Yardley Case

This case study provides another example of an application in the Planning and Environment Court to restrain an offence against the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld).

The facts of the case involved a farmer, Dick Yardley, who admitted on radio killing 1,100 flying-foxes using an electric grid to protect a lychee crop on his property south of Cairns in North Queensland.

After the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency declined to prosecute the farmer a conservationist, Dr Carol Booth, commenced an action in the Planning and Environment Court to restrain the operation of the grids and have them dismantled. The proceedings were brought under section 173D of the Nature Conservation Act 1992, which grants open standing for proceedings to restrain offences against the Act.

The Planning and Environment Court granted an interim enforcement order and a final enforcement order in late 2006. However, the farmer did not dismantle the electric grids, resulting in further proceedings for contempt being brought in 2007 and 2008. After the second contempt proceedings were brought the grids were dismantled.

Key documents in the case are:

Advice on Prospects of Success

  • Advice on Prospects of Success and Evidence given to the applicant prior to commencing the litigation (Note: This is normally a confidential document but is published here with the applicant's consent after the successful conclusion of the case as an educational resource for students).

Originating Application


Interim enforcement order


First contempt proceedings

Second contempt proceedings




Dick Yardley standing in front of part of the electric grid on his farm.

Photo: Cairns Post, 2006



Photographs of dismantled electric grids following second contempt proceedings.

Photo: Dick Yardley, 2008.