Australian Feminist Judgments Project
Environmental law

Booth v Bosworth (Flying Fox Case) [2001] FCA 1453 (17 October 2001), Federal Court: Branson J

Keywords: environmental protection; biodiversity; World Heritage List


The applicant sought an injunction restraining the respondents from killing Spectacled Flying Foxes on their property, which was near a World Heritage listed area.  It was for the Court to determine whether an electric grid established by the respondents to electrocute the flying foxes would have a significant impact on the World Heritage site. Branson J awarded the applicant a conditional injunction.

Queensland Conservation Council Inc v Minister for the Environment and Heritage (Nathan Dams Case) [2003] FCA 1463 (19 December 2003), Federal Court: Kiefel J

Keywords: environmental protection; biodiversity; impact assessment


The applicant challenged decisions made by the respondent in the course of granting approval to the development of a large coal mine in the Anvill Hill region.  The applicant sought a declaration that the respondent’s view that the environmental assessment conducted as part of the development proposal met environmental assessment requirements (EAR) be made void.  The matter for the New South Wales Land and Environment Court was whether the environmental assessment failed to comply with EAR and whether the respondent’s decision was invalid.  The Court found that the environmental assessment complied with EAR as the respondent had the discretion to establish the EAR.  However, the respondent’s decision was invalidated due to its failure to address ecologically sustainable development principles. 

Gray v Minister for Planning (Anvil Hill Case) [2006] NSWLEC 720 (27 November 2006), Land and Environment Court of NSW: Pain J

Keywords: environment and planning; development application; coal mine


The applicant sought to appeal against decisions by the Federal Environment Minister concerning a proposal for the construction of a dam in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area on the ground that the use of the dam by irrigators could result in downstream pollution.  The Court held that this was a possible impact from the use of the dam.  

Feminist judgments

The judges in each case adopted a holistic approach to the environment and global problem of climate change while recognising that that problem creates specific impacts, and the need for their assessment, at a more local level. In that respect the judgments are broadly consistent with eco-feminist theory.