Changes afoot in Australian environmental law

01 November 2017

This has been a year of shifting sands in the law and policy arena, but our JGIA family is pushing forward by participating in critical national conversations and taking the wins as they come. For example, JGIA has joined a range of charities and for-purpose organisations by making a submission to the Treasury’s Tax Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Reform Opportunities Discussion Paper. The Treasury’s inquiry could result in serious restrictions on environmental organisations, such as restrictions on advocacy activities, loss of DGR status (which would impact funding) and reintroduction of the “In Australia” requirement. You can read the full JGIA Position Statement here.

In happier environmental law news, on October 18, the High Court of Australia returned its decision on Brown v Tasmania in favour of former Greens leader Bob Brown in a sweeping 6:1 majority. Mr Brown was arrested last January for taking video footage of logging operations. The high court found that while Parliament may legislate protesters who interfere with business operations (including mining and forestry projects), a number of provisions within the Tasmanian law “were not reasonably appropriate and adapted, or proportionate towards that aim.” Well done Mr Brown and a win for environmental activists across Australia!

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