Miners lobbied premier to pull plug on environmental legal centre
- January 10, 2013
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.