Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

New report attacking environmental groups must be resisted

Green groups are united in calling for the PM and Minister Hunt to reject the report and a number of its recommendations. Any administrative changes to the Register of Environmental Organisations done before the federal election would confirm that the Inquiry was all about politics and not about good management of environmental groups.

civil-liberty-2smMalcolm Turnbull must reject anti-democratic attack on environmental groups, Independent Australia,  Cam Walker 9 May 2016,  Will Malcolm Turnbull follow Tony Abbott’s witch-hunt on environmental groups, which will see them lose charitable status for “civil disobedience”?

THE DISPROPORTIONATE influence of the fossil fuel and mining sectors over federal government policy is both well documented and long standing.

With the rise of the far right neo-liberal Abbott Government, the agenda of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) also became more influential after several years of being on the “outer” while the ALP was in power.

The IPA is well known for arguing against the environment movement and has campaigned against specific environmental policies like thecarbon tax.

Being fundamentally opposed to mainstream scientific positions on climate change and the work of the environment movement, the IPA has argued for the government to reconsider all funding which is provided to the environment movement.

This convergence of views – conservative MPs, right wing think tanks and influence by the fossil fuel sector – has led to a sustained attack on the environment movement in recent years.

One key aspect of this attack has been the House of Representatives Inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations. After narrative in the media and, we have to assume, lobbying by many in the mining and fossil fuel sectors, Minister for the Enviroment Greg Hunt initiated the Inquiry into the tax status of green groups. It was widely seen as being politically motivated. For instance, shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus – Labor’s frontbench representative on the committee – declared that the review was an “ideological attack” by the government on political advocacy.

Given the strong focus of the movement on key fossil fuel projects in places like the Galilee Basin in Queensland, at a point in time where decisions are being taken about whether proposals will gain approval and funding, the timing of this report was significant…..

Now, after receiving a huge number of submissions – the vast majority of which were supportive of environment groups – and an extensive program of nation-wide public hearings, the final report of the committee has been delivered to Parliament. With far right Coalition MP George Christensen being on the committee, there was never much doubt that the majority report would be hostile…….

Many have hoped that Malcolm Turnbull will turn away from the hard right agenda of the Coalition Government when Tony Abbott was PM. If he acts on the findings of the report, this will be a clear indication that he is following the agenda of conservative MPs like George Christensen. This is a significant test for the Prime Minister.

Green groups are united in calling for the PM and Minister Hunt to reject the report and a number of its recommendations. Any administrative changes to the Register of Environmental Organisations done before the federal election would confirm that the Inquiry was all about politics and not about good management of environmental groups. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/malcolm-turnbull-must-reject-anti-democratic-attack-on-environmental-groups,8967

May 11, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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