Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Federal and Western Australian govts systematic attack on environmental critics

Funding withdrawal from Environmental Defender’s Office criticised as ‘systematic attack’ on community groups, ABC News, By Stephanie Dalzell, 28 May 15, The Conservation Council of Western Australia has accused the State and Federal Governments of launching a “systematic attack” on community groups which scrutinise policy decisions.

The criticism comes after WA’s Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) had its funding completely withdrawn by the State Government, effective from the end of this financial year.

The decision follows similar action by the Federal Government in 2013.

The EDO, which also relies on grants and donations, said the combined cut in state and federal funding would leave it with a gap of $250,000 in annual operating expenses. Conservation Council director Piers Verstegen said the cut appeared to be a direct response to the EDO’s advocacy for groups which challenged policy or development decisions.

“The EDO is an extremely important organisation in our community and it brings scrutiny to environmental issues often where government make bad decisions or go wrong in relation to environmental management,” he said. “I think the Government’s keen to remove that scrutiny.

“I think this is part of a systematic attack on community groups around the country that engage in advocacy on environmental issues and stand up for clean water, healthy land, and healthy ecosystems.

“And when that doesn’t align with government policy or the industries that government [is] supporting, that’s when government [feels] uncomfortable with that advocacy and [starts] to cut funding.”……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-27/conservation-council-criticises-funding-withdrawal/6499492

May 29, 2015 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, Western Australia

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