WWF Australia

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WWF Australia is an Australian environmental organization. It is the Australian branch of the WWF International Network.


WWF Australia was formerly known as World Wildlife Fund and World Wide Fund For Nature. With the help of a Commonwealth Government grant and private donations, WWF Australia was first established on 29 June 1978. It had less than 10 staff and a conservation budget of around $80,000 in its first year. [1] In the year to June 30 2006 WWF Australia had total income of $17.72 million. [2]

WWF Australia is a company limited by guarantee. Governors form its membership and are appointed for a maximum of two four-year terms. [3]

WWF on Clean Coal

Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne accused the Climate Institute Australia and WWF Australia of abandoning "any remaining pretence of being part of the mainstream environment movement", by supporting Clean Coal in an alliance with mining companies and unions.[1] [2]

WWF on Forests

In 2004, in the lead up to the federal election, WWF Australia produced a report entitled "Blueprint for Tasmanian Forests". the report was heavily criticised by environmental groups in Tasmania, who wrote that "The document is incredibly damaging to the cause of forest conservation in Tasmania. We believe it will do irreparable harm to the reputation of WWF in Australia and internationally." [4]

As a result of the report, a number of wilderness photographers withdrew their photos from a WWF publication in protest. [5]

At a 2004 forest industry conference, WWF's Senior Policy Officer Michael Rae shared the podium with the then head of the forest industry lobby group National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI) Kate Carnell. Carnell was quoted at the conference as saying "I think Michael Rae and WWF are doing an absolutely stunning job [at attempting to negotiate with the forest industry]." [6]

WWF on Uranium

In May 2006, WWF Australia became the first Australian environment group to suport uranium mining in Australia. WWF CEO, Greg Bourne, told The Australian that "we have been mining uranium and exporting it for many years and we're doing more because demand is going up, whether people like it or not," he said. "The key issues are if we're going to be a nation exporting uranium, we have to know absolutely it's only being used for peaceful purposes and waste products are being stored safely." [7] WWF Australia's stance on uranium mining has been particularly controversial because WWF has received significant funding from uranium mining companies (see "corporate funding" below).

WWF on Salmon Farming

On October 31 2016 The Australian Broacasting Commission's (ABC) leading current-affairs/documentary program, Four Corners, ran a one hour investigation into the environmental aspects of the $359 million p.a. salmon farming industry in Tasmania. The program had leaked documents from one of the major salmon-farming companies, TASSAL, which was accused in the program of operating some of its floating farms at an unsustainable level -- with the implication that it did so through political influence. The complaint was that they were destroying the natural environment, endangering the operations of their competitors, and wiping out the mussel-growing industry with their pollution. A significant part of the story was the revelation (backed by documents) which showed that this company paid the Australian branch of the WWF $250,000 per year for a 'partnership' agreement, which appears to be nothing more than a license to carry the WWF's Panda logo on their packs of salmon. On camera, the principles of these two organisations made statements which were incompatible with the documentary evidence. See Big Fish on 31 Oct 2016 Various documents

Government Funding

WWF has been criticised by the Australia Institute for being too close to the Howard Government. [8] WWF receieved a five-fold funding boost from the federal government between 1996 and 2004, at the same time as government funding to almost every other environment group has been slashed. [9]

Corporate Funding

WWF Australia receives funding from a number of large corporations. Controversially, it received $1.2million from uranium mining company Rio Tinto, prior to publicly taking a strong pro-uranium mining stance. [10] [11]

In November 2006, WWF Australia announced a 3-year, $1.5 million alliance with ANZ Bank, under which WWF Australia will reportedly provide advice to ANZ on incorporating environmental principles into its operations [12]

Foundation Funding

According to the 2005 Annual Report support from foundations only comprises 3% of their revenue: "WWF has also been fortunate for the continuing support of the Tony and Lisette Lewis Foundation, in support of our work on threatened marine turtles in the Arafura and Ningaloo region and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in support of sustainable fisheries management in the Oceania region."


Executive Team

  • Greg Bourne (CEO)
  • Deirdre Moor (Deputy CEO)
  • Ray Nias (Director of Conservation)
  • Philippa Walsh (Director of Conservation)
  • Tracey Campbell (National Marketing Manager)
  • Andy Ridley (National Marketing Manager) [13]


Source: http://wwf.org.au/about/structure/directors/

Former President

Contact Details

Head Office - Sydney
Level 13, 235 Jones St
Phone: +61 2 9281 5515
Fax: +61 2 9281 1060
Web: http://www.wwf.org.au/


Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. Abandoning the polluter pays principle, Christine Milne, Greensblog, Tuesday 15 April, 2008
  2. WWF joins world's leading environment proponents in CCS call, WWF Australia press release, Tuesday, 15 April 2008