Labor must rule out funding for job-killing EDO

Aug 12, 2021 | Media Releases 2021


Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey joined Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt in calling on Labor to abandon plans to provide millions of dollars of taxpayer funding to the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO).

“The EDO specialises in “lawfare” to delay resource projects and tarnish legitimate industries that supports jobs for thousands of Australians,” Senator Davey said.

“Most recently they have lodged a legal challenge against forestry in NSW, despite losing similar challenges in both Tasmania and Victoria.

“It makes no sense that a body that is supposed to be about the environment is using the courts to tarnish the reputation if an industry that is sustainable, regenerative and is the best way to sequester carbon that is available.”

Minister Pitt said at the last election the Shadow Attorney-General and current Deputy Labor Leader proudly boasted of providing $14 million funding to the EDO.

“It is ridiculous that Labor is pledging funding to an organisation that is determined to stop new jobs and economic opportunities being provided by legitimate resources projects that have received all state and federal government approvals,” Minister Pitt.

“This is a test for Anthony Albanese’s claim that he supports the industry and the 279 thousand Australians it directly employs.

“Labor can’t say they support mining and at the same time promise millions of dollars in funding to an organisation that wants to close the industry down,” Minister Pitt said.

“The EDO has been involved in several cases of lawfare to delay or stop major resources projects including New Acland and Adani in Queensland, Narrabri gas development in NSW, Burrup Hub gas development in WA and the list goes on.

Senator Davey said Labor’s funding pledge to the EDO risks jobs in regional New South Wales in industries that have kept the Australian economy afloat during the pandemic.

“Activists are welcome to pay for their own lawfare but should not be assisted by taxpayer funding.

“Labor took many dud policies to the last election and this was one of them. For the sake of our miners, our foresters and our economy, Anthony Albanese must abandon support for the Environmental Defenders Office.”