Wonders climate cases.

EJA lawyers have since appealed the decision to the full bench of the Federal Court.

On 12 February 2024, EJA lawyers will be back in court to challenge the Environment Minister’s refusal to protect our environment from new coal mining, which will fuel climate change and devastate Australia's living wonders.

Strategic litigation like this has the potential to shape history.

Together we exposed Engie's plan to turn Hazelwood into a toxic pit-lake

When Hazelwood coal mine closed in 2017, it left behind a massive toxic pit that's bigger than Melbourne's CBD.

Six years on, the federal government accepted our calls on behalf of Environment Victoria and Friends of Latrobe Water for federal scrutiny of Engie’s plans to flood the Hazelwood coal mine.

This is a huge win for the community and environment, and for every person who took the time to make a public comment – thank you!

Engie's plan to flood the mine will take more water than in Sydney Harbour and could release dangerous coal ash pollution into our waterways.

This decision makes it clear the impacts of mining don’t end when the digging stops.

You protected precious NT savanna from bulldozers

Sweeping across more than a million kilometres from Cape York to the Kimberley are spectacular savanna woodlands.

But our savanna is in crisis. Like the Great Barrier Reef, it's a vital ecosystem that's literally collapsing before our eyes.

Faced with looming litigation, Clean Agriculture and International Tourism backed down from its plans to bulldoze almost 1000 hectares of vital savanna at Auvergne Station to grow water guzzling cotton crops.

It means this battle was won before reaching the courts, and we discontinued our clients' litigation.

Together we paused the bulldozers at Lee Point

Acting on behalf of Larrakia Danggalaba Traditional Custodian Tibby Quall, EJA lawyers argued that this development by Defence Housing Australia in Darwin would desecrate tangible and intangible Aboriginal cultural heritage.

In July last year, Traditional Owners won a temporary reprieve on the land clearing until 31 March 2024.

This follows the Environment Centre of Northern Territory's long-running campaign to save Lee Point, which is home to rainbow coloured Gouldian finches, endangered Black-footed Tree Rats, vulnerable northern brushtail possible and migratory shorebirds.

Traditional Owners and Environment groups are not giving up, and are calling on the Environment Minister to vary, suspend or revoke the development permit and protect Lee Point.

You challenged Vales Point's licence to pollute

In a massive win for community health, together we compelled the EPA to change its unlawful decision to allow Delta Electricity to emit toxic pollution above the legal limit.

We all have a right to clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink and a safe, healthy environment.

Yet for a decade, the NSW EPA gave Vales Point Power Station a legal loophole to allow it to pump higher levels of toxic pollution into the air we breathe.

After a legal challenge launched by EJA lawyers, widespread community outrage, and putting the EPA on notice Delta has two choices – clean up its act or plan for early closure.

You defended critical habitat and wildlife from logging after the bushfires

The catastrophic summer bushfires of 2019-2020 destroyed vast swathes of Victoria native forest and millions of animals, including threatened wildlife.

Despite the devastation, VicForests continued to log unburnt forests home to threatened wildlife.

In January 2020, representing Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH), a community group of citizen scientists, EJA lawyers launched a Supreme Court case against state-owned logging agency, VicForests, to protect critical habitat after the bushfires.

After four long years, we have settled this case – which is a great result for our client and a huge win for threatened animals like Greater Gliders, Sooty Owls, Powerful Owls, and Smoky Mice.

You keep us bold, impactful and independent

You did this, and so much more

Explore more of our game-changing legal work.

We've got big plans for this year

Landmark court cases

Let's set game-changing precedents and disrupt the systems that are fuelling destruction and injustice.

Strategic legal interventions

Together we can run powerful legal campaigns to investigate, expose and demand action and accountability.

Advocate for better laws

It's time to fix flaws in our legal system, push for better policies and improve the way our laws and made and enforced.

Help people have a say

With your support, we can empower communities to access information, challenge decisions and participate in the legal system.

We are so proud of the momentum we’ve built and everything we’ve accomplished thanks to the generous support and commitment of people like you.

Thanks again for making all this possible.