Drowning Cliefden Caves: Environmental law and geoheritage protection in New South Wales

Thomson Reuters
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 2017, 34 (4), pp. 317 - 337
Issue Date:
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Through the lens of the current controversy surrounding the impact of a proposed dam on the Cliefden Caves in central-western New South Wales, this article highlights the need for environmental law and policy (and environmental lawyers) to pay greater attention to abiotic nature conservation and the protection of geoheritage in particular. It argues that existing environmental law in New South Wales provides inadequate protection for the State's geoheritage, and in particular for the unique geoheritage of the Cliefden Caves and associated fossil deposits of international significance. This is contrasted with the Tasmanian experience, which highlights how greater protection of geoheritage can be achieved through a combination of legislation and effective, well-resourced policy implementation.
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