Why we chose not to accept this offer of federal funding

Staying bold, fearless and independent

We were curious and even a little bit excited when at the last federal election, Labor promised to restore Community Legal Centre funding, stripped by the Abbott Government in 2015, to us at EJA.

But it turns out this new federal government funding comes with extensive restrictions. That’s why we’ve made a difficult decision not to accept it.

Why? Our independence and ability to be bold and fearless is vital.

As a national public interest legal organisation, we use the law to challenge the government every single day.

We take federal ministers to court. We run game-changing legal interventions to compel governments to act. We ask inconvenient questions about justice and inequality, to drive public policy. We tirelessly advocate for better laws that work for people and nature.

We can do all this because we are independent.

The legal cases and campaigns we run are cutting-edge. We often deal with thousands of pieces of evidence in complex litigation and have no shortage of things to do. All of that needs reliable multi-year funding.

But this federal funding would be more restrictive than funding under the Howard Government. In fact, it would be the most restrictive government grant we have ever received.

When the Abbott Government gutted our funding in 2015, we decided there had to be a better way. Never again did we want to be in the position where politicians could derail our organisation or restrict our work.

These restrictions did not support the kind of work that we know is critical for a public interest organisation like us.

Over the past decade, thanks to the generous support of people like you, we’ve worked hard to become the bold, impactful and independent organisation we are today.

If you can, please consider donating today to power a strong and fearless legal voice for communities and nature.