Open letter to CCWA Members and Supporters about the Environmental Defenders Office Western Australia

Dear CCWA Members and Supporters

The Environmental Defender’s Office WA (EDO) needs our help

For over 20 years, the EDO has been an independent legal voice for the environment and assisted numerous CCWA member groups and associated campaigns in critical work to protect the environment.



The good governance of the EDO has always been overseen by a Committee of Management made up of volunteers including environmental lawyers, scientists and campaigners.

The input of highly qualified, experienced and respected environmental lawyers into the EDO, through the Committee of Management, has been critical to its success and has meant hundreds of extra volunteer legal hours working for the environment, advising on law reform and helping win landmark cases in the courts.

The current EDO committee is made up of dedicated people with many years of demonstrated commitment to the EDO and its purpose. This committee has been successfully dealing with the challenges posed by the withdrawal of Commonwealth and state funding for legal centres including EDOs. In my role as CCWA Director I have had direct engagement with the members of the Management Committee and I hold them in the highest personal regard.

Unfortunately the good governance of the EDO is now under threat - just at the time when it most needs to be unified with effective leadership due to the loss of funding and unprecedented levels of community demand for legal advice and assistance.

In late June, the Principal Solicitor of the EDO chose to resign from his position during a performance review process. He has since commenced unfair dismissal proceedings in the Fair Work Commission and initiated other efforts that risk destabilising the organisation and could result in the loss of current highly qualified committee members.

While it is not our role to judge the internal issues of the EDO, CCWA recognises the importance of ensuring there is a strong, independent and expert EDO operating in WA. That means making sure the EDO is properly governed.

The EDO’s AGM is on 11 October at 5.30 pm at CityWest Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St, West Perth. 

We encourage all CCWA Member Groups and individual supporters to join the EDO and attend AGM to show support for the EDO by voting to ensure the management committee is made up of people who have demonstrated commitment to the environment and the EDO.

Individuals and groups can join the EDO here (Please make payment by Direct Debit method to ensure it is processed in time for the AGM)


If you are unable to attend the EDO AGM in person then please ensure your proxy is provided to Peter Robertson or another person who can exercise your vote in the best interests of the EDO and the environment.

A Proxy Nomination Form can be downloaded here.

Please complete the form and return to before COB Friday 7 October

Please pass this letter on to your networks

Yours Sincerely


Piers Verstegen,