Yesterday afternoon the Environmental Defenders Office (Qld) (EDO Qld) were notified without warning that the Commonwealth Attorney-General had decided to immediately terminate direct funding for EDOs across Australia.
Michelle Maloney, Chairperson of EDO Qld, said that the four-year funding agreement was terminated after only six months into the term.
"This decision by the Federal government demonstrates the lack of respect that this government has for the many Australian communities using the law to stand up for the places they love and keep decision-makers accountable," she said.
Jo Bragg, Principal Solicitor of EDO Qld, was outraged that the Federal government sought to silence the voice of communities.
"Our clients are local communities trying to stand up for their local environment. EDO Qld has helped many of Queensland’s communities stand up against powerful vested interests from rural communities concerned about massive coal expansion to groups trying to protect the Great Barrier Reef. This is a crucial access to justice issue," she said.
“This news comes a week before Christmas, leaving staff and communities unsure of the path ahead. It's a major blow and puts a big hole in our funding but we would like to reassure our supporters that we remain committed- the earth still needs a good lawyer.
“The generous assistance of our supporters will help us be a strong voice for Queensland’s communities. EDO Queensland will continue to be determined advocates for the many people in our community who share our concern for effective environment protections.
“We will continue to provide legal expertise and support to the many Australians concerned about the current attack on hard-won environmental protections.”
To help EDO Qld continue their vital services please donate here.