Residents voice suppressed by dodgy practices


Miners lobbied premier to pull plug on environmental  legal centre

January 10,  2013
Heath Aston

Heath  Aston

Sun-Herald state political editor

View  more articles from Heath Aston

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell ... lobbied by the mining industry.NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell … lobbied by the mining industry. Photo:  Wolter Peeters

The mining industry urged the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, to scrap funding to  the Environmental Defenders Office – and months later the state government did  just that.

Documents released under freedom of information laws show the NSW Minerals  Council and the Australian Coal Association lobbied the Premier to cancel the  EDO’s $2.5 million annual public subsidy.

The government announced in December it had pulled the plug on the legal  centre by redirecting money to Legal Aid and forbidding state funding for  agencies “providing legal advice to activists and lobby groups” – the EDO’s core  business.

The EDO provides free legal services to communities involved in environmental  disputes with developers and miners. Increasingly, its clients are residents  groups fighting coal and coal seam gas proposals in rural NSW.


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About Jim McGoldrick

An Alliance of Residents and Professionals fighting for justice in Australia. Working for people not political parties
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