"Dear Assistant Treasurer O'Dwyer and Environment Minister Hunt,
I am calling on you to reject outright the recommendations of the Inquiry Report into the Register of Environmental Organisations, which seeks to impose anti-democratic restrictions on environmental advocacy.
With an election around the corner, the Turnbull Government should distance itself from the Abbott Government's ideological attacks on environment and community groups.
Many of our most loved natural places were protected by environmental advocacy. In addition, environmental organisations provide crucial checks and balances on projects that may cause damage to sensitive ecosystems and unique wildlife.
So it’s very concerning that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment, headed by members of the Turnbull Government, has released a report recommending restrictions to environmental advocacy.
Recommendation 5 would require environment organisations to spend 25 percent of donations they receive on ‘environmental remediation work’ such as tree planting.
As Jason Wood MP points out in his dissenting report, a large number of groups that do important research, education, advocacy and legal work would not meet this 25 percent target.
This is an attempt to silence charities and tie them up in bureaucratic red tape.
Recommendation 6 would penalise or sanction environment groups that ‘that encourage, support, promote, or endorse illegal or unlawful activity’. Again, as Jason Wood MP notes in his dissenting report, if it weren’t for peaceful civil disobedience, many of our most loved natural places would not have been protected.
From the beginning this Inquiry was ideologically driven, anti-democratic and unfair in its targeting of environment charities. I am calling on you to immediately reject this report and distance your government from the Abbott Government’s ideological attacks on environment and community groups."
You can follow the following link to sign the online petition:
If you don’t want the government to restrict speaking up for our environment, please tell the Environment Minister and Assistant Treasurer to reject this Abbott-era inquiry report >>