Federal Government must hold EDO to account

July 03, 2013

The Federal Government must provide safeguards to ensure that new funding it is providing to the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is not used to provide assistance to extreme anti-mining activists who are intent on economic sabotage and continuously break the law in pursuit of their political agenda.
 
Taxpayers deserve an assurance that the additional $300,000 in funding announced today will not be used to support professional activists as has been the case in the past.
 
For many years the EDO has received millions of taxpayer dollars from the NSW Government, enabling it to provide legal assistance to those planning on breaking the law in pursuit of an extreme anti-mining agenda, and to help run legal appeals against planning decisions made by the NSW Government itself.
 
The most dramatic funding increases occurred predominantly during the last NSW Labor Government, and at a time when current Federal Greens candidate for the Senate, Cate Faehrmann, was an EDO board member.
 
Of particular concern is the direct association of the EDO with the ‘Australian anti-coal movement’ as outlined in a document secretly prepared by the activist group entitled, “Stopping the Australian Coal Boom: funding proposal for the Australian anti-coal movement”. 
 
The document outlines a deliberate campaign to use legal processes to ‘disrupt and delay’ key projects and infrastructure and to ‘get in front of the critical projects to slow them down in the approval process.’
 
The EDO has also been active in supporting environmental activist Jonathan Moylan, whose ‘hoax’ financial announcement directly impacted on the investment savings of workers and retirees with shares in Whitehaven Coal.
 
Taxpayers expect their hard-earned money to be used responsibly and not to enable extremists to continually flout the law.

Contact: Lindsay Hermes I lhermes@nswmining.com.au I 0409 758 734

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