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Environmental Defenders Office cuts leave community to fight David and Goliath battles alone

 

The Australian Greens are appalled that the Abbott Government has cut all federal funding for all Environmental Defenders Offices.

 “It’s outrageous that the Abbott Government has slashed all federal funding for EDOs to help community groups protect their land, water and air from destructive mining and developments,” Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens environment spokesperson and former EDO lawyer, said.

 “Without EDOs, grassroots community groups would be left to fight alone against cashed-up mining magnates and developers, who can afford slick legal teams to get their way in the courts.

 “It’s already a David and Goliath battle and now the Abbott Government is making it even harder to stand up for the environment and the sustainable industries it supports.  

 “The cuts could cripple many EDOs completely, which is exactly what the Abbott Government wants so that there’s nothing to stand in the way of its mining magnate and big business buddies abusing our environment for private profit.

“The Abbott Government is also eroding the strength of the laws that these offices defend the environment under.

 “Tony Abbott is giving states and territories the final say over whether environmentally destructive projects go ahead, removing a federal safeguard that has been in place for 30 years.

 “Tony Abbott wants to make sure big business only has one level of government to lobby their way through and that any community opposition is silenced by denying legal assistance.

 “What’s more, the Attorney-General this week ordered a review into whether any federal environmental laws and regulations intrude on rights and freedoms.

 “George Brandis seems to have failed to realise that our environment laws safeguard our freedoms to enjoy the natural world and live with clean air and water.

“Those individual freedoms need to be put before any inconvenience to corporate interests,” Senator Waters said.

 

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