The Environmental Defenders Offices (EDO) of Australia have welcomed a commitment by the Australian Labor Party to reinstate Commonwealth funding to EDO’s nationally. West End based EDO QLD will receive a share of a $14 million package to be provided for the eight EDOs across Australia over four years.

In a statement, Jo-Anne Bragg, Convenor of EDOs of Australia and CEO of EDO Qld said:

“Every Australian wants to ensure their environment is protected – whether it’s prime agricultural land, our National Parks, the Great Barrier Reef, the Murray Darling, the Kimberley, or a piece of local bushland that’s under threat.

“Federal funding is critical to ensuring our offices can remain open and serving the public, but EDOs are also hugely reliant on other sources of revenue such as state funding and much-needed donations from our valued supporters.”

EDOs were established in 1985 and provide free or low-cost legal support on environmental and planning issues in the states and territories. They were funded by successive Commonwealth governments – including the Howard government. But all Commonwealth funding was  terminated within a few months of Tony Abbott taking office.

In making its announcement, Labor said that, “The ability of EDOs to continue doing their important work was brought into real doubt when the Abbott government cut off all Commonwealth government funding in 2013, making claims about “activist lawfare” which were never justified.”

For the full response from the EDOs, see link here.