The Environmental Law Handbook

  Snowgums, Navarre Plains:  Rob Blakers Your Practical Guide to Tasmania's Environmental Protection and Planning Laws

For all citizens, local councils, conservation groups, landowners, business operators and regulatory authorities


1. About this Handbook
• Welcome
• Disclaimer Policy
2. About Environmental Law
• Introduction
• Division of powers
• Types of law
• Where can I get copies of legislation?
3. The Tasmanian Framework
• Introduction
• How effective are Tasmania's environmental laws?
• Which government agencies regulate the environment?
4. The Resource Management and Planning System
• Introduction
• How it works
• State Policies
• Planning Schemes
• How is the planning system enforced?
5. Development Controls
• Introduction
• The Approval Process
• Environmental concerns for developing business
• How you can appeal against Planning Approvals
• Developments in your neighbourhood
• How can I enforce planning laws?
• How are major development projects approved?
6. Stopping Environmental Harm (including pollution)
• Introduction
• Environment Protection Principles
• Enforcing environment protection laws
• What is the role of councils and state government?
• How can I stop someone polluting?
• Civil enforcement of pollution laws
• Environment Protection Notices
7. Landscapes, Species and Habitats
• Introduction
• Managing our parks and wildlife
• World Heritage Areas
• Private Land covenants
• Biodiversity protection laws
• Vegetation clearance controls
• Protecting coastal areas
8. Forestry Operations
• Introduction
• The Forest Practices System
• About Private Timber Reserves
• About 'Forest Practices Plans'
• About the Forest Practices Code
• Legal remedies
• Threatened species in logging areas
• Vegetation clearance controls
• Bushfire damage and smoke pollution
• Trespass in state forests
9. Fisheries & Marine Protection
• Introduction
• Coastal Fishing
• Marine Farms (aquaculture)
• Marine Reserves
• Marine pollution
• Inland fishing
10. Rural Lands, Soil and Water Laws
• Introduction
• Farm Chemicals
• How is chemical spraying regulated?
• 1080 poison
• Genetically Modified Crops
• Contaminated Land
• Water laws
• Water Management Plans
• Who can take water?
• Breaches of water laws
• Approvals for farm dams
11. Mining and Quarrying
• Introduction
• Mineral Exploration
• Mining
• Quarrying
• Enforcing proper operations of a mine or quarry
12. Protecting Cultural Heritage
• Introduction
• Protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage
• Protecting Historic cultural heritage
13. Taking Action
• Introduction
• Handy Hints
• Protecting yourself
• Accessing Government Information
• Your rights and how to apply
• Using the Ombudsman
14. Lawyers, Courts and Tribunals
• Introduction
• The court system
• Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal
• How to conduct an appeal?
• Who pays the costs?
• Lawyers and legal advice
15. National Environmental Laws
• Introduction
• The EPBC Act
• Other federal laws
• Federal-state cooperation
• The Precautionary Principle
16. Climate and Greenhouse Laws
• Introduction
• National climate laws
• Tasmanian climate regulations

:!: This guidebook is not a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular issue. If you need specific legal advice, please contact the Environmental Defenders Office. The EDO does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by any person acting or relying on information on this website.

While every effort has been made to ensure that information in the Handbook is accurate at the time of writing, sometimes mistakes are made. If you find an error in the text, please email us at

We are also keen to receive feedback about the content and layout of the site, to ensure that it remains a practical and up to date resource. Please email any comments or corrections to

The initial Handbook project was undertaken with funding from The Law Foundation of Tasmania
The Handbook was comprehensively updated in August 2013. The update was undertaken with a grant from the Hobart City Council's Dr Edward Hall Environment Grants

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