Cam Walker, FoE Australia writes:
The environment movement is under attack (again) and we need your help to see off the Federal government’s latest attempt to limit our work.
The long-running campaign kicked off by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and enthusiastically endorsed by conservative MPs, the right-wing media, and coal industry, is seeking to strip environmental groups of their tax deductible donation status that was. (Read history of the attacks here)
Tax deductible donations make up more than 90 percent of FoE Australia’s income.
If the government finally succeeds in removing our DGR status, it will be the end of Friends of the Earth in its current form. This will be equally true for any environmental group which has staff and engages in advocacy and protest.
The Australian Treasury has announced a review of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status organisations, with environmental groups selected for extra special attention.
Wrapped up in a fairly benign looking ‘review’ of the management of charities are some long running items from the conservative’s agenda, in particular:
- To limit the advocacy of environmental groups by forcing them to spend up 50 percent of their income on tree planting etc, and,
- To ‘sanction’ or remove the tax status of groups that ‘promote’ illegal activity – and by this they mean protesting. There is even a bizarre recommendation that groups be punished even if ‘people not connected formally with organisation’ are engaged with illegal action like being arrested at a protest.
The right wing has tried this several times and each time with YOUR support we have staved off these ideologically driven attacks.
Environmentalism is much more than just planting trees — especially in the age of climate change and with the widely held understanding that our economic system that is driving the ecological destruction.
This threat is an acknowledgement that advocacy and protest WORKS and that the work we are doing threatens the Right wing and their fossil fuel interests.