On the 19 June 2014 the NSW Legislative Council supported a motion proposed by Luke Foley, amended by David Shoebridge for an “Inquiry into the performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority“. The terms of reference for the inquiry are below.

David with Francis Pike

David with Francis Pike

David’s amendment to the terms of reference means the inquiry is specifically tasked with inquiring into logging in the Royal Camp State Forest. Loggers in this forest have consistently breached their logging licenses, placing at risk the vulnerable koala population in the area – despite this, the EPA’s response has been to issue paltry $300 fines. Read more about this aspect of the inquiry at the EchoNet daily here.

This is a really important opportunity to have some proper inquiry and consideration of the performance of the EPA, particularly in the context of the many complaints that have been raised about their involvement in developments and logging operations around the state.

Submissions are not yet being accepted, but dates and process for these will be updated on the committee website here.

The terms of the inquiry include a very general consideration of the performance of the EPA and measurement of how well it is meeting its statutory objectives. A summary of these are available on their website here.

Terms of Reference 

1. That General Purpose Standing Committee No 5 inquire and report on the performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and in particular:

(a) Measure the EPA’s recent performance against its objectives pursuant to section 6 of the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991

(b) That the following cases be considered:

(i) land contamination issues at Botany and Hillsdale
(ii) EPA investigations and public statements about the effects of coal dust pollution in the Hunter
(iii) EPA investigation into ground water contamination in the Pilliga by Santos’ coal seam gas exploration
(iv) the prosecution of Du Pont (Australia) Ltd for the alleged offence of land pollution in the western Sydney suburb of Girraween
(v) the regulation of cruise passenger ships at the White Bay Cruise Terminal at Balmain
(vi) the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest.

(c) Any other related matters.

2. That the committee report by 14 February 2015.