Media Releases · Nature & the Reef

EDO launches new book empowering citizens to know their rights

10 August, 2010

Ever wondered about how to take on the David and Goliath battle of challenging your local council’s approval of an environmentally damaging development, then a new book has all the answers.

Launched by the Environmental Defenders Offices of Queensland (EDO Qld) and Northern Queensland (EDO NQ), The Community Litigants Handbook shows how the community can fight back against inappropriate development.

Written by environmental solicitor Anita O’Hart, the Handbook simply and clearly details for the layman how to use the planning law to protect the environment.

“Koalas don’t vote and the environment can’t come to court. Being a community litigant takes courage, compassion and strong determination. It is one thing to be aware of inappropriate development that depletes our natural resources and threatens the future of our native habitat and species, but it quite another to stand up for your beliefs by taking action,” says Anita O’Hart.

For those willing to take this journey, the book offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to challenge development in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court.

It details such subjects as when and how to commence a court action and the costs and risks of litigation. Taking you through the whole legal process, the book covers everything from how to file the right documents to appearing and presenting evidence in court.

Packed with tips, easy-to-follow checklists and example court documents, The Community Litigants Handbook is an invaluable tool for running your own appeal.

Attorney General for Queensland, the Hon. Linda Lavarch MP, officially launched the handbook and said every MP should have a copy.

"I am sure the book will be of great benefit to community members with an interest in their neighborhoods,"

Judge Alan Wilson SC of the Planning and Environment Court.

At $30, The Community Litigants Handbook is an invaluable guide that ensures the avoidance of expensive mistakes. All proceeds are used for public interest environmental law. The book is available direct from EDO Qld (07) 32114466.