Legal crusader Erin Brockovich has backed human rights and the environmental protection of Australia while launching the Environmental Justice Society (EJS) in Brisbane today.
Brockovich noted at the launch that with Australia's current growth being driven by resources underground, Australians face renewed environmental risks.
"The EJS will act as a guardian of people's rights to a safe and healthy environment and is aiming to help preserve Australia's pristine beaches, waterways, rainforests and wilderness for generations to come," said Brockovich.
According Shine Lawyers associate and EJS executive secretary Rebecca Jancauskas, the Society's primary focus will be to inform Australians about their human right to a safe environment, particularly through the provision of practical information online.
"The EJS Advisory Committee will help Australians voice their concerns and pursue justice if their life or the livelihood of their community is being negatively impacted by the actions of a company," said Jancauskas.
As well as Shine Lawyers, the group also includes expertise from WWF Australia, The University of Queensland, Doctors for the Environment and the Environmental Defenders Office.
Individuals contacting the EJS will receive access to the Society's Knowledge Centre including fact sheets, research papers, medical and scientific papers and information on legal issues.
Pro bono support will be provided to individuals and communities that need assistance in furthering their cause via the EJS secretariat.
Brockovich also today announced a new competition "to find Australia's Erin Brockovich".
"Thanks to the award-winning movie bearing my name, we all know about the environmental work I do in the United States," she said, "Well, now it's time to do the same down under and I want to find my Australian equivalent."