Anti-mining activists received taxpayer funds

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Several groups named in a secret Greenpeace-led coalition to destroy the coal industry have received almost $750,000 in federal funding.

According to analysis by The Australian the Nature Conservation Council, Environment Victoria, and the Conservation Council of Western Australia have received Government grants of $211,000, $213,215, $319,420 respectively since last December.

All three organisations were mentioned in the acknowledgements of the Greenpeace document that aims to fund "scandal research" to shut down the coal industry.

Environment Victoria and the Conservation Council of WA were also named in a section of the document outlining "forward defence" against a growing industry in WA and VIC.

In the document Environment Victoria was designated to fund $60,000 of anti-coal campaigning expenses in VIC and also bankroll a $90,000 protest in Melbourne.

"It is far easier to stop an industry before it begins than it is to scale it back," the document says.

"By building campaign capacity early, we have good prospects of stopping the development of coal exports from both WA and Victoria before the industry becomes established."

Last week Treasurer Wayne Swan slammed the Greenpeace plans as "deeply irresponsible" and "completely irrational and destructive".

Both Environment Victoria and the Conservation Council of WA confirmed to The Australian they had backed the anti-coal campaign.

Australian Coal Association CEO Nikki Williams told The Australian the ACA was deeply concerned about the potential of anti-mining groups "misusing public funds".

The full Greenpeace document, titled ‘Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom’ can be read here.

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