The Environmental Defenders Office (NT) Inc (EDO NT) is a not-for-profit community legal centre operating in the Northern Territory. We specialise in public interest environmental law.
We advise and act for individuals, traditional owners, community groups and conservation groups seeking to protect the environment in the public interest.
Our lawyers provide legal advice and education to the Northern Territory community, and engage in policy and law reform.
Where resources permit, EDO NT will give initial legal advice, free of charge, to any person who meets our Legal Advice Guidelines. Casework and litigation beyond initial advice will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account our Casework Guidelines.
The EDO NT is an incorporated association under the Associations Act (NT). The EDO NT is also a registered charity and can receive tax deductible donations here.
Our office has a strong track record of supporting the community to protect the environment through the law.
Recent highlights include:
Bringing proceedings on behalf of the Environment Centre Northern Territory in 2018 in the Northern Territory Supreme Court challenging the decisions of the EPA and the Pastoral Land Board to permit the clearing of over 20,000ha of native vegetation at Maryfield Station without a formal environmental impact assessment. The case challenges the decisions on a range of grounds, including how the decisions considered the climate change implications of the proposed clearing. See here for media about the case.
Engaging in the recent Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory, including making 3 detailed submissions and appearing at 2 hearings, with a number of our recommendations relating to the legal and regulatory framework for fracking in the Northern Territory being adopted in the Final Report to Government, and which have now been adopted by Government to implement.
Acting on behalf of Aboriginal elder and artist, Jacky Green and successfully obtaining an order from the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to release the security bond held for the McArthur River Mine. Following the decision, the Mine appealed to the Supreme Court, but the Government changed its policy and created a public register detailing all NT mine security bonds. Without the EDO NT, this information would still be obscured from public view.
Successfully raising legal errors in the process of the NT Development Consent Authority, resulting in the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal revoking the permit issued for the “Gardens” development on Blake Street. This decision was important in ensuring accountability in the planning decision-making process in the NT.
Preparing a submission on behalf of a large number of Aboriginal clients from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Northern Territory EPA responding to Glencore’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the McArthur River Mine’s overburden management project. The submission was underpinned by a range of reports by eminent experts in areas of limnology, groundwater, soils and acid mine drainage. Without the EDO NT, our clients would have never been able to respond meaningfully to the voluminous and complex EIS put forward by Glencore.