Thursday, April 4th, 2013 - Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland (EDO-NQ)

The appointment of Mr Fergus Power as Principal Solicitor for the Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland comes at a time when the UN is expressing grave doubts about the continued well-being of the Great Barrier Reef. 

The President of the Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland, Australia (EDO-NQ), Mark Buttrose, today announced the appointment of Mr Fergus Power as Principal Solicitor for the organisation that services over 1 million square kilometres of Australia, including 3 natural World Heritage Areas.

The appointment of a former marine biologist, environmental scientist, national disaster manager and (most recently) litigator to the role of Principal Solicitor, Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland, comes at a time when the UN is expressing grave doubts about the continued well-being of the Great Barrier Reef. Newly appointed Mr Power said: “The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s Crown Jewel, and assisting the Northern Queensland community to protect it will be one of my top priorities.”

“Mr Power comes to us with a highly effective combination of environmental science, disaster management and law”, Mr Buttrose said. “Fergus has both outstanding credentials in science and law accompanied by a wealth of experience in managing environmental issues. In addition to his litigation experience, Fergus has previously been appointed by the New Zealand Government to lead the New Zealand Delegation to the United Nations’ Marine Environment Protection Committee, based in London, for three years. Having been appointed to numerous national environmental management advisory committees in New Zealand, he brings tremendous capacity to assist the people of Northern Queensland to challenge unlawful or inappropriate development, disposal of wastes or threats to biodiversity and sustainability, and to progress environmental law reform and legal education.”?

Mr Power said: “I’m privileged to be appointed to this role, which involves the provision of public interest legal advice and education to individuals or groups who would otherwise find it prohibitively expensive to challenge unlawful or inappropriate decisions of Federal, State and local governments. Many people feel powerless in the face of big industry, with industry’s extensive legal and technical resources. The national system of Environmental Defenders Offices throughout Australia help provide some rebalancing of that power dynamic. One of my top priorities is going to be addressing the crippling impact of the Queensland State Government’s cancellation of 100% of the funding previously provided by the State to EDO-NQ for many years, at a time of deepening public concern about a perceived concentration by the Queensland State government on ‘Development at Any Cost’. EDO-NQ covers over 1,000,000 km2. It’s an important function, and regrettable that the State has left a void.”

Contact Profile

Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland (EDO-NQ)


The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland (EDO-NQ) is part of the Australian Network of Environmental Defenders Offices Inc (ANEDO), which consists of nine independently constituted and managed community environmental law centres located in each State and Territory of Australia. Each EDO is dedicated to protecting the environment in the public interest. We provide legal representation and advice, take an active role in environmental law reform and policy formulation, and offer a significant education program designed to facilitate public participation in environmental decision making. EDO-NQ services well over 1,000,000 square km of onshore and offshore Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics.
Fergus Power
P: +61 7 4031 4766
M: +61 4 389 26401
W: www.edo.org.au/edonq

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new Principal Solicitor, Northern Queensland

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