Environmental Law Australia

Maryfield Station clearing case in the NT Supreme Court

This was a successful challenge in the Northern Territory Supreme Court to the assessment of a massive land-clearing approval.

North Star Pastoral applied to clear 23,793 hectares of vegetation on Maryfield Station , 200km south of Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT), for cattle pastures in 2016.

The application was assessed under the Pastoral Land Act 1992 (NT) by the Pastoral Land Board and under the Environmental Assessment Act 1982 (NT) by the NT Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The NT EPA decided that the clearing did not require an environmental impact assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act.

A permit to clear 20,432 ha was approved in 2017.

The decisions of the Board and the EPA were challenged by the Environment Centre NT in the NT Supreme Court, including in relation to the consideration of climate change impacts of the clearing.

The Court upheld the challenge on the basis of ground 12, that the procedures required for the decision had not been followed.

The Court did not consider it necessary to address the grounds of challenge in relation to climate change.

Key documents

Application documents

Court documents