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Environment and Planning Law Committee

Activities and events

The Environment and Planning Law Committee uses the collective legal skills and knowledge of our members to raise awareness of environmental and planning issues throughout the profession and the community.

Our work includes hands-on environmental activities, community forums on environmental law issues, submission-writing and professional development seminars.

Examples of our activities include:Tree Planting Day with Lee Kernaghan, Australian of the Year

  • Organising Free Public Forums
  • Drafting submissions to Parliament
  • Environmental Law Annual Trivia Extravaganza
  • Publication of the 2nd and pending 3rd Editions of the Practitioners' Guide to the Land and Environment Court.
  • 'Open Door Network' mentoring program and the NSW Young Lawyers and Planning Institute's NSW Young Planners Mooting Competition.
  • Committee Meeting Guest Speakers
  • Publication of articles in the Lawbook Co. Local Government Law Journal
  • Annual Committee participation in the National Tree Planting Day and Clean-Up Australia Day as well as the 'Walk Against Warming' – Australia’s Community Day of Action on Climate Change
  • Delivering a diverse and tailored Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program for young lawyers and the environment and planning law profession
  • Environment and Planning Law Committee University Essay Prize – an annual prize with $1000 in sponsorship from the Australian Ethical Investment Trust 
  • Active involvement with the National Environmental Law Association, the Environment and Planning Law Association, Women Lawyers Association of NSW and IUCN Commission on Environmental Law.

Annual Environment and Planning Law Charity Trivia Night

This event has raised considerable funds and awareness for charity organisations, including:

  • Australian Youth Climate Coalition
  • WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service)
  • the Climate Action Network Australia 'No More Polluting Power' Campaign
  • the Nature Conservation Council's 'Marine Sanctuaries National Parks of the Sea' Campaign
  • the Wilderness Society’s 'Tasmanian Tarkine Wilderness' Appeal
  • Total Environment Care.

The Environment and Planning Law Committee's annual Charity 'Trivia Extravaganza' for 2014 will be held at Corrs Chambers Westgarth on 6 November 2014 at 6pm.

Tickets will be available soon and will be strictly limited, so don’t miss out!

We look forward to seeing you on the night.

Environment and Planning Law Committee Essay Competition

Each year, the Committee coordinates an essay competition, open to NSW law students and lawyers under 36 years of age or with less than 5 years' experience. The competition requires a 2,500 word essay on various topics related to environment and planning law.

View the 2014 competition flyer (Essays are due no later than midnight 20 October 2014. Word limit does not include footnotes or bibliography. Proof of eligibility not required upon submission of entry, but may be called upon at the absolute discretion of Young Lawyers.) Prizes for 2014 include the chance to have your essay published in the Environment and Planning Law Journal, $250 cash prize and a $200 voucher from The Co-op.

The essay competition represents an excellent chance for interested law students and lawyers to engage in a discussion on the issues that affect the development of environmental and planning law at local, federal and international levels.

Suggested topics

Where to from here: NSW Planning law

  • Discuss recent changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 which elevate a determining authority's consideration of the significance of a resource over other considerations, making reference to the principles of ecologically sustainable development
  • Discuss the recent repeal of components of the Commonwealth Clean Energy legislation in relation to Australia's international obligations
  • Discuss the bilateral approval agreements currently being negotiated between the Commonwealth and State governments, making reference to the Commonwealth's obligations under the
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and international law
  • Discuss the management of Crown Lands in NSW in light of the NSW government’s recent Crown Land Management Review