30 January 2024

Only a Coalition Government will hold the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) accountable by ceasing the $8.3 million in Government handouts introduced by Labor.

The EDO was recently found by a Federal Court Judge to have confected evidence in a legal challenge regarding a significant resources project in Northern Australia and has turbocharged economy-stifling activities across Australia since its funding injection to the detriment of local jobs and the bottom lines of State and Territory governments.

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Fisheries and Forestry Jonno Duniam welcomed the Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton’s announcement today:

“The Albanese Government should never have given the EDO $8.3 million. The only thing that the EDO has done is frustrated our courts and brought important projects to a standstill.”

“It is beyond belief that the Albanese Government has undermined Government environmental approvals processes by funding an organisation that appeals these decisions.”

“The environmental lawfare the EDO has engaged in needs to be called out. Industry partners need to have confidence that they won’t drown in green and red tape when they invest in Australia. But the Albanese Government has instead sent a clear message to partners that they should look elsewhere.”

“Labor has not held the EDO accountable for its inexcusable conduct in the Barossa court case and needs to do so.”

Shadow Minister for Resources, Senator Susan McDonald said “The EDO’s lack of integrity was exposed when Justice Charlesworth slammed them for their conduct in the Barossa court case, highlighting confected evidence and cases of witness coaching.

“The Labor Government should not be funding ideological activist organisations to bring forward vexatious claims and launch actions against the government’s own regulator, just to secure votes in inner-city seats under threat from the Greens political party.

“It is time the EDO comes clean and tells the Australian people whether the funding used to attack our vital energy projects was taxpayer money or whether it comes from unnamed foreign donors.”