The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


The course considers Australian legal frameworks and international conventions, and their implications for environmental control. The course then turns its attention to examine the NSW environmental planning system of land use and development control, and the types of environmental assessments required to achieve a greater understanding of the environmental impacts of proposals. The course also examines a range of NSW environmental regulatory approaches and issues through topics and case studies selected from: terrestrial and marine protected areas, pollution control, sustainability, Native Title and Indigenous cultural heritage, biodiversity and threatened species, marine and fisheries, and resource management. The importance of sustainability and social values, public participation, and the precautionary principle for effective environmental legislation and planning is also addressed.



  • Semester 1 - 2020


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand the legal framework that exists for environmental laws in the Commonwealth and NSW, including the role of international agreements

2. Display an understanding of the NSW environmental planning system

3. Identify and explain the constraints on development imposed by environmental planning and pollution control statutes, and have knowledge of the various types of environmental assessments that need to be undertaken

4. Understand the frameworks of, and critically assess, key areas of NSW environmental regulation, such as threatened species and biodiversity, protected areas, resource management and cultural heritage


Topics to be chosen from:

  • Australian legal and political systems and their relation to environmental control;
  • The role of international agreements for environmental law in Australia;
  • Federal environmental legislation (EPBC Act);
  • NSW land use planning system;
  • NSW system of development control and environmental assessment;
  • The role of public participation in planning;
  • Command and control vs. market based mechanisms;
  • Ecologically sustainable development and legislation;
  • Threatened species and biodiversity;
  • Pollution Control;
  • Native title and cultural heritage legislation;
  • Protected areas (marine & terrestrial);
  • Aquatic/wetlands legislations;
  • Conservation on private land;
  • Marine and fisheries legislations;
  • Resource management frameworks and regulation.


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

Written Assignment: Precis

Formal Examination: Formal examination

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


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