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Media Releases · Access to Justice

EDO responds to misleading article

24 May, 2017

EDO Qld Management Committee Chair Dr Michelle Maloney has written a Letter to the Editor of The Australian following a 'misleading and unbalanced' article published on 22 May 2017.


Dr Michelle Maloney, Chair of the Management Committee, EDO Qld

Letter to the Editor, The Australian:

EDO Qld, was disappointed with the misleading information in the publication of the article Labor faction threat to Adani mine” in The Australian on May 22nd, 2017. The article did not clearly reflect the facts available in the public record.

EDO Qld is respected non-profit community legal centre with over 25 years’ experience providing free professional legal advice on environmental matters to farmers, conservationists and community members.

No group gets $1 million as the article claimed. There are two separate non-profit community legal centres, EDO of Northern Queensland based in Cairns and EDO Qld based in Brisbane. To state $1 million in funding to “EDO” without specifying the entities or time periods is highly misleading.

EDO Qld receives less support than most community legal centres and is a small fraction of our costs in providing free legal services to Queenslanders. The government’s restoration of funding assistance to EDO Qld reflects a commitment to the principles of equity and access to justice by all.

This funding is not directed to any appeals involving Adani, which are supported by the community. We have acted for 6 separate clients in at most 8 legal actions involving Adani (not 11 as your paper claimed), all of which raised legitimate grounds and most of which were successful.  The number of environmental legal actions is not surprising for the largest and most controversial coal mine in Australia’s history and is less than the number of commercial court cases involving the company.

We believe it is essential that governments consult broadly with the community, conservation groups and environmental lawyers on changes to our environmental laws, not just “big miners and banks”.

Overall this article was misleading and unbalanced.

We look forward to the publication of this letter, in full, in some effort on your behalf to the correct the public record.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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