Welcome to the website of the Environmental Defender's Office of Western Australia (Inc)
We are relying heavily on donations and membership this year to maintain our current level of service in providing staff and operational costs to help you protect the environment.
Therefore please support EDO WA by making a tax deductible donation.
Who We Are
The EDO is a non-profit, non-government Community Legal Centre specialising in public interest environmental law. Our services include:
"Empowering the community to protect the environment through law".
SAVE WA’s ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDER: DONATE OR JOIN TODAY
For nearly twenty years, the Environmental Defender’s Office WA (Inc.) has provided specialised legal services on public interest environmental law matters to Western Australians for little or no cost. We’ve been at the forefront of crucial legal fights to protect WA’s unique biodiversity and fragile ecosystems.
The Commonwealth has refused to fund EDOs beyond June 2015. EDOWA urgently needs your help - NOW. We cannot continue for long without your help.
CITIZENS ALERT: The Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill 2015: Serious concerns for WA citizens
On 25 February 2015, WA’s Attorney-General, Hon Michael Mischin (MLC, North Metropolitan) introduced the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill 2015 in the Legislative Council. The Bill, though supposedly narrowly aimed, criminalises a wide range of peaceful activities by citizens who, in the exercise of their civil rights, might interfere with “lawful activity”.
The Bill is a broadside attack against peaceful protest and civil disobedience in WA.1 It is particularly ironic that the Bill’s introduction coincides with the 800th anniversary of England’s Magna Carta, the foundation upon which all Anglo-Australian civil rights and liberties rest.
EDOWA provided its analysis and commentary to a number of clients. We believe that ordinary citizens also need to fully understand how they may be criminally and financially liable under the Bill’s provisions and how, if they oppose the Bill, they may communicate their opposition effectively to their elected Members.
Future of EDO funding
On 26 March 2015, Commonwealth Attorney General, George Brandis, announced that the LNP Government had decided to reverse savage funding cuts, amounting to $25.5 million over two years to 30 June 2017, to Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Indigenous legal service providers around Australia. Prominently excluded from the Government’s decision were Environmental Defenders Offices – including EDOWA – signalling that the Abbott Government is not about to reverse its policies on protecting the environment.
Under the prior Labour Government, funding for the 10 EDOs around Australia was to be increased $10 million over four years (resulting from the transfer of uncommitted funds from the Family Relationship Services Program). That additional funding was eliminated by the new LNP Government in December 2013, along with all historic core funding (approximately $1.2 million annually).
The current Government’s hostile attitude toward funding EDOs continues despite the Productivity Commission’s 5 September 2014 report on “Access to Justice”, which recommended (at p 713) restoration of at least some funding to EDOs on grounds: “The Commission considers that there are strong grounds for the legal assistance sector to receive funding to undertake strategic advocacy, law reform and public interest litigation including in relation to environmental matters . . . [i]rrespective of the Australian Government’s ultimate position on whether strategic advocacy and law reform should attract government funding . . . ."
One Stop Shop Update
On 13 February 2015, EDOWA submitted comments to the proposed approval bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and Western Australia. In its comments, EDOWA challenged the underlying rationale for the Government’s so-called ‘one stop shop’ for environmental assessments and approvals, pursuant to which the Federal government shifts its responsibility to objectively assess and approve (or disapprove) of proposals that may significantly impact matters of national environmental significance to the States. Click here for the document....
The EDO provides information factsheets over to members of the community in public interest environmental law matters.