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Minerals Council attack on EDO Qld “unfounded, misguided”: Retired Supreme Court judge

26 June, 2019

Retired Supreme Court judge Alan Wilson QC has spoken out in support of EDO Qld following attacks by the Minerals Council and their allies.

Mr Wilson, a former judge of the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland and the patron of EDO Qld, described the attacks as “unfounded and misguided” in a statement today.

The comments relate to accusations made by the Minerals Council in the media that EDO Qld engages in “frivolous and vexatious” litigation on behalf of its clients.

These allegations are totally unfounded – EDO Qld has represented more than 60 clients in court over its 30 years of operation. Not once have they been found to be frivolous or vexatious in any proceeding we ran.

Read the full statement by retired Supreme Court judge Alan Wilson QC below.

Sign the petition

The Minerals Council and its allies have launched an all-out attack against EDO Qld in The Australian, accusing us of “frivolous and vexatious” litigation and calling on the government to slash our funding.

You can stand with us by signing the petition asking the state government to resist the attacks against EDO Qld.

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Full statement by retired Supreme Court judge Alan Wilson QC

“Australia, like all free democratic nations, provides one principal method for solving its legal disputes - through the courts.  

“Without organisations like the EDO, the environment would have no properly-qualified voice in that system and no-one to defend it.  

“Public funding for organisations like the EDO helps to ensure that environmental law is, at least, a slightly more equal playing field.  

“To describe the efforts of lawyers fighting for clients against, often, well-funded mining companies as ‘vexatious’ is unfounded, and misguided.  

“The ‘political agenda’ claimed by Minister Canavan sadly indicates an unwillingness to allow the courts to properly examine and adjudicate vital environmental cases, involving issues of profound and critical importance to our whole society, and its future.”

To the State Government of Queensland:

The attacks against EDO Qld from the Minerals Council of Australia and its allies are unacceptable.

It is the right of every Australian to go to court to defend their community, their livelihood and their natural environment. This is an important cornerstone of democracy that must be protected.

We ask that you stand firm against these baseless smears and resist these attempts to undermine the community’s access to justice.

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