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Protesters in Brisbane campaigning for more rights for landowners against coal seam gas. AAP Image/Cleo Fraser

Who gets to decide whether we dig up coal and gas?

As a landowner, can you veto a coal seam gas development? And does the environment minister have the power to say no to coal mines?
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis wants to remove green groups’ blanket eligibility to challenge environmental approvals in the courts. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Brandis’ changes to environmental laws will defang the watchdogs

The government plans to change the law so green groups don't automatically qualify to mount legal challenges against environmental approvals. That would make it much harder for green watchdogs to act.
Humpback whale populations have leapt on both Australia’s east and west coasts. Ari S. Friedlaender (under NMFS permit)

The big comeback: it’s time to declare victory for Australian humpback whale conservation

Chalk it up as a rare conservation win: humpback whales have bounced back so strongly since the whaling era that there is no longer a need to include them on Australia's official threatened species list.
Hefty problem: a local council was left with a huge clean-up bill after a dead whale washed up in Perth last year. AAP Image/City of Stirling

Dead whales are expensive – whose job is it to clear them up?

Dead whales can cost beachside ratepayers a lot to clean up. The alternative is to tow them away before they wash up - but the legal question of who does the job is far more complex than it sounds.
Should coal projects be held responsible for the greenhouse emissions that flow from their product, even if it’s burned on another continent? CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Court challenge will test coal mining’s climate culpability

A new legal challenge to the proposed Carmichael coal mine – Australia’s largest – will test in the federal court whether climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions should be taken into account…

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