'Environmental defenders under attack: why funding must be restored' | Law

'Environmental defenders under attack: why funding must be restored'

Amelia Thorpe writes in The Conversation (5 November 2012).

With a new planning system about to be introduced in NSW, the need for an independent, specialist public interest environmental and planning law centre is greater than ever.

For nearly 30 years, the Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) NSW has been the only provider of specialist public interest environmental law advice in NSW. Yet now, precisely when it is needed most, the future of the organisation is in doubt.

The NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has criticised EDO NSW, accusing the organisation of socialism. Meanwhile, the Attorney-General Greg Smith is reviewing its funding under the Public Purpose Fund (PPF). After nearly 15 years of triennial PPF grants, and despite support from the Trustees, EDO NSW’s most recent grant was for just three months, and its dollar value cut by a quarter.

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