An important part of the EDONT’s work is its policy and law reform work.
We are a specialist environmental legal centre. Our law reform work reflects this status.
Like other EDOs we do not ordinarily campaign on particular environmental issues.
However, we frequently put forward proactive proposals suggesting how the law can be improved.
These proposals may be in the form of submissions to Government agencies and departments, letters on behalf of clients, or advice to environment groups on current legal frameworks or proposed new laws.
EDONT also contributes to submissions produced by the Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices (ANEDO).
Parliament House, Darwin, NT
Current law reform work
The Northern Territory Government announced in 2018 that it will lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the NT, opening up potentially vast reserves of natural gas for exploration and production.
As part of this announcement, the Northern Territory Government committed to make significant changes to laws and regulations to mitigate the risks associated with fracking. These are complex reforms. Over the coming year or more, we will be focusing on holding the NT Government to account to develop strong laws to regulate fracking, and to ensure that it fully implements the recommendations made by the Scientific Inquiry.
For further information, see our special Fracking Reforms page.
Environmental regulatory reform
The Northern Territory Government committed to long over due reform of the environmental regulatory framework in the Northern Territory, including repealing the outdated and much-maligned Environment Assessment Act with a new Environment Protection Act and Regulations.
EDONT made a detailed submission on the draft Environment Protection Bill and Regulations in late 2018.
The government also recently passed Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority Amendment Bill 2018. The Bill introduced some changes to the governance and role of the NTEPA related to this reform process.
For government updates about this reform process, see their page here.
We will be making our collection of recent submissions available here soon.