Past Court Cases · Nature & the Reef

Marine plants fisheries appeal

15 December, 2002

EDO Qld acted for the Hemmant and Tingalpa Action Group in a successful appeal in the Fisheries Tribunal against a permit for destruction of marine plants. However, the decision was then undermined by the Tribunal deciding that a permit should nonetheless be granted.

Hemmant and Tingalpa Action Group and WPSQ Bayside Branch Inc. v Department of Primary Industries and Master Butchers Limited FT464- 2002

The appeal was against a decision by the Department of Primary Industries to grant Master Butchers Limited a permit under the Fisheries Act 1994 to remove approximately 1.2 hectares of marine plants (mainly saltwater couch) on its proposed industrial estate at Hemmant.

The Tribunal found that the marine plant permit was invalid because it failed to identify with certainty and particularity the area from which marine plants were permitted to be removed. The Tribunal also found that the DPI had misconstrued the expressions “marine plant” and “tidal land” as defined in the Act. They upheld the appeal against DPI.

However, the Tribunal then decided against our clients that the DPI should grant to Master Butchers a new permit to remove marine plants, on the basis that development and remediation of the partly contaminated site was the best option. The Tribunal was not convinced that the risk to fisheries resources from the removal of marine plants from this site was significant.

However, the site was not developed. In November 2008 Daryl Evans of the Hemmant and Tingalpa Wetlands Conservation Group began a planning appeal against a fresh development application for the site and adjacent land. Daryl is still negotiating for the protection of some of its most significant waterways and wetlands.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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