Private donations save Environmental Defenders Office

p2121-David-MorrisLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – The Environmental Law Centre will continue to help the community protect the environment and ensure government accountability until at least the next Territory election.

 

Riding on the back of an enormous wave of public support, the Northern Territory’s only community legal centre specialising in environmental law, the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), has confirmed it will continue to help members of the Territory community to protect the environment through law until at least the next Territory election.

 

An incredibly successful art auction and an emergency grant from the NT Law Society have ensured the EDO’s survival for the coming financial year.

 

This is a sensational result for the many Territorians who value our near pristine environment; it is a great result for access to justice; and it’s a great result for people who value government and industry accountability”.

 

The EDO, along with all other EDOs around Australia, was stripped of all Federal Government funding at the end of June last year. Since that time it has been surviving solely on donations and grants. The Northern Territory’s Law Society has provided the majority of the grant funding.

 

The EDO has recently been involved in a number of controversial matters in the Northern Territory, including a successful Supreme Court
challenge to the water licencing decisions of the Minister for Land Resource Management, Willem Westra van Holthe, and statutory complaints about the potentially catastrophic McArthur River Mine in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

 

I think we have numerous examples which highlight the need for an EDO in the Northern Territory, that’s clearly the feeling in the community too, judging by the support we’ve received and the fact we were going to shut in less than two weeks.

 

While this is a great victory there is more to be done and scope to grow.

 

David Morris (pictured)

EDO Principal Lawyer

 

 

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