Seminars and Events
2013 and 2012 past seminar topics and presentations available for download:
A National Environment Commission
Tuesday 23 April 2013
With public confidence in environmental decision-making low and continuing pressure from business to cut so-called ‘green tape’ there is a clear need for stronger Federal leadership and oversight of environmental decision-making in Australia. Would Australia benefit from an independent voice for the environment and future generations?
Attendees heard from the New Zealand and Hungarian Commissioners of the Environment and Future Generations via Skype, about their roles and how effective they have been in advancing better environmental outcomes and holding their governments to account.
• Dr Jan Wright - Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, New Zealand
• Dr Marcel Szabó – Deputy-Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations, Hungary
• Professor Lee Godden – Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Melbourne
What’s up with Offsets?
Wednesday 27 February 2013
In Victoria offsets have been widely used in the context of the regulation of native vegetation clearing. They are intended only to compensate for unavoidable ecological damage and loss. The logic of compensating for ecological damage faces the fundamental problem of equivalence between what is destroyed and the ‘gains’ represented by the offset.
Recent proposals to change native vegetation clearing rules in Victoria foreshadow a major weakening of these laws and much expanded use of offsets.
This seminar provided a critical look at offsets for biodiversity loss and whether problems in the system can adequately be dealt with, whether offset rules need to be overhauled, or whether the idea of offsets needs fundamentally to be reviewed.
- Dr Sarah Bekessy -Senior lecturer in environmental studies at RMIT University.
- Brendan Sydes - CEO Environment Defenders Office.
Special Event - This is not a Hoax!
Civil disobedience in a time of climate change.
Wednesday 20 February 2013
Presented by the Environment Defenders Office as part of the Sustainable Living Festival.
Jonathan Moylan and reports of the recent Whitehaven Hoax raise difficult and important questions for us all - about law, politics and morality in the 21st century, a time where climate change poses new challenges for our laws and our leaders.
The Environment Defenders Office convened a panel of experts to explore these issues.
- Jonathan Moylan
- Associate Professor Peter Christoff - University of Melbourne
- Roderick Campbell - Economist - Economists at Large
- Kirsty Albion - Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Please note: this is just the introductory talks and not the question time that followed. The quality of the recording during Jonathan's talk is patchy - apologies for this.
EDO Special Event - A significant backwards step
The proposal to hand state governments responsibility for national environmental laws.
Tuesday 20 November 2012
Professor Rob Fowler talked about the development of Commonwealth environmental law, the current proposals to transfer responsibilities to state governments, and why these proposals represent perhaps the most significant backwards step in the development of Australian environmental laws, taking us back 30 or 40 years.
Tuesday 11 September 2012
This seminar was presented for people who are interested in a career in environmental law and wondering where to start. A diverse panel of five environmental law professionals discussed different paths and opportunities, plus the requirements for you to succeed. They also answered questions.
- Cheryl Batagol, Chairman of Victoria's Environment Protection Authority, board member of Sustainability Victoria and Chair of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.
- Michael Power, Solicitor at the Environment Defenders Office.
- Erin O’Donnell, PhD candidate at Melbourne University, previously Manager of environmental water policy at DSE and environmental planner at Sinclair Knight Merz.
- Emma Peppler, Barrister with expertise in administrative and environmental law.
- Damien Lockie, Barrister in emissions trading and revenue law and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at Bond University.
Victoria's flora and fauna - where's the guarantee?
Tuesday 15 May 2012
For threatened species such as the Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria is a dangerous place to live.
Victoria’s biodiversity laws do little to protect species like these and guarantee their survival.
The Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) has released a report on Victoria’s biodiversity laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow logging in Toolangi and the Victorian Government’s decision to wind back protection for threatened species under the Forestry Code.
Nicola Rivers, Law Reform Director, Environment Defenders Office (Victoria)
Luke Chamberlain, Campaigns Director, The Wilderness Society (Victoria)
- Presentation by Luke Chamberlain, Campaigns Director, The Wilderness Society is not available
- Reports from Presentation by Nicola Rivers, Law Reform Director, Environment Defenders Office (Vic)
This podcast is of Luke Chamberlain's presentation only
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan
21 March 2012
Both the EDO and the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists have concerns about the draft Basin Plan.
Tim Stubbs, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, explained the science, the state of the environment in the Basin and the Wentworth Group's views on the draft Plan.
Nicola Rivers, Law Reform Director, EDO, explained the Basin Plan and its legal implications. She also highlighted our legal concerns with the draft Basin Plan.
- Presentation by Tim Stubbs and Nicola Rivers, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and Environment Defenders Office repectively (PDF, 719KB)
This podcast contains the full unedited seminar but not the question time that followed.
The Reef goes to Court! EDO to run mock trial as part of the Sustainable Living Festival
18 February 2012
What if the environment had the right to take people to court? Inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef seek redress in a trial presided over by a real judge, with real lawyers, witnesses, no script – and a very real decision.
The trial tested issues of what would happen if nature had standing, and whether liability for climate change impacts can be attributed to big polluters.
BMW Edge, Federation Square. Part of the Sustainable Living Festival.
View the Judges decision here (opens page with video embedded)
This page was last updated on: 02/05/2013 12:43:16