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The Progress of the Australian Environmental Law - Term Paper Example

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This paper will discuss the progress of environmental law in Australia and also describe how international conventions have led to several agreements between nations to reduce their carbon footprints in order to decrease the impact of human activity on the environment…
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Download file to see previous pages In order to fully asses the progress of environmental law, it is necessary to point out immediate environmental issues in Australia. Way back in 1999, many of these already include soil erosion caused by overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and abusive farming practices; increased soil salinity caused by depletion of freshwater resources, clearing of land; desertification; depletion of biological diversity caused by natural vegetation clearing for agricultural or industrial purposes; destruction of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef near the northeast coast caused by increased shipping activities and tourism; depletion of natural freshwater resources (Leedbetter et al, 1999).
On the other hand, general environmental problems include “pollution, depletion of the ozone layer, climate change, conservation of biological diversity and management and conservation of coastal areas,” (Anton, 2008, p 3).
Abbot (2005) proposed that business as usual (BAU) has been a stumbling block in Australian legislation for the environment. Australia failed to ratify its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol for being the world’s largest exporter of coal, and other economic reasons.
The court’s role on environmental law is activated through the Section 67AC(2)(c) of the EPA 1970 and section 250(1)(c) of the PEO Act 1997. The court can impose an “environmental service order” on offenders. The offenders are required to carry out a specified project for the restoration or enhancement of the environment in a public place of for the public’s good. The advantage of this is that it, “…is not so much a monetary penalty but the possibility of making orders that have the effect of enhancing the environment and encouraging its protection, and the avoidance of its degradation,” (Justice Pearlman in the Land and Environment Court NSW as quoted by Abbot, 2005, p 176). Adverse publicity orders have been endorsed to inform the community that offenders are doing their duty not only as a publicity stunt but as a penalty for environmental offense (Abbot, 2005). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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