Tony Abbott's government must not cave into pressure from the miners to defund legal rights groups, say the Australian Greens.
Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright has written to Attorney General George Brandis urging him to resist calls from the mining lobby to defund the Environmental Defender's Office.
"The Environmental Defenders Office is the only thing standing between state governments and a rubber stamp for mining approvals," Senator Wright said.
"EDOs make sure government action is lawful and that the voice of ordinary Australians can be heard.
"Mr Brandis has been vocal about his support for a stronger democracy - now it is time for him to act and protect the institutions that ensure the government of the day is held to account.
"Of course the mining industry would prefer these checks and balances didn't exist, but Mr Brandis must not cave in to this transparent campaign."
Senator Wright will also urge Mr Brandis to acknowledge the work of the community legal centres across the country and the need for ongoing funding to keep the legal system open to everyone seeking a just outcome, irrespective of their wealth.