What are communities to do when governments defund organisations that act in the public interest?
In the case of the Climate Council we saw a massive community effort to chip in and keep the organisation afloat after Abbott pulled the plug on their funding.
And now that the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is facing an uncertain funding future, northern rivers performers are doing their bit to stand up for the EDO by helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the vital services that the EDO provides.
‘Our mission is to assist the community to protect the environment through the use of law,’ says NSW EDO principal solicitor Sue Higginson. ‘What we want is to continue the good work that the EDO has been doing for the last 30 years, serving the community and using the law in an informed way to protect the environment in circumstances where it’s really needed.
‘Not only do we bring proceedings in courts; we also educate the community about what the laws are, how they apply, what they mean and how people can engage with the laws to get better outcomes in relation to our environment.
‘The first we heard about the potential decrease in our funding was that the Minerals Council of Australia and the New South Wales Coal Association wrote to the New South Wales government and said the EDO ought to be defunded because we are challenging government decisions,’ says Ms Higginson. ‘It seems that there was some kind of response to that.
‘We’re in tricky times. We’re in times where various interests are highly in competition and we are the only expert legal voice for the community that is concerned about the protection of things like endangered ecological communities and the valuable water resources that we have.’
On Saturday the Lismore City Bowling Club will resound to the strains of an extraordinary line-up of entertainment to raise funds for the EDO.
Comedian S Sorrenson will compere the evening which features performances from Jimmy Willing & the Real Gone Hick-Ups, Sara Tindley, Luke Vassella, the No Frills Twins, Bossy Big Heart, Bassix, Ruthie-ma-Toothie, Davey Bob Ramsey & his band, bush dance band the Ragged Blossoms, and more.
Everyone involved is freely donating their time and talent in recognition of the important work that the EDO does for the community.
Saturday March 1 from 6pm to midnight the Lismore City Bowling Club.
The event is family friendly. Tickets will be sold at the door by our very own Knitting Nannas Against Gas (who will also be running a raffle to contribute to the night’s fundraising). $20 gets you in; $10 concession, and kids under 16 get in free.
Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.