Fifty-seven environmental law academics from around Australia have signed on to a letter to Premier Barry O’Farrell outlining the value of public interest work for the environment and the work of EDO NSW specifically.
The editorial by Don Anton, Andrew Macintosh, James Prest and Matthew Zagor in the Canberra Times today is based on this letter, and highlights EDO NSW’s important place in both the broader community and the legal profession.
Previous media coverage of our funding situation is listed in our last bulletin.
Since my last blog post, EDO NSW has continued to receive an incredible show of support from the community. We have been inundated with letters that have been sent to politicians and the media. Here are some extracts:
“Without the EDO, there would be more hotheaded and troublesome challenges … It is the EDO which disciplines objection into legitimate, informed and proper public participation … In supporting a healthy EDO, any government demonstrates its own integrity”
“They [EDO NSW] provide a very important community service for people of all political stripes who find themselves unexpectedly facing development proposals that put their local environments at risk … because community members generally have much smaller financial interests in proposals than proponents, for broad equity in the system it is most important that we have groups like the EDO to support local community members with advice and representation”
“The work they [EDO NSW] do is vital. They are committed people with talent and experience who are not in it for the big bucks but for the betterment of our society. They can mobilise very good litigators on low fees or a pro bono basis too which is vital for a court case. In some cases they can get an eminent QC or SC to act too which is way beyond the ability of many people or communities.”
Please keep your letters coming. We need your ongoing support in our efforts to secure ongoing funding so we can maintain our services to help you to help our environment. Find out what you can do on our website.
Last week I sent our clients and supporters an email to let you know that EDO NSW faces unprecedented threats to its funding and its ability to provide you with legal services in your work for the environment. We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people expressing their concern at these threats and their support for the work of EDO NSW. On behalf of the office, I would like to thank everyone who has taken action on this issue by contacting MPs, speaking out in the media, and spreading the word. We have people writing articles, making calls, donating and even creating a petition on our behalf (perhaps you’d also like to sign on). Thank you all.
Updates on this situation will be provided in future issues of our Bulletin, on our Blog, and via our Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for further updates and links to media coverage. With your support, we’ll be doing our best to ensure that we can maintain our services to help you to help the environment.