Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


The environment cannot speak for itself. As such, it requires legal protections and controls to be put in place to ensure its survival. This is essential not only for our current needs but also those of future generations. This course begins by outlining how the Australian legal system works. It considers the role of international conventions and their implications for environmental control both internationally and nationally. It then turns its attention to examine the environmental planning system of land use and development control in NSW. The course introduces you to the different types of environmental assessments required, as well as a range of regulatory approaches used to achieve a greater understanding of the environmental impacts of development proposals and activities within the State. Through a combination of lectures (face-to-face, online and specialist guests) and tutorials, you will explore how environmental legislation and planning laws work in NSW against the backdrop of Australia’s legal environmental obligations.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Understand and describe the legal frameworks that exist for environmental laws in the Commonwealth and NSW, including the role that international agreements play;

2. Illustrate an understanding of the NSW environmental planning system;

3. Identify and explain the constraints on development imposed by environmental planning and pollution control laws, and demonstrate knowledge of the various types of environmental assessments that need to be undertaken in relation to particular development activities;

4. Critically assess and evaluate key areas of NSW environmental regulation, such as threatened species, biodiversity legislation, marine protection laws, and cultural heritage.


1. Australia’s legal system – framework, constitution and control.

2. The introduction of environmental law – nationally and internationally.

3. The NSW planning system – land use, legislation, and assessment.

4. Regulating the environment and its use – environmental accidents, lessons learnt and ensuring protection for the future.



This course replaces ENVS2010. If you have successfully completed ENVS2010 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Quiz: Online quiz

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Major Assignment/Case study

Formal Examination: Formal examination

Contact hours

Ourimbah and Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.