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environmental crime, environment, environmental law, protection, polluter, pollution, anti-pollution, Environment Protection Authority, clean-up notice, asbestos, mulch, chemicals, recycling, name and shame, disposal, waste, penalty
24 May 2024

Tougher penalties for environmental crime now in force in NSW

The recent discovery of asbestos-contaminated mulch across Sydney has highlighted the fact that NSW’s existing environmental laws do little to protect our surroundings from environmental crime and fail to deter would-be offenders and polluters. New legislation increases penalties for environmental crime Put simply, the existing penalties for committing an environmental crime in NSW were shamefully […]
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ethical fund, ethical investment, investing, investor, green, greenwashing, environment, sustainable, ASIC, ACCC, fund manager, misleading, Vanguard
16 May 2024

Successful prosecution of “ethical” fund for greenwashing

The Federal Court has ruled a major fund management corporation misled investors about its $1 billion ethical fund, which the company claimed was screened to ensure investments went into environmentally and socially beneficial projects. Fund manager accused of misleading investors over ethical fund It was the first major victory for the Australian Securities & Investments […]
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electric scooter, e-scooter, rent, hire, trial, public road, cycleway, footpath, penalty, helmet, insurance, personal injury, public liability.
04 Apr 2024

Electric scooter trials in regional centres in NSW

The electric scooter is growing in popularity in Europe as a means of urban transport, and there has been pressure in Australia to allow them to be used on cycleways and selected public roads. In many European cities, a person can rent an e-scooter on the spot, ride it wherever they want to go, and […]
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coal mines, coal, gas, climate change, environment, ECoCeQ, Plibersek, Narrabri, Hunter Valley, emissions, mines, anthropogenic, net zero, threatened species, fossil fuel, fossil fuel projects
29 Feb 2024

Court says coal mines can be approved without considering climate change

In a significant legal blow to environmentalists, in 2023 the Federal Court ruled that the federal environment minister does not have to consider climate change when approving coal mines. Environmental group claims minister did not consider climate change The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) mounted a legal challenge to minister Tanya Plibersek’s assessment of […]
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business disruption, damages, road works, construction, delay, inconvenience, compensated, class action, lawsuit, trackwork, avoidable, unreasonable, light rail, unreasonable interference, private nuisance
01 Feb 2024

Success in class action for business disruption due to Sydney light rail roadworks

A recent Supreme Court judgment may open the way for businesses to claim damages from the government if they lose income due to business disruption as a result of major road works. Construction of light rail causes significant business disruption Two Sydney small business owners took Transport for NSW to court after they lost income […]
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water use, water access, water management, water law, Water Act, Water Management Act, Dam Safety Act, Water NSW Regulation, groundwater, pump, bore, dam, weir, irrigation channel, levee, dewatering, Water Access Licence, domestic use, stock watering, river, lake, estuary
24 Jan 2024

“Is it legal for me to pump water from the river?” – laws governing water use in NSW

Water security challenges loom as groundwater and river systems under threat Australia is a dry continent, and it is only getting drier. The country’s largest river and groundwater systems are under threat. As competing interests assert their right to water access, it is important to understand the laws governing water use. Regional towns and industries […]
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nuclear waste, nuclear waste dump, traditional owner, Barngarla, Kimba, South Australia, Lucas Heights, ballot, Federal Court, waste dump, consult, consultation, storage, radioactive, enriched waste, submarine, AUKUS
11 Oct 2023

Court rejects nuclear waste dump after challenge by traditional owners

Coalition government claimed dump site had support of local community When the previous coalition government announced a national nuclear waste dump would be built on a 211-hectare farm near Kimba in South Australia, it proclaimed it had the support of local people. The dump would take low-level radioactive medical waste and temporarily store intermediate-level nuclear […]
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Aboriginal fishing, traditional fishing, cultural fishing, indigenous fishing, fisher, Fisheries Management Act, Native Title Act, fishery, Aboriginal, Indigenous, ATSI, ecosystem, environment, catch, bag limit, catch limit, prosecution, abalone, permit, permit system, hunting, gathering, ocean
12 Sep 2023

Traditional Aboriginal fishing in NSW: end to prosecutions long overdue

Indigenous people in New South Wales continue to be targeted and prosecuted under the Fisheries Management Act for participating in traditional Aboriginal fishing practices, leading to disconnection from Country, loss of intergenerational knowledge and adverse health outcomes. Indigenous environmental management practices and cultural traditions Indigenous Australians have managed their lands and waters for millennia, ensuring […]
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farm trespass laws, farm, farming, agriculture, ag-gag laws, animal welfare, animal advocate, animal cruelty, animal rights, video, covert, footage, private property, slaughterhouse, transparency, whistleblower, live export, greyhound, horse racing, cruelty
18 Jul 2023

NSW farm trespass laws upheld by High Court

In 2022 the High Court upheld the NSW farm trespass laws, also known as the “ag-gag laws” that make it a criminal offence for animal welfare advocates and others to publish covert video footage taken as a result of trespassing on private agricultural property. Challenge to constitutionality of farm trespass laws Animal protection group Farm […]
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21 Apr 2023

Guilty or not guilty – could computers replace judges in a court of law?

