The Australian Capital Territory and the Gungahlin Drive Freeway
MILLS, MINES AND OTHER CONTROVERSIES: THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF MAJOR PROJECTS, pp. 207-223, Tim Bonyhady, Andrew Macintosh, eds., Federation Press, 2010
9 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 6, 2010
Provides an account of the application of ACT and Commonwealth (i.e. federal) environmental impact assessment law, land use planning law, and nature reserves law in the case of the approval of the Gungahlin Drive Extension freeway in the ACT. This freeway was built through several prized urban bushland reserves in the ACT after a campaign to Save the Ridge and its points about the application of ACT environmental and planning laws were overriden with 'special' legislation in the form of the GDE Authorisation Act 2004. Chapter describes litigation over the freeway project in ACT and Federal Courts which was heard largely in 2004 and 2005. Questions of the subsequent reform (or regression?) of ACT law including the Planning and Development Act 2007 are considered. This case study is used as the starting point of a broader examination of defects in planning and development law in the ACT and the broader role of special legislation to facilitate major projects in Australian environmental law.
Keywords: Australia, environmental law, Australian Capital Territory, ACT, freeways, major projects law, environmental litigation, environmental activism, land use planning law, biodiversity law, federalism
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