Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can community members afford access to justice? | EDO NSW – Blog

Can community members afford access to justice? | EDO NSW – Blog:


Being exposed to cost orders in the courts is one of the major impediments to community members starting or continuing litigation to protect the environment in the public interest. Recently, there was a decision in the Land and Environment Court of NSW that will have significant consequences for community groups seeking to enforce breaches of planning or environmental laws in the future.


  1. 'No unacceptable risk' to Botany residents: Orica

    Orica chairman Peter Duncan has insisted there is no ‘‘unacceptable risk’’ to residents near the chemical and mining services company’s Port Botany plant despite recent independent tests finding traces of arsenic, lead and mercury in the soil outside the plant.

    Still, Mr Duncan said Orica was listening to the community and the company supports a new independent review of emissions from the plant established by the NSW government.

    ‘‘I want to state very clearly to shareholders that we support the process established by the NSW government. I believe (Orica) can earn the confidence of the community and all our stakeholders,’’ Mr Duncan told shareholders at Orica’s annual meeting in Melbourne.

    Fairfax Media recently reported independent soil testing by a mercury expert, Andrew Helps, that found dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and mercury on a nature strip between Orica's Port Botany plant and a large residential area.


    The Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to conduct an independent review, in consultation with NSW Health, on all information about historical mercury emissions at Botany.

    Managers have told Fairfax Media that Orica’s PVC and vinyl chloride plants used mercury-filled relief valves, which spurted mercury out of the side of the building when pressure inside vents became too high.

  2. Jesus Christ may have supplied swindlers mine maps.

    The,aptly named,Moses Obeid 'cannot explain' confidential coal maps

    The son of former NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid has been unable to explain how confidential government maps relating to land which made the Obeid family tens of millions of dollars came to be in their possession.

    The maps, seized in raids on the family's business premises, were shown to Moses Obeid as he gave evidence on Friday to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

    Counsel assisting the commission, Geoffrey Watson SC, said the maps, dated in May 2008, were highly confidential, prepared in-house by the Department of Primary Industries, and seen only by a few senior officers and then resources minister Ian Macdonald, who was a friend and former colleague of family patriarch Eddie Obeid.

    The maps showed the Mt Penny coal tenement, in the Bylong Valley west of Newcastle, on land which the Obeids eventually bought, which helped reap them a $60 million profit.

    Asked how one map, containing pencil markings reflecting the redrawn shape of the Mt Penny tenement, came to be in the Obeid family's possession, Moses Obeid replied: "I cannot explain that."

    "They might have been drawn by Jesus Christ," said Mr Obeid.

    Eddie Obeid is expected to give evidence later on Friday.

    (Eddie is expected to claim he knew nothing of what Moses and Jesus were up to)

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