Weighing up the pros and cons of a case, discarding irrelevancies, assessing the likelihood of statements being the truth or a lie… it’s all in a day’s work for a judge in a court. But could computers replace judges, if programmed correctly? Could a computer weigh the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty […]
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Rights of Nature, natural world, environment, natural environment, climate change, climate catastrophe, personhood, legal rights, law, animals, plants, Animal Welfare Act, Whanganui River, Ganges River, Murray Darling Basin, Great Barrier Reef, Blue Mountains, rivers
30 Mar 2023

“Rights of nature” redefining humanity’s place in the natural world

The looming climate catastrophe has engendered the “Rights of Nature” movement, which strives to redefine the relationship between humanity and the world we inhabit. The natural world is arguably recognised as a living entity with legal “personhood” and the same rights as humans to be protected, survive and thrive. Climate change and ecological deterioration Chances […]
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smoking on balconies, smoking, smoker, non-smoker, apartment, balcony, strata, Strata Schemes Management Act, common property, owners corporation, nuisance, hazard, health, tribunal
22 Feb 2023

Smoking on balconies and the law

Smoking on balconies is the cause of many apartment block disputes. Recently a non-smoking couple took their downstairs neighbours to court to prevent them from smoking on the balcony below. After a protracted dispute, the non-smokers won. Complaint that smoking on balconies affects health and wellbeing A Kingscliff couple took their smoking neighbours who lived […]
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facial recognition technology, FRT, facial scanning, biometric data, suspects, crime scene, passport, privacy, surveillance, police, facial recognition, human rights, freedom of assembly, unregulated, right to privacy
14 Feb 2023

Clear laws needed for use of facial recognition technology

Police and security services are making ever more use of facial recognition technology, which can identify individuals via CCTV by scanning an individual’s face and matching it to images held in a database. No dedicated laws in Australia for facial recognition technology Facial recognition technology (FRT) can be useful, but Australia does not have clear […]
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send troops, deploy troops, army, defence, conflict, armed conflict, war, war zone, parliament, cabinet, prime minister, governor general, Defence Act, military, Federation
09 Feb 2023

How does Australia decide to send troops to war?

Did you know that only one person makes the decision in Australia to send troops to fight wars? That decision may be based on fear of imminent attack, in response to a request for support from an ally, a first strike against a perceived enemy, or perhaps just to keep a powerful ally on side. […]
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raise the rent, rental increase, landlord, tenant, NCAT, lease, evict, eviction, month to month, negotiate, object, excessive, property, higher rent, rent
01 Dec 2022

How much can the landlord raise the rent?

With inflation pushing up interest rates and mortgage costs, many tenants are anxious that their landlord wants to raise the rent. It’s important for both landlords and tenants to know the law regarding rental increases. When can a landlord raise the rent? The landlord can’t raise the rent for tenants who are on a fixed-term […]
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electric scooters, scooter, e-scooter, trial, NSW, law, commute, road rules, pedestrian, safety, rider, cycle path, road, footpath, insurance, accident, injure
03 Nov 2022

Electric scooters a legal grey area as trial conducted in NSW

Visit any city in Europe nowadays and you will be astonished at the number of electric scooters zipping around carrying one or even two people, at speeds up to 25 kph. Men and women in office clothing commute to work on them. Teenagers ride them to school. At night glammed-up folk scooter off to parties […]
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Exclusion Register, STRA, short term, rental accommodation, guest, host, neighbour, letting, renting, code of conduct, Fair Trading, common property, strata, property
01 Nov 2022

Bad short-term renters and hosts in NSW can now go on Exclusion Register

There is good news for neighbours of rowdy, poorly managed short-term rental accommodation in NSW, with a new Exclusion Register to prevent guests and hosts with two serious breaches of the Code of Conduct in a two-year period, from participating in the industry. What is the Exclusion Register? Since August 2022, bad renters and bad […]
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selling a property, buyer, deposit, due diligence, finance, contract, cooling off period, property, real estate agent, seller, settlement
06 Oct 2022

Selling a property in NSW – the buyer, the seller, the lawyer and the real estate agent

Selling a property, or buying one, usually involves a buyer (purchaser), a seller (vendor), a lawyer (solicitor) or conveyancer, and a real estate agent. Each of these people has a role to play for the transaction to be completed smoothly, without unnecessary drama or grief. Problems can often arise when one of these people underestimates […]
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