Media release

MEDIA RELEASE 26.07.2016

The EDO Northern Territory analysis of where the major parties stand on 12 priority areas for reform of environmental law.

The analysis can be found here: 


The Environmental Defenders Office NT have this afternoon released its analysis of the environmental law reform policy commitments from the major parties. EDO Principal Lawyer David Morris stated that the analysis could provide useful food for thought ahead of tomorrow’s polling day.


“The EDO policy analysis breaks down the law reform commitments made by each of the major parties across a range of important areas where laws can be improved in the Territory”.


The policy analysis has found that the Labor Party has strongest environmental law reform policy commitments, followed by the Greens and 1Territory and finally the CLP. Mr Morris urged caution when using the election scorecard encouraging people to read the EDO analysis found in relation to each section. “This policy analysis is far more useful in its details than it is as a set of headline numbers”


There are some broad findings. The first is that Labor has the most detailed policy commitments in this space closely followed by 1Territory. We particularly note Labor’s strong water policy commitments and 1Territory’s commitment to introduce principles of ecologically sustainable development and the precautionary principle into Territory environmental laws.


The analysis has also shown that the Greens, while relying on excellent national policies, have failed to outline specific NT law reform commitments in a number of areas. This has seen them lower on the table than one might expect.


Additionally, the analysis reveals a real gap in merits appeal rights for community members in in the Northern Territory seeking to challenge a broad range of decisions including planning and mining decisions. The EDO also expresses concern about the CLP’s lack of a specified policy on climate change – “it is absolutely crucial that the Northern Territory start addressing the threats of climate change and that means specific policy and legislation, the CLP is notably absent in this space” said Mr Morris.


Mr Morris was, generally, optimistic about future environmental law reform potential in the Territory following the election. “Overall it is heartening to see all of the major parties investing time in developing environmental policies. This reflects the broad community sentiment that environmental issues and management are of paramount importance in the Territory.”




David Morris

(08) 8981 5883


Authorised David Morris, 7 Searcy Street, Darwin NT 0800.

The EDONT is a community legal centre specializing in environmental law and is proudly non-partisan.