Please make a submission – attack on environment groups

(Another) attack on environment groups

The Coalition government is trying to silence anyone who stands up for the environment.

Some of their actions include:

  • The new Standing Committee on the Environment review of tax deductibility for environment groups listed on the Minister’s Register (see below).
  • The push by Minister Richard Colbeck for a secondary boycott ban to apply to environmental groups.
  • The recently released ‘Re:think, Better Tax system Better Australia’ discussion paper which calls for a review of the Not for Profit sector’s tax deductibility.
  • The cuts to the Environment Defenders Office (EDOs).
  • The government has axed the Grants to Voluntary Environment, Sustainability and Heritage Organisations to 150 groups in the 2014 budget. This program had bipartisan support since it was set up in the 1970s.

Is the new Inquiry the government’s chance to take green groups tax status off them?

It has been announced that the House of Representatives Environment Committee will hold an inquiry into environmental groups who are eligible to receive Tax-deductible donations.

While the chair of the Committee has assured us ‘it’s not a witch hunt’, it is hard to see this as anything but another part of theideological attack on the environment movement being waged by the Abbott government.

The Committee says “over 600 environmental groups are currently deductible gift recipients (DGRs). This allows them to access tax-deductible donations to fund important, practical work to improve the natural environment. We need to ensure that tax deductible donations, which are a generous concession from the taxpayer, are used for the purpose intended and expected by the community.”

[Above: the FoE International meeting in Sri Lanka, 2014. The environment needs strong voices.]

The terms of reference suggest that activities which involve on-ground environmental works constitute ‘appropriate’ activity.


Nuclear Royal Commission Adelaide consultations

The Nuclear Royal Commission is doing its Adelaide public consultations next week.

19 May 2015 – University of South Australia – 5.30pm at the Mawson Lakes Centre

20 May 2015 – Flinders University – 5.00pm at Flinders at Tonsley – South Road, Clovelly Park

22 May 2015 – Adelaide University – 1.00pm at Bonython Hall

More information here

Nuclear Royal Commission losing further credibility

Submitted by Cam Walker on Fri, 24/04/2015 – 10:55

Media Release

24 April 2015

Friends of the Earth, Australia has today written to Kevin Scarce, head of the SA government’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, asking him to revisit his decision not to include weapons proliferation risks in the Royal Commission’s issues paper dealing with uranium mining.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Australia, said:

“Day by day, the Royal Commission is losing further credibility. Last week, we learned that the expert advisory panel is stacked with three nuclear advocates, with just one token critic. Kevin Scarce’s claim to be running a ‘balanced Royal Commission’ is demonstrably false.

“Now we learn that the Royal Commission wants to ignore weapons proliferation, the single greatest risk associated with uranium mining. The Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission clearly instruct Kevin Scarce to consider the risks associated with uranium mining yet he apparently wants to ignore weapons proliferation, the single greatest risk associated with the industry. He needs to rethink that decision.”… Read more >>