Government funding has been cut to two anti-mining environmental groups in the Northern Territory which could lead to the both organisations shutting their doors for the foreseeable future.
According to the ABC, the Northern Territory government slashed $185,000 from The Environment Centre NT (ECNT), while the federal government has stripped the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) of $450,000 in funding.
Both ECNT and EDO have been very active and vocal in their opposition toward a number of resources projects in the Northern Territory in recent years including the proposed expansion of the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu, hydraulic fracturing in gas extraction, and smoke plumes from burning rock waste at McArthur Mine last year.
The Top End’s environment minister was unrepentant about his department’s decision to cut funding, telling the ABC that the independent Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NTEPA) was adequate in the role of environmental watch dog.
“Now that we have an independent NTEPA we do not need an operational body out there simply advising government,” Mr Higgins said.
“There is a crossover in roles between the NTEPA and those other bodies such as the ECNT.”
Chair of EDO, Kirtsy Howey, said the funding cut spelled the end for her organisation.
“With the cutting of federal funding at the EDO, we are looking at shutting the doors on June 30 this year,” she said.
“We just don’t have the money to survive any longer.”