Groups work together with a shared aim to save icon

A DISPARITY in donation levels among three key coastal conservation councils comes down to whether they are getting support to run court challenges against major mining-related projects.

While conservation councils in Gladstone and Rockhampton are running on less than $100,000 revenue a year, Mackay Conservation Group had some $299,000 at its disposal last year, reports filed with the charities regulator showed.

Each group has a diverse number of on-ground projects and all agree on the importance of advocating for the environment.

MCG's Ellen Roberts said the group's legal work - cases against Adani's Carmichael mine and Abbot Point developments - and its advocacy were crucial and advocacy seemed to be "anything the mining industry doesn't like".

Gladstone Conservation Council president Jan Arens said that council relied on few donations, in part due to not having tax-deductible status.

"These groups help provide advice, package information and explain how decisions could affect us," he said.

Capricorn Conservation Council co-ordinator Michael McCabe also said exactly where the line was drawn on "political advocacy" seemed unclear.

The groups did not rely on income from the Fight for the Reef campaign.

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