Welcome to the website of the Environmental Defender's Office of Western Australia (Inc)
Due to funding cuts in June 2015 to all EDO's, EDOWA are relying heavily on donations and memberships this year to maintain our current level of service in providing staff and operational costs to help you protect the environment.
Therefore please support EDO WA by making a tax deductible donation.
Who We Are
The EDO is a non-profit, non-government Community Legal Centre specialising in public interest environmental law. Our services include:
"Empowering the community to protect the environment through law".
Hypothetical Fundraiser - COME JOIN US
For those who were not able to make the EDO’s “NewFood” Hypothetical – you missed an hilarious night of entertainment, raising some serious questions about the future of our food.
But there is still time to get tickets to our next event: NATURAL PERSONS on FRIDAY 9 OCTOBER which will be mind stimulating and asks "What if nature had human rights?"
Long recognised in countries such as the USA and Australia, these laws conveniently allow corporations many of the same rights as “natural people” .... but they can’t be put in jail, can’t die and don’t need air or water to survive. Perfect! But now, the Australian Government has passed a new law, recognizing that Nature is also a legal person. Suddenly…
- the environment can sue
- the forests are claiming a “right to life”
- soya beans are claiming that genetic modification violates their right to freedom from torture
- the sharks are demanding the right to a fair trial
- and even rabbits are demanding freedom of movement!
Share this hilarious Hypothetical exploration about exactly what might happen if nature did have human rights.
When: Friday 9 October 2015
Where: The Irish Club, 61 Townshend Road, SUBIACO
Time: Doors open 6.45pm
EDO challenges approval of Roe 8 Highway
EDOWA filed an application on 10 September asking the Supreme Court of WA to set aside State Environment Minister, Albert Jacob’s 2 July 2015 approval of Stage 8 of the Roe Highway Extension (RHE 8) through Beeliar Regional Park. Mr Jacob’s decision approved the WA Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) 13 September 2013 Report 1489, which advised that the RHE 8 project could be managed to meet environmental objectives if the proponent, Main Roads WA, complied with EPA’s recommended conditions. EDOWA is challenging EPA’s Report as well.
The application for review was filed on behalf of Save Beeliar Wetlands (Inc) (SBW), a coalition that has, in one form or another, opposed the RHE 8 project since the current Government first announced its commitment to build the highway extension during the 2008 State elections. The Application was also filed on behalf of Carole de Barre, an individual whose property adjoins the proposed highway extension. Among other things, the application for review claims that the EPA’s environmental assessment of the RHE 8 was affected by the participation of Authority members who were interested in the project’s approval. According to EDOWA’s Principal Solicitor, Patrick Pearlman: “In 2013, the State’s approval of a proposed, $45 Billion natural gas processing and export facility at James Price Point north of Broom, was set aside because the EPA failed to properly exclude conflicted members from participating in the assessment”. “In the approval of the RHE 8 project – another billion dollar-plus project – we see yet again the participation of conflicted Authority members in a State-led project’s assessment”, Mr Pearlman said. “The process once again has let WA’s citizens down”, he added.
While not specifically named in the application for review, Mr Pearlman noted that the interests of two (2) former EPA members were implicated, namely: (1) Dr Chris Whitaker, who served as an EPA member from 11 May 2007 (and Deputy Chairman from 18 November 2009) to 17 November 2012, and (2) Dr Rod Lukatelich, who served as an EPA member from 18 November 2009 to 10 May 2014. Both members, Mr Pearlman noted, had conflicts of interest that contributed to the Court’s 2013 rejection of the James Price Point gas project.
The judicial challenge does not turn solely on conflict or bias, however. “We have also challenged the EPA’s (and Minister’s) failure to consider alternative road alignments or ‘no build’ options in the assessment process and the failure to properly apply EPA policy regarding environmental offsets”, SBW Chairperson Kate Kelly said. “For instance, while Main Roads originally proposed to acquire 468 ha of land to offset Black Cockatoo habitat lost in the highway extension, EPA cut that Medicommitment in half – to 234 ha – and then left the specifics ‘to be decided later’”, she noted.
The RHE 8 project is currently awaiting Federal environmental approval.
Click here to listen to the RTR Radio interview with P Pearlman
SAVE WA’s ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDER: DONATE OR JOIN TODAY
For nearly twenty years, the Environmental Defender’s Office WA (Inc.) has provided specialised legal services on public interest environmental law matters to Western Australians for little or no cost. We’ve been at the forefront of crucial legal fights to protect WA’s unique biodiversity and fragile ecosystems.
The Commonwealth has refused to fund EDOs beyond June 2015. EDOWA urgently needs your help - NOW. We cannot continue for long without your help.
We need to raise $100,000 to ensure we can continue operating. Help us by donating or becoming a member.
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The EDO provides information factsheets over to members of the community in public interest environmental law matters.