URGENT – ENRC Inquiry into EES process in Victoria – Environment Defenders Office

Letter to:

Mary Rimington
Secretary
Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League

Dear Ms. Rimington,

Last year the Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League wrote a submission to the above process. Congratulations on taking the time to point out to the Parliament how the EES process in Victoria can be improved to better protect our environment. The Environment Defenders Office (EDO) also made submission and presented evidence to the Committee.

As you know, the EDO is a not-for-profit, non-government environmental law centre, who exist to help people to use the law to protect the environment. Over the years we have advised hundreds of community and conservation group clients on projects that have gone through the EES process in Victoria, and we know first hand how frustrating it can be for everyone involved. We also know that the current system fails to protect the environment against inappropriate development.

You might know that the Environment and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) has released its recommendations to the Government responsive to the inquiry. You will be pleased to know that the League’s submission had a positive effect, and overall the recommendations go a considerable way towards improving the EES system in Victoria. EDI believes that if implemented, a new assessment system based on the recommendations will result in a significantly better protected environment and better participation rights for community members. To help the community better understand the ENRC recommendations, the EDO has prepared for a briefing paper which is enclosed with this letter.

The government is due to respond to the ENRC recommendations before February, and unfortunately, there is no guarantee that its decision will be to adopt and implement these recommendations. To do so, the government will need to know that these rrecommendations are widely supported accross Victoria.

Accordingly, if the League still believes that it is important that the EES process in Victoria is improved, we suggest that you make contact your local member of parliament and/or the Minister of Planning, reiterate your interest in the reform, and request that the ENRC recommendations are adopted by the government. If you would like to discuss this matter further I can be contacted on [phone number removed] during business hours or on [email removed].

Yours faithfully,

Signed,
Elizabeth McKinnon
Solicitor

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