QCC says reef inquiry is a witch hunt

AFTER facing down almost $200,000 in budget cuts last year, the Queensland Conservation Council believes a federal inquiry into environmental organisations is a "witch hunt" designed to stifle community debate.

The cuts included $90,000 in the rivers program under the Newman government and a $77,000 a year cut to federal grants.

Together with fewer donations, its revenue was slashed from $517,000 to $314,000 in 2013-14.

Co-ordinator Nicky Hungerford said a federal inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations was an effort to "cripple the funding in order to stop the debate".

"If they really want to make cuts, they could take off the subsidies to the coal companies," she said.

"How the marine park came about, how the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area came about was community advocacy, that's what they're trying to stop."

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