Now this is REALLY getting my goat

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Who on earth is going to stick up for the environment now? They are just trying to silence the voice of dissent. It will defninately be silence once we cannot breathe...

Green army warned on politicking
By Stephanie Peatling
April 12, 2005

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Environmental groups have been threatened with the loss of their tax deductible status if they engage in political advocacy.

The federal Minister for the Environment, Ian Campbell, sent a letter to environmental groups at the end of February in which he made it clear that a tax deductible status was dependent on organisations working on "the conservation of the natural environment and not for any other purpose, such as political activity".

Some groups have had their Federal Government funding cut by tens of thousands of dollars, forcing them to consider letting staff go. The director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Cate Faehrmann, said her organisation had lost $85,000 in federal grants, or about 20 per cent of its annual budget.

"It's the ongoing silencing of any voice of dissent," she said. "This money is vital to environment groups, and the Government knows it."

Senator Campbell announced on Friday that grants to environmental groups would now be capped at $10,000 and directed towards organisations doing practical work, such as tree planting and water quality projects.

"I've got no doubt that, right across the country, we're spending far too much on bureaucracy and administration, and we need to make sure [that] more of it gets to the pointy end," Senator Campbell said yesterday.

"Many groups are missing out [on grants]. There are hundreds of groups who apply for funds who don't get it, and we thought if we had a cap on it we'd be able to give far more support to small, local volunteer groups."

State groups argue that they need grants to run education campaigns. "It's up to us to raise awareness, so people will get out there and do things like plant trees," Ms Faehrmann said.

"I don't think we can have an army of tree planters and people cleaning up creeks if there's no one telling them where to go and why to do it in the first place."

No warning of the funding cuts was given to environmental groups, many of which have already allocated money on the basis of previous funding arrangements. The Nature Conservation Council, one of NSW's largest environmental organisations, is considering trying to raise its shortfall from the public.

Senator Campbell's letter to 317 environmental organisations that have tax deductibility status said each had "obligations" in receiving government funds.

"Each organisation's principal purpose must be the protection and enhancement of the natural environment (or a significant aspect of it); or the provision of information or education, or the carrying on of research, about the natural environment, or a significant aspect of it," the letter said.

"It is mandatory that any tax deductible donations be spent only in support of this purpose. That is, the funds should only be expended on the conservation of the natural environment, and not for any other purpose such as political activity."

The move follows an unsuccessful attempt by the Federal Government to abolish the tax deductible status of a wider group of non-governmental organisations last year.

The Opposition's environment spokesman, Anthony Albanese, said Senator Campbell was "slamming the door on agencies raising public awareness of the environment, or pushing for stronger environmental protection".

Oh **** !doh:

Wierd thing is is that the greenies are rarely mentioned in Australian media at all... especially in comparison to European countries. People just don't listen... so we have few volunteers. Taking away funding from the big organisations is problematic. Especially since the govts themselves are doing very little. All of them have ****e records when it comes to preserving the land. :boho:
Latham learnt the hard way about going to bed with the greens. It's the extremists that give them a bad reputation, plus they needlessly hold back developments. That surely doesn't help.
They hold back developments that destroy precious nautral resources.
They won't hold it back when it is ecologically sustainable.
We need a green voice... especially when the environment is not a consideration otherwise.
Well the greenies did the right thing helping out howard didnt they.

Its a shame that some of them are idiots
Hopium would say that they have a lingering flavour of Hexachlorobutadiene with a hint of Captan, Iprodione, and Dimethoate (pesticides). :p
Not enough for the department! It costs alot more than that... For crying out loud... we're going and buying planes off America and we cant even allocate resources to prevent the spread of salination?
We need to protect our future!
Dumb bloody pollies... I reckon someone should pollute just their air food & water & see how they like it...
<span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Wed Apr 13 2005, 08:44AM ]</span>
Hell byso, you have no idea what these groups do. Do you ever go to a beach? Will you go bush? Will you go to a park? Do you want to see wild animals? Do you want to drink water? Do you want fresh australian grown food? Do you want your child to?

Well, the reason why beaches are clean is because the environmentalists got int here and cleaned it... there used to be raw sewrage being pumped in it. When there is an oil spill, there are environmentalists cleaning the stuff. We're planting trees, educating farmers, trying to raise awareness about irreversable damage and funding research into methods that will oneday counteract such.
We protect & preserve our heritage, including live heritage.
So you could say the environmentalists are preserving our food, land, air and water.

Not a waste at all.

But then if this is another thing you don't want to "waste" money on... I suggest you don't use what the environmentalists are fighting for.
Back to the content of the original post - I don't think it unreasonable to expect someone who is handing out money to your organisation to have a say in the way it is spent. I wouldn't be happy giving and at the same time receiving criticism of everything I do. Which is a lot of what this is about. Education is fair enough but not if the pamphlet is slander against those paying for the pamphlet. This, of course, isn't to say that I believe that the government has a proud record on environmental matters but i can see where they are coming from.
Um, the slander is about what they are doing wrong/not doing. And since the contents are true, they cannot be classed as slander anyways.

The Governmant has social responsibility. This is part of the deal of becoming government. They are not meant to have control of these imparital organisations. They ahve signed all manner of documents for the protection of the environment etc... you'd think they would fulfill their obligations.

Simple answer to that. Nope.

And they are impartial - they will slag anyone off that is doing wrong.

I can see where they are coming from. Unfortunately it is merely another form of control. We are becoming more and more like the USA every day...

<span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Thu Apr 14 2005, 03:12PM ]</span>
Well I have met the people that did it and I knew the judge...
Miffed that they were painting the Opera House (there is a better way) but proud that they stood up for what they believed in!
ever heard that song "Gut Feeling" by Devo.

This has ntohing to do with the topic I just thought of the song when i read the title.

"really gets my goat"

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