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Biodiversity, the planning system and the power of referral Australian Environment Review June 2015

Biodiversity enhancement and protection is critical if we are to preserve species and if present and future generations are to enjoy the biological diversity of flora and fauna this planet offers. Where there is development there is potential for biodiversity loss. This paper examines the need for a stronger referral process to ensure that our biodiversity is preserved for future generations.


A duty to encourage settlement

The Australian Solicitor's Conduct Rules provide that a solicitor must inform a client about the alternatives to litigation. This presentation examines the lawyer's obligations in this regard and considers dispute resolution processes with a view to advising an appropriate way forward while aiming for the best outcome for the client.


The ABC of Mediation

A presentation discussing many matters including what to expect in mediation, how to prepare and the benefits mediation brings.


Is there a right to beach access? Permission Needed

When is a beach a road? As a child growing up in Queensland I swam in the beautiful beaches on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts so the thought of using the beach as a road is anathema. In South Australia and many other states, the beach is a road and this causes harm to our biodiversity and to ancient Aboriginal sites. This paper was presented in February 2014 and looks at the complex web of laws that allow for beach access and also considers possible law reforms.


Is a Right to Water a Human Right?

Water has been described by Maude Barlow as the oil of the 21st century. Without it we won't survive and access to it has caused disputes even in Australia over the precious Murray Darling Basin. These notes were part of a presentation to the Council for Civil Liberties in February 2014 and consider the impact of water usage not only on human beings but also the world around us.


The Olympic Dam Decision: Mines Uncle Kevin and judicial review under the EPBC Act.

This article considers the Federal Court challenge at first instance by Mr Kevin Buzzacott, an Aboriginal man of the Arabunna nation, who I acted for while at the Environmental Defenders Office. Mr Buzzacott was challenging the decision to expand the Olympic Dam mine and this paper, published in IMPACT, outlines the nature of the challenge and the decision. Mr Buzzacott then appealed the decision which has been handed down since this article was written. The article is located at:


Wild Law: Reform?

Who speaks for the environment? Who speaks when the river is dying? Who speaks when the earth is parched? Who speaks for the birds and the trees? This power point was presented to the Earth Jurisprudence Conference in Adelaide in late 2012. It considers legislation and the legal concepts such as director's duties and various aspects of property law which need reform to better protect the environment.


Land Biodiversity and the Law: The case for reform

Co-authored with Melissa Ballantyne while at the Environmental Defenders Office, this report considers the legislation dealing with biodiversity and proposes new legislation be implemented in order to properly protect our plants and animals. The report is located at: The Environmental Defenders Office, South Australia

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