Australia’s oil and gas industry is supporting cuts in taxpayer funding to the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) following a Federal Court’s criticism of its conduct.
The Australian Energy Producers argue that taxpayers should not be funding the group due to its unprofessional behaviour.
The Federal Court rejected its case against the Santos-operated Barossa gas project, finding that the evidence and allegations were “confection” or “construction” and “so lacking in integrity that no weight can be placed on them.”
The Australian Government is providing a four-year $2 million annual grant to the EDO from 2023 to 2026.
Australian Energy Producers Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch said the Federal Coalition’s commitment to decrease EDO funding if it wins the next election is in the public interest.
“Taxpayers have been effectively bankrolling a group that uses the courts to delay energy supplies that are urgently needed both here in Australia and in our region to support energy security and the transition to net zero,” McCulloch stated.
“Australia’s economic and energy security cannot be held hostage by such irresponsible actors,” she added.
“The EDO receives millions of dollars of international funding to delay and disrupt projects that are in Australia’s national interest. It is inconceivable that Australian governments would give them a further helping hand to damage our economy.”
The Northern Territory Government has also pledged to review its $100,000 annual funding to the EDO following a court decision.
Meanwhile, the WA Liberals have committed to cease state funding of the EDO, worth $150,000 this year, if they win the next election.