Huge budget cuts for environmental lobby


Governments have inflicted “significant” budget cuts on the Alice Springs based Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC).
Its CEO, Jimmy Cocking (pictured), says a $30,000 operational grant from the Federal Government, started in 1973, has been discontinued as of the end of next month.
The Territory Government has chopped – effective immediately – $75,000 for ALEC’s signature program, Cool Mob.
The NT will continue its $70,000 funding until the end of 2014/15 but will not pay it from 2015/16 onwards.
Mr Cocking is in Darwin to meet with the Environment Centre NT which has also suffered significant cuts, ith the Opposition, Power Water Corporation and philanthropic trusts.
Mr Cocking, who is saying the NT Government may be facing “complete mobilisation” of the Territory environmental movement, is also talking to NT Minister Peter Chandler.


  1. For far too long lefty NGO’s have treated issues relating to the environment as if somehow they are societies conscience, holding the high moral ground.
    What they really represent is the loony left of politics, simply there to get in our face with the disaffected anti establishment politics of envy.
    They act like a millstone around our collective necks while contributing absolutely nothing to our economy.
    They insert themselves in parasitic fashion into many funding streams adding for zero gain to wider societies already heavy tax burden.
    Worse than this, they give environmental issues, that are in fact everybody’s issues, and very well covered by existing departments and legislation, a bad name because the average Joe doesn’t wish to be associated with the lefty politics, especially here in the very conservative Territory.
    So all in all cutting funding to any free loading NGO is a very good move for our economy! So let’s not stop here, there are many more dead weights in our bureaucracy that are holding us back!

  2. The Budget has made big cuts to environmental programs across the nation including Landcare and farmer driven projects (see the current edition of The Weekly Times) as well as to environmental organizations like ALEC.
    ALEC has done much to raise awareness and action on local environmental issues over many years. I don’t agree with everything they fight for, for instance I think we need to keep an open mind about nuclear power as part of the mix of measures we use to take CO2 emissions if we are to prevent a global temperature rise of more than two degrees. But crikey, if I have to make a choice between the environmental awareness of ALEC and Steve Brown and his average Joes, I’m with ALEC!
    The Abbott Government is about as short sighted as Steve Brown on the environment. As one of their own backbenchers, a former CSIRO research scientist, has pointed out today, they don’t have a Science Minister, they have cut funding to the environment and to science, and talked up a $20 billion medical research fund that has been put forward as some sort pie in the sky a long way down the track, to throw us off the cuts now.
    We should rally behind ALEC and fight against the cuts to their funding.

  3. ALEC as an organisation has managed to achieve some good outcomes through programs such as the Alice Water Smart project.
    Unfortunately, ALEC has transformed from an organisation whose aims were “to become a regional leader in developing and delivering sustainability initiatives in Central Australia” to a Greens lobby group.
    Is it ever appropriate for a government to fund an organisation to lobby the government? Personally I don’t believe that they should, I want my taxes to be spent providing outcomes, not paying for organising anti-nuclear rallies.
    ALEC as a community group are free to lobby government on their environmental and anti-nuclear agenda but in their own time and by their own means. They should not expect the taxpayer to fund them to do it.

  4. ALEC have run some good programs. I believe they should receive a small amount of funding with conditions, that it should be an agreed project and with good outcomes. Alec have been able to do this in the past.
    I’m no greenie but I believe the environment as a whole should be looked after and organisations should be supported. Not just here but all over.
    When it comes to the environment do not ask for Steve’s opinion or advice. He wants tourism to grow but what he fails to understand is that the tourists come to Central Australia for the views ranges, river beds, hikes etc … not for a walk through Todd Mall like everyone thinks. Australia does need NGOs but they are to have organised projects which are funded with strict outcomes.

  5. @ Daniel Davis “ALEC as an organisation has managed to achieve some good outcomes through programs such as the Alice Water Smart project …”
    Appreciate your comments Daniel, but wasn’t it the Water Smart programme that was looking to get neighbours “dobbing” each other in … I’m not so sure that is a good outcome for the community.

  6. Observer, the program was not run to dob in the neighbours but to encourage people to conserve water which a lot of the older residents don’t seem to give a damn about. If this is a bad thing, well the community need to pull their finger in and use some common sense.


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