Australia’s lost in the climate wilderness


Nothing is safe from A government working as one with coal and gas corporations. In a speech delivered to Parliament this month, Adam Bandt explains that while we have a hell of a fight to release the two major parties from the grips of this evil industry, change is coming.

By Adam Bandt

Last year, the climate fuelled bushfires burned across Australia.

Last month, the International Energy Agency said that to get to net zero, the very first thing every country has to do is commit to not approving any new oil and gas fields, new coal mines or mine extensions and no new coal plants or any fossil fuel boilers.

And just days ago the G7 committed to more than halving their pollution in this critical decade, ending fossil fuel subsidies and ending the financing of coal.

What is the Morrison government’s first policy response to these historic global shifts? To release 80,000 square kilometres of our ocean to exploit new oil and gas fields!

Nothing is safe from the government working as one with coal and gas corporations. Even the Twelve Apostles are now under threat from the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Chevron, Santos, Origin and ExxonMobil.

A year and a half of megafires, cities covered in smoke, dust-storms, hailstorms and floods and the Australian government is still trying to give more money, more land and more of our ocean to the very horseman who are causing all this devastation.

The government is trying to see how far they can drag the country to pay for the profiteering of this evil industry.

Whether it’s a quarter of a billion of our money for gas corporations to frack the Beetaloo Basin. $600 million of our money to build a gas plant, several million for a new coal fired power station - we need to call time on this giant scam that’s going to make our lives, and those of the generations to follow, unimaginably bad.

Because time is running out for these bastards. The banks are abandoning them. The world can see the writing on the wall.

The firefighters get it. The army gets it. The private equity companies get it and our school kids get it.

Which is why we need to stop the grift. Stop the scam. End the handouts and dry up our addiction to these terrible fuels and limit the damage they’re causing.

We have to fight to release a Government, and the so-called Opposition that are captured by coal, oil and gas companies.

And how do we know they are captured?

Because they keep voting to humiliate themselves, abandon their responsibilities and to wreck the country they claim to represent, and the future for their kids.

And for what?

For the profits of some of the greediest, most shameless, and most dangerous corporations in the world.

Corporations who, by and large, don’t pay much tax. Corporations labelled by the Tax Office as “systemic non-payers of tax”.

Corporations who will poison your river. Corporations who will give workers black lung. Corporations who will undermine a union agreement to bring in labour hire workers.

They only care about one thing. Their profits.

If they didn’t, they would pay a fair share of tax. They would clean up after themselves. They wouldn’t spend millions in political donations and lobbying strategies. They might have even invested in their own Carbon Capture and Storage by now.

But they don’t. They’re not just digging wherever they like, in some of our most iconic places, or wrecking the cultural sites of indigenous people, they’re making us pay for it.  

That’s right. Everytime you go to work, you pay tax. When you buy a house, you pay tax. When you buy something at the shops, you pay tax.

And where does that tax go? It goes to fund gas fields. To fund fossil fuel exploration. To fund their fuel costs. To fund their profits.

Santos didn’t pay any tax.

Peabody Coal didn’t pay any tax.

Yet we are paying them.

But we are also the ones who have to clean up their mess. Rebuild our homes and our lives. Mentally prepare ourselves for the next fire season. For the next flood. For the next heatwaves.

Those running the fossil fuel companies, those who refuse to pay tax, with their hands in our pockets, those who have corrupted our politics to destroy our environment, our jobs and our future, what you are doing is criminal.

The law might be on your side, but morality is not.

Things are changing. And the government will change. And one day soon, we will get tough on the criminals causing climate change.

We will fight for our future.

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