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The Australian Network of Environmental Defenders Offices Inc (ANEDO) consists of eight independently constituted and managed community environmental law centres located in each State and Territory of Australia.

Each EDO is dedicated to protecting the environment in the public interest.

They provide legal representation and advice, take an active role in environmental law reform and policy formulation, and offer a significant education program designed to facilitate public participation in environmental decision making.

For information about State and Territory laws, follow the links below or contact the EDO office in your State or Territory for details.

To contact the Secretariat of the Australian Network of Environmental Defenders Offices about national or international issues, please e-mail the

EDOs refute claims they are involved in illegal activism

The Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices (ANEDO) said recent suggestions by a Federal Liberal member of parliament that the network was involved in ‘illegal activism’, and therefore should have its tax deductible charity status removed, were ridiculous.

"EDOs have a proud history of supporting the community and protecting the environment through legitimate legal means," said EDO NSW Principal Solicitor Sue Higginson.

"Its members, directors and alumni include many prominent citizens, including former judges and senior lawyers.

"Without the EDO legal services many Australians could not afford to get legal advice or mount a legitimate legal challenge against large companies or governments over major development projects which threaten their local communities and environment."

Andrew Nikolic, the Federal member for Bass, in Tasmania, on Sunday accused a number of environmental groups, including EDOs, of undertaking "illegal activism". His comments were reported to be made before he introduced a motion at the Liberal party's federal council meeting in Tasmania, which was passed unanimously, to strip environmental charities of their tax deductibility for donations.

Ms Higginson said EDOs are a key part of the current legal system, providing greater access for the public and vetting cases to avoid court time being wasted. According to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the legal cases run by EDOs, on behalf of individuals and community groups, also provide a key safeguard against corruption by ensuring government decision making processes are transparent and accountable to the public.

Thousands of community groups, farmers and individuals across Australia receive free and low-cost legal advice from EDOs each year as well as free legal education services, such as community workshops and seminars, in capital and regional cities and towns.

Often individual EDOs and ANEDO participate in policy development and law reform processes at the express invitation of government agencies – a recognition of their expertise in environmental and planning law matters in particular.

Mr Nikolic’s accusations follow the removal of all Federal funding for EDOs, announced by Attorney General, George Brandis. The ending of Federal funding for EDOs took effect this week. The removal of this funding means that EDOs are reliant on financial support from the community to continue operations.

This comes at a time when a number of contentious coal, coal seam gas, LNG and other projects are in the development pipeline. These projects are in highly sensitive areas such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania and on precious farmland, affecting many communities as well as the natural environment.


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Recent ANEDO Submissions

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      [PDF 289 KB]
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