About Environmental Defender's Offices

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The National EDO Network was established in 1996. It consists of nine independently constituted and managed community environmental legal centres located in each State and Territory of Australia. Each EDO is dedicated to protecting the environment in the public interest. The National EDO Network has a core of common objectives, including:

Protecting the environment through law.

Ensuring that the community receives prompt advice and professional legal representation in public interest environmental matters.

Identifying deficiencies in the law and working for reform of these areas.

Empowering the wider community, including indigenous peoples, to understand the law and to participate in environmental decision-making.

Assisting the growth of the National EDO Network across Australia.
Apart from legal representation and advice, the EDOs take an active role in environmental law reform and policy formulation. The Offices provides advice on legislation, environmental planning, local government, pollution, heritage and natural resources law. They also makes submissions on pending legislation and lobbies to achieve stronger environmental protection through the law.

The EDOs have a significant education program designed to build the community's skills and knowledge and to facilitate public participation in environmental decision making. This is achieved through an extensive conference, regional workshop and publications program.

Any member of the public can get initial free advice from the EDO. Development applications, tree preservation, air, water and noise pollution, forestry, mining, contaminated land, wildlife protection and environmental impact assessment are all areas in which EDOs can help.

The EDOs are members of the National Association of Community Legal Centres.

The EDO office in NSW is also the Australian coordinator of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (E-LAW). E-LAW Australia is part of an group of public interest lawyers, scientists and academics from over 40 countries committed to protecting the environment across borders. For more information about E-LAW Australia you can visit the E-LAW Australia homepage.