who are the Australian Environment Foundation?

Given the growing involvement of the Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) in supporting ‘Landscape Guardian’ and other groups opposed to wind farm development, it is worth considering who is behind this group.

The following information on the AEF is taken directly from the website SourceWatch (who describe themselves in the following way: “SourceWatch profiles the activities of front groups, PR spinners, industry-friendly experts, industry-funded organizations, and think tanks trying to manipulate public opinion on behalf of corporations or government”.)

The Australian Environment Foundation is a front group founded by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), a conservative Melbourne-based think tank.

The director of the environment unit of the IPA, Jennifer Marohasy was the founding Chairwoman and is listed as a Director in the organisation’s documents with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Mahorasy is also the listed registrant of the group’s website, although the address and phone number for the website registration are identical to the address and phone number for the Victorian office of the logging industry front group, Timber Communities Australia.

In July 2005, the month after AEF’s official launch, it was announced that former television celebrity Don Burke had been appointed chairman.

ASIC documents also listed Mike Nahan, the former Executive Director of the IPA, as one of the other founding directors. The documents also listed AEF’s registered place of business as the IPA office. (Nahan was ED of the IPA until mid-2005).

In a column by Nahan in the Herald-Sun, he described AEF as “pro-biotechnology, pro-nuclear power, pro-modern farming, pro-economic growth, pro-business and pro-environment.”

For further information, please check the section Who is opposing renewables.

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