Ministerial concern over WWF support: They say the minister
expressed concern over the group’s comments on water reform and its
funding links to World Wildlife Fund Australia president Robert Purves.
Mr Purves, a Bungendore grazier, financial investor and philanthropist,
paid for dinner and the hire of a hotel conference room when members of
the group initially met in Sydney at the invitation of land clearing
campaigner Peter Cosier.
Attempt to suppress damning biodiversity report: WWF Australia
and CSIRO jointly published the blueprints with funding from Mr Purves.
The meeting followed the leaked release of a controversial and damning
report to the federal government by Queensland ecologist Dr Paul
Sattler on the state of Australia’s biodiversity. The report, which
scientists assisting Dr Sattler claim the Department of Environment and
Heritage tried to suppress, listed land clearing as the No 1 threat to
Australia’s biodiversity and ecosystems.
Bureaucrats would rather not know: “Yes, there was some pressure from the minister over Wentworth,” Dr Morton told The Canberra Times
yesterday. Dr Williams said there had been “lots of pressure and lots
of angst and agony” from government bureaucrats in at least three
departments over the Wentworth Group analysis of environmental problems
facing the nation.
The Canberra Times, 14/2/2006, p. 1