Coal Seam Gas, Coal Mining, and Environmental Justice in NSW

A Sydney Ideas Forum

Sydney Network on Climate Change and Society in partnership with Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law

2 May

Environmental Justice has been an issue for environmental and social movements for the past three decades. Starting in the US, and originally focused on the inequity in the distribution of environmental risks to poor communities and communities of colour, the use of the concept has spread across the globe, and been applied to an ever-widening range of issues. Communities have also used environmental justice to discuss not only inequity, but also the lack of recognition for their issues and cultures, the exclusion from political decision-making, and the endangerment of the very functioning of their communities.

In Australia, environmental justice is increasingly being applied to battles around the mining of coal and gas. In this Sydney Ideas forum, academics and community leaders will discuss the social and environmental justice implications of this mining, and the importance of justice as an organising theme.

Each panellist will present a short paper, then the floor will be open for questions from the audience.


  • Professor Linda Connor, Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney will talk on “Living with a fossil fuel resource curse: the real environmental and social costs "
  • Drew Hutton from the Lock the Gate Alliance will talk on "Using democratic, extra-legal strategies for achieving social and environmental justice."
  • Professor David Schlosberg, Network leader for the Sydney Network on Climate Change and Society at University of Sydney, will talk on “Defining environmental justice in the Australian context.”
  • Jeff Smith, Executive Director of the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) NSW will talk on “Democracy, the rule of law and EDO NSW.”