Unique Challenges of Environmental Protection on Commonwealth Land

The Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) recently hosted an excellent event in Canberra with the theme: Protecting the Environment on Commonwealth Land. The forum was a great success, and we congratulate EIANZ and Richard Sharp from our Canberra office for organising the day.

A strong crowd of 54 people attended, representing various government departments including the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy, National Capital Authority, and ACT Parks and Conservation Service. As well, there was a diverse group of consultants from the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as well as representatives from academia and private industry.

Key themes that resonated through the day were:

  • Protecting environmental values needs to be done in concert with the primary purpose of the site, eg. military training or airport
  • Commonwealth land is unique in having so many significant natural and cultural heritage values
  • Important to understand and engage with community stakeholders on high profile sites, such as public areas in Canberra where there is a high usage of Commonwealth sites
  • Understanding the objectives, personal interests and drivers of key decision makers will help influence the decision making process.

Tom Wright (pictured), Senior Botanist with Ecology and Heritage Partners in our Melbourne office, presented on the topic of 'Applying the EPBC Act to Commonwealth land: a consultant's perspective.' Tom is currently leading a team of environmental consultants to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a large Defence Housing Australia (DHA) urban development project at Lee Point near Darwin, Northern Territory.

If you have questions regarding your project on Commonwealth land, please contact Tom on 1300 839 325.

Relevant links

Tom's presentation: Applying The EPBC Act to Commonwealth land: a consultant's perspective

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