CANBERRA – Greenpeace Australia Pacific climbers have taken to the flagpoles outside Parliament House to send a message to new prime minister Scott Morrison as he returns for the first day in parliament since taking over as leader of the country.
The climbers unfurled a banner depicting the now infamous time Morrison brought a lacquered lump of coal into parliament and waved it around ordering his colleagues and the opposition ‘don’t be afraid’.
‘Two weeks ago we saw a coal coup that successfully installed a new prime minister,’ Greenpeace Australia’s Pacific program director, Dominique Rowe, said.
‘This is a PM who waved around a piece of coal gifted to him by the Minerals Council, who boasts a former deputy CEO of the Mineral Council as his chief of staff, who made a former mineral industry lawyer his environment minister and whose energy minister is an anti-wind farm activist.
‘Today he returns to Parliament with literally no climate policy, which is a slap in the face to the 96 per cent of Australians who want renewable energy solutions, not coal pollution. This irreverent message from the more than one million Greenpeace supporters is here to remind the government who they’re really accountable to – their voters.’
Rowe said Greenpeace Australia Pacific is calling for Australia’s federal parliamentarians to examine the influence and intrusion of the coal lobby in politics.
‘Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated it is impossible for the current government to take meaningful action on emissions due to the influence of lobby groups on parts of the federal coalition,’ she said.
‘These powerful groups have now managed to topple three sitting prime ministers and stopped the Minerals Resource Rent Tax which would have seen a fair share of revenue flow to all Australians instead of lining the pockets of a few billionaires.
‘The coal industry and their lobbyists have taken over parliament house and the people of Australia will not stand for it.’