Source Business Directory
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
Federal Election  |  Election 2016, Politics

Greens To Support Environmental Advocacy


Wednesday, 8th June 2016 at 12:08 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor
The Australian Greens Party has launched its environment policy announcing a $2.6 billion plan to include a new independent watchdog and a commitment to stop any future government attacks on tax deductibility for environmental groups.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016
at 12:08 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Greens To Support Environmental Advocacy
Wednesday, 8th June 2016 at 12:08 pm

The Australian Greens Party has launched its environment policy announcing a $2.6 billion plan to include a new independent watchdog and a commitment to stop any future government attacks on tax deductibility for environmental groups.

Great Barrier Reef aerial RS

The Greens plan, launched Tuesday, included the establishment of a new National Environment Protection Authority (NEPA), with $130 million in annual funding “to enforce environmental rules, advise on projects requiring federal approval, improve monitoring and enforcement, conduct inquiries and produce national environmental accounts”.

It’s the first policy indication that the Greens will campaign to ensure community organisations have the right to advocate to protect their local areas and to protect the tax-deductibility of donations (DGR status) to environment groups.

The policy comes just one month after the federal government’s controversial inquiry into the tax status of environmental organisations recommended limiting the amount of advocacy work organisations can do, along with the introduction of sanctions and fines for engaging in any “illegal” activities.

The report recommended that administrative sanctions be introduced for environmental deductible gift recipients (DGR) that “encourage, support, promote, or endorse illegal or unlawful activity undertaken by employees, members, or volunteers of the organisation or by others without formal connections to the organisation”. It recommended fines for those found in breach of the legislation.

The report also recommended limiting the amount of time environmental groups can carry out advocacy work and included an arbitrary requirement to spend a quarter of donor funds on “environmental remediation” work.

The inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee into the register of environmental organisations has attracted controversy since it was requested by federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt in 2015. There were more than 680 submissions made to the inquiry, the majority of them objecting to the government’s plans.

Australian Greens deputy leader and environment spokesperson, Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, said the Greens would establish a new Environment Act.

“We will also protect the voices that speak for nature, with ‘open standing’ to challenge decisions in court,” Senator Waters said.

“We would stop the attacks on tax deductibility for environment groups by ensuring the ‘right to advocate’  for community organisations and much greater access to reliable environmental information.”

“Organisations are currently ‘gagged’ by conditions in federal funding agreements,” the Greens policy said.

“Greater opportunities for genuine community consultation on major projects and reasons [to be] published for all major regulatory decisions under the new Environment Act.”

At the time the parliamentary report was released, the CEOs of WWF, The Australian Conservation Society, The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Friends of the Earth and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW issued a statement saying: “The report contains a number of deeply flawed and dangerous recommendations, including an arbitrary requirement to spend a quarter of donor funds on ‘environmental remediation’ and a draconian attempt to clamp down on the type of work organisations conduct.

“This flawed inquiry, initiated by the Abbott government and driven by a small handful of conservative MPs with the support of the mining industry, failed to uncover any evidence to justify removing the charitable status of any environment group.

“We welcome the dissenting statements made by Liberal MP and committee member Jason Wood, raising significant concerns about the two most dangerous recommendations.”

Greens leader, Senator Richard Di Natale said Australia needed an independent statutory National Environment Protection Authority, which enforced the country’s environmental laws, free from the influence of politicians and the big business lobby.

“We already have independent expert bodies, like the Productivity Commission, to advise on economic matters. We need to extend this principle to the environment that sustains our economy,” Senator Di Natale said.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Labor Calls For Charities to be Exempt from Foreign Donations Bill

Wendy Williams

Monday, 16th April 2018 at 4:18 pm

New Electoral Law Could Still Hobble Charities

Krystian Seibert

Friday, 13th April 2018 at 11:47 am

Time to Party?

David Crosbie

Thursday, 12th April 2018 at 8:49 am

How do Australia’s Foreign Interference Laws Compare to Draconian States?

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 29th March 2018 at 8:55 am

POPULAR

Fears NDIA Will Force People into Shared Accommodation Settings

Luke Michael

Monday, 14th May 2018 at 3:48 pm

NDIS Eligibility for People With Autism Under Review

Luke Michael

Monday, 21st May 2018 at 2:35 pm

Government Policy Failure to Blame for Rising Homelessness

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 15th May 2018 at 3:36 pm

Autism: How Much Do We Really Know About It?

Estelle Stathoulis

Monday, 14th May 2018 at 8:00 am

Source Business Directory
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!