The NSW Environment Protection Authority has been ordered to act on climate change in a landmark case.
The Environmental Defenders Office, acting on behalf of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, have won a mandamus case against the government agency.
It was the first time an Australian court has allowed evidence on climate change to be heard in a case involving a government body performing its duty.
The ruling was heard in a Sydney court on Thursday, August 26, where Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court, Brian Preston, ordered the EPA, "to develop environmental quality objectives, guidelines and policies to ensure environment protection from climate change".
How those guidelines and policies will be developed will be up to the EPA.
Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action chair Jo Dodds said the court heard the evidence presented, including an expert witness account from former Chief Scientist of Australia Professor Penny Sackett.
"She gave a lot of very considered, very careful evidence about the threat that greenhouse gas emissions pose to human health via the way they change the climate," said Ms Dodds.
The Tathra local said the group was thrilled with the major win and that it would assist other cases in the realm of climate change and be part of a "cascade to the policies and procedures of other organisations around Australia."
"News like this means people who are feeling like nothing is happening and that things are hopeless can be directed to this and go 'things are changing. It's important not to give up action'," she said.
"Anyone who perceives this as a loss, you've got to wonder what their motives are and where they're actually living that they think they're outside of the impact of climate change," said Ms Dodds.
The next steps for the BSCA will be growing their membership and continuing to share their stories with more federal MPs.