Welcome to the website of the Environmental Defender's Office of Western Australia (Inc)


EDOWA are relying heavily on donations and memberships this year to maintain our current level of service in providing staff and operational costs to help you protect the environment.  

Please support EDO WA by making a tax deductible donation

Who We Are

The EDO is a non-profit, non-government Community Legal Centre specialising in public interest environmental law.  Our services include providing community groups and individuals with free legal advice and representation on environmental issues, promoting environmental law reform, and undertaking community legal education. 

Mission Statement

"Empowering the community to protect the environment through law".
Protection of WA's environment by providing individuals and community groups with environmental legal services including advice, education, representation and opportunity to participate in reform of laws affecting the environment. 

 ALP, Greens Pledge to Restore Funding Back to EDOs

EDOWA and EDO's of Australia welcomes recent announcements from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and The Australian Greens (Greens), pledging to restore Federal funding to Environmental Defenders Offices around the country. In mid-December 2013, shortly after the current government came to power, EDOs were notified that, effective 30 June 2014, all Federal funding to them was being terminated. Previous Federal governments, both Labor and Liberal, had funded EDOs to varying degrees for over 20 years – with the WA office receiving around $100,000 in support annually.

Community Activists’ 4-year legal odyssey ends in Win!

EDOWA is thrilled to announce victory today in our longest-running litigation matter, a defamation action brought against community activists who have, to date, successfully opposed an urban development in Wattle Grove, a rural part of Kalamunda Shire. We represented Jane Genovese, one of three defendants alleged to have defamed local developer, Ross Leighton, in a lawsuit he filed in the WA Supreme Court in April 2012. We had previously provided legal advice and assistance to Ms Genovese and other local residents regarding environmental and planning issues related to the development and took on Ms Genovese’s defence based on that prior assistance and the public interest in defending community members’ right to free speech regarding environmental issues.

In a judgment released today, Justice Rene LeMiere dismissed Mr Leighton’s action for want of prosecution. On 28 July 2015, Justice LeMiere had placed Mr Leighton’s case on the Court’s Inactive Cases List because he’d taken no steps to advance the case in the preceding 12 months. At the July hearing, the Court advised Mr Leighton that if he took no steps to re-activate the case, it would be dismissed after six months’ time. When Mr Leighton took no action, EDOWA and the other defendants’ lawyers applied to have the action dismissed on 1 March 2016. Mr Leighton opposed dismissal – and particularly the award of costs that would flow from dismissal – leading to two hearings on 1 April and 15 April 2016. Ultimately, the Court agreed with our application to dismiss the case for want of prosecution. Justice LeMiere’s decision in Leighton v Garnham [No. 4] [2016] WASC 134 can be found on the WA Supreme Court’s website, under “Judgments”. It’s well worth a read.

In conjunction with the dismissal of the plaintiff’s action, Justice LeMiere ordered Mr Leighton to pay the defendants’ costs in the case from May 2012 to 29 February 2016, and to pay them 50% of their costs associated with their efforts to dismiss the matter after 1 March 2016.

We wish to acknowledge the years of hard work put in on Jane’s behalf by Perth barrister and former EDOWA convenor, Johannes Schoombee.  Hannes put in long hours on a case that was incredibly complex, time-intensive and often frustrating. Without Hannes’ dedication to Jane’s cause, the outcome would have very likely been quite different.

Please join us in wishing Jane congratulations on ending a very trying, painful four-year trip through WA’s complex law of defamation and the very best of wishes in getting on with her life.  

EDOWA Helps Groups Seek Missing Green Growth Plan Information

On behalf of a coalition of conservation groups interested in conserving iconic places and biodiversity threatened with extinction in the Perth-Peel region, the Environmental Defender’s Office today requested the WA Government to provide the public with critical information not provided after the Government released its draft Perth Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million in mid-December 2015. Read the full media release

EDO WA advises panel reviewing WA EPA decision-making (03/03/2016)

Review EDOWA’s submissions to the 3-member panel reviewing EPA’s decisions and procedures implementing agency policies and guidelines.

The panel was appointed by the WA Environment Minister in the wake of the Supreme Court’s December 2015 decision throwing out the State’s approval of the Roe 8 Highway Extension through the Beeliar Regional Park.

The proposal, estimated to cost up to $900 million, would have involved constructing a high-speed freight highway and bridges through ecologically-sensitive wetlands and habitat in order to link the Kwinana Freeway at Jandakot to Stock Road in Coolbellup. The Roe 8 extension would have been followed by further construction to connect the Roe Highway to the Port of Fremantle.
































Upcoming Dates

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Latest Factsheets

The EDO provides information factsheets over to members of the community in public interest environmental law matters.

Click here to view all the factsheets.