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Understorey: Restoring Rule of Law

Wednesday 21st March / presented by Rewi Lyall Elizabeth PO’ Adrian Glamorgan

Just over a year ago the Perth Town Hall was packed with a state election environmental forum hearing how the Environmental Protection Authority had come to rely on offsets, Aboriginal veto rights had been overturned, the EPA could ignore its own policies when it made decisions, thousands of Aboriginal heritage sites could be taken off the register by redefining “significance”, and police could be brought out in force just before an election.  At the heart of the mayhem was a legal regime whereby the Minister for the Environment could simply choose to ignore the best scientific advice and the widest community consultation, and overturn advice, favouring perceived (if not actual) economic benefit over environmental loss – and it was all legal.  Things have got to change, according to Piers Verstegen, Director of the Conservation Council of Western Australia.  Could an environmental court be an answer? (Image: A. Glamorgan)

